Women on Top

Women have the ability to be both compassionate and rational while making business decisions, says Ameera Shah, MD and CEO, Metropolis Healthcare Ltd in an exclusive chat with Patricia Mascarenhas.

Last Updated: Wednesday, March 26, 2014 - 20:59

Women have the ability to be both compassionate and rational while making business decisions, says Ameera Shah, MD and CEO, Metropolis Healthcare Ltd in an exclusive chat with Patricia Mascarenhas

Is there an increase in the number of Indian women entrepreneurs? What is driving so many women to start businesses?

Yes, there is an increase from the last five to ten years. Women today are confident, independent, and enthusiastic and motivated to do something on their own and they actually do it. This change has happened because women in general have the ability to multi-task which most men don`t have. Men have the ability to focus on one thing and be focussed on that whereas women have the ability to keep many things in their mind, juggle between them and connect the dots which is a great skill for an entrepreneur.

What are the challenges before Indian women entrepreneurs?

As an entrepreneur you have to back yourself like nobody else will. But in our country men and women are conditioned to believe that men are the bread winners whereas women are emotional and indecisive. Thus women hold themselves back as they`re made to believe that they cannot have the same dreams or bigger dreams than men because of which men assume certain things about women that they can and cannot do and women assume those things about themselves. Another challenge that women face is building human relationships. In a business you need to interact with your customers or vendors but there are many barriers for women like going out for a drink or just hanging without letting the other person think less of you which ultimately limits their opportunities and shrinks their market.

So what helps them succeed?

Human relationships are extremely important in business and because women can`t go and build relationships with men the way other men entrepreneurs can, they have to do something different, they have to work harder and put in 110 per cent. They have to be innovative and creative to make their product or service unique.

Does gender enter an entrepreneur`s mind?

An entrepreneur can be any gender, any age and any community. The main focus is business, how to progress and keep evolving. I think it’s totally neutral. It should never cross any entrepreneur`s mind that he/she can or cannot do something because of their gender. Though there are instances when gender comes in the way, many men believe that women can`t be logical and emotional at the same time but in business ideally it shouldn`t matter.

Advise to young women entrepreneurs?

Remove gender from the equation, focus on being yourself and find your own style of leadership to build your career.
Don`t let gender be an obstacle or an asset for you. You should be able to adapt to any kind of situation.
A leader influences the organisation`s personality completely so if you are extremely conscious your organisation becomes conscious, it’s very important for you therefore to constantly balance your personality with your organisation.



First Published: Wednesday, March 26, 2014 - 20:55

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