Startups run by women in India have a sense of empowerment and uniqueness. Sairee Chahal is one such womenpreneur, who observed the existing problems of the society and worked towards solving them. She founded SHEROES, an online community for women offering them support, resources, opportunities and interactions. Her community has now expanded to millions of women through SHEROES’s website and app.
Sairee’s journey begins
Sairee belonged to a small town in Uttar Pradesh. She was only 17 when she moved to New Delhi as she got into Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) to pursue a course in the Russian language. When she completed her five years in JNU, she already had a work experience of four years in her hand. She has an M.Phil from JNU and a Post Graduate Diploma in Business Management (PGDBM) from the Institute of Management Technology (IMT), Ghaziabad.
Sairee was only 19 when she started her first company, Newslink Services. Her company was focused on catering to seafarers as she had realized how much they miss being in touch with the outside world. After devoting four years to Newslink, she further worked with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and Heidrick & Struggles. Later, in 2006, she set up SAITA Consulting. The firm helped startups to build systems and processes.
My passion keeps me going. This is all I want to do and I’m glad that I am doing it.
- Sairee Chahal
The foundation of SHEROES
Being an entrepreneur since college, Sairee always had the drive to solve problems that existed around her. She launched Fleximoms when she gave birth to her daughter. She realised how after being a mother, how many women find it difficult to continue their strenuous jobs. Fleximoms offered flexible job opportunities for mothers who want to work while nurturing their children.
After empowering women through Fleximoms, she felt the need to create something much bigger. That’s when she realised that with so many platforms on the Internet, there’s nothing that constructively caters to women. Witnessing the prevailing gender disparity in India and the lack of women in the workforce, she established SHEROES. In its initial days, SHEROES was a career-oriented website offering working opportunities and support to women. Eventually, Sairee felt the need for expansion and wanted to offer more. This is when she focused on crafting SHEROES, an ecosystem for women where more than a million of them discuss career, health, relationships, safety, along with sharing life stories. On what keeps her motivated, she states on her website, “My passion keeps me going. This is