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India Leadership Conclave to debate on Digital India Transformation – Empowering Digital Women Leaders in India

While e-commerce is still young in India, it has seen a number of startups evolving into big companies in a short period of time. Although no single person or a company has emerged as a single leader, a number of individuals together have become the face of this sector in this country. Women entrepreneurs are stepping up to show their skill and vision and prove that they have the ability to take their budding ventures to scaling heights. Let’s have a look at some of the women who are making a difference in this growing e-commerce ecosystem.

The e-commerce industry in the country is likely to be worth USD 38 billion by 2016, a 67 per cent jump over the USD 23 billion revenues for 2015, as per industry body Assocham. “India’s e-commerce market was worth about USD 3.8 billion in 2009, it went up to USD 17 billion in 2014 and to USD 23 billion in 2015 and is expected to touch whopping USD 38 billion mark by 2016

Abstract: From last so many years, Women entrepreneurs are inspiring and motivating entrepreneurs. Women in today’s era are preferred to be entrepreneurs instead of doing household work. Due to economic globalization, women entrepreneurs are speedily getting popularity as well as huge importance in India. Women have proved that they can enter in each and every field. Women entrepreneurs are emerging as smart and dynamic entrepreneur. They have proved to be on par with their Men counterparts in business acumen. The performance of successful women entrepreneur working in socio economic sector is outstanding. Today economy is changing and everybody is moving to e-commerce. The e-commerce sector has outstanding growth in 2014 .The growth of E-commerce helps the women entrepreneur to generate new ideas and work from home. There is tremendous growth of women entrepreneurs in e-commerce sector like Anisha Singh founder and CEO OF mydala, Shivani and Tanvi owners, fabally. The present study reveals the successful women entrepreneur in E-commerce sector and challenges faced by women entrepreneurs in ecommerce sector. Keywords: E-Commerce, Women Entrepreneur, Entrepreneurship, Success, Business. I. Introduction The educated women would never like to confine themselves within the boundaries of their house. They want equal rights, respect, and value from their male counterparts. Indian women, however, still have a long way to go in order to achieve better position and equal rights because Indian society have deep-rooted traditions with male dominated sociological set up. Since, women are thought to be weaker sex, therefore, they are made to rely on men either inside of a family or outside, during their whole life. In Indian culture, men treat them as subordinates and they are only supposed to execute their decisions, in a typical family structure. Although, women represent half of the brainpower available on earth, even then, they remain the most underutilized and suppressed resource of the world. Despite all such social problems, India is having a plethora of women’s success stories. A change in Indian society’s social fabric has increased women’s aspirations for better lifestyle and educational status. They have managed to succeed in such tough and competitive patriarchal society with their perseverance, hard work and diligence. Women’s persuasiveness, ability of learning quickly, open and free style of problem solving, ability to encourage people, ability to take chances, know the ways of winning and losing gracefully are the real strengths of women entrepreneurs in India. There are nearly a thousand definitions in literature describing entrepreneurship and business processes. The very earliest definitions of entrepreneurship that can be dated back to the eighteenth century deem it to be an economic term depicting it to be a process of taking the risk of purchasing goods at certain prices where as selling them at uncertain prices. In due course of time, the term broadened and included the theory of bringing the factors of production together. Such a definition led many people to question whether there lay any exclusive entrepreneurial function or it was simply a management form. Most recently, innovation concept was added to entrepreneurship definition which again blossomed into numerous categories like process innovation, factor innovation, organizational innovation and market innovation. Then again, the latest definition views it as creation of enterprises and the founder is termed as an entrepreneur. Considerable efforts have been made in trying to comprehend the sociological and psychological underpinnings of entrepreneurship. According to some studies, majority of entrepreneurs have some common characteristics that include need for achievement, risk taking propensity, ostensible locus of control and orientation towards intuitive reasoning. Additionally, many have also commented upon minority group membership, adolescent economic experiences and childhood deprivation. So we now have the definitions of entrepreneurship which seems to be easily understandable. However, it’s the detailed study of literature as well the actual examples which tend to make the concept of entrepreneurship more difficult. Considering the risk bearing factor which is supposed to be an essential element of entrepreneurial personas, a majority of them have surpassed by avoiding risks. Neither is creativity a prerequisite for successful entrepreneurship. Most of them have efficaciously copied the idea of others and have somehow improved on the idea to make it an innovation that was essential for that product’s success. The Rise of Indian Women Entrepreneur in E-commerce DOI: 10.9790/487X-171013640 37 | Page II. Ecommerce Ecommerce industry is on upturn. E-commerce (often spelled “e-commerce”) is the wave of the future. E-Commerce or electronic commerce, deals with the buying and selling of goods and services, or the transmitting of funds or data, over an electronic platform, mainly the internet. Apart from the traditional online formats of retail and lifestyle, newer online business segments such as classifieds, real estate, grocery and healthcare were also tapped. Due to ultimate growth of e sector investor are coming in front for funding. ECommerce is increasingly attracting customers from Tier 2 and 3 cities, where people have limited access to brands but have high aspirations. According to E-Commerce companies, these cities have seen a 30% to 50% rise in transactions. According to Forrester Research, an independent technology and market research firm, only 16% of India’s total population was online in 2013 and of the online users only 14% or 28 million were online buyers but know there is tremendous change the sector in India has grown by 34% (CAGR) since 2009 to touch 16.4 billion USD in 20142. The sector is expected to be in the range of 22 billion USD in 2015. III. Women Entrepreneurship In The Changing World Of Ecommerce A large number of women sellers today are opting for e-tail sites to sell across a diverse range of sectors such as health care, home furnishing, jewellery, handicrafts and fashion apparel, among others. Minimum investments, ease of working from home, global reach and the empowerment that comes in from financial independence are the primary reasons for the emergence of online marketplace as the favorable platform for women entrepreneurs Women in business are a recent phenomenon in India. Women entrepreneurs are engaged in business due to push and pull factors which encourage them to have an independent occupation and stand on their own legs. A sense of independent decision-making towards their life and career is the motivational factor behind this urge. Saddled with household chores and domestic responsibilities women want to get independence.

