Ask for opportunity, not charity- 26 June 2013

Celebrated author Rashmi Bansal’s latest book ‘Follow Every Rainbow’ celebrates entrepreneurship among women. She picks up women who became entrepreneurs braving absolutely adverse conditions, or because conditions and adversities pushed them into taking control of their lives and succeeding in overcoming the odds. What Rashmi Bansal does, in the ultimate analysis, is nothing but brings out the fundamental virtues that all women possess but may not be using to make their lives better and honourable. The book should act as a real eye-opener for women in general.

This is not talking about actually the book; this is picking up its central idea to highlight the reality women can be as good the entrepreneurs as men are. The purpose here is to bring to the notice of women in general that they do not lag behind men in any field including entrepreneurship, provided they decide to achieve certain results.
In fact, women are more entrepreneurial than men in most cases, on a person-to-person comparison. The difference, in Indian conditions, is that women do not get the right opportunities, which men get in good numbers in our tradition-bound society. If this problem is overcome, India will see countless women entrepreneurs.
The theme this time is, again, not the complaint against the society that does not grant many opportunities to women as it does to men. The theme here is to highlight that there is no need for the women to wait for the charitable nod from the society or the family to launch entrepreneurial ventures, howsoever small. The need is for them to ask for opportunity and get it smartly.
Unfortunately, however, most Indian women do not find themselves in situations that they could overcome by their courage of conviction and firm self-belief, two of the most critical characteristics of entrepreneurs. That is exactly why there are not many women foraying into entrepreneurial ventures that would set them apart from and ahead of the rest of the pack.
In fact, the women have the best of entrepreneurial qualities. They have the grit and determination. They have a complete sense of responsibility. They have the ability to take their own decisions and carry those through to a logical end. And most importantly, the women have a sense of commitment to whatever belongs to them. This quality is visible in women’s life even when they are just home-makers. For their home, howsoever small it may be, and their family, the women are willing to go any distance to get things done. They haggle. They shout. They cajole. They cry. They fight. They make friends. And they are willing to do all this just because they have set their minds to doing certain things for certain results. All these, too, are entrepreneurial qualities.
Another natural virtue women have is their ability to do multi-tasking successfully. So many things do the women do in their day, and all without a word of complaint. That is what an entrepreneur is supposed to be doing. For, when he launches a venture, there is no going back. He has to keep going.
Almost all women have this quality — not looking back.
Yet, most unfortunately, women keep looking for the charitable nod from their men to be allowed to do certain things. This is not their weakness; this is their sense of togetherness, belonging.
But, times have changed now. Women need not keep waiting for the charitable nod for their entrepreneurial urges. All they should seek is opportunity. That is where the real difference would be made.


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