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Kavea Kalaneca Uppada Sarees

Naaree Interviews Kavea R Chavali, Anchor and Co-Founder, Kalaneca Uppada Sarees

Kavea R Chavali is an award-winning Anchor and the Co-founder of Kalaneca Uppada Sarees. She has a strong passion to promote the handlooms of Uppada, Andhra.

As the co-founder of Kalaneca, she looks after the daily activities around the hand-woven sarees, connecting and collaborating with the weavers of Uppada to introduce newer designs and luxurious sarees to people around the world.

KALANECA, is a women-run organisation started by Kavea, her sister, Ramya Rao, and her mother, Lata Rao. caught up with Kavea to learn what inspired her to start her company and what lessons she learned along the way.

What are some challenges that you faced initially when you started out?

So one of the many common challenges would be making the people aware of the idea/product/brand.

When you think of silk sarees you will say a Kanjeevaram or Banarasi, but bringing the heritage and luxurious weaves of Uppada and explaining the intricacies took us time…the faith in our brand built when they started shopping with us.

Straight from the weavers to your closet
Straight from the weavers to your closet

When we started most of our customers were from South India but now close to 35% orders come from the USA as well.

Secondly, as it was a bootstrapped business model, every penny mattered. We have had some of the agencies who tried wasting our money on digital marketing and other technology-related products but thankfully we kept our intent very strong.

One common challenge was the inventory. Our initial business model of retaining the inventory did not really work on our favour. We changed that model and shifted the gears eventually increasing the sales by 45%.

What are all the things that an entrepreneur/achiever in your industry needs to keep in mind? Apart from your great idea, what do you need to be armed with?

One needs to be armed with a consistent intent to start and tremendous patience. My brand doesn’t serve a need like an Ola/Uber. It serves a want.

Patience is very important because everyone is talking about unicorns and billion valuations. The brand has to serve the very same intent it started with at the start. Do it well and do it at your pace.

Secondly, in the age of social media, there are so many brands investing so much on the popular platforms – Instagram marketing or Facebook marketing. This may make them popular but not necessarily successful.

My team cannot sit and compare the number of likes we have vs. another niche handloom brand every day and this is why focus your target audience well. There is tremendous competition but there is room for every honest product too.

Thirdly, enjoy what you do. You are filled with a zillion ideas but once you start a brand if you do not enjoy the process, you will perish. The brand is run by the people so you have to be motivated even if you are on a holiday to fulfil the requirements. So if you do not enjoy it, you are part of a wrong idea.

Did you have a mentor to guide you through your journey? In your opinion, what does a mentor bring to the table?

I never had a specific mentor but I was constantly engaged in startup discussions and digital related conferences thanks to my work. The fact that I have hosted almost 800 shows surrounding technology, digital and start-ups… it gave me an idea on how to go about with my brand.

I interact with the best of the speakers to gain an insight and thankfully as an Anchor for the show I get enough access to them and their ideas.

Having a mentor, of course, brings about newer and matured perspectives. My sister and I have friends who brainstorm wonderful ideas as well and that really helps.

Kalaneca Uppada Sarees

Please describe some successes and failures you have experienced as an entrepreneur.

As our brand is a B2C business, customer satisfaction is the biggest measure of our success. We are just 4 years into this business, but 2 years ago we received a brilliant order from a client in the US.

As the bride, she had certain requirements and we went the extra mile to fulfil it in terms of the weaving, packaging, shipping and getting them done on precise time.

Till date, that experience taught us how we could control time in our hands if we were driven so passionately. That grew our orders in the US market big-time.

Failure would be the year 2016, where close to 180 of our sarees came out of the loom with a weavers blot.

Now this concept of the Weaver’s gum/Mark doesn’t hamper the saree, as it goes away after the first dry clean. But how can one sell these sarees to a customer even at a reduced price? This resulted in a heavy loss for us.

At Kalaneca we do not spend time in brooding over the unhappy things and we do not try repeating those mistakes again. Its a lesson learnt- the hard way but we dust off the bruises and work on an immediate action plan.

What are 3 key lessons that you have learned as an entrepreneur?

As an entrepreneur, you have to be your own boss, your own peon, your own assistant, your own photocopy vendor and the delivery boy too. One thing that I learnt is that no work is small and that just because the world calls you an entrepreneur you can never, never feel entitled.