panel  debate

While e-commerce is still young in India, it has seen a number of startups evolving into big companies in a short period of time. Although no single person or a company has emerged as a single leader, a number of individuals together have become the face of this sector in this country. Women entrepreneurs are stepping up to show their skill and vision and prove that they have the ability to take their budding ventures to scaling heights. Let’s have a look at some of the women who are making a difference in this growing e-commerce ecosystem. The vast majority of women-owned businesses are micro-enterprises or SMEs owned by middle class women with around 75% of the businesses earning less than Rs 10 lakh in the last financial year and having less than five employees. One common motivation that drives all these women is the prospect of creative satisfaction and the feeling of financial independence. India is headed towards an Internet economy worth $200 billion by 2020 that will contribute to five percent of the GDP. The infiltration of Internet and smartphones into smaller towns and rural areas is a major contributing factor to this. The report states that the number of Internet users in rural areas will touch 210 million by 2018, pushing India’s Internet user base to over 500 million. 

Panel Debate at India Leadership Conclave 2016 

0450 PM – 0520PM Panel Discussion
 Panel Speakers Digital India Transformation – Empowering Digital Women Leaders in India

Panel Speakers

Ms. Sanna Vohra, Founder & CEO, The Wedding Brigade

Ms.Kiran Bawa, CEO & MD, IOSIS Wellness & Spa

Ms.Suchi Pandya, CEO & C

o-Founder, Pipa+Bela

Ms.Arpita Ganesh, Founder & CEO,Buttercups Bras Pvt. Ltd

Ms.Shivaarti Bajaj,Founder & CEO, Go Parties

Ms.Nilisha Bhimani, Founder & CEO,Stay Fabulous

Ms.Gunjan Soni. CMO & Head of International Brands, Myntra

Ms.Raka Chakrawarti,Founder & CEO, Gourmetdelight

Ms.Minnat Lalpuria Rao,Founder & CEO,7Vachan

Increasing internet and mobile penetration, growing acceptability of online payments and favourable demographics has provided the e-commerce sector in India the unique opportunity to companies connect with their customers, it said. There would be over a five to seven fold increase in revenue generated through e-commerce as compared to last year with all branded apparel, accessories, jewellery, gifts, footwear are available at a cheaper rates and delivered at the doorstep.It noted that the the buying trends during 2016 will witness a significant upward movement due to aggressive online discounts, rising fuel price and wider and abundant choice will hit the e-commerce industry in 2016. It observed mobile commerce (m-commerce) is growing rapidly as a stable and secure supplement to the e-commerce industry. Shopping online through smart phones is proving to be a game changer, and industry leaders believe that m-commerce could contribute up to 70 per cent of their total revenues. In India roughly 60-65 per cent of the total e-commerce sales are being generated by mobile devices and tablets, increased by 50 per cent than the last year and also likely to continue upwards. It noted that the browsing trends, which have broadly shifted from the desktop to mobile devices in India, online shopping is also expected to follow suit, as one out of three customers currently makes transactions through mobiles in tier-1 and tier-2 cities. In 2015, 78 per cent of shopping queries were made through mobile devices, compared to 46 per cent in 2013.In 2015, the highest growth rate was seen in the apparel segment almost 69.5 per cent over last year, followed by electronic items by 62 percent, baby care products at 53 per cent, beauty and personal care products at 52 per cent and home furnishings at 49 per cent. It revealed that Mumbai ranks first in online shopping followed by Delhi, Ahmedabad, Bangalore and Kolkata.On the mode of payment, almost 45 per cent of online shoppers reportedly preferred cash on delivery mode of payment over credit cards (16 per cent) and debit cards (21 per cent). Only 10 per cent opted for internet banking and a scanty 7 per cent preferred cash cards, mobile wallets, and other such modes of payment, it said. Among the above age segments, 18-25 years of age group has been the fastest growing age segment online with user growth being contributed by both male and female segments.

