Women - A Conglomerate Extrovert


Prof. P.Sridevi
Head-Department of Commerce
Dr. SNSR College of Arts & Science

Sr. Lecturer
T.S.A. Arts & Science College

Gayathri G.V.S.
SNS College of Technology, Coimbatore

A woman is a massive circle. Within her, she has the power to create, nurture, and transform. She knows that nothing can come to fruition without bringing that to limelight. Let us instigate woman's spirit and knowledge to guide us in this age of planetary transformation. Many corporations are more eager to work with women-owned businesses, and a host of organizations are helping to get them up and running. The women understand her might and sparked with many ideas, to start a business and flourished from late 80s.

Development of Women Entrepreneurs Recent Trends

All women who have accomplished great things have had a great aim have fixed their gaze on a goal which was so high.  This is the secret behind the success of every women entrepreneur who had thrown away the fear in their thought and transpires out with thundering spirit.

Several national and international organizations and agencies have appreciated the need for and importance of developing women entrepreneurs in recent years.  A brief review of it is given here.

The United Nations declared the decade 1975-85 as the Decade for Women.  The World Conference of the United Nations Decade for Women held at Copenhagen in Denmark on 30th June 1980 adopted a programme aimed at promoting full and equal opportunities and treatment of women in employment and their access to non-traditional skilled trades.

The First National Conference of Women Entrepreneurs held at New Delhi in November 1981 advocated the need for developing women entrepreneurs for the overall development of the country.  It called for priority to women in allotment of land, sheds, sanction of power, licensing etc.

The Second International Conference of Women Entrepreneurs organized by the National Alliance of Young Entrepreneurs (NAYE) held in 1989 at New Delhi also adopted certain declarations involving women's participation in industry.

The Government of India has been assigning increasing importance to the development of women entrepreneurs in the country in recent years.  The Sixth Five Year Plan, for example, proposed for promoting female employment in women-owned industries.  The Government moved a step forward in the Seventh Five Year Plan by including a special chapter on Integration of Women in Development.  The chapter suggested:

* To treat women as specific target groups in all development programmes and involve them in decision making process.
* To devise and diversify vocational training facilities for women to suit their varied needs and skills.
* To promote appropriate technologies to improve their efficiency and productivity.
* To provide assistance for marketing their products.

The percentage of business started and operated by women in the U.S. is less than those started by men.  However, the number is increasing at a rapid rate.  For example, the number of female sole proprietors was 3,104,029 or 22% of all sole proprietors, according to the Internal Revenue Service, U.S.

Women entrepreneurs can also hire professionals, trained under Small Industry Management Assistant's Programme (SIMAP) of Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI).

Ranks of Business Opportunities for Women Entrepreneurs

Area                                                                  Rank

Cosmetics and Beauty Parlors                      01
Garments and Textile Items                         02
Education and Training                               03
Interior Decoration                                    04
Nursery and Creches                                  05
Handicrafts                                              06
3P's (Pickles, Powder [spices] and Papad)      07
Consultancy Services                                 08
Medicare (Medical and Paramedical)              09
Engineering Goods                                     10

First Woman Entrepreneur in the World

Rita Singh, founder of the M'escos (Mid-east Shipping Company) group, is one of the first woman entrepreneurs in the business world.  Starting from scratch about 20 years ago, she now exports trendy M'escos shoes, owns a fleet of state-of-the-art- helicopters and ships, and Rs.450 crore steel plant.  The M'escos group with an annual turnover of over Rs.1500 crore, employs more than 7,000 people.

The only daughter of a Punjabi college professor who migrated from Sargodha in Pakistan to Nagpur after Partition.  With only a degree in science, she set up a small dairy farm with two buffaloes near the Hindon air station and a sulphur plant at Hapur.  She sold off their small farm and started exporting rice and tapioca.  Then she went into shipping in a small way, within a year, her annual income crossed Rs.50 lakh mark.  In the coming years, she entered into steel, aviation shoes, etc.

Clandestine of Success "Attribute my success to one thing never run away from life.  Face it boldly.  Dare to be different".

Women Entrepreneurship in India

Out of total 940.98 million people in India, in the 1990s females comprise 437.10 million representing 46.5% of the total population.  There are 126.48 million women workforce (28.9%of the female population).  But as per 1991 census, only 1,85,900 women accounting for only 4.5%of the self-employed persons in the country were recorded.  Majority of them are engaged in the unorganized sector like agriculture, agro-based industries, handicrafts, handlooms, and cottage-based industries.  Participation of women as industrial entrepreneurs, however, is comparatively a recent phenomenon commencing from 70s onwards.  There were more than 2,95,680 women entrepreneurs claiming 11.2% of the total 2.64 million entrepreneurs in India during 1995-96.  This is almost double the percentage of women (5.2%) among the total population of self-employed during 1981.

Feat of Women in Business.

Women placed their foot and thrived in almost all ventures. The following is the list that divulges the successful entrepreneurs in diverse fields.

