Entrechat with Sunila Yadav


“Always remember – you are your only competition!”

Dave Walters right said, “Without logistics the world stops.” In fact, the value of logistics companies as enablers of efficient domestic/foreign trade and drivers of economic growth through increased consumer spending has been recognised and reiterated time and again. Furthermore, We at SheAtWork believe that such an industry becomes far more robust and rewarding when women step foot into it! To support this belief, today we have with us, Sunila Yadav, who aspires to provide end-to-end logistics solutions to a diverse customer base, through her venture, ‘Anil Mantra’. Holding a Masters degree in International Business, she ventured into the Cargo industry, which overwhelmed her by the sheer dynamics and problem-solving options. Sunila acknowledges, that she is indeed one of the minuscule , if not the first, Women in India who is the Founder and Director of a logistic company built as a first-generation entrepreneur.

Ques. Tell us a little about your venture. How long ago did you start up? What has been your motivation and what do you aim to achieve?

I started Anil Mantra in the year 2007 as a Proprietor firm and transformed it into a Pvt. limited company in 2009. Prior to this , though I was engaged gainfully in another employment, the urge to spread my wings, was irresistible. I was confident of my abilities and wanted to achieve some milestones that would have been impossible to achieve under the ‘employee umbrella’. The motivation was never financial; I simply wished to nurture and establish ‘something’ from scratch.

Moreover , the unstinting support from my family removed the wee bit of doubts that I had on multitasking that would be required. Entrepreneurship is never about a single destination – it is always about the journey one undertakes. It is unending! So, once you have reached the first goal, another one is generated automatically in front of you. Simply put, I achieved what I had aimed for when I started; now I aim to cover new milestones every 3-5 yrs.

Ques. Where did the inspiration for setting up a business come from?

Unfortunately, it was the attitude and rigid mind-set of men in my industry, which inspired me to set up my business, face challenges, overcome them and remove the basic tag line of, ” you have limits as a woman” ! So, it would not be incorrect to say that entrepreneurship happened to me and helped me prove myself, albeit as a response to a very unwelcome stimulus. I strive to succeed against such societal rigidities and change the mindset of gender limiting one’s ability to achieve.

Ques. How easy or tough has it been for you, as a woman entrepreneur, to set up and promote your business?

Without mincing my words, I say, it has not been easy at all – neither to start nor to Run it! Even after so many years, it is still a challenge. However, the acknowledgement of my successes from people has brought me immense satisfaction. When people are vocal about my successful endeavours despite facing obvious limitations, I do realize that my success has been accepted and the rigid mindset has undergone some change.

Ques. Do you think women entrepreneurs support other women across the value chain of business? How have you impacted/supported/mentored the careers of other women?

Speaking solely for myself, I would like to say that I have been an earnest supporter of fellow women entrepreneurs. I am a member of a network for ‘forwarders’. Members here comprise of many women entrepreneurs who try to uplift each other in whatever way they can. Needless to say, I too try my best to support them . If someone reaches out to me when engaged in a start up, I am always available as a friend and facilitator. I am more than happy if my journey can guide other women entrepreneurs.

Ques. 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?

I do not have a many close friends, but the select few that I do have, coupled with my family have always been there for me. They have been a constant pillar of support. Be it my husband, kids, in-laws or parents, none have left my side throughout my entrepreneurial journey. Again, there can never be a perfect balance between professional and personal life, you simply have to manage it. And If managing it can be called balancing , then I feel I have done it well.

Ques. What is the road ahead in 2023-24?

I believe, the roads ahead are going to be undulating, never gentle and straight. I am prepared to take up more challenges and accept the amalgamation of rough and smooth patches while I tread towards newer goals. Each day is a new challenge and that is what keeps me on my toes.

Ques. Do you have any tips for entrepreneurs who are starting their journey?

I would like to say – always remember – YOU ARE YOUR ONLY COMPETITION! So, do not let negativities from external sources crush your morale. You must remember, you can do it! This has to be believed for achieving success in any field of work.

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