I’ve been a female distributor for a long time, and have been doing a lot of marketing for a lot different companies, including companies that cater to women.
My experience has been mostly positive.
For a lot my female peers, the transition to a male-dominated industry is a big deal.
In the US, for example, about 90% of female CEOs are female, according to a recent Pew Research Center study.
But in India, only about 10% of top executives are women.
The reasons for this are varied.
“Many of the female leaders are in a position to do some very interesting work and are able to take risks and make some really big decisions, which are not always the case for their male counterparts,” says Kala Ramchandani, a business consultant and founder of Ramchanda Group, a venture capital firm focused on female business founders.
Ramchandane’s team of female entrepreneurs have built an array of products, from beauty products to medical equipment to clothing, that can appeal to a broad range of women, from those who might otherwise be turned off by masculine products to women who might be wary of products that are made for men.
Some products have even gone beyond cosmetics to include nutritional supplements, as well as herbal supplements, which have been a boon for female entrepreneurs.
The good news for female-owned companies is that the government has been doing its part to encourage the use of women-friendly products.
A new law has mandated that all cosmetics and beauty products sold in India be made from non-hormone-containing ingredients and include instructions to make their ingredients non-biodegradable, and women can be appointed as the manufacturer of the product.
The government is also working to improve the quality of women entrepreneurs’ products.
In July, a new law will require women entrepreneurs to disclose that their products are not biodegradably produced, which is a major step forward in improving female entrepreneurs’ image.
But for all the positive news, Ramchanyani cautions that it is only a start.
Women in India are not as likely to be given the same opportunities as men for starting a business.
Even if a female entrepreneur is successful, there are many barriers to her success, including the stigma associated with women starting businesses, Ramchalani says.
So Ramchandan and her team of women businesswomen are doing their best to build their own businesses in India.
Ramchalani is also helping female entrepreneurs through the “Mona” programme, a mentorship program for female employees of major Indian companies.
One of the founders of the startup is Murali, a 27-year-old software engineer who moved to India from the US in 2008 to help start up her own venture, the online magazine Motherboard.
Murali’s story is the typical story of how women are often ignored and underrepresented in Indian companies, especially among the female entrepreneurs who are the most likely to start a business themselves.
The first thing Muralitna wanted to do was to get a job in an engineering company, but it turned out that there were so many female engineers in India who were not qualified to do so, she says.
So she started her own software company, Muralis own website, and in 2014 started her first online magazine, Motherboard, which she started with her friends and co-founders, Kathi Wagle and Jyoti Shah.
Muralitnan also went on to launch her own product line, Mura, which has a female CEO who sells products made by women.
Mura launched a couple of years ago, and it has sold over 3 million products, according, to the company.
Despite the success of Mura and its product line (which sells over 100,000 items), the founders have not been able to scale their business to cater to a broader market, and instead focus on the female customers.
“There’s a lot more work to be done,” Muraliti says.
“We have a lot to do, but we’re going to keep going.”
Ramchalandani has also set up an online community to help women entrepreneurs connect with other women entrepreneurs and help them navigate their way through the obstacles and hurdles of becoming a successful entrepreneur.
She has also been working with women entrepreneurs who have been unable to take the steps she says she recommends for them, and has been helping to raise funds to help them launch their businesses.
“We’re all working together to create a female ecosystem for female founders, who might have been discouraged from going through the same thing, and they’re all contributing to a greater positive change in India,” Ramchalandan says.
The first batch of $200,000 donated by Ramchal and her partner, Anupam Shrivastava, will go towards making the new female-focused products available in the US market, including more than 40 of the company’s products.