At Kalaneca, my sister used to pack the bags and would write handwritten notes herself. My mother would visit weavers and procure the designs herself. I once delivered a saree travelling in a local train just because my delivery boy didn’t turn up, but we had to get the job done, so it had to be done.

Secondly, you have to be aware of the industry so read well. Learn what the government schemes are so that you can make the most of it and don’t feel bad if you are seeking help or opinion.

Just because you want to make it on your own doesn’t mean you do not include the people around you. Kalaneca for us is our passion but unless we do not get to connect the right stakeholders the growth will only be derailed.

Marketing. We as Indians have started to believe in the power of marketing now more than before. One must hesitate to make his brand especially when you have such a great product to offer.

There are so many of those who spend so much money on marketing but have a bad product which is why the consumer doesn’t approve of it after a while.

But when you do have a great product get the people to know it in whatever marketing budget you have. Our brand mantra is simple – Straight from the weavers to your closet.

We stick to this mantra and we believe in it 100% and which is why our customers also believe in it.

Naaree Interviews Kavea R Chavali, Anchor and Co-Founder, Kalaneca Uppada Sarees


Naaree Interviews Entrepreneur Sumati Parmar of Bharatsthali

Sumati Parmar is a young co-founder on the cusp of a sustainable fashion breakthrough. Her startup, Bharatsthali, is a conscious and contemporary approach to get handloom sarees to your doorstep.

A saree is often seen as a byword for cumbersome affair in the times of slide in and get moving clothing. At Bharatsthali, she is trying to make sarees a part of day-to-day life for those for it isn’t. She aims to make sarees fashionable and feasible by bringing utility and aesthetics together for the quintessential women of today.

Naaree caught up with her to find out about her motivations, vision and learnings from her startup experience.

Please describe the vision for your startup, Bharatsthali.

I think about the saree in a contemporary way. Before Bharatsthali, I would ask myself if I was buying an original handloom saree or was paying the right price?

In fact, there were times, I would like to buy a handloom saree but there were no means to buy it. Unless of course, you travel to the place and get it personally. Not exactly a pocket-friendly and sensible idea.

We have collaborated and partnered with artists and weavers directly to bring the best in natural fabric. We are transforming a saree, maintaining its traditional connotations while asking women to adopt it as a fashion trend– just like any other outfit.

That’s the only way forward to strike a balance between traditional and modern sensibility. It is 2018 already. Don’t you think it is high time to bring forth a change?

We are asking women to think of a saree as an outfit that embraces them as they are and is perfect for Indian weather. While we are proud of its being a cultural icon, there is much more to a saree than just representing India on a global stage.

As far as offering sarees are concerned, we ask for a price that the work and art deserves. No middle channels between us and the artists mean that we have a robust framework in place that governs the quality and financial well-being of the artists. This fair trade is what makes us unique.

We believe if our work model is harming anybody’s interest along the value chain, our purpose is defeated. Therefore, our customer pays the reasonable price and the artists/weavers get the best value for their work as well.

What does Bharatsthali offer and why is it unique?

We want people to understand the value of a handloom sarees – especially the kind of efforts and perseverance that goes into it.

We want the buyers to know how a weaver sits and manually weaves for 8 hours a day for a month or two, to bring you a saree that is forever and for generations to come.

Our exclusivity lies in the fact that we have partnered with weavers and artists directly to promote a fair and ethical marketplace. We have the direct control of the quality whereas the weavers get what their art deserves.

We see sarees from a woman’s point of view. The sarees at Bharatsthali are handpicked by women. Issues like a fabric being too sheer and not apt for a workplace or an event are eliminated.

This is an important process because we are introducing the saree in their lifestyle. If they are facing a problem as small as stitching a fall to the saree and getting a tailor-fit blouse, we can’t do that. Therefore, we have everything for them as a one-stop destination for saree shopping.

The landscape of a saree is beyond the 9-yards and GI tags. It is extensive and volatile. A lane beyond the said address and you can’t have the GI tag to ensure the purity and originality of the yarn.

This makes it very tricky because if you don’t know the processes, understand the technicalities and have a thorough knowledge of what you are bringing to the fore, you lose your exclusivity and originality.

