Sakshi Aggarwal, Founder – Gharobaar, an exclusive platform for homepreneurs, shared her views on how women can excel in their respective fields and her journey in the industry.
Q- Sakshi, your platform ‘Gharobaar’ showcases the businesses that are home-based when we use the word ‘home’ and associate it with any business, it gives an image of a particular gender based industry. Have you seen this gender stereotype being broken, is the word home businesses being associated with men as well, and if yes, how do you see this?
A– Undeniably, when we talk about a business run from home or homepreneurs, it is associated more with women. However, we have seen increased participation by men in this field, especially post the lockdown. A lot of couples have started businesses together too. Thus, I do feel that this stereotype is getting broken, and we are moving towards a phase where men working from home is seen as normal too. Also, at Gharobaar, we encourage unlearning the stereotypes and clichés. Our platform is open to any home business irrespective of the fact whether it is run by a man or a woman. In fact, all our efforts are streamlined to make opportunities more gender-equal.
Q– What inspired you to do something in this sector, why did you choose to promote only home businesses?
A– Well answer to this question goes back to the time of lockdown. We came across many inspirational stories that weren’t fazed by the adversity, and instead of feeling demotivated, they created opportunities for themselves and stood tall to become self-reliant. People with various hobbies such as cooking, knitting, painting, etc. started working towards monetising their passion and trying to set up a business of doing what they love. Hearing those exceptional stories of limitless endeavours made us realise how important it is to help these small businesses achieve their dreams. Most of these businesses run single-handedly, and we want to support them in doing things that cannot be done individually, such as marketing, shipping, technical support, etc. Therefore, we decided to come up with a platform that helps them promote their home businesses to a wider audience, and get access to a wider reach for their products.
Q- Sakshi, I’m sure you must have encountered some inspiring stories of women starting their venture and promoting it, if you remember anyone’s story that has inspired you and can inspire many, please share it with us.
A– Well, there are many stories that amaze me but if I have to pick one then I would say Nykaa’s Founder Falguni Nayar inspires me a lot- the reason being that her life story resonates with me a lot. Her journey as an entrepreneur started in 2012 when she was in her 50s with nearly 20 years of experience as an investment banker. She left a well-established career to start a business from scratch. And now nearly a decade on, she has listed her start-up at the Stock Exchange- with a valuation higher than many big businesses in India. Stories like these inspire me every single day and make my belief more firm that women can do and achieve anything they want, at any age.
Q- Sakshi, from your point of view, what do you feel are the challenges that women in the working sector are facing that are not being raised and how do you feel the necessary changes can be brought?
A– The most common challenges that women face in the working sector are problems with managing their work-life balance, unequal pay for the same work, and slower career growth post-marriage and having kids. We need to ensure that we stand up against any injustice that any of us see at our workplaces, and we continue to spread awareness about the importance of treating women equally and fairly. Each employer needs to embrace gender diversity, and not judge a woman’s productivity at work based on her personal life. However, I do feel that things are improving, and we are seeing an increasing number of women climbing up the corporate ladder, without facing any gender bias or pay inequality.
Q- A message that you would like to share for all the ambitious women out there.
A– To all the amazing women out there my message is pretty simple and straight- it is just a matter of choice. Once you decide you want to do something, then trust me, the sky is the limit for you. Don’t let your age, life stage, or society’s views hold you back from doing what you really want to. Don’t let anybody else’s set of ideas define what your life is going to be like and always choose to live your life the way you want.