Indore: The mai, baap of small economy

Our economy cannot run without small mom and pop businesses. They create economic growth and provide almost 70 per cent of all new jobs in the country. That’s why these small businesses are recognised by celebrating National Mom and Pop Business Owners’ Day every year on March 29. While the day is celebrated with fervour in the USA, some start-ups recognise the day even in Indore. Recognising the efforts of small businesses, we picked out some success stories of small business owners from the city.

When we talk about small business owners, it includes small shops, niche targeting companies, small scale cottage industries and start-ups. While many start-ups are running at college level and not recognised, the number of start-ups in rising and so is the growth rate along with it.  According to a Nasscom-Zinnov report, India has somewhere between 7200 and 7700 startups, of which 1200 are tech startups, making India the third largest startup ecosystem.

The report also revealed the ecosystem to have created more than 40,000 direct jobs in 2018 in India, resulting in the segment’s total employment reaching figures close to 1.6-1.7 lakh. It’s also believed that startups also employ another 4-5 lakh people indirectly.

Start-ups in the city even support each other by recognising efforts through simple gestures and even hold meet-up. Ishan Pahwa, owner of an agro-based start-up, celebrates the day by recognising his teammates. “We get recognised by our overseas clients as well, so it is more like a global village for start-ups,” he said.

Nimesh Gupta, co-founder of a food-based start-up, keep an hour to celebrate the day with treats with his employees. “We are a start-up, still in the growth phase, but we are bringing a change by uniting different cities of India through food,” he said. He particularly connects to the day, because they are supported by parents of a co-founder. “It is truly a mom and pop supported dream small business,” Gupta said.  Other such start-ups entrepreneurs that celebrate the day include Dishant Jain, Raghav Baldwa and Prashant Kulkarni.

Chatting with some start-up owners and small business owners of Indore, we bring across their success stories.

Entrepreneur Soumya Upadhyay
Entrepreneur Soumya Upadhyay

Breaking taboos with quality work
In 2014, I quit my well-paying job to take a step towards my dreams with a venture. Having studied civil engineering and having a passion for the same, I started my civil engineering consultancy. It took time for me to get my first contract, as I would often just get ‘Oh… are girls coming into civil engineering consultancy now?’ whenever I approached someone.

However, my work spoke for its quality and eventually my husband also joined the venture. After becoming a mother, it was difficult to get back to working. This time, our families supported and my husband motivated me to take my dreams ahead and continue growing our business.

Entrepreneur Nikita Jain
Entrepreneur Nikita Jain

E-commerce, challenges increase efficiency
I started my venture when my first born was around 1.5 year. Being his mommy inspired me to venture in kids segment and I only add stuff on my website which I use or would use as a mother. My business is online, so I can work from the comfort of my home. Yet like for every mother it’s a constant struggle to juggle between work and kids. There are days you end up feeling guilty and downside is there are no end time as work is online and no days off. But good part is your efficiency increase manifolds. Kids respect and understand your work and appreciate the time we get together.

Entrepreneur Viha Gadge
Entrepreneur Viha Gadge

Motherhood inspired to become entrepreneur
I got inspired from my son to become an entrepreneur. I had been working in human resource, but I never liked it. I began my venture with my son. It was challenging at first to identify and connect with mothers and kids with limited advertising.
However, I had a kid and met other moms wherever my kid took me. Eventually, it became a community, where I could expand my business from kids wear to mother wear as well. I have expanded my business from Indore to Pune and still catering to a niche market.

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