Bharatsthali silk sarees have recognized by Silk Mark India for their purity and authenticity. The sarees on the portal are the result of our extensive travels through the handloom villages and communities all over the country. So, we know what we are talking about.

What inspired your achievements?

The risk and potential of calling something of my own! My husband made sure that I do because I think more than me, he believed in what I can be. I am glad that I mustered the courage and tried it out! I guess, it has turned out really well!

What are some challenges that you faced initially when you started out? Please share specific examples with advice to other women on overcoming their challenges?

Don’t try to have it all! There will be some testing times when you would need to set your priorities all over again. So be it.

Women tend to feel guilty when they can’t strike a balance between their family and professional life and my advice to them is – don’t. You can’t have it all, so there is no point to bother about it. If there is a PTA you can’t make it to, owing to your pressing schedule, ask your spouse to fill in for you.

There might be several people trying to explain things that you know about and work with. How crazy it might seem, but you need to maintain your calm. This calmness is going to take you a long way.

What are all the things that an entrepreneur/achiever in your industry needs to keep in mind? Apart from your great idea, what do you need to be armed

Perseverance and common sense! You need to think contemporary that has a reflection of times ahead. You can’t be working on an idea that might be dead within five years. That is a sheer waste of time and resources.

There is no substitute for knowledge. A great idea, when combined with knowledge becomes unstoppable and invincible.

Did you have a mentor to guide you through your journey? 

Throughout this, my mentor has been my husband. He encouraged me to explore my entrepreneurial side and it is still unravelling!

While the decision-making and core management is my KRA, I seek out his advice when I am stuck and need a fresh pair of eyes to look into something that is troubling me or I can’t find a solution of.

How did you recruit your first team? What advice do you have for building and nurturing teams in your startup?

A team that is as passionate about sarees as I am and is bursting with energy.

We are a bootstrapped startup and we need to understand that no matter how hard we try we have certain limitations and our energy, zeal and desire to create something awesome can’t replace the money.

We needed a team that looks up at the stars and keeps feet on the ground. I got lucky, I would say.

Please describe some successes and failures you have experienced as an

I still have trouble putting forth the idea that handloom sarees are supposed to be worth a fortune – literally and figuratively. They are going to be a treasure trove for you, as well as cost you extra. You are paying for a human connection and efforts here and that can’t be bargained with.

My success is the reason I am here. We have put together sarees from every state of India in one place. Our extensive travel and research has brought artists and weavers and drove such an unorganized industry to a digital stability.

What are 3 key lessons that you have learned as an entrepreneur? 

  • Your mind matters and so does your point of view to see things. Never underestimate your perspective to look at and understand things.
  • Learn to take everything in your stride, be it bouquets or brickbats, success or failure. You don’t have the time or energy to stop midway and take everything to the heart. If feedback is constructive, take it and implement it but don’t overthink anything.
  • Start seeing your business and time in terms of money. I know this is something that you have been advised against all your life and that, money can’t buy you everything, but if you value your time and others’, this advice is going to have your back in long run.

Naaree Interviews Minal Anand, Founder and CEO, GuruQ

Minal Anand is a young enthusiastic millennial entrepreneur and the founder of her first venture, GuruQ, a unique digital integrated platform that connects tutors and students with ease.

As Founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) she is the innovator at GuruQ, an ed-tech platform that promises to bring high-quality standards and new age methodologies to the way education is delivered in India.

She completed her degree at Boston University in three years instead of the designated four with a sparkling alacrity to join the professional world where she could apply theories to real-life situations. She returned to India to join Delhi-based HPL Additives as Assistant Manager – Corporate Development.

However, the urge to do something in the field of education drove Minal to explore the Ed-tech sector – one of India’s most prolific segments. She had previously taught several underprivileged school students and it is this very experience that helped her with the business idea.

Minal sees the importance of equipping tutors with the latest teaching methodologies and keeping them updated with international and national innovations. Her quest for doing something innovative made her delve deeper, understand the challenges and create a platform that would revolutionise the education system.

Hence, she conceptualized GuruQ as a single, simplified & cohesive ed-tech platform that provides online and offline tutoring and designed it based on insights drawn from comprehensive consumer research to address the need-gap for quality tutors. caught up with Minal Anand to discuss her startup and the lessons it taught her about entrepreneurship.

