Role of Indian Women in leading the Sustainable Startup Landscape in India

Author : Dhruv Singh Pali | Published On : 17 Mar 2023

To be equipped to erect a sustainable future, we need to toil and advance and upgrade in tandem with the financial as well as the sustainability missions. India is thriving in its startup ecosystem with a flashing and fleeting momentum. This proliferation tallies for a significant proportion of employment, commerce, exchange and growth in the nation henceforth influencing the future of the way businesses to operate.?

Numerous stakeholders have been calibrating and recalibrating their enterprise objectives to develop long-term integrity and significance for the ecosystem. The women's crew, for instance, has been tinkering an indispensable role in maintaining sustainability as a focal point of their business expansion. They are stimulating a favourable transition in the field and excavating the spot for a surplus and reliable economic growth.?Ashish Aggarwal Acube Venture Owner and Startup Industry Expert Highlighted the Story of Ambiga Subramanian.

Ambiga Subramanian was the introductory Indian woman to have directed a corporation into the unicorn fraternity. She is a former chief executive officer (CEO) of a data analytics firm “Mu Sigma”. She also made up one of the eighth and the youngest of India’s richest self-made women, as per the Hurun India Rich List of 2017.

In the same year, she relinquished 24% of her shareholding in Mu Sigma to her former spouse Dhiraj Rajaram following their separation and he then rose as the controlling shareholder of the firm. She then remodelled as an investor and capitalized on corporations like Piper biosciences  Shuttl, Box8, and many more.

The entrepreneurship topography for women in the country is advancing rapidly. In 2017, 29% of the registered start-ups with the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, DPIIT (Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade), and the Government of India contained at least 1 woman director. However, the same percentage in January 2023, had exponentially heightened to 48%. Also, there is a raised representation of women entrepreneurs across various sectors such as healthcare and lifestyle, education, food and beverages, and IT Services.

With a comprehensive evolution towards environment-friendly strategies, an impetus from the Government towards sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) disclosures through the Companies Act,2013 and the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), companies and enterprises are vigorously integrating ESG into their?Business Responsibility and Sustainability Reporting (BRSR). “There has been a smooth and steady transition towards behaving toward ESG as more than only an obligatory injunction”, says Ashish Aggarwal Indo Innovation. While investors are looking for influential enterprises to park their wager on, women entrepreneurs are also formulating effective alterations in the favourable orientation. It can be contended that a pivotal focus area of women-led start-ups is sustainability and the proclivity is recognized in industries across divergent practices, products, and services.

For an instance, In the FMCG sector, women-led unicorns such as Mama Earth (Gazal Alagh)  are precisely manufacturing makeup merchandise that is Vegan and Chemical-free.  Startups, such as Zouk (Disha Singh) exclusively synthesize products that are cruelty-free and use vegan elements only, one such is vegan leather. Nowadays, there is a high demand that can be witnessed for handmade products and handcrafted products and accessories, and these considerably curtail emissions emanating across the supply chain.

Several women-led startups, having consumer bases principally in metropolitan cities in India and abroad, generally outsource their procurement of raw materials and fabrication into the conclusive product from bucolic and semi-rural areas, employing and engaging traditional artists and craftsmen while reviving many conventional crafts in the revolution. These civic enterprises are calibrating time-honoured products to fulfil modern demands while also preserving and strengthening the authentic essence of the art form. One such example is iMithila led by Ruchi Jha, the startup engaged in publicizing Mithila or Madhubani painting, one of the ancients art masterpiece forms of the world. ??

In recent years, there is an evolution towards the rental and the economizing thrift shop industry, a market fraction that practically implicates dispersing second-hand or pre-used garments has become fairly prominent with such outlets and is gaining quick momentum, both online as well as offline. Such stores, mostly are run by women. These sell products that are distinctive, moderately reasonable and ameliorate environmental burden considerably, offering an alternate path to dynamic fashion senses. One such Startup as underlined by Ashish Aggarwal, the industry expert is Zapyle which is founded by Rashi Gulati Menda. Zapyle is an online community marketplace for swaddling brand-new as well as pre-owned luxury fashion apparel for women.

Ashish Aggarwal highlighting the statement used in the recent 2022 G20 Summit at Bali inspired the youth saying “With dominating global economies leading the way towards an extensive, driving, definitive, and action-oriented prospective future, under India's presidency, we must unify and come together to operate with one of the most incredible and important resources our country has – our ingenious women workforce.”

According to a report by McKinsey, expanding women’s representation and partaking in business assistance can independently aid in potentially growing India’s GDP (Gross Domestic Product) by roughly USD 700 billion by 2025. Hence, in our aspiration to assemble a sustainable economy, we need to encourage and appreciate the contribution of the women workforce and particularly entrepreneurs that are toiling to carve not just an enormous but also a promising India. With India committed to accomplishing its sustainability missions, the across-the-board exertion of numerous stakeholders is critical in progressing and getting near the objective.