A lot goes into the making of a successful business, and having to make do with minimal resources is just a part of the territory. This includes less manpower, make-shift offices, overlapping duties and responsibilities, and most importantly, limited funds. It sounds like too many objectives with not enough means, right?
Sure, entrepreneurship doesn’t sound like a cakewalk – and mind you, it is not – but it’s not an impossible feat for those who have their hearts set on this path. Despite the dismal possibilities of success, the long hours and years of effort it takes to build something substantial, and the gruelling journey of having to convince investors and stakeholders of the potential in your “idea”, many have actually ridden this rollercoaster of emotions and anticipations, and seen their dreams to fruition.
All this, without lofty investments but a great deal of ideation, innovation, and effective execution. Don’t believe us? Take a look at some of these successful women entrepreneurs who started small, with less than a lakh, but are now raking in revenue in crores.
Tamanna Mordani, Co-Founder of Envision
Some people are simply not cut out to work for others. They live and breathe for the thrills that are a part and parcel of the entrepreneurial journey. And 27-year-old Tamanna Mordani is one of them.
The Shillong native who moved to Mumbai for college – she has a degree in Mass Communication with a specialisation in advertising and marketing from St Xavier’s College – was working under rather excruciating circumstances. Her company had not paid her salary for close to six months. It was a period of instability, to say the least. But instead of succumbing to the situation, Tamanna focussed on the opportunity here.
She decided to take her chances and start up. What began with an initial investment of a little more Rs 7000 has led to remarkable results. Today, Tamanna is at the helm of Envision, which brings international entertainment artistes, IPs, and concept-based festivals to India, and clocks in a turnover of Rs 5.6 Cr.
Deepmala, Founder and CEO of The Visual House
Six months into a newsroom, and Deepmala — a graduate in radio and TV journalism from the International Institute of Mass Media, Delhi — was done with the job. She was not satisfied with the growth prospects and wanted to venture out.
So, Deepmala quit her job and went on to work with a production house in Delhi. This led to other opportunities in the industry, and soon, she found herself navigating her own path as a freelancer.
In 2010, Deepmala finally decided to take the entrepreneurial plunge and started The Visual House with an initial investment of Rs 10,000. Her company — which makes documentary and short films, commercial and corporate videos for top guns like WHO, UNICEF, UNAIDS, UN Women, Ministry of Home Affairs, and BCG India — has seen an impressive trajectory over the last decade.
In 2010, it earned a revenue of Rs 5 lakh, growing over the years, to clock Rs 5 crore in revenue now.
Komal Lath, Founder of Tute Consult
In business, like all aspects of life, one always needs to be prepared for unforeseen challenges. The story of Tute Consult and its spirited Founder Komal Lath is along the same lines.
With a meagre investment of Rs 5,000, in 2010 – a year ripe with entrepreneurial opportunities – Komal launched her startup Tute Consult as a public relations agency. But over the years, the company pivoted to provide a whole gamut of services as a marketing communications setup.
It provides services like marketing communications strategy, public relations, and digital media and influencer marketing. With storytelling as its main USP, the company also creates bespoke experiences both on-ground and virtually for clients.
Komal has so far worked with biggies like United Spirits, Red Bull, Pixi, CaratLane, Ajmal, Marriott, India Circus (Godrej), Metro Shoes, and WOW Skin Science, raking in a revenue of Rs 2.25 crore.
Amritha Gaddam, Founder of Tribe Concepts
It was during her MBA days at the Symbiosis Institute of Business Management in Bengaluru when Amritha Gaddam first experienced the “organic wave” that has taken over the domestic skincare market.
This was also the first time she was plagued with skincare and hair care problems of her own. So, like any youngster in her position would do, Amritha turned to her parents for solutions, and got parcelled some good, old homemade self-care products.
Now, given her father’s over 30 years of expertise in Ayurveda and her mum’s unique recipes, these products were incredibly useful and an instant favourite among her hostel mates. Amritha saw an opportunity here, and banking on her parents’ expertise, she launched Tribe Concepts in May 2019 with just Rs 20,000.
The startup today has 10 products in its portfolio and 30,000 customers across the globe, churning Rs 2.25 crore in just the first year of operations.
Surbhi Agarwal, Founder of The Art Exotica
Surbhi Agarwal’s entrepreneurial story is one of humble beginnings and an undeterred will. After all, not many can muster the courage to go against the tide and stay focussed until all the goals are met. But Subhi did this and much more.
Trading a stable income for the pursuit of passion, she quit her family business and in November 2016 and went on to start up from her garage in Jodhpur.
Her venture, The Art Exotica, a manufacturing and exporting startup of Indian handicrafts and textiles, was launched with her savings of Rs 27,000.
The entrepreneur was also selected as one of the top 25 entrepreneurs by TiE women in 2019. In collaboration with the US embassy, the company also exports products overseas now to countries like Germany, France, The Netherlands, Sweden and Finland, New Zealand, Australia, and Canada, clocking revenue of close to Rs 63 lakh so far.
(Edited by Saheli Sen Gupta)