Please describe your startup, GuruQ. What does it offer and why is it unique?

Guru Q is an educational technology or Ed-tech company that provides customized learning solutions to students through a structured tutor-connect platform. The company lays a zealous focus on assisting tutors and equipping them with the right tools and processes to recast the focus of the test-prep industry.

The online platform offers tutor connect for primary, secondary, higher secondary, undergraduate and postgraduate courses including Gmat, Jee IIT and other entrance courses.

What sets Guru Q apart is the fact that it provides value-added services that are paybacks for tutors including seminars by reputed personalities, awards and competitions.

With the Indian Edtech market pegged at over $70 billion in 2017, Guru Q’s inimitable services have found several takers thanks to its online platform that comes equipped with a technology tool on the dashboard that is a one-stop solution allowing students to schedule classes, receive assignments and take tests.

It also allows tutors to keep a track record of the student improvements. The payment system is managed by Guru Q eschewing the need for tutors to collect fees from the students.

What inspired you to become an entrepreneur?

During my college education in the USA, I saw a dramatic difference in the education system there, vis-à-vis that in India – its quality, the predominant use of the digital platform and ground-breaking teaching methodologies.

Even back home, I witnessed a huge disparity between students who had studied abroad and those who had not. A big reason for this difference is that the educators in India are not well-equipped or well-versed in innovative teaching methods.

I realized that the need for quality education in India is palpable. Also, since many Indian parents are highly dependent on tutoring, there is a pressing need for the ubiquitous tutors who can guide students.

What are some challenges that you faced initially when you started out?

 The journey so far has been one of exploration and experimentation. This is best exemplified by the fact that just 5 months into operations and we have already begun revamping our entire digital infrastructure including the website and dashboard.

While the challenges have been across various areas such as the processes, technology, design etc. but we have overcome them all keeping only one thing in focus – the ‘Experience’ we are able to provide by integrating the various ingredients of our operations.

It has been only 5 months since its inception and GuruQ has got over 15000 tutor registrations and has certified over 1500 tutors on its platform. We just completed 500 hours of tutoring and the best is yet to come after the launch of the GuruQ Platform 2.0.

Our focus is on Delhi NCR for the 1st year but we intend to eventually cater to all major cities through a phase-wise expansion. But we have begun online tuitions Pan India since the medium transcends all boundaries.

What are all the things that an entrepreneur needs to keep in mind? i.e. apart from your great idea, what do you need to be armed with?

  1. A Good & reliable Team cause nobody can do it alone
  2. Financial backing – unfortunately this is the hard truth of life, to succeed you need some form seed capital and then continuous funding if you wish to grow your business at a rapid pace
  3. Perseverance – without hard work and the utmost dedication nobody can achieve success – there are no shortcuts in life

Did you have a mentor to guide you through your entrepreneurial journey? In your opinion, what does a mentor bring to the table?

No, I didn’t really have a mentor in particular, but I did have people that I idolized and wanted to embody starting with my father and grandfather whose sense of business and drive has always been a huge source of inspiration for me.

Furthermore, prominent female figures like Sheryl Sandberg, Indira Nooyi, Priyanka Chopra who have been trailblazers, influencers and conquered their respective industries have been an embodiment of courage, strength and perseverance proving that hard work & dedication does lead to success

How did you recruit your first team? What advice do you have for building and nurturing teams in your startup?

I recruited my employees through various HR consultancies and firms. Surprisingly in a country with a population of approx. 1.3 billion, finding and forming a team with reliable, responsible and motivated people is probably the toughest part about starting your own venture.

Therefore, my biggest piece of advice will be to not settle for the first few people you meet. It is important to fully pre-vet the people and ensure that your visions align.

Today’s youth is much more exposed and require very high levels of job satisfaction. Therefore it is vital to keep your team motivated though incentives and provide a conducive and engaging work environment.

Please describe some successes and failures you’ve experienced as an entrepreneur.

My successes are closely tied to my failures, and which is what makes me sure that the more failures I encounter the more assured I can be of future successes.

So the first success was due to my failure of choosing the wrong partner due to the lack of technical knowledge. But behind this failure was a lot of learning on what I needed to know to get the right platform developed.

