A change in the mindset, which is away from traditional thinking and towards attaining self-employment, is essential for women to become successful entrepreneurs, says Roopa Maganti, Director of the Centre for Entrepreneurship Development, Andhra Pradesh.
“The traditional thinking that only a job with a monthly salary is a safe option should go. The IT sector, which is till recently viewed as a safe and secure option without any risk, is no longer considered so,” she told The Hindu on the sidelines of the three-day international conference on innovation, incubation and industrialisation, which concluded here on Friday.
“Sustainable growth can only be achieved when one takes risks. Entrepreneurship is not something that can be acquired through training alone. The zeal and innovative thinking should be there in us,” Ms. Roopa, who is also MD of Serendipity Consultancy Services Private Limited, Hyderabad, said.
“The buzz word not only in India but also across the world today is women empowerment. The world has begun to realise that economic growth can be achieved only through women empowerment, participation and inclusion in all spheres of development. This is indicated by their growing presence as entrepreneurs.” Brushing aside the talk that women entrepreneurs were largely confining themselves to traditional startups such as home-made products and textiles, she described these products as a means to sustainable development.
The demand for these products was also very encouraging in the international market. Citing an example, she said there was huge demand for textiles made out of banana fibre in the US.
Further, there would always be good demand for small and medium industries, as the large industries needed them for supply of ancillary products, she said.
On the sectors that offered promising prospects to women entrepreneurs, Ms. Roopa said hospitality, education, electronics, and automobiles were in high demand at the moment.
She, however, cautioned entrepreneurs against joining the bandwagon of any particular industry or sector, which could be promising at the moment. They should think of innovative ideas such as e-cars.
On the advantage of India compared to other SAARC countries, she said India was blessed with abundant natural resources unlike its neighbours in the region.
“There is still hesitation among most women to take risk,” she said, and added that the Tatas and Birlas would not have been what they were today had they not taken calculated risks at the time of starting their companies.