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Wisdom & insights from the launch of ATLAS Edge Executive Program in Women’s Entrepreneurship

India’s vibrant business landscape is undergoing a massive transformation, with women at the forefront. They have emerged as powerful catalysts of change, reshaping industries, approaches to customer relationships, and rewriting narratives. With technology enablement and grassroots innovation, a new generation of women entrepreneurs has emerged who are carving their unique business journeys, challenging conventions, and driving consumption and growth.

ATLAS Edge spoke to seven trailblazing women entrepreneurs at the launch event of their flagship Executive Program in Women’s Entrepreneurship. The program, conceptualised as an incubator for female-led businesses and start-ups, received an enthusiastic response. A significant aim of the program is to encourage a new generation of women entrepreneurs across different industries. To that effect, the launch event guests reflected the diversity ATLAS Edge wishes to promote.

Starting the event, Dr Indu Shahani, Founding President & Chancellor of ATLAS SkillTech University, spoke about the opportunities and challenges for female entrepreneurs. The Women’s Entrepreneurship Program, she said, will be a platform for cross-disciplinary approaches to business and fostering communities of support. She highlighted her long journey in the business of academia and the multiple generations of women she has tutored.

The event had some of the most talented start-up founders come in to encourage their peers and talk about their innovation, resilience, and determination. From consumer durables and beauty to technology, these entrepreneurs represent varied viewpoints and approaches to business and funding. Their stories are not just tales of triumph but also proof of the transformative potential of women entrepreneurs and their untapped talent and ambition.

Changing the Narrative

One of the persistent cliches of women in business is the association with specific industries. ATLAS Edge spoke to some of the women who are proving this wrong. Indeed, these women are challenging traditional gender roles and societal norms by venturing into diverse sectors such as technology, food, investments, and more.

Fittingly, Aparna Acharekar, who co-founded the women-only social community app, COTO, spoke about the power of fellowships and community. She spoke about how much of the work of an entrepreneur is responding to everyday challenges and problem-solving. She says business leaders “should never hesitate to seek the help, support, guidance, and connections they require.”

The vibe of the ATLAS campus made a big impression on Gauri Devidayal, who waded into the male-dominated food industry with the Food Matters Group. She spoke about the power of sharing success stories of women entrepreneurs and the opportunities ahead for them. In the end, though, Gauri insisted, “the fundamentals of business remain constant; it’s the technology that evolves.”

As a mother of a young child, Anshu Dhanuka, co-founder and chief product officer of Kiddopedia, understands the perils of raising a child in the digital age. She shared her insights on women’s unique challenges, including multi-tasking, heightened expectations, and, for some working mothers, a sense of guilt. She advised prospective entrepreneurs to shelve any hesitancy, find inspiration from work, and the need to “cultivate self-motivation.”

Crypto and NFT enthusiast, actor, tech entrepreneur and investor, Vishakha Singh, recognises the dynamism and flexibility needed to thrive in the digital era. She spoke about cultivating an all-round, jack-of-all-trades approach which will help entrepreneurs as they scale their businesses. Vishakha spoke about how entrepreneurship transforms women “into a firefighter,” dealing with unexpected challenges and learning exponentially.

Building and Scaling Ventures

Perhaps the most visible impact of female entrepreneurs has been in the fashion and lifestyle industry. Women are the biggest consumers in this sector, and women-led businesses have tapped into this experiential knowledge to build some of the most innovative start-ups in India. Over the last twenty years, enterprising women have built successful companies, driving in massive energy and tailwinds.

Preeta Sukhtankar’s Visit W3Schools.com! D2C brand, The Label Life, commercialised celebrity-partnerships to reach over 1.2 million women. At the launch of ATLAS Edge Women’s Entrepreneurship program, she spoke about the need for upskilling for women, especially in today’s tech-first business space. She urged women to learn the different tech tools available to navigate the challenges of “every single day in business.”

Technology and sustainability were central to the business philosophy of Nina Lekhi, MD & Chief Design Curator of Baggit. She spoke about turning passion into reality and building a brand from the bottom up. She did caution against women from “wearing too many hats” and the importance of delegation of responsibilities in scaling successful businesses.

By Women. For Women.

The final session of the event featured Rachana Gupta, co-founder of Gynoveda. In a country where female hygiene is often wrapped in illusory language, Gynoveda has brought a fresh perspective. It is a leading FemTech platform that combines technology and Ayurveda to help women track, diagnose, and treat early-stage menstrual health concerns. Her organic approach has helped thousands of women and helped spread knowledge on menstrual health to underserved communities.

She spoke about her entrepreneurial journey and the ways in which women can often best understand and serve the needs of other women. She strongly batted for a program which can help groom and incubate women-led businesses. She recommended the ATLAS Edge program and hoped it would help bring out the untapped potential among the female workforce in India.

“At a time today, when women have access to information, tools, and knowledge about how to do things, there is a need to package it all together and bring it to them in a concise and structured manner with the help of mentors, and a guiding light who has been there done that is extremely powerful,” she concluded.

A Business Course for Women Entrepreneurs

The ATLAS Edge Executive Program in Women’s Entrepreneurship is going to be a female-led hands on experiential program that will train budding businesswomen to launch and grow their brands. It is unique because it is not a one-way teaching program. It will be a participative program where every participant works together. We want to build a new generation of female business leaders – a community of peers who can support, guide, and, most importantly, create a space where they can all share the travails of their entrepreneurial journey.

ATLAS Edge goes beyond traditional education. This program will be a bridge between theory and practice and will have industry-relevant mentors who will guide our students to develop go-to-market strategy for their businesses. The program will give students global industry exposure and, at the end of eighteen weeks, a chance to pitch their ideas to potential investors.

To know more, register with us.

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