On November 6, 2020, Girlup Urja conducted an interactive
webinar with Mr Nilay Jayswal, the co-founder of the Zuv Foundation and a TEDx
speaker. The webinar began with the host introducing Mr Nilay as a successful
entrepreneur, a TEDx speaker, and a Padma Shri nominee. However, Mr Nilay, with
a warm smile and a humble attitude, said that apart from all of this and before
all of this, he is a student just like all the others present in the session.
He is from IIM with an engineering background, and now he is one of the senior
entrepreneurs. Then he said that if anyone has a belief and they want to take
up entrepreneurship as a social responsibility, then they should go for it and
work for it. He also gave everyone a gist of entrepreneurship being categorised
as corporate entrepreneurship and social entrepreneurship, and his current
venture, the Zuv Foundation, is a classic example of social enterprise.
Getting on to the main topic, Mr Nilay asked the
participants about the women entrepreneurs they know, and their responses were
certainly delightful. He claimed that Kalpana Saroj, the original slumdog
millionaire, was the first female entrepreneur. She took Kamani Tubes to a
different level of success and brought a revolution by being the first female
entrepreneur. In a country like India, where women constitute 48% of the
population, only 25% of women are found to be employed.
According to the
statistics based on Google searches, various organisations led by women do not
receive ample funding, and this highlights the need for a change in mindset.
The promotion of female entrepreneurship is important as there is a huge
gap between the participation of men and women in entrepreneurship.
Apart from this, there are numerous advantages, in addition
to female entrepreneurship:
The first is “Economic Growth”. According to a
study by Goldman Sachs, "If women are made independent, then two
generations can benefit at the same time, as women tend to spend more on the
well-being and education of their children."
The second is to “Decrease the Huge Gap between
the Genders”, especially in participation in the workplace. The participation
of women in the workplace is very low and if that can be prevented, there could
be an approximate increase of 20% by 2030 in global income per person.
According to McKinsey, "Minimizing the gender gap in the labour force
holds the potential to add $12 trillion to global GDP by 2025”. All these
statistics signify the need for corporate houses to hire more women, and this
would also help to boost the nation's economy.
The third factor is female entrepreneurship,
which would also provide a larger "Push for Social Change". The goal
of tremendous social change can only be achieved by empowering women
financially. The more the participation of women in the workplace would be, the
more it would affect women's self-esteem and self-confidence. Fourth is “Safety in the Workplace”. There are
various rules and laws to protect and safeguard the security of women in the
workplace, but often in a male-dominated environment, the approach to these
laws is observed to be lacklustre. With an increase in women's participation,
the unanimous resolution to promote the safety of women in the workplace can be
Now the most important concern has been addressed: How to
Mr Nilay addressed the question very creatively and in a way
that entered the souls of all the participants. He began with six simple points
required for being an entrepreneur. The best part was the link he developed
between each point and a movie or a web series, as there’s hardly anyone who
isn’t a cinephile.
The first point was "The Art of
Management," which he linked to the world-famous web series "The
Office." The Office clearly shows its viewers how necessary it is to
manage all the members and make them work as a team. Any business can only be
successful if all the employees work together as one team with one vision.
Entrepreneurs must have the ability to manage efficiently. This will help them
motivate and encourage the freeloaders, and then productivity is sure to
The second is to "Plan, Plan, and
Plan". He links this point to the famous Spanish web series "Money
Heist." The plot of Money Heist revolves around a Professor and a bunch of
students who lead a gigantic plan to plunder the ginormous bank, and they
succeed in it (not exactly the mission we are carrying forward). The Professor
is the wisest man in the group, and he has a counter-plan or a backup plan for
any of the probable causes. He had backup plans for the backup plans, and that
was his key to success, and backup plans are necessary for the success of any
enterprise too. Entrepreneurs must have macro-scale plans behind their ideas to
put them up and thrive through the worst case possible.
The third point is "Giving Priority to
Customers." There are mainly two approaches to business. First, employees
are customers, and second, the customer is God. It's always better and
advisable to go with the second one. To make a business successful, the
entrepreneur must take the advice, feedback, or suggestions of the customer and
work on them. A link between this point and the movie “Rocket Singh” was quoted
here. Rocket Singh was the best salesman only because he understood and valued
The fourth point is to “Learn from the Past and
Study People”. It is very important to learn from past mistakes or experiences
and to possess knowledge of people. An example from the “Wolf of Wall Street”
was quoted here to illustrate that it is necessary to realise the mistakes and
work on them to be better every single day.
The fifth point is that "Entrepreneurs must
Preach their Work as their Religion". An example from the movie
"Raees" was quoted here, highlighting that the protagonist Raees
worshipped his illegal work, i.e., supply of illegal drugs and other
coordinates. Only by preaching one's work can one demonstrate the utmost
dedication and perseverance towards it.
The last point was a beautiful and heartfelt
one, i.e., "Always Share your Story," and an example from the
"Guru" movie was quoted here. At the end of the day, people must
share their experiences and their mistakes with someone just like Gurukant
Desai, who shared everything and found solace in the compassion of his wife.
After this, Mr Nilay pointed out
the requirement for funds or investments as the most basic need of any venture.
He addressed the question of whom to approach with four different sources:
The first is “Reaching out to the Entrepreneur
Support Program”. These programmes are focused on empowering enterprises in
various ways, and they help the entrepreneurs gain control over the different
branches associated with their business. He quoted an example of an initiative
of the Zuv Foundation, i.e., Zuv Support Projects, under which they help
various start-ups in designing and availing a digital infrastructure, providing
them with the required frameworks related to legal procedures, help in raising
funds, and so on.
The second source is “Reaching out to Government-Aided
Incubators”. There are various schemes run by the government to encourage
entrepreneurs. These incubation plans are similar to the E-cells running in various
colleges, like the FIIT in IIT, Delhi, and IIB in IIM, etc.
The third is “Seeking Angel Investors”. These
angel investors are millionaires or billionaires who are interested in
investing in start-ups rather than shares or mutual funds.
The fourth one is "Crowd Funding".
Crowdfunding is seeking donations. Under this, entrepreneurs can reach out to
people and encourage them to donate to help society overcome an obstacle. NGOs
mostly run on crowd-funding.
This was followed by a very basic question from Mr Nilay in
which he asked the participants what the core of the business is. The answer to
this is "networking", or what we call "marketing".
Networking is essential for any business, be it networking with investors or
consumers, or networking via campaigns or products. He also mentioned the
traditional method of marketing, which involved person-to-person marketing, and
present-day marketing, which involves Pseudo-marketing, or Sensory marketing.
In this, products market themselves, and the add-ons on the social media
handles prove to be beneficial for the firm.
With this, Mr Nilay invited questions and doubts from the
participants and gave them glimpses of rural entrepreneurship, MVP, Udyog
Aadhar, Pilot Test, Pitch Deck, etc., as a part of their solutions. This was
followed by an appreciation of Mr Nilay by Ms Jahanvi Yadav, a member of GirlUp
Urja, who also mentioned the motive of the organisation, i.e., "Even if they can make one person aware, the
motive is fulfilled." Such a sagacious session by Mr Nilay was surely
able to inspire, educate, and make many aware.