Wind beneath my wings

Outlook Business chronicles inspiring stories of women entrepreneurs and changemakers who 'conquered the world' with their persistence

The first thing that greets many women who set out to ‘conquer the world' is doubt. It can be paralysing, especially when it comes from people they love and trust, and from self. Yet, many persevere. Among them are the 18 bravehearts who have been featured in this edition of Outlook Business Women of Worth.

When Malavika Banerjee said — to her colleagues in the sports marketing industry — that she wanted to sell sarees, they were incredulous. To them both interests seemed diametrically opposite to each other, but not to her. Of course, she went ahead and made a success of both. When Nidhi Bisht told her superior at her legal firm that she wanted to make it big in showbiz, she was met with a sneer and a challenge to meet Shahrukh Khan someday. Of course, Bisht met Khan, who even starred in her production. She had made the right switch after all.

Mistrust manifests in the subtle lift of a brow or in public humiliation, like in the loud rant of a drunk who questioned Chetna Gala Sinha’s intent. She had been working to open a bank for disadvantaged women, leaving behind the comforts of her home in Mumbai. Sinha carried on; persistence is a recurring theme in these stories.

They did not let unchartered territories, like organic menstrual sanitation solutions or tutoring children using carpentry and welding, scare them away. They galloped into it, happily letting go of secure jobs and safety nets. They did not let the shattering of lifelong dreams and lack of finances shut them away. They imagined a new future for themselves and hacked out a road to get there. And all of this, they did without a fuss.

These are inspiring stories, and women entrepreneurs and changemakers share them with us in this edition. We hope they help budding women entrepreneurs find the daring they need to take wing.