The second success was due to my failure of not prioritizing my expenses. This experience made me money wise and helped me cut down on unnecessary expenses, and treat the necessary expenses as investments that have their own returns.

The third and the most critical success which is yet to come is due to my initial lack of foresight but with time, experience, constant learning and engaging with my peers in the EdTech sector, I have now developed the vision of what direction I should take GuruQ towards.

What are 3 key lessons that you have learned as an entrepreneur?

My first key lesson is that successful organizations are built on ‘people energy’ and successful entrepreneurs need to know how to find the right people for the right task-activity-job.

The second lesson is that entrepreneurs need to develop a balancing act whereby internally they should be like a student – constantly learning and evolving – while externally they should exude the self-confidence of a Maestro – inspiring and motivating everyone around.

And last but not the least, entrepreneurs should have the single-minded focus on how to provide ever-increasing value to their customers. For this, it is essential that they remain in constant touch with their target audiences and develop the empathy to comprehend their ever-changing needs.


Naaree Interviews Minal Anand, Founder and CEO, GuruQ

Naaree Interviews Dr. Shashi Pandey Of Infinite Mobility Tech

Infinite Mobility Tech is a startup based in the small town of Bhilwara, Rajasthan, founded by Dr. Shashi Pandey and her mother, in May 2015. It has achieved a business revenue of over Rupees 2 crore in under a year. Their startup is unique because the women founders happen to be a Mother-Daughter duo in real life.

Shashi Pandey 2

Both, mother and daughter, were in the teaching profession. Her mother retired from a Government primary school in the small town of Haldwani, Uttarakhand, India in the year 2000 and learned about computers and technology in her spare time after retirement.

Her daughter, Dr. Shashi Pandey, a full time college professor, was enthusiastic about technology and entrepreneurship, and eagerly supported her. They are living proof that small town dreams can become a reality, and that gender and age are not a bar to start a new venture, execute one’s ideas and achieve one’s dreams.

Within 10 months of starting their venture, they employed over 18 people and are already planning to expand to other locations. Their employee strength, client base, revenue and profit is increasing day by day.

Another unique fact about Infinite Mobility is that it prefers to employ retired individuals, women and individuals who need help in terms of finding a job.  Infinite Mobility trained them making it a win-win situation for both them and their employees.

The Directors’ vast teaching experience and passion for entrepreneurship works in their favour. Until now, they have bootstrapped their venture and plan to raise funds in the future. interviewed Dr. Shashi Pandey, Director, Infinite Mobility Tech, to learn more about her motivations and aspirations.

  • What inspired to become an entrepreneur? Did you always love it or was it something you got into?

During one of Ijja’s (my mother’s) visit to my brother in the United States, while surfing on internet and checking her emails, she noticed some random messages, videos, pop-ups and some software flashes on her computer screen and smart phone.

That drew her attention and this motivated her to research more into this phenomenon. In this way, she managed to learn more about the business of digital marketing and advertising.

Being enthusiastic about technology, and being excellent in Mathematics and Economics, she now wanted to understand the monetization behind this.

She had a word with me and I, in turn, asked my son, Eeshan, about it. Luckily, he is a media professional and told us all the nitty gritties of the digital media industry finally we both landed up in partnership in business of digital advertising and software development.

I always wanted to start something of my own and so was the dream of my mother. Being educationists, we soon came up with a great product in the field of education and another in the healthcare domain.

  • When do you know that it is no longer just an idea in your mind, and that you can really turn it into a lucrative business?

Initially, everything looked like a piece of cake to us, but when we started  digging deeper, we came to know that things are not that easy to execute, as digital media is a comparatively new field and there is a shortage of trained professionals who can help us start when we ourselves are new to it.

At that time, we got support from my son and my brother, Neeraj, who is a software professional and is settled in the United States. They helped us to draw an outline of our business idea and hire a team which would realize our dream.

  • What inspired you to start out on your own or with your partners? What learning lessons can you share from your startup experience?

Entrepreneurship means a lot for both of us. It’s a real test of our execution skill. We’re sure, every one want to do something valuable all the time. But when it’s comes to execution,  80% quit, and out of 20% who tries, around 18% fails and only 1-2% get success.

We both wanted to convert our experience and skills to success, so our goals were always clear, and it is just the journey which we are travelling along and enjoying.

