From space to underwater — women have shown their real power in every sphere of life in India and across the world! Unlike Kalpana Chawla, not too many people are familiar with such names as Adithya Srinivasan, India’s youngest PADI Junior Master Scuba Diver; Chitra Ramakrishna, the first woman to head the National Stock Exchange and Mallika Srinivasan, CEO of Tractor and Farm Equipment (TAFE).
Today, there are many successful women from India and all over the world. And women do not need reservations any longer to flourish, but opportunities to prove their ability. International Women’s Entrepreneurial Challenge (IWEC) is one such platform.
It was a power-packed session on Day 1 of the International Women’s Entrepreneurial Challenge Foundation, IWEC 2019, organised by the FICCI Ladies’ Organization (FLO), while minister for road transport, highways and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) Nitin Gadkari addressed over 250 women entrepreneurs from 20 countries.
In his address, Gadkari mentioned that MSMEs contribute 49% of India’s total exports and explained how the government was using new technologies and innovations to boost the rural agricultural and tribal sectors of India. He gave a simple example of honey and oranges being used in various products, which had resulted in increased production and market value of these items.
The government is working on backward integration to develop the rural industry and create employment. At the same time, innovations and skill development in the MSME industry in metros and big cities are being carried out with German government collaboration to make Indian products more competitive in the international market.
Gadkari emphasised that international companies should consider setting up their manufacturing bases in India since it will reduce their cost of manufacturing by 25%-40%, while ensuring quality and use of the latest technology.
To boost the morale of women entrepreneurs in India, he announced the launch of a book and website of 100 such successful women with FLO to show the path and encourage thousands of women willing to become entrepreneurs. Harjinder Kaur Talwar, President, FLO, appreciated the government’s initiatives to boost the MSME sector, especially women entrepreneurs. She further said that women entrepreneurs in India were not looking for reservations, but opportunities because they were capable enough of proving themselves.
Reaffirming her sentiment, Ibukun Awosika, President, IWEC Foundation, said that, despite news about India’s bad weather, the women entrepreneurs had shown their faith in India, as well as in IWEC, and had turned up in large numbers. The mood was upbeat as women entrepreneurs from across the globe were looking at India for opportunities and growth.