StorySutra.in is an initiative to build a community of Entrepreneurs, Founders, Startups & Industry Stalwarts to celebrate success & to learn from shortfalls, and to Contribute, Inspire & Embellish Entrepreneurship by sharing their exciting Stories!
As a part of our initiative, we invited yet another passionate Womanpreneur Dr.Kruti Patel for an interview with us to understand more about her entrepreneurial journey. She is the Founder & Director of She & WE – Women Entrepreneurship Foundation . Let’s learn more about her exciting journey, her background and her advice for our growing community! Dynamic, daring and a go-getter—these words are floating around the lady herself.
What would be your three biggest superpowers?
- Our team of employees, mentors, and consultants
- The thought process to create an impact in the lives of thousands of existing and potential women entrepreneurs
- The art of empathizing
Could you briefly throw light on your entrepreneurial journey so far?
- I have been into many shoes like that of an Engineer, professor, Chief Co-ordinator of the Women E-cell, and finally an entrepreneur.
- I was working as an entrepreneur even when I was doing a job. I was always keen to take up new responsibilities, doing something creative, and had the attitude to put my heart and soul in whatever I am doing. Frankly speaking, I was very happy the way I was working – had a good position, a good amount of money got deposited into my account every month, and got lots of opportunities to explore new avenues at my previous organization. Still, there was something that was missing.
- I strongly believe that entrepreneurship is a psychological process. Sometimes it is very difficult for you to understand and to know the signals you are getting. So, my inner voice was telling me to leave my comfort zone and do something which was really impactful.
- Finally, on one fine day, I resigned. I was sure that I was definitely going to do something but was clueless about the “WHAT” part. Someone said to me that when you don’t have any plan, that’s the best plan. And this is how a professor turned into an entrepreneur.
What is your favourite part of being an entrepreneur?
In entrepreneurship, the journey is important not the destination. It fills you with excitement, helps you to be a better version of yourself every day, and the immense satisfaction of doing something on your own is just like a cherry on the cake. Entrepreneurship comes with lots of responsibilities too. These responsibilities make you more mature and it motivates you to expand your boundaries to unlock an unbelievable potential within you.
How did the idea of She and WE come upon?
I am a strong believer of the thought that nowadays it is very essential to influence and creating a long-lasting impact in the life of the people is extremely important to carry a tag of an entrepreneur. So, in one of my training, this was suggested by one of the mentors Mr. Ajay Dixit. He actually made me believe that hundreds and thousands of women need to be addressed on being self-independent by taking entrepreneurship as a full-time profession.
While building your dream company, what difficulties lay in your path?
Entrepreneurship is charming because it comes with lots of problems and challenges. So, I was very clear from day one that it was not going to be a bed of roses. That mental preparation has helped me to deal with problems of finance, people management, and COVID-19 effects. Legal aspects are something that I found a little difficult at the initial stages of the formation of the company. Accounting is something which I never liked it and I have never done it as I found it a little difficult. It was difficult for me to find people who would go along with my vision, and manage finance. Also, I think that the most difficult thing is to keep motivating yourself when things don’t happen as per your expectations
Could you describe the culture at She and WE?
We run an entrepreneurship training institute, so we have developed a culture where we are giving equal opportunity to people to experiment with new things, to give suggestions at any point in time which is in the betterment of the institute and the ownership of having a feeling that it is my organization.
Where do you envision, She and WE five years hence?
We want to change positively the lives of 1 million women in India through our training, mentoring, consulting, and coaching in entrepreneurship.
Any future projects or exciting prospects that you would like to share with our readers?
- We are launching three months women entrepreneurship development program for 25 potential women entrepreneurs in the month of September through a digital medium.
- We are doing one-on-one mentoring programs on a continuous basis to help women entrepreneurs.
- Also, we are going to launch 10 short term certificate programs to enhance the skills of existing women entrepreneurs.
How are you managing your life and work during the lockdown caused by COVID 19?
For an Indian woman, it is always difficult to manage your work, family, and home. But I was very clear that I have to give at least 3 to 4 hours to my business at any cost in the entire day. My spouse’s support and my determination constantly pushed me to effectively spare time for the same.
Has the Pandemic affected the organization in any way?
Yes, it has affected the institute in terms that we were unable to do a few of our already sanctioned government projects because of the COVID-19 risk. The company was in fourth gear on or before 20th March 2020, but because of lockdown we had to shift it to 2nd gear and now slowly, and now gradually we are picking up our pace.
Is there an entrepreneur whom you idolize?
I admire Sonam Wangchuk as an impactful social entrepreneur.
How has She and WE helped you grow personally and professionally?
On a personal level, She & WE has helped me gain more maturity while doing business, and it has always motivated me to come out of my comfort zone. In the end, it has allowed me to live the life of an entrepreneur, which is a very rewarding experience.
Do you have any advice for aspiring entrepreneurs among our readers?
- Keep proper vision with strong decision-making ability.
- Be proactive.
- Give equal importance to your mental and physical health.
- Keep dreaming with readiness to do all the hard work necessary to fulfill that dream.