Entrepreneurship, as we know, has an impact on the economy of a nation. Significantly, entrepreneurship is now a popular trend in India, and the nation’s female population is choosing entrepreneurship as a career, even when few opportunities are open to them. But the way women in India have shown the drive to tread the challenging path of business, in indeed very inspiring. This entrepreneurial boom is seen both in urban and rural areas, which again makes it an interesting phenomenon.
Here’s looking at some women entrepreneurs in the Union Territory of Puducherry.
• Anjali Schiavina – Managing Director, Mandala Apparels
The start of her career is really motivating. It was a garment unit in Pondicherry started by this woman entrepreneur in 2002, with a single sewing machine, one tailor, one pattern master and two other women employees!! Today, this has scaled into a Rs 9 crore turnover company, charged by a strong commitment to sustainability and women empowerment.
“Pondicherry is where I grew up and what better way to give back to the women of Pondicherry than by creating jobs for them,” says Anjali Schiavina, Managing Director of Mandala Apparels, a private limited firm formerly known as Creative Art of Souls. They have over 220 employees today, out of which 90 per cent are women. She also trains women in tailoring and give them jobs in her company.”
• Ms Selvi, Beautician, Tailoring instructor and Trainer, Pondicherry
A native of Pondicherry, Ms Selvi has a busy time schedule – she runs a beauty salon, tailoring unit and an Aari embroidery enterprise. To top it all, she is an accredited National Skill Development Centre trainer and works regularly with Hand in Hand India’s SHG teams as a trainer. Her association with Hand in Hand India goes back many years ago when she got into one of our Self Help Groups and took a loan to buy herself a sewing machine. That was just the beginning.
The COVID pandemic, caught her unawares, but she was not totally unprepared. Upskilling comes naturally to her. From tailoring, to embroidery and then to a beautician course and recently, a Physiotherapy certificate course. Today, she uses her tailoring skills to stitch masks for the community; and she uses the income to help her women friends who don’t have a means of livelihood.
Her future plans? To move into an online beautician course and to put her physiotherapy skills to use. Selvi’s drive to constantly innovate herself is really admirable!
• A. Ameena – Founder of PJP Industries, an Industrial Sawdust Provider in Pondicherry
Nothing stopped this woman from forging ahead. At first shot, the sawdust pulverizing industry seems an unlikely profession for this lady. But nothing could beat the determination of A. Ameena, the founder and proprietor of PJP Industries, Pondicherry.
A. Ameena grew up in Pondicherry and when she got married (at 17), her husband had a Gulf job; so she decided to join the family venture – a Chemical Business. Later, after facing a great of distrust and doubt on a “burqa-clad woman”, she entered into the male-dominated industrial sawdust business. Today, she is running the business successfully and has big customers including Godrej. Cheers to the spirit of women entrepreneurs in India!!