Successful Women Entrepreneurs



Smt.Sumati Morarji

Shipping Corporation

Smt.Sharayu Daftary

Automobile Radiators

Smt.Yamutai Kirloskar

Mahila Udyog Limited

Smt.Vimal Pitre

Surgical Instruments

Smt.Manik Vandrekar

Leather Crafts

Smt.Radanika Pradhan

Plastic Industries



Smt.Swati Bhatija

Engineering Industry

Smt.Prerang Thakore

Jayant Vitamins Limited

Smt.Nargis Wadia

Inter Publicity

Smt.Neena Malhotra


Smt.Rajani Aggarwal


Smt.Shahanaz Hussain

Beauty Clinical Cosmetics



Smt.Weheeda Rehman

Fast Foods

Smt. Kiran Mazumdar Shaw

Biocon Industries

Tribulations Faced by Women Entrepreneurs

Life for a woman entrepreneur is not a bed of roses. The individual woman entrepreneur single-handedly faces a plethora of seemingly endless problems. The grievances are:

1. Socio Personal Problems

Women, especially in our country, face certain problem, which are different from their male counterparts, in the course of starting and managing their own businesses.  The management of domestic commitments and child care support are the two issues where women have to play a greater role. 

2. Marketing Problems

Marketing is another area, which very often proves to be the graveyard of many small-scale women entrepreneurs. It has been found that the small-scale entrepreneurs, owing to their high achievement orientation, generally set higher goals in terms of marketing of their products or services but later on find them difficult to achieve because of heavy competition, incurring huge advertisement cost and many other extraneous factors. 

3. Occupational Mobility Problems

Occupational mobility, such as shifting from one product line to another is an area where women entrepreneurs are generally found to be more at a disadvantageous position than their male counterparts. 

4. Government Assistance Problems

The women entrepreneurs were exasperated by the indifferent attitude of government officials of all the small industry related departments like taxation, labour, power, etc. i.e. when the authorities come to know that the unit is being run by a woman, they discourage allotting sales tax number and giving electricity connection.  Above all they have ignorance about various procedures, laws, and complicated bureaucratic set-up while dealing with entrepreneurial support organizations.

5. Financial Problems

Typically women entrepreneurs of small scale enterprises start well but some where down the line in their day-to-day operations they miss the route to success.  In more than half such cases the reasons identified can be attributed to financial mismanagement.  Financial support as well as financial viability, therefore, is the most important considerations of any business proposition. 

6. Production Problems

Production in a manufacturing enterprise involves coordination of a number of activities. While some of these activities are in the control of entrepreneur there are others over which she has little control.  Improper coordination or unintended delay in execution of any activity is going to cause production problems in the industry. 

7. Personnel Problems

Efficient management of human resources is an important factor in determining the growth and prosperity of business enterprise.  This is particularly true in case of small industry where the owners have to forge a close and more personal association with their employees.  The women entrepreneurs also expressed their inability to change the negative attitude of labour force while some of them complained of unionism amongst them.  Moreover the women entrepreneurs admitted the lack of experience and self-confidence on their part to deal with personnel working in their organizations. 

Following are tips to help women business owners to succeed:

* DON'T UNDERVALUE YOURSELF. Women tend to give away too much and charge too little, Learned says, especially those in service-based businesses. Learned suggests women in the service industry adopt value-based fees, rather than hourly.

* REMEMBER WHY YOU STARTED YOUR OWN COMPANY . Women can quickly lose site of their desire to have a balanced life in the face of a demanding new business.

* NETWORK, BUT IN A WAY YOU FEEL COMFORTABLE WITH . Many people who go into business for themselves flock to networking groups because they believe it's the smart thing to do. This is true for men as well as women. But depending on their personality and preferences, these groups may not be the best forum for networking.

* DON'T BE AFRAID TO PROMOTE YOURSELF . If the business is to thrive, women must market themselves and take credit for their achievements. If women don't market their business, no one will know what they have to offer.

Programme for Empowerment of Women

Women's Empowerment is critical to the socio-economic progress of the community.  Bringing women into the mainstream of national development has therefore been a major concern of the Government.

* The Ministry of Rural Development has special components for women's in its programmes.  Funds are earmarked as "Women Components" to ensure flow of adequate resources for the same.

* The major schemes, having Women's Component, include the Swarnajayanti Gram Swarozgar Yojana (SGSY), the Jawahar Gram Samriddhi Yojana (JGSY), the Indira Awas Yojana (IAY), the National Social Assistance Programme (NSAP), the Restructured Rural Sanitation Programmes, the Accelerated Rural Water Supply Programmes, the Integrated Rural Development Programme (RDP), the Development of Women and Children in Rural Areas (DWCRA) and the jawahar Rozgar Yojana (JRY).


"Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile". Yes. Today there is a greater awakening among women.  In education, they have not only excelled but also become top makers.  Likewise, in office and industry, many have shown brilliant results.  Even in rural India with education, women have shown better performance.  Educating women is absolutely essential in straightening her personality.  The need of the hour is to provide an opportunity in a conducive atmosphere free from gender differences.  The need for awareness motivation and courage to correct the faults of male counterparts are great challenges today.  It is, therefore, encouragement of the growing intensity of motivation amongst educated young women for coming in the entrepreneurial stream and extends support with scientifically designed package of the technical and financial assistance.  The non-governmental organizations have a bigger role in stimulating and nurturing the spirit of entrepreneurship amongst women.

Towards this end, an integrated approach is necessary for making the movement of women entrepreneurship a success.  For this purpose, both the government and non-government agencies have to play a vital role.

Prof. P.Sridevi
Head-Department of Commerce
Dr. SNSR College of Arts & Science

Sr. Lecturer
T.S.A. Arts & Science College

Gayathri G.V.S.
SNS College of Technology, Coimbatore

Source: E-mail October 18, 2006


Back to Articles 1-99 / Back to Articles 100-199 / 200 onwards / Faculty Column Main Page


Important Note :
Site Best Viewed in Internet
Explorer in 1024x768 pixels
Browser text size: Medium