“Women entrepreneurs are still not taken as seriously as the male counterparts” - Latika Wadhwa, Founder CEO of Mompreneur Circle
In India, there are lot of stereotypes associated with women once they get married or become mothers. Almost 70% give up on their career dreams and aspirations. With an aim to ensure support to women who wish to have prospective career ahead even after marriage or childbirth, Latika Wadhwa founded Mompreneur Circle in 2017, an award-winning platform that now has a network of more than 5,00,000 married women and mothers running their business ventures.
With a presence in more than 25 cities, Latika is helping the womenfolk in business with all kinds of tools and resources in terms of brand advertising, marketing of their products and services, workshops, business networking opportunities, etc. The platform also helps women all over the country for issues related to their health, career, money, relationships, legal guidance, children, etc.
Latika has been felicitated with ‘Women of Future Awards’ and was nominated for ‘ICICI Women Advantage Awards’. She was invited as a panelist in Business Summits at prestigious institutes such as Jaipuria Institute of Management and ITS Mohan Nagar, Ghaziabad.
Take a look at the conversation we had with Latika Wadhwa, Founder and CEO of Mompreneur Circle.
Tell us something about your life before Mompreneur Circle.
I am a first-generation serial entrepreneur and Mompreneur Circle is my third venture started in January 2017. Before Mompreneur Circle, I was handling my Digital Marketing Firm with my partner and it was only when I was about to get married I discussed the same with my partner, who is also Co-Founder at Mompreneur Circle, about the career post marriage as a lot of my friends were taking a break after becoming mothers and we came up with this idea of a platform that can be a support system for all the women entrepreneurs who are mothers or married.
How has been the journey so far for you as an Entrepreneur?
The journey is quite an enriching one as every day I am learning a lot of new things. There are lot of qualities I had and were somewhere hidden that I was able to decode after becoming an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurship teaches you a lot about patience and bringing miracles at the last minute. I remember as a child even while I was growing up, I used to be very protected and an introvert, however in 2013 when I started my entrepreneurial journey, I felt a lot of change in my personality.
What barriers have you faced, as a woman, in becoming successful in your field? How did you overcome them?
In my case I would say that I am blessed with a very supportive family, who since childhood taught me to be career focused and never kept me away from anything considering as a woman. However, as I am a first-generation entrepreneur it became little difficult to convince them as to why I left my secured job towards a road, which has quite a lot of roadblocks. Then came my partner who too has been very supportive and considers me as an equal.
But if I talk about the society at large, people think that it might be an NGO she is running or it is just a part time hobby, which earlier used to irk me. However, with strong determination to not to get myself affected, I continued following my inner call.
Still at times, when I meet a lot of people in closed circle of friends or extended family people they think that it is a social service that I am doing for women and I have to explain them that it is a full-fledged purely profitable venture that I am running alongside my partner. There is still a psyche that exists in people that if a woman is doing a business, it must be small home based one, which needs to be changed!
What is the biggest struggle of a woman entrepreneur today in India?
The problem in the current scenario is that women entrepreneurs are still not taken as seriously as the male counterparts, which though has started changing. There are thoughts that she will soon stop this business and will take a backseat which isn’t true, as women have quite a great potential to prove their mettle.
Another struggle is that the lack of support. As a part of my work, we keep talking with lot of women entrepreneurs who are mothers and it is observed in Tier 1 and Tier 2 cities there is still a lot of understanding among the partners in comparison to Tier 3 and 4, which is almost negligible. Also, women entrepreneurs usually struggle due to lack of funds.
A female entrepreneur or young woman who wants to be an entrepreneur does not always start off from a level playing field compared to a young man from the same community. She may not have access to the start-up capital (land, house, money) she needs to start her business and she may also have other time commitments like childcare. Do you think the existing programmes introduced by the government needs enhancement? Any suggestions to the government?
Government of India has started recognizing the zeal and caliber of women entrepreneurs and have introduced some of the amazing initiatives to help women entrepreneurs. However, what have observed is that a lot of women are still not aware about the schemes and initiatives that are introduced. Hence, I strongly suggest that if through certain collaborations and a with a consolidated mode of medium these policies, programs available can be seen, it will be quite easy.
These days, every other person wants to start a business. What is that one quality, if a person has, then only he/she should think of starting a business?
True. My only suggestion will be don’t start something because a friend or a family member is doing this business. Understand your passion and be sure about your goals and what benefit it will give you in a longer run. Be ready to face lot of challenges as there will times when your patience will be tested. A positive mindset is quite necessary.
Based on your own experience, what advice would you give to women considering pursuing a career as an entrepreneur?
Whether a women or men, my only advice is that remember it is only you who will understand the dreams that you have. Work on prioritizing on your daily tasks. If you think that a client meeting is important on the day of a family member’s wedding then accordingly prioritize. On a particular day if you think that your family or your health needs more care, then delegate the tasks at work and be with your family or with yourself as with two mindsets you will not be able to achieve the success goals. Prioritizing and delegation works best.
Is gender equality an important issue for you? Why?
Yes, it indeed is! It should be adopted in the parenting model so that the way we raise our children can be such wherein both the genders are treated equally. Both - the daughter and son - should be taught how to cook and how to share the load, both for the family as well as in terms of financial decisions as that can really help for the future generations to come. Gradually, it will help in eliminating the stereotype associated for a woman.
What main change would you like to see for young girls in the next generation?
They must not dependent on anyone when it comes to girls. They should be able to take charge of their own lives and should not be judged on the financial independence or based on how they look or how well they can manage home. Also, most importantly, I would like to see that they become a support system for each other.
If you could give one piece of advice to your younger self, what would that be?
Trust your instincts, don’t get bothered what people around think about you, believe in yourself and focus towards your goals.
What woman inspires you and why?
I like the kind of women who don’t crib for things that is not available to them, rather just work towards making things happen according to them.
What qualities make a great leader?
A leader should be someone who is ready to lend the ear to the teammates such that they feel open to discuss anything. A good leader must be supportive and should be ready to take responsibility for both, good and bad results.
International Women’s Day celebrates the scientific, political, economic and social achievements of women. In your experience as a successful woman, what is its significance?
Though everyday should be a women’s day, yet it acts as a dedicated time to celebrate women across the diverse backgrounds and reminds the fact that a woman has a capability to achieve anything in life and can do wonders!
Apeksha News Network congratulates Latika Wadhwa for her efforts and contribution towards the society with ‘Mompreneur Circle’, a circle of empowerment, support and the sisterhood going together and wishes her all the best for her future endeavors!