Udaan Group: Helping Women Enterpreneurs
Udaan, a women entrepreneurs’ club has stepped in to inspire and elevate women to be successful entrepreneurs and enterprising leaders in a multi-cultural society. UDAAN has commenced its efforts with Indian women in Singapore, both local and expatriate, with a dual motto of their cultural integration and boosting their aims towards successful entrepreneurship. Udaan’s aim is to galvanize the Asia-Pacific community to unleash the potential of women entrepreneurs and business leaders to boost cross-cultural integration, elevate economic growth and enhance development of this region.
To build a strong association of aspiring women
To harmonize and infuse cohesiveness amongst these women
To increase opportunities of networking
To share personal experiences, contacts, opinions and gain from the collective knowledge.
To enhance understanding and practical skills to gain better access to markets, networks, financial services, technologies, and training
To provide support, inspiration and the ability to tap into the wisdom of peer women entrepreneurs
To bond in a multi-cultural society and take their business to the next level
Kamayani Chaliki, co- founder of Udaan is an IT Professional with over 15 years experience in the IT industry. She has worked with various Multinational companies like P&G, Godrej & Boyce and is currently working with NCS, Singapore. Kamayani has inculcated in her the spirit of project management and quality management which she now leverages effectively for Udaan. Kamayani is a keen philanthropist with an aim to help others to grow in life. She is presently associated with various social & professional organizations as a Volunteer & member
Charu Mehrotra, co-founder of Udaan, belongs to Northern India and is staying in Singapore for last 4 years. Well travelled personality with exposure to multiple cultures, she comes with wide range of network. An outgoing personality by nature Charu co-runs NC Styles, which deals with Lucknowi Chikan embroidered ladies apparels and has explored Singapore a lot through her Business network. She is also a freelancer writer and reaches a wide Diaspora of woman through her blog ‘WomenLines‘, which she considers as her journey to gain greater abundance of knowledge and to live life in excellence enjoying every aspect of womanhood. Being an active observer of Women Executive Community (WEC) in Singapore Community centre she is also involved in various social activities.
1. NS: What motivated you to start Udaan Group?
Udaan: At one point, both of us were looking to start our own business venture, and were looking for a platform where we could network regularly with other women folk from same industry, find resources and most importantly learn from collective experience. When we saw that there is a gap of such platform in Singapore, it motivated us to start Udaan.
2. NS: Who are the people who are instrumental in your success?
Kamayani: My husband, for giving me the freedom to choose what I want to do and being the support system. I’m thankful to my ex-colleague and friend Atul Sirohi for all his support, Himanshu Karia, for encouraging & guiding me through in this journey.
Charu: I am greatful to my father Subhash Ji Mehrotra, who is no more now, who taught me basic values of life.I am also greatful to my husband Rituraj Mehrotra and my mother-in-law Madhu Mehrotra from bottom of my heart for supporting and guiding me in my entrpreneurship journey. I am grateful to God who has blessed with loving friends like Kamini , who are always there to support and guide me and finally heartily thankful to my friend Azeeza who is like a mentor to me and has played important role in nurturing my thoughts for acquiring entrepreneurship in life.
3. NS: What do you think are areas that an entrepreneur should give prime importance to?
Udaan: Entrepreneurs should be very focused about their Business venture. Business plan has to be written with clearly defined long term goals and short term action items to be achieved in a timely manner. Another soft aspect is to maintain the drive to succeed and believe in one’s venture. Business and Revenue generation model should be clearly stated in Business plan. Branding and Marketing Intelligence are the most important aspects for any business venture. Always search for USP of one’s venture and market it. Attending Networking sessions helps in creating good contacts in society and thus also helps in creating visibility for business venture in society. And last but not the least do give importance to maintaining Client Relationship.
4. NS: What difficulties women has to face being an entrepreneur and what are the strengths Women has to be a successful women entrepreneur?
Udaan: The biggest challenge for any women entrepreneur is managing various roles as women (wife, mother, daughter-in-law, daughter etc) and rightly balancing it while pursuing her dreams.
Being an entrepreneur is a challenging task as she is on her own. It requires lots of patience and dedication to set up one’s own venture. All one requires is just keep going and don’t give up in times of hardships. Women are known to be multitaskers. Trust on one own’s instinct and this skill will help one in managing her family and business with dexterity as she grows. Perseverance is the other skill which can definitely help women to achieve success
5. NS: What are the benefits of joining Udaan as a member?
Udaan: Benefits of Joining Udaan-
– A monthly networking opportunity to meet like minded women from same or varied industry
– An alternative channel to increase their business visibility through bazaar and other events organized/participated by Udaan
– Members directory helps them to get visibility globally through online presence as Udaan website is ranked in top page in Google search (for certain keywords)
– Participating in various talks, seminars, workshop at affordable cost
6. NS: How can one become Udaan Member?
Any woman who is a established or aspiring entrepreneur can join Udaan.We are presently focussing on bringing women of Indian origin together whether they have service or products oriented business. Besides regular businesses we also have members who are Dance choreographers, ladies related to Medicine, Insurance, Property and Beauty businesses. Our members are categorized into Homepreneurs, Aspirants and Small and Medium sized entrepreneurs. Overseas membership can be availed by ladies who wish to expand their business in Singapore. In order to become members you have to send your details to Udaan on mail. Updates are available at Udaan website referred at the bottom of the article.
7. NS: What are your future plans for First Udaan, any plan to expand outside Singapore?
Udaan: Immediate plan is to expand Udaan membership with aspiring entrepreneurs and women running small and medium size businesses in Singapore. Moving outside of Singapore to cover Asia will be next step. Our future plan is to bring Aspiring Entrepreneurs and Small Medium Entrepreneurs on the same platform and working with various organizations locally and globally to create strategic relationship.
Website link: www.udaangroup.com
Face book ID: http://www.facebook.com/UdaanEntrepreneurClub
————————————————Interviewed by Laxmi Khalap Bhatt, Editor, www.narisakhi.com