Ayushi Khandelwal ·

by Shanice Miranda, Cora Health. 

If the world of business were an arena, women have had to fight tooth and nail to win the champions' title. They have transcended several socio-economic limitations to rise to the challenge, especially in recent years. Today, In India, an admirable 20% of all enterprises are run by female entrepreneurs. This shows how much work is still to be done when it comes to creating equal opportunities for the women in our country. After all, the beauty salons, general stores and other small businesses have been widely utilized and accepted as female-owned. However, bigger businesses bring with them bigger obstacles that some powerful ladies have maneuvered to pave the way for future generations. What sets these women apart? The answer is simple – Passion. As we sat down with a few exceptional businesswomen, there was one thing found to be common amongst them -the gleam in their eyes, the drive to do what it takes to make their dreams a reality. That is what will give us all the courage to take a stand for our rights, individually and for all womanhood.

Here are some of the stories from the incredible female entrepreneurs we wish to memorialize this International Women's Day.

1. Chef Aditi Handa, Chief Baker & Founder-Owner of The Baker's Dozen, Mumbai. 

Truly an all-rounder, Aditi is a trained psychologist and HR expert, besides being a chef. Her brand focuses on sustainable, healthy alternatives to unhealthy baked foods. Her passion lies in developing locally sourced artisanal bread that is made with wholesome ingredients. There are no preservatives or additives in these high-quality products with Indian grains and pulses. Aditi has recently been recognized in the 40 Under 40 Achievers 2021, by BW Businessworld. Her company has seen such success because of her enduring faith in her product and love for her customers. 

Did you face obstacles in establishing your business as a woman? How did you deal with them?:

"When we started in 2013, the product (sourdough) that I was making was so novel - people did not understand it, they did not know how to use it. To explain this to a customer was the easy part. My sales team, which was always driven to achieve their target would come back and say, 'Can we not make such a unique product? Let's make a mass product'. It is a time like this where I had to really believe in myself and my product. I had to have faith that given time, this would all fall into place – And it did!" 

What advice do you have for young female entrepreneurs?:

"Always believe in what you're doing and stick to your guts." 

2. Aarti Laxman Rastogi, Owner of Artinci, all-natural premium dessert company in Bangalore. 

She overcame the disadvantages of her hearing disability by using WhatsApp Business to take her company to the next level. Artinci is dedicated to providing equal opportunities for people from diverse communities- These include women, LGBTQ and disabled individuals, which make up about 70% of their employees. Artinci's journey began in 2017, to provide clean-label premium ice cream made without preservatives or artificial flavours. This brand also makes sugar-free, low-carb desserts and always stays authentic to its vision! This is what she has to share with us on this day of celebration: 

"I believe that as an entrepreneur, job creation is a privilege and a responsibility that must be used wisely. 50% of our production load are women from disadvantaged backgrounds.."

How has being a woman made your business better?

"As a mother, I have made our family's food choices for a very long time now – by ensuring that the ingredient labels are correct and that we eat high quality, healthy food. Those are the very same sensibilities that I bring to Artinci. By curating a high quality and premium supply chain for Artinci products." 

What advice do you have for young female entrepreneurs?

"My advice to all the young women entrepreneurs out there would be - to dream. Dream big! Seek support along the way. Pursue your health goals just as seriously and absolutely believe that you can make all your dreams happen."

3. Snigdha Kumar, CEO of Cora Health, Engineer, MBA in Brand Management and Marketing.


We dedicate an ode to our very own Founder, Snigdha Kumar. She recognized her true calling in business after 4 years in sales and 13 years at Flipkart, where she headed the Food & Nutrition Category. Snigdha founded Cora Health in 2019 with the desire to make achieving health goals more accessible to everyone. With all the resources out there, customers did not have convenient solutions to their nutritional choices. Cora was established to ease commitment to customer-specific diets and fitness routines. These are her insights for women in business: 

"I think my entire experience with business, especially when I started was a place where there were very few women. You would definitely feel centered out - where people weren't taking you seriously enough. And so I always worked harder because I wanted to prove to them that I had valid points to make…" 

Did you face obstacles in establishing your business as a woman? How did you deal with them? :

"For me, it is explaining to investors or other people, the issues that women face. Because most of these places have a massive lack of women… To help them understand the gravity of a lot of the challenges that women face, like bringing in the importance of PCOS… Sometimes I feel like, because of there not being as much of parity when it comes to business, a lot of people do not relate to what I say. I take it a little different from just being a 'man' and a 'woman' thing – I take it to the fact that a lot of people when they come across something they do not go through, trivialize it. I give a lot of observational insights and try to mix that with the numbers to drive through my point."

 How has being a woman made your business better?

"We've always been taught to observe people and see whether they need anything. I have noticed most of the women I've worked with, and I now see that in myself, that they are extremely observational. With women, we've always figured out how we fit into a space before actually being there. For example, if I'm walking into a meeting, I will always know that I'm probably going to be the only woman there. I observe on how people will react and move my narrative in that way.."

 What advice do you have for young female entrepreneurs?:

"I have so much respect for people who are being an entrepreneur at that early stage in their career… Never ever feel sorry for being ferocious, assertive, for wanting to know what you want." 

It is no secret that business is a male-dominated field, yet women have secured their position through various routes. Fear of rejection should not stop us from attaining all we deserve as contributors to society. When you fall, get back up and get your head in the game! Let us learn from this ode to all these strong women- Happy International Women's Day ya'll! 

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