Under the influence of these factors the women entrepreneurs choose a profession as a challenge and as an urge to do something new. During the last three decades, the position of women has been developed as a result of industrial revolution, technical revolution and awareness. Women’s participation in economic activities is increasing. When women enter into various entrepreneurial activities, they often face lack of access to credit and face lot of obstacles to establish and flourish their business. Every Indian housewife is an entrepreneur in her true spirit. Their role as a manager of the house can be related to the basic management techniques used in the business world of a small enterprise A large number of women sellers today are opting for e-tail sites to sell across a diverse range of sectors such as health care, home furnishing, jewellery, handicrafts and fashion apparel, among others. Minimum investments, ease of working from home, global reach and the empowerment that comes in from financial independence are the primary reasons for the emergence of online marketplace as the favorable platform for women There has been significant progression in self-employment of women who are now starting up new ventures though internet. IV. Review Of Literature Mellita, D., & Cholil, W. (2012) described the aspects and role of e commerce for gender empowerment in developing country. Empowering women through ecommerce require training, gender analysis, planning, designing, implementation and monitoring assessment and paying attention effect on women’s live and their conditions. Singh (2008)1 indicates the underlying factors behind the initiating of women entrepreneurship in India. Also the challenges to entering into a business venture were also identified. The study mentioned that obstacles which lies within the path of women entrepreneurship is mainly associated with social un-acceptance as female entrepreneurs, lack of interaction with other successful entrepreneurs, gender discrimination, less priority given to women entrepreneurs by bankers to provide business loans, missing network as well as family responsibility. M. Jan and N. Shar (2008)2 have explored the various economic opportunities for women, developing their entrepreneurial skills, empowering them through the cooperative sector of the economy along with presenting ways to improve their socio-economic status. V S Ganesamurthy (2008)3 , has edited a book of 35 pages which has been written by different scholars working in the areas of social, economic and political empowerment of women. The aspect which has been 1 Singh, Surinder Pal, (2008), An Insight Into The Emergence Of Women-owned Businesses As An Economic Force In India, presented at Special Conference of the Strategic Management Society, December 12-14, 2008, Indian School of Business, Hyderabad 2 M. Jan, N Shar, (2008), “Entrepreneurship and Women Empowerment”, Sarup and Sons Publishers The Rise of Indian Women Entrepreneur in E-commerce DOI: 10.9790/487X-171013640 38 | Page made part of the book includes the socio-economic status of females, political women, women entrepreneurship, and role of communication and information technology in women empowerment along with domestic violence. The book also emphasizes on the fact that women needs adequate levels of protection and security in order to become self-reliant. Maria Minniti (2009)4 , detailed in her monographic reviews relative to women entrepreneurship across different disciplines (sociology, economics, psychology, anthropology, etc) and the various issues related to the division of labor. V. Problems Face By Women Entrepreneurs In E-Commerce Industry With time the demand and popularity of ecommerce business is attaining all new heights in the country. There are many new successful women entrepreneurs coming up in the market proving their mettle. In the past few years several E-commerce businesses came up in the market and it is something that is grabbing the attention of many. There are lots of problems and obstacles coming their way, but quite successful enough to overcome each one of those. Successful entrepreneurs are found marching ahead no matter what the situation, dedicatedly towards their goal. Though this particular sector is gaining all attention but there are some really big challenges that every entrepreneur need to face. Here are top five challenges that every women entrepreneur needs to overcome: 1. Finding a proper niche 2. Customer acquisition 3. Good supply chain and reliable logistics 