"This is the era of women entrepreneurs," a group of experts agreed at the Fortune India's Most Powerful Women in Business Awards 2024 event held in Mumbai today. Experts were discussing the topic 'Women Entrepreneurship Uninhibited.'

"This is the best time that India is seeing entrepreneurship, especially women entrepreneurship, where the ecosystem and government are working together to ensure more women take this (entrepreneurship) up and have an increased participation across fields. We have not seen a better time than this ever before," says Ghazal Alagh, co-founder, Mamaearth.

Vinati Saraf, MD & CEO, Vinati Organics, expects that in the next 10 years, women will not require women-specific awards because women will constitute 50% of the workforce and across levels as well.

Concurring with other panellists, Akshali Shah, board member and executive director, Parag Milk Foods says this is the best time for women's entrepreneurship.

Meanwhile, Guneet Monga Kapoor, producer and CEO, Sikhaya Entertainment, says women entrepreneurs are not each other's competition but companions. “We are not each other’s competition, we are each other’s companion. And that is so important to spread far and wide. That you shine, we shine. And we celebrate each other across industry. Women run the household, so they are already entrepreneurs. There is no feminism without the other half. It’s only upwards,” says Kapoor.

Validation helps in recognition

While working hard as a woman entrepreneur is one aspect of building a business, getting validation helps in recognition of work, according to panellists. Alagh, who leads the R&D at Honasa Consumers and leads a team of 50 women, says recognition helps in building confidence and motivation to continue working hard. "Validation helps to bring your name to the list, where otherwise, you might not be present. The awareness around your work increases in a circle where you want it to go — be it in terms of investors, be it in terms of startup ecosystem and some of these recognitions really help you being noticed,” says Alagh. 

Meanwhile, Shah of Parag Milk Food, who chose to start her career in marketing instead of joining top-leadership at her father's company, says awards and recognition add to the fact that you are doing the right thing. “But not to an extent, that whatever you are doing is correct. It just adds a tinge of shine to what you are doing,” says Shah.

Notably, Saraf, who has been in the manufacturing industry for 18 years, opines that recognition of women leaders most importantly sets an example to the younger generation.

Kapoor, who received an Academy award for Elephant Whispers, believes that though validation is good to some extent, it just puts women in a box. “It’s people’s inherent need to put you in a box, and which box they have been constantly finding,” says Kapoor.

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