Bangalore, through the eyes of future

Thursday, 19 December 2013 - 12:17pm IST | Agency: DNA

It gives me much pleasure to write you this note from the future. The past five years have seen tremendous change in how women have driven the economy as entrepreneurs, contributing to just over 60% of all privately owned business in the state. This has come at great cost to social and political changes, but is something that has eventually evened out the playing field.

It’s hard to imagine that just five years ago, women in Bangalore were like women in the rest of the country. We struggled to get funding, struggled to market our businesses, juggled family and work and still worked long hours. Thanks to several social schemes implemented early in 2014, things changed drastically:

Widespread coalitions of women allowed for door-to-door education of families and government organisations to step in and provide women entrepreneurs with help not only with funding, developing business skills , networking, marketing and sales, but also with an allowance that paid for trained help at home to enable women to go out and run their business’ hassle free. Total utopia!

The 50% reservation of women bill in parliament forced our society to accept a reversal of roles in the work place and home as well. It is no longer frowned upon to be stay-at-home dads or women to be “career-women”. So refreshing!

Several government bodies themselves have more women employees as a result Karnataka is no longer the most corrupt state in India. The treatment meted out to a woman entrepreneur is the same as her male counter part would receive. Why, even our roads are fabulous as a result of having more women in BBMP and KSRTC. Bangalore is truly a model city !

As a woman who runs your own business, there are several things that you will agree have changed drastically in the work place that you can directly take credit for:

The safety of your employees , both male and female , as they travel to and  from work and in the work place itself . Regardless of whether you run a manufacturing or service industry the social events of 2012 and 2013 have propelled you to become more pro-active and responsible. This is wonderful in the context of improving people’s lives in general and I do hope that the measures you have put in place remain and improve.

The government of Karnataka launched the Incubator for Women entrepreneurs at its Weconnect conference: a first of its kind angel fund for women entrepreneurs.

All this momentum has been propelled by so many opportunities to market and sell our products in Bangalore thanks to several small networks specifically organised by women in Bangalore that garner us to cater  to women audiences designed to strengthen ties, pool resources and grow collectively.

While all this may be true, the thing that makes me proudest about being a woman entrepreneur in Bangalore is that the exodus of people coming here to build a new life, seek employment and grow with the city have been met with a completely gender neutral philosophy where men and women are on par with each other and as result of this equality job opportunities, education opportunities and lifestyle opportunities are more merit driven than ever before !

All in all there is more to look forward to than ever before !

Ahalya Matthan

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