Sunday, March 27 2016, 10:53:43

Komal Panwar


Mahavir Sharma, The Angel Investor, Tells Why Women Aren’t Seen As ‘Starters Of Startups’ In India

  • JWB Post
  •  March 7, 2016


How many men do you know who support women who want to launch startups, without predefined notions sitting in their heads? What women can only come up with ’boutique’ ideas is somewhat a prejudice that can be seen floating around every time a woman approaches investors.

It was time to kill the long-lived lie! JWB began looking for investors who would wholeheartedly invest in women approaching them with startups. In collaboration with Sonal Sawansukha’s Jewel Saga, who provided us with halos for the Angels (bangles), our HUNT began!

We met Mahavir Sharma from Rajasthan Angel Investors Network (RAIN), who explained us the true way to find the potential startup idea.

JWB: Why aren’t women seen as the ‘starters’ of ‘startups’ in India?

Mahavir: If you look around in Jaipur, it’s very rare to find women who have startup ideas apart from boutiques, while there’s nothing wrong with it, investors need intelligent, scalable models. On the other hand, metropolitans like Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore have promising, emerging female lead startups, which have a lot to do with technology. 

JWB: Have you invested in a female startup yet? 

Mahavir: No, and the reason has nothing to do with an individual’s gender. It doesn’t matter if it’s a man or a woman. If they have the right kind of knowledge and the right kind of idea that has a bright future, we’re always up for it.

JWB: What kind of projects would you recommend women to come up with?

Mahavir: Anything from technology to salon service apps, educational apps. There are many female dominated fields that men can’t take care of, and only because they do not understand the basic needs of a woman. They can work with social empowerment. Let’s take e-commerce platforms for example, where 78% of the consumers are women! Women understand what other women wish to purchase.

JWB: Cite an example of how a small idea can turn into a significant business opportunity.

Mahavir: Women who have thought out of the box in any area have always succeeded. For example, everyone needs a maid in the house, it’s a basic necessity, but they are illiterate, so someone makes an app where servants can be hired on contract basis through Android applications. In such a case, having even a female workforce would be far more comfortable, and would, in fact, generate more employment.

It’s International Women’s Day, and it’s RAINing investors, wait until tomorrow and we’ll introduce you to men willing to invest in women’s startups.

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