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Sep, 10 2012

FROM A HOME-MAKER TO A MONEY-MAKER

Like other fields, women entrepreneurs in India have managed to stand tall even in the field of franchising. Women are playing significant roles in leadership and in this issue we will come across success and growth achieved by female-led companies. Meet

SHE has won the battle and now it's your turn to follow in her footsteps. Yes, here we are talking about the leading women entrepreneurs of India who have proved their mettle in the franchise industry. Women have proved to be better entrepreneurs than men in a few sectors as they seem to be more bullish about their entrepreneurial ventures. Always recognised as a men-dominated country, India was regarded as one of the toughest countries for female entrepreneurs to make their mark. The last two decades have witnessed a gigantic change as many women have risen above calamities and set a benchmark for other female entrepreneurs to follow.

Women entrepreneurs have proved themselves in every sector, including franchising. According to a recent media report, 71 per cent of women entrepreneurs in India have a branding in market for their businesses and eight in every 10 women entrepreneurs are hiring, which indicates an expansion spree in their individual businesses and increase in employment opportunities too.

Women have always been looked down upon, especially when it comes to running a business. Previously, there were restrictions to venture into business and entrepreneurial activities. But over the years with better education facilities and exposure, the fair sex is now confident and outgoing. A part of this change can also be attributed to the change in society's outlook towards women, where now women are being encouraged to seek new frontiers. With family and social support a given nowadays, women are more aware of the happenings in the business arena and hence can pursue opportunities which come their way.

Women fit in the franchise frame

Women have become more experimental and are slowly leaving behind introversion and timidity. According to a recent media report, women entrepreneurs in India expect 90 per cent growth in their business over a 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. Says Smriti Dalvi, MD & CEO, Florista: “The biggest advantage of taking up a franchise business is the low risk factor and that there is a strong base to start with and tried and tested models to take on.” She also suggests a few tips for potential women entrepreneurs: take up a business that you have a gut feeling for; you need not worry about special skills required. All that can be learned. Don't be afraid to take tough decisions but once a decision is taken, stick to it. Basic financial knowledge is a must.

Networking and meeting other women entrepreneurs is essential.

Another leading edupreneur, Lina Ashar, Founder, KKEL believes: “Franchising has brought about a reduced risk proposition which makes it very attractive for first-time women entrepreneurs. Franchising is a quick-start vehicle, so women making the leap to owning their own business - whether from the corporate world or from home - can do so without years of planning. Also, there is high level of acceptance of the brand in the market and the promotional costs also reduce, hence the major investment costs reduce drastically.”

Not just women, men are also in favour of women joining the business race. When a multi-unit franchisee of a customised gift store was asked about his views on women joining business, he said: “It's always nice to see women entering this field. They are just as capable of success as men are. I personally think they are much more organised than men. Frankly, a combination of men and women working together in the same mind frame is the order of the hour and can do wonders to the growth and success of an organisation.”

Sectors apt for women

As discussed above, the role of women has completely transformed from a homemaker to a moneymaker. Both husband and wife contribute to their share of household and work- related responsibilities. Out of many sectors and professions, education franchise, health & beauty franchise, consumer services franchise, home-based business and direct selling business rank high on their priority list. According to a recent survey by TFW, a majority of women prefer owning a business, out of the sectors mentioned above, because of low-investment, flexibility of time, better management and interpersonal skills, being expert homemakers that they are.

When asked about choosing a business of toys on rent, and further expanding it via women franchisees, Prajakta Kapur, says: “My venture is apt for women because it is easy to manage as it can be managed at home with just a 6'X3'X3' storage space. Not just this, it yields attractive returns too.”

Besides toys on rent, now there are options galore for women in varied sectors that are low on investment and high on returns. For more opportunities, we have quintessentially featured articles in the following pages which showcase business options apt for women entrepreneurs. Don't wait; earn yourself a business that will make you a successful entrepreneur.

Echoing similar sentiments Lina says: “There has never been a better time for women to be entrepreneurs, and it's more than a trend. The opportunities are just going to get greater for women.” About women who want to make it to the top, she has a word of advice: “Chase your dreams! Do not live somebody else's existence. Make your choices, stand by those choices irrespective of the repercussions and watch those distant dreams turn into a reality.”

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