  • What are some challenges that you faced initially when you started out? Do you have some examples to share and advice to women entrepreneurs on overcoming them?

When you’re a woman, the first question which comes up is, “Are you serious?” Actually it depends on ones’ family values and background. Here we are both lucky to come from the same family values. Our family is educated and liberal.

Still I can say, in our case, people listened to us, participated in the ideas, talks, and took part in discussions. But at the time of execution, they’ll say, “Are you serious about it?” At that time I realized that others were not very confident about us.

Convincing people around was a real challenge. And then the age at which we started was bit challenging. At my mother’s age people expect you to rest, sit home and relax.

The challenges added much more spice when you’re a retired woman and show willingness to work after 15 years of your retirement. I had full confidence in myself and the team to be able to execute the idea and convince everyone. And at the end we were successful.

  • What are all the things that a woman entrepreneur needs to keep in mind? Apart from your great idea, what do you need to be armed with?

Just one thing, “TRUST YOURSELF”. If you are convinced with your own idea and have trust in yourself then you have won half the battle.

Another thing to be taken care of is hiring the initial team. The people who join you in the beginning are the ones whom you have to rely the most and that’s why, they should be trustworthy.

  • Do women entrepreneurs find it tougher to get funding for businesses? If yes, why do you think that is?

Since we didn’t have any angel investor/s, making the cash flow work was a tough job. The reason was obvious – no one wanted to invest in new company like us, whose founders are not so well trained or founders are just learners. Add in the age factor, and above all, being WOMEN.

Fortunately our financial management worked well. We implemented reverse engineering in the traditional business. We hired a finance person first, and trained him for digital marketing. Then we start hiring Project Managers and then executives.

Our toughest moment came when we hired a software developer on a much higher salary package than his caliber and that didn’t work out, and he left the company in frustration of underperforming.

  • Is it beneficial to have a mentor when you’re starting out on your own? What does a mentor bring to the table?

I believe, Yes. Every individual need to have mentors, because at every instance you need to have someone who is there to give an honest opinion about things. In my case, my husband, my son and my brother played the role very well. My husband has played a tremendous role in acting as the company’s financial advisor.

On the other hand, my brother and son took a keen interest in helping me set up the operational processes. A mentor brings with him the experience and the advice which is always worth following.

  • How did you recruit your first team? How difficult was it to get people on board during the initial stages?

We implemented reverse engineering to hire the team. We cherry picked the team which was new to the digital world but had a keen interest in learning.

Shashi Pandey 3

Initially, it was difficult to bring people to the same pace of thinking as we have but once it was done, everything else became automatic.

  • What are 3 key things that you have learned as an entrepreneur?

Ahh, I can mention 300 here.


The more people you share your vision with, the more people will know what you’re doing, and the easier it will be for you to connect to those who share your ideas and believe in you.

Another benefit of talking about your plans is getting feedback and helping you refine your ideas and business plan to make them even better.


Most of us have a lot of pride and feel uncomfortable about asking for favors. We don’t want to come off as needy. We don’t want to burden people. I get it.

Opportunities aren’t just going to land in your lap. You won’t get any thing unless you ask for it. What’s the worst that can happen, someone says no? Ok, so they say no. But, at least you will have the confidence that you tried your level best.

Sometimes the best connections are forged in the strangest ways – don’t miss your chance to find yours.


Keep going. Keep putting one foot in front of the other and trying your best every day. The beginning is always the hardest. However, I know that if you go after your dreams full force, you will be rewarded with something extraordinary along the way.

Without great risk, there would be no great reward. I hope our story inspires others to follow their passions and create that career they’ve always felt was right for them. Your dreams can become reality.

  • What would you describe as your biggest moments of success in your business?

Both of us believe there’s always room for learning in every work one initiates.
Since we are the pioneer entrepreneurs in the family, the path was never a bed of roses for both of us.

Thinking of ideas is easy but the implementation part is not that smooth. We talk and discuss ways to move forward and involve other persons in the family who could help us to find right resources to proceed further.

We’re hiring and training mainly women and retired people. Trying to train them and utilize them as per our company’s culture. We’re open to hiring from any field of occupation and take the responsibility to train them.

We both believe there’s an engineer hidden in every person.

Like us, we’re family engineers. But we are excelling in the technology business as well. So our theory is, everyone is an engineer. We polish them and make them skilled person for us.

