Having co-founded her company – Katha Pictures just three months ago, Anshu Patni Singhi is all excited about her business venture. In an open chat with Shree Lahiri, she touches on how the idea germinated, her media background, the disruption happening around, getting used to being a woman entrepreneur and more…
1) Tell us a little about your business venture. How long ago did you start up? What has been your motivation/inspiration and what do you aim to achieve?
The company is just 3 months old. I have been in media for the last 14 years and the motivation was to use my experience to build a company which partners with brands and companies and create content IP’s along with them rather than being vendors. This is the age of disruption and business models are changing everyday as is the landscape driven by technological and economical changes. This is in essence the genesis of Katha Pictures, to be a content studio, which is known for all forms and formats of storytelling. Simply put, to create content which is part of people’s lives through brands, platforms or any other products.
2) How has your experience been so far, with setting up an entrepreneurship business?
We are still new into the business, but the response has been tremendous as there is a lacuna in the market for a content studio. We have great team of collaborators and storytellers and if your work ethics are strong and people respect you for that, things fall into place sooner or later.
3) How easy/ tough has it been for you, as a woman entrepreneur, to set up your business? What are your plans to scale up?
I don’t think there is any difference in the challenges a woman or a male entrepreneur faces the in current environment. Setting up is always easy but sustaining is tough. The media and entertainment business is in a state of transition where brands are understating how to create better forms of storytelling in the digital age. There is a lot of education and work required and we are working towards that with our partners
4) Do you think being a woman entrepreneur worked to your advantage or brought challenges to your path?
Professionally, no. Because challenges are always the same. However, as a woman the approach sometimes is different. As women we have our own set of fears and conditioning which we need to learn to let go off. Not that men don’t have it, just that they work on it better as compared to women.
5) What would be the top 3 things to watch out for, if you’re a woman looking to start her own business?
Many a time, women under estimate and undervalue themselves and seek validation from others. However, they don’t need this or have to wait for others to notice and reward them for their contributions. All we need to do is remind ourselves how we have reached there and believe in our capabilities.
6) Women often tend to ask for less money when in negotiations. It is fine to quote an amount you think you deserve and not be worried about the opposite party!
Make your own networking list: When you start a business, you need all the help in the world and that’s when you need to sit and make a list of people you want to reach out to. It’s okay to reach out to as many people you want to. Don’t hesitate in reaching out and making them part of your ally network.
7) How has the support of friends and family played a role in your being a successful entrepreneur? How do you balance your professional and personal life?
My family and a group of close friends have been my backbone and biggest support system. When I am away, my husband and family support me in taking care of our 3 1/2 year old daughter. Also, the support system in family and friends make you want to go back to work without worrying much. But also, my business partner Suparn is a man and we respect each other’s family time; so, depending on who needs me more, I divide my time. Sometimes the balance is more towards work and sometimes towards family!