Becoming an Entrepreneur:
Working as a freelance Learning and Development professional, I used to conduct behavioural skills training at the corporate houses. I observed that most of the participants in my training were men, even though all my clients were multinational organizations. With a little research, I realized not only there were fewer women in workforce but all those in workforce were not attending these sessions. The women in workforce were so highly focused in delivering what was assigned to them, that they forgot to invest their time in self-development. That realization marked the beginning of my journey into the field of Diversity and inclusion.
In my initial days as a Diversity and Inclusion consultant, not many were aware of what and why of Diversity & Inclusion. Hyderabad market was still nascent in its understanding of the need for any D & I initiatives. Diversity as a concept was understood as good to have to the extent that in some of the organizations it was part of their CSR initiatives. Thankfully things have changed, we no longer have to educate our potential clients about the business benefits of investing in D & I initiatives. We still have a long way to go for organizations to understand the difference between Diversity and Inclusion. Businesses (including the leaders) continue to use the words diversity and inclusion interchangeably.
Your Unique Venture:
We started with a single flag-ship program Ananya-Women@Work which is a leadership program for women in their mid-management careers. Over time we have understood that true D & I can be achieved only through a holistic approach. Our portfolio of offering still includes programs for everyone in the organization including an intervention on Unconscious Bias. Working closely with the organisations that we consult, offering them customized solution with measurable results is our USP. We offer mid & long-term interventions, designed to the specific needs of the organizations after understanding their unique culture.
Ideas come and go. The uniqueness of your idea and how well it caters to an ongoing need, will determine success. Look around for an unmet need and then offer your unique solution rather than getting into a tried and tested business idea. Keep yourself in close touch with the market and keep adapting yourself. Entrepreneurship is about your customers and your ideas. The point which your ideas meet your customers needs, determines your success.
Job Security In Self-Employment:
Any transition has adrenal rush associated with it. Entrepreneurship is no different. Venture into entrepreneurship only if you have an appetite for risks and it should be done with thorough planning. Spend time in developing your business idea while you still have a secure mode of income. Once you start your venture, hang on and keep improvising. Initial failures should not become a deterrent for you to continue. Be ready to live a frugal life. All that you had taken for granted in your corporate life may not be available to you anymore. The key is to continue to dream big. Focus on making a difference for your customers, fulfilling the dreams of your customers... all your dreams will also become reality soon.
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