Any individual who know how to use computer (even a little bit), we consider him\her as great useful asset for us. It is always a pleasure to see a sincere team working to make the organization big.

Successful Women Entrepreneurs In India In The IT Industry

The number of women entrepreneurs in India in the IT industry is deplorably low. While the number of women tech graduates has been increasing in the past few years, the majority of them prefer jobs in existing companies, as opposed to starting up ventures of their own.

Here’s a list of a select few Indian women who took the plunge, and have achieved much success as entrepreneurs in the IT sector.

Revathi Kasturi:

Revathi KasturiThe founder and CEO of the Laqsh Job Skills Academy, Revathi Kasturi is a highly successful IT entrepreneur. She started her career in Wipro, and after 17 years in the company, moved on as Co-Founder and President of Tarang Software Technologies. She also served as the Managing Director of Novell India before going on to establishing Laqsh.

Business Today named her Woman of the Year in 2001. An electrical engineering graduate of IIT Bombay, this Bangalorean served with NASSCOM as an Executive Council Member for 6 years – and is now on the Regional Council of NASSCOM Karnataka. She is also a charter member of TIE Bangalore.

Laqsh Job Skills Academy provides courses and training to companies and individuals in life skills development, English-speaking skills, computer literacy, sales skills and service skills. The company is also committed to provide “quality training for skill repair at an affordable cost and [to] reach out to urban and semi urban India . . . [providing] holistic training and placement services for youth.”

Neetu Bhatia:

Neetu Bhatia of KyazoongaNeetu Bhatia is the Co-Founder, Chairman, and CEO of KyaZoonga. She has a bachelor’s degree in engineering from the College of Engineering, Pune, and an M.S. in Management and Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Her résumé reads like a dream: a high-profile executive at Lehmann Brothers in New York, working on projects involving media and telecom advisory, capital raising and restructuring transactions; a senior media and telecom investment banker on Wall Street; a Director in the Media, Communications & Technology Investment Banking Group of the Bank of Montreal – and the head of KyaZoonga, of course.

KyaZoonga, launched in 2007, is India’s first – and largest – sports and entertainment ticketing company. The company has handled ticketing for several large-scale events such as the Commonwealth Youth Games 2008 and the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011. With a presence in over 40 cities, and over a million tickets sold in total, KyaZoonga is set to only keep growing.

Rashmi Sinha:

Rashmi SinhaBased in the United States, Rashmi Sinha is a designer and entrepreneur who founded SlideShare, an Internet space where users can share presentations with each other. She has a PhD in Cognitive Neuropsychology from Brown University.

Her early entrepreneurial efforts led to co-founding Uzanto, a “user experience consulting company,” (now a development firm for SlideShare based in New Delhi).

With 50 million visitors and 90 million pageviews a month, SlideShare is the world’s largest community for sharing presentations, PDF files, and webinars.

Dr Nita Goyal:

Dr Nita GoyalWith a B.Tech from IIT Kanpur and a PhD from Stanford University, Dr Nita Goyal wouldn’t particularly need to do anything extra to sound more impressive. Yet, she goes past that label: her achievements are astounding.

She began her career working in research at Hewlett-Packard Labs from 1993 to 1998; to go on to co-found Exemplary Software, Inc., in 1998, where she served as the Vice President (Engineering) for a year. She returned to India to co-found Tavant Technologies, based in Bangalore, in 2000.

Tavant Technologies is a “collaborative commerce software solutions company that enables manufacturers and brand owners to manage, streamline and enhance multi-level distribution channels.”

Dr Goyal served as the Vice President (Engineering) from 2000 till 2002, taking a break for 10 months to serve as a fellow with the Reuters Digital Vision Programme. When she returned in 2002, she continued with Tavant as the Vice President for New Product Development for six more years.

As part of her time at Tavant, she was also involved in the creation and development of the Vancouver, BC-based environmental-themed venture Social Way, which encourages people to reduce their carbon footprints in several innovative ways.

Ever the entrepreneur, she moved on from Tavant to establish ngpay in 2008, a start-up mobile commerce company that brands itself as “India’s largest mall on your mobile.” Today, ngpay has become the largest mobile channel for Indian Railways, multiplex chains, hotels, and major airlines.