Bhawna Agarwal, CEO, Gadgets 360 talks about how being a woman entrepreneur in the male-dominated tech space is not as tough as it sounds and in fact gives one an unfair advantage
By Bhawna Agarwal
CEO, Gadgets 360
For a long time, the technology space somehow managed to look completely male-dominated. When I first started out, most of the forums I attended had men making up at least 90% of the audience. But you can’t drive your life based on these statistics. If you are determined, no hurdle is big enough to stop you from achieving what you truly want.
There is no easy way to start a business, regardless of your gender. With hard work, persistence and agility, you can rise above others and be successful. While a lot is written about decoding the women entrepreneurs, I feel the real barrier we face is our own perception. Being a woman entrepreneur in the male-dominated tech space is really not as tough as it sounds. I believe being a woman entrepreneur could be an unfair advantage. If you have the perseverance and sharp insights into running the business, you gain a lot of respect. And if you are creative in your approach towards people and managing obstacles, then a lot more can be achieved.
With the start-up ecosystem changing so rapidly in India, it is extremely important to be on top of your game and remain close to the ground at the same time to make things happen. Women have a sharp sixth sense that can be very useful when combined with strong analytical skills to assess the team dynamics and help balance perspectives. One should encourage building a culture where one shares and learns from another’s opinion without being judgmental while running a business.
Women bring with them their affective intelligence, strong communication skills and also give due importance to holistic development, all of which is key to the longevity of a company and helps in developing the potential leaders within teams.
Entrepreneurs used to have a stereotypically masculine image of being aggressive and risk-taking and a lower representation of women among company founders used to reflect that stereotype. However, I always believed that women do not need to emulate a stereotypically ‘male’ attitude towards business. To be successful, find your own voice and remain true to yourself to rise above pre-conceived expectations. There is absolutely no need to conform to a pre-set notion of what a leader should look like or compare yourself with others.
As an entrepreneur, I believe it is important to have a very strong resolve and inspire other women along your journey. Share stories of other inspiring women entrepreneurs who overcame many odds in other geographies to achieve phenomenal success as they are great reference points to be exceptional instead of focusing on discrimination. If you and your team are passionate about what you do and dare to dream big, you will be successful. In this digital age, women are fearlessly overcoming all negative notions and making a mark for themselves. A lot of times, limitations exist only in the mind, do not let that become a roadblock on your road to success, walk the extra mile to achieve what is yours.