Saturday morning, 4th of March, 2017 and all roads led to WE@Headstart Pune, planting seeds in a garden we hope to see.
WE@ Headstart wants to be a prominent platform to enable Women entrepreneurship where women can get connected with other motivated and determined women, self-help groups, and economic empowering platforms; to share, acknowledge and collaborate on making ideas happen.
WE@ Headstart initiative is aimed at early and growth stage ventures, preferably in their 1-3 years phase. The motive is to handhold, guide and nurture the women-founded startups.
Our speakers brought their diverse range of experiences to the table and everybody had something unique to share for others could learn from.
Our first speaker was Priyanka Khandelwal from Abira Creations, who has herself been a Headstarter. (once and always! #foundFamily )
Abira is a non-profit startup and their idea is to start the journey of growth and learning in the lives of women. It is working towards building confidence and changing the attitude of women towards their goals and ambitions. Abira attempts to make women believe that their mind can do wonderful things if put in the right direction.
Priyanka mentioned real life examples where women who were once not able to make simple decisions in life now being able to actually deal with business firms, to reason out the things they do and to display that fighting spirit for success!
It is really motivating to know that life is being made better for women at Abira. Those who have visited their workspace know about the enthusiasm with which the employees (entirely female!! Kudos!!) work to better their lives every single day.
After the first wonderful session, we had Radhika Karkhanis who is a co-founder at Legis Peritis and Associates, a firm for corporate consultancy and legal advisory.
The firm deals with providing legal services and train people about legal compliances. Radhika spoke about the hurdles startups face due to non-awareness of legal procedures and gave solutions to overcome those. She also explained (in brief) the different kinds of services her firm provides, especially to early stage startups.
Our guest speaker was Suhasini Kirloskar who has around 27 years of experience in Marketing and Sales and is currently the CMO of Clarion Networks. She gave her insight into marketing mantras, how to deal with the market and how to get a target audience.
Salient points drawn from her session are:
- While having an idea, it is equally important to understand the customer needs and to progress in that direction to be successful.
- Keeping in mind the market needs and constant improvements in the services provided will help startups in the long run.
Suhasini also mentioned that women need to be less harsh on themselves and stop bearing the burden of the entire world on their shoulders: “It is not only about having a perfect life, it is about being happy and enjoying life more; not striving towards being a ‘Super Woman’ but a human who has the liberty to make mistakes.” (yes to all of this.)
Finally, we welcomed our special guest Sudha Menon, the author of 4 brilliant books oriented around the lives of women and their inspiring stories. (Here is a link to all of her published books; her oeuvre is very rich, diverse and inspiring.)
The thoughts Sudha put forward were inclined towards the following:
- having a life without bothering much about the circumstances around,
- to be yourself,
- to respect the potential women have,
- to make your life worth something with hard work and determination.
Having her onboard was a like having a tapestry of positivity being woven around ourselves. It really is a wondrous thing to behold, when women come forward and support each other.
The panel discussion moderated by the City Lead, Amit Rawat was immersive and riveting because of the kind of experiences both Suhasini and Sudha shared about being successful & about how important it is for a woman to have a mind of her own.
Key takeaways from the panel were:
- Thinking and developing things can give a purpose in life besides having a normal life with friends and family.
- It is not the whole and sole responsibility of a woman to get a perfect life but an equal contribution from the other half to build a beautiful place with open minds.
The charged up panel discussion was followed by an intense and delightful networking session.
It was a pleasure to organize the WE@Headstart initiative and a big thank you to all our fabulous speakers & presenters who gave us their time and shared their experiences thus making it memorable, as well as the audience for being so interactive.
So for all the ambitious women out there in this judging world, “Be What You Wanna Be, Dreams are hard to follow, but don’t let anyone tear them away.” 🙂
Written by Amit Rawat.
Edited by Aishwarya Meenakshi.