4. Raising sufficient amount of funds 5. Good and effective customer service Ecommerce business requires necessary amount of attention from customers and in order to get that every firm needs to invest huge amount on marketing or other promotional activities. There is huge need of fund and on a constant basis, unless there are reliable investors or fund raising processes it is tough enough for entrepreneurs to run the business successfully. What’s more important for ecommerce business entrepreneur is to maintain the good reputation through constant good services. There are times when goods delivered are not satisfactory. This kind of instances tends to hurt the reputation of ecommerce business firms. Customer satisfaction is utmost priority in this business, all business entrepreneurs’ needs to ensure that. In short it is team effort that needs proper dedication to meet the need of every customer. As an entrepreneur you need to constantly manage each one of those aspects properly and help the business grow with time. Problems face by women entrepreneurs in ECommerce industry With time ecommerce industry in this country is attaining all new heights and thanks to all entrepreneurs for coming up with unique new ideas and concepts. There are quite a few women entrepreneurs making their mark in the industry, thanks to their ecommerce business ideas. Transacting over internet is something that is quite a good idea and it is considered something really innovative. However there are numerous problems too faced by every entrepreneur or company. It is important to overcome all such challenges to emerge as reputed brand in the market. Finding suitable Niche is quite an important task that every ecommerce entrepreneur needs to face. Many entrepreneurs believe ecommerce business is all about Niche people all willing to transact over internet for any of their desired product. Customer acquisition is another important challenge that every ecommerce business need to face. This is one business that requires heavy investment on marketing as well as advertising to lure customers. According to market experts this is one big challenge that most startup companies need to face. Reliable logistics as well as supply chain is another important aspect for ecommerce business. Failure in this particular area means detrimental damage to future reputation of the company. The business is all about trust and if it gets hurt can be terribly harming the reputation of the company. Every ecommerce entrepreneur faces lot of trouble in raising sufficient fund for the business. Unless there is constant flow of fund it makes it really tough to run the business. For women entrepreneurs it is quite big challenge to keep arranging funds on a regular basis. Customer service is another important aspect that is often overlooked in Indian market.

With the help of E-commerce today, many women have become financial independent by selling product online. The Indian women have to perform two opposite roles in this developing economy where she has built career and to take care of household chores also so with help of ecommerce she can perform both the role excellently by working at home. With the help of ecommerce women are getting freedom from working from the comfort of their homes. A large numbers of women sellers are selling products online though websites such as health care, home furnishing, jewellery handicrafts, fashion apparel. The main reason for choosing online market place is minimum investment, ease of working from home, global reach. Still women entrepreneurs are facing problems while selling their product online so efforts has been made to solve their problems like there must be work shop and training programmes on start up as most of women entrepreneur are facing problem because they don’t know the process of starting the venture. There should be continuous efforts to inspire, encourage, motivate and cooperate women entrepreneur. Big service provider like Amazon, Flipchart, Snapdeal must organize programmes and workshop to train them on various marketing process, delivery process, packaging method and other various managerial aspects. Government and Non government agencies must also come forward to help and encourage women entrepreneur. So there is huge scope in E-commerce as it is still very young in Indi with many big companies in shorter period of time. Women entrepreneurs must be focused on acquiring their dream .Take the limit off and go forth


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