Priyanka Chaturvedi

It's all about me!!My people, my favourite things, my raving and my ranting too!

Posts Tagged ‘Yuva Desh

My Yuva Desh column: Indian Businesswomen are making the world sit up and take notice

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In a recent study conducted on women entrepreneurs across USA, UK and India, to the surprise of many people, India came out tops as the most suited destination for women to start business in 2012.

The study (conducted by PC makers Dell) surveyed around 450 women entrepreneurs and came out with interesting perspectives on entrepreneurship for women across the globe but more importantly in India.

The study found women entrepreneurs in India expect 90 per cent growth in their business over period of five years compared to 24 per cent and 50 per cent growth in business expected by entrepreneurs in the UK and the US respectively. Not just that but also the women entrepreneurs surveyed in India  71% of them said their business is very successful and 8 out of 10 said that they were hiring for their company.

Women entrepreneurship is an important source of economic growth. Women have in many scenarios helped bring in a different perspective to managing and running an organization. However, women still represent a minority of all entrepreneurs in the country.

Khushboo Mehta, Principal Designer of Cuscino Lifestyle, an interior décor company,  the company five years ago because it  gave her a chance to “keep my personal & business growth constant, which means constantly rising.”

She also goes on to add “India has finally warmed up to women empowerment, the way society looks at women also has changed drastically, so the environment in the country is extremely supportive.” Her company over the years has seen growth in double digits.

Madhumita Goswami, who started her own unique retail store, Loose Ends, selling funky knick-knacks for homes and offices, feels it is a huge challenge managing a retail store considering the high rentals and various licenses involved to keep the store running.

Another woman entrepreneur I spoke to, Kranti Kothari, is the proprietor of Sweet Moments, a chocolate manufacturing company she started from home. Kranti Kothari is doing so well that she is soon going to start her own retail store. All this has been achieved in less than three years. The company now not only offers chocolates but cakes and other products, what started out as a small venture catering to only corporate clients will now also cater to retail clients through her store. She says that though there have been a few impediments in running her business till now, it has been an interesting growth journey.

The successes of these women entrepreneurs, notwithstanding, fact is a lot of them have to deal with gender-based barriers when they start out in what is a predominantly male bastion.

Lot of them suffer from lack of access to formal finance mechanisms, it is harder for a woman who is starting out on her own, often without any family support, to raise funds for her business venture. becomes difficult -dominated set up. The fact that inheritance laws are discriminatory against women doesn’t help matters either, often there is limited access to information.

Despite these not inconsiderable hurdles, the amazing success rate of business ventures started by Indian women entrepreneurs has encouraged many institutions specializing in business studies to offer specific Women Entrepreneurship courses to help women manage their businesses professionally. Such courses are also designed to ensure that women are armed with a business plan and ideas to diversify in order to keep their businesses growing. They also equip the women to take charge of their business in entirety by giving an overview of how a business is run, how funds can be obtained.

Women across geographies found funding their businesses the most difficult task as per the survey. The central government on its part has introduced many policies that work as a catalyst to have more women participating in the economy through entrepreneurship.

In addition to the special schemes for women entrepreneurs, various government schemes for MSMEs also provide certain special incentives and concessions for women entrepreneurs. For instance, under Prime Minister’s Rozgar Yojana (PMRY), preference is given to women beneficiaries. The government has also made several relaxations for women to facilitate the participation of women beneficiaries in this scheme.

So if you are an Indian woman reading this and believe that you have an idea worth exploring, why not sit down and prepare a business plan for the same?  You never know you might be a business tycoon in the making. Remember one thing: nothing ventured, nothing gained!

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Written by Priyanka Chaturvedi

July 16, 2012 at 9:42 am

My column for Yuva Desh: Monsoon, Misery, Mumbai-Again!

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First drops of rain after months of sweltering heat,  the smell of wet earth when the raindrops come falling, the skies turn grey and burst into torrential rain which brings the temperature down by several notches. Summer rains send people into raptures the world over.

Not in Mumbai though.

In this city, people have begun to dread rains. This, despite the respite from heat the rains provide. For years now, monsoons in Mumbai have brought nothing but misery to the people of this city.

Waterlogging and breakdown of the civic transport system throws life out of gear. Children can’t go to schools, office goers can’t reach their places of work, but worst of all, the lakhs of people who live in slums have their homes flooded year after year.

This year the rains haven’t hit the city hard yet. Already stories of waterlogging, and potholed roads have begin to surface though. And like every year, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation has claimed that it is fully prepared to tackle the rains and come up with figures detailing how much money has been spent in cleaning storm water drains and filling potholes.

Just months after the Shiv Sena  won the Municipal elections in Mumbai and promised the people of a much improved and more efficient Corporation, all the tall promises have been washed away by the season’s first showers.

The memories of 26th July downpour continue to haunt every Mumbaikar who suffered on that day.

 Brihannmumbai Municipal Corporation is the richest corporation in the country and in the last five years claims to have spent, at least on paper,  over Rs.21000 crores on roads, storm water drains, water supply, solid waste management, health and education in Mumbai.

The BMC budget is more than the combined budgets of five Indian states and one Union Territory (Goa, Nagaland, Mizoram, Manipur, Sikkim and Chandigarh) in 2011-12. With a budget like this there’s just so much one can do to improve the lives of the citizens residing in the megapolis.

  • After spending more than Rs7,800 crore on water supply over five years, water supply remains erratic in many areas.
  • The construction and maintenance of roads have cost taxpayers more than Rs4,000 crore in five years, but in July 2011, the BMC counted 6,000 potholes on its 1,900-km network of city roads. It spent another Rs57 crores filling potholes.
  • Allocations worth around Rs 900 crore were made by the BMC for the construction of new roads in the city.
  • The civic body awarded contract of reconstruction and concretization of 161 major roads, worth Rs570 crore. But more than half of such projects have been stuck due to encroachments.

But despite the amount spent, despite the elections bringing back the same party and their grand promises the situation continues to stay unchanged for this city.

The monsoons have just hit the city and some areas have already seen water logging and roads caving in. The BMC has been blamed for a shoddy job done in laying paver blocks that has led to creation of bumps and depressions on the roads. The first showers on Saturday, June 19th, brought in complaints of water logging and potholes from several areas in the city. What is amazing is that these complaints are again coming from the same areas as every year.

As complaints mount, like every year the Sena leaders and BMC officials lie through their teeth, claiming a preparedness to tackle the monsoons that is simply not there.

Mumbai, you surely deserve better.

Written by Priyanka Chaturvedi

July 16, 2012 at 9:30 am

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