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The Tech Panda asked several women entrepreneurs their experience of handling a post-pandemic business facing new challenges and leveraging tech.

2021 was another COVID-19 ridden year. But businesses had learnt a few lessons. Several of them had pivoted at the right time. Technology had given many a new surge of life. A hybrid or virtual work environment had become the norm.


Read more: Women remain a minority in India’s startup ecosystem: Will the saga continue in 2022? 


As the world celebrates International Women’s Day today, we wonder how did women businesses handle this year?

After all, developments continued to happen. For example, the Nykaa IPO was easily the most impactful business event with the stock soaring 89% to INR2,129 against the IPO price of INR1,125, an exceptional jump for a startup. A proud moment for Falguni Nayar, Founder of Nykaa.

The Tech Panda asked several women entrepreneurs how 2021 was for them.

Srividya Kannan, Founder & CEO, Avaali Solutions

“2021 has been a hectic year both on the work and personal front. We saw a massive increase in digital adoption by large enterprises across our markets. This kept us busy engaging with our customers and prospects to deliver the set goals.

Hybrid working became table stakes, and together with work, juggling the various aspirations of focus on health, good eating habits and taking care of family assumed significance

“Hybrid working became table stakes, and together with work, juggling the various aspirations of focus on health, good eating habits and taking care of family assumed significance.”

Niranjana Neelakantan, Co-founder & COO, TESSOL

“2021 was a challenging one especially given the several constraints that COVID 19 brought on our personal and professional lives.

Ensuring business sustenance while keeping employee wellbeing and their safety at top priority was the greatest challenge professionally

“I had compartmentalised my personal and professional life prior to COVID 19, but once the physical boundaries vanished, managing two worlds out of the same physical space without much support was the toughest challenge at a personal capacity. Ensuring business sustenance while keeping employee wellbeing and their safety at top priority was the greatest challenge professionally.”

Lavanya Sunkari, Founder & CEO, Laurik

“Fortunately, 2021 gave us time to work more on our product formulation and research. We are the 2nd nutraceuticals company in India to get the Clean Label Certification for our product.

We utilized the time to make the product free from pesticides and heavy metals and passed 300 food tests before launching in the market

“We utilized the time to make the product free from pesticides and heavy metals and passed 300 food tests before launching in the market. We started our company in the pandemic, raised funds in the pandemic, and launched it – in short, it’s an accelerated good year for Laurik.”

Neha Indoria, Co-founder, Boingg!

“As an entrepreneur, 2021 was a slightly roller coaster ride but overall a good year. We started March with the second lockdown and some slump in growth and were slightly concerned about the response post the second wave but we ended the year with a high and are only growing from there.

As an entrepreneur, 2021 was a slightly roller coaster ride but overall a good year

“As a mother, 2021 was the second year running that kids were confined to home and their social life was severely limited but I was fortunate to have a supportive family around me and collectively we made the most of it.”

Silky Singh, Co-founder, Lori Health

“As a team, Alekhya and I had a good learning curve during 2021. We launched our MVP in the market and engaged with clients.

There were many aspects that we learnt about our business which has helped us to decide on the pivot

“There were many aspects that we learnt about our business which has helped us to decide on the pivot.”

Aditi Samudra Pais, CEO, Briota Technologies Pvt Ltd

“Working in healthcare 2021 was a challenging year, as the pandemic was in full force and we were trying to make a mark in the market.

With a limited accessibility of finances building a robust and sustainable business was a massive task

“The biggest challenge we went through was acquiring a strong user base and facing fierce competition. With a limited accessibility of finances building a robust and sustainable business was a massive task.”

Tarusha Mittal, COO & Co-founder, UniFarm 

“Being a deep tech entrepreneur for the past decade, the journey of being a women entrepreneur in the startup industry has been overwhelming.

I got an opportunity to create and work with a strong women-led workforce and at the same time, interact with some amazing fellow women entrepreneurs in the blockchain and fintech space

“And the year 2021 is nothing but icing to this wonderful experience wherein I got an opportunity to create and work with a strong women-led workforce and at the same time, interact with some amazing fellow women entrepreneurs in the blockchain and fintech space.

Aishwarya Shivakumar, CEO, Oddz Finance

“The year 2021 brought in various new women entrepreneurs in the industry and staged some existing ones onto valuable positions which are exciting to observe. Being women entrepreneurs, we used to experience certain biases and limitations but over the years, there has been an appreciable decrease in such situations.

The year 2021 brought in various new women entrepreneurs in the industry and staged some existing ones onto valuable positions which are exciting to observe

“Furthermore, we at Oddz Finance are keen on creating a community that is reachable for every person interested and capable.

Divya Jain, Co-founder, Seekho

“I am a social entrepreneur tackling the Indian subcontinent’s largest problem, unemployability, head on for the past decade. I envisaged and conceptualised Safeducate, when skill development still existed only in dilapidated government polytechnics and new industries like logistics had yet not recognized the importance of trained manpower.

The post Covid world allowed me to explore the new digitally connected world

“I set up over 150 centres across states, in partnerships with governments and universities. I have always been a proponent of skilling and wanted to build a platform that could reach the masses. The post Covid world allowed me to explore the new digitally connected world and then I joined Arihant and Ajeet to launch Seekho, India’s first career accelerator that combines learning, mentorship and employment, funded by Sequoia Surge.

Deepshikha Kumar, Founder & CEO of SpeakIn

“I think every entrepreneur has been through challenges of different kinds during these two years of the pandemic. Initially, it was very hard but being in an industry that leverages internet and uses the digital medium has kept us afloat, even thriving.

Overall, the year 2021 proved to be much easier in comparison to 2020. This is true for all entrepreneurs, men or women

“We put strategies in place and decided to work from home keeping the safety and well-being of our people. Overall, the year 2021 proved to be much easier in comparison to 2020. This is true for all entrepreneurs, men or women.”

Neha Suyal, Co-founder, Woovly

“2021 was a year when we worked on making our platform more robust, expanding our reach and ensuring we provide a great experience to our users. The year was more of a hybrid year where we were managing Work from Home and Work from Office. Though it was mildly challenging initially, our team rose up to the challenge and we more than delivered on all our targets.

As a woman entrepreneur, 2021 has been a very encouraging year, especially since we witnessed the first woman led company with a block buster IPO as well as first self-made billionaire businesswoman– Falguni Nayar of Nykaa

“As a woman entrepreneur, 2021 has been a very encouraging year, especially since we witnessed the first woman led company with a block buster IPO as well as first self-made billionaire businesswoman– Falguni Nayar of Nykaa. She is an inspiration not just for us entrepreneurs but for all young girls aspiring to one day break the glass ceiling.”


Read more: Women led Indian FinTechs ahead of US & China says report


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