25 February, 2020, New Delhi: NSRCEL, the start-up hub at Indian Institute of Management Bangalore, celebrated 20 years of entrepreneurship by hosting a leadership summit ‘The Dialogue, on February 22 (Saturday), 2020, in Gurugram. The theme for the event was ‘Building Value-add Brands: Leadership Perspectives from the She-Suite’.
The day’s session started with the keynote speech by Dr. Anita Gupta, Scientist – G /Adviser and Associate Head – NSTEDB. She shared the opportunities and facilities women entrepreneurs make use of in the start-up ecosystem. She has been instrumental in supporting many programmes at NSRCEL for over a decade.
This was followed by a talk by Kainaz Messman Harchandrai, Co-owner and Founder of Theobroma Patisserie India. Kainaz is currently Creative Director at Theobroma, a much-loved patisserie with over 50 outlets across Mumbai, Pune and Delhi NCR. Kainaz is alumna of Institute of Hotel Management (IHM), Mumbai and The Oberoi Centre of Learning and Development (OCLD), Delhi. She said that although starting and growing were not easy, the 50 outlets of Theobroma had a small part to play in the transformation and shift of the culinary landscape. “The core of Theobroma has been product, even at a time when people didn’t understand what a brownie was or why I was using vegetables in dessert by creating a carrot cake.” Her advice to other entrepreneurs was: “Business is a team sport, you cannot be everything to your business. Do understand the immense value of taking responsibility, things will always go wrong.”
The next speaker was Malika Sadani, Founder and CEO, The Moms Co., India’s leading company for toxin-free products catering to expectant and new mothers seeking natural, chemical-free products for their daily personal care regimen. She is a passionate entrepreneur and a mother of two young daughters. She advised the budding entrepreneurs to be resilient, through all the ups and downs of starting up. “Entrepreneurs should never be afraid to seek help, however, always be authentic.”
The next speaker Meghana Narayan, Co-founder, Slurrp Farm, has made it her personal goal to up the nutrition table for Indian kids. Slurrp Farm strongly believes that no parent should compromise on health or taste when it comes to feeding their child. “And that is the Slurrp Farm promise – made by two mothers, just the way you would at home. It was our deliberate move to cater to children in the age group of six to 23 months to encourage them to eat healthier, without compromising on quality.”
The final speaker of the day was Vandana Suri, Founder, TAXSHE, an organization with the core focus of women and child safety, and the practical solution of women driving women and kids. TAXSHE mobilizes underprivileged women, trains them in professional driving skills, and these women, in turn, drive women and children to and from the workplace and school. At present, TAXSHE has a presence in Bangalore and Delhi NCR, driving about 600-plus children to school every single day. Vandana has recently been awarded by the World Bank under the SDGs and Her Contest 2019, from among 1200 applicants across the globe. TAXSHE was also part of the Social Start-up Programme at NSRCEL. Vandana discussed how building a value-add brand involves having a good team and went on to say: “Incubators like NSRCEL act as a catalyst to the growth story of a social start-up.”
NSRCEL is committed to providing mentorship, support, motivation and direction to women entrepreneurs to help them scale their businesses.