Aarthi Kannan: Start-ups open up options for women
Following the birth of her daughter in 2015, Aarthi Kannan decided to end her successful stint as vice president of a multinational finance company in London
Following the birth of her daughter in 2015, Aarthi Kannan decided to end her successful stint as vice president of a multinational finance company in London. Searching for the middle path that would keep her somewhere between her career goals and motherhood, Kannan used her passion for mathematics to keep her ambitions alive. The Bangalore-based former software engineer became a work-from-home teacher on the online start-up teaching platform Cuemath. Like countless other women, who walk the tightrope between parenting and careers, Kannan too had made her choice.
As another International Women's Day came around and the discourse again centred around equal opportunities, Kannan said start-ups had opened new avenues for women like her who were looking to strike a balance between their personal and professional lives without compromising on either. "Spending quality time and being the primary care provider for my daughter through her formative years was non-negotiable for me. So when she turned one, I started looking out for meaningful opportunities that would allow me to work from the comfort of my home," Kannan, who teaches 10 children in the Koramangala area, told PTI. She is not the only one. There are 2,500 like her in Cuemath alone, each "teacher-entrepreneur" preferring to be their own boss, said founder Manan Khurma.
"Cuemath has teacher partners teaching 20,000 children across 80 cities in India, including Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, Pune, Hyderabad, Cohin and Kolkata," Khurma said. Though ventures like Cuemath offer women like Kannan options to pursue work along with their parental responsibilities, it is not always a level playing field for women. India is the third largest start-up hub in the world, but only 9 per cent of the founders are women, according to an Assocham India study quoted in forbes.com. A 2015 report from the McKinsey Global Institute stated that advancing women's equality at workplaces could add to national as well as global growth. By 2025, it said, GDP could increase by at least 16 per cent in a country like India if it progressed towards gender parity at work.
Many women in India are triumphing the odds to become part of the admittedly slow growth story. Like Ayesha Sultana, who was welcomed as a tech trainer on Simplilearn, a professional training provider for different professions, when she needed to take a break from her full-time job due to "personal" reasons. Delhi-based Ayesha, who was earlier associated as a tech professional with a renowned company, is now a full time trainer on the platform helping over 700 participants in various technical domains. A survey carried out by PayPal, an online payments platform, showed that a huge percentage of freelancers -- 48 per cent -- using a PayPal account, are women.
According to Narsi Subramanian, director growth, of PayPal India, the autonomy of freelancing acts as a bait for most working professionals, and works best for women who want to strike a work-life balance. Delhi-based Sheetal Kapoor. a multi-tasking housewife who manages household chores, looks after her children and also has a busy social life, is amongst those who has used PayPal to carve an identity of her own. In 2009, she joined her husband's business of creating garments for large retail chains and realised the potential of the untapped online market.
She registered as a seller on PayPal, and discovered a soaring demand for Indian clothes, particularly from overseas. Sheetal is now the proud owner of an apparel brand called 'Shree'. "I sold my first kurta for 20 USD, and I now sell close to 500-1000 kurtas a month. I also have loyal bulk-buying clients through PayPal, which also helps me cater to my NRI audience via my in-house website," Sheetal said.
This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/mid-day.com reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever
Worst Crime: Thane housewife chops off husband's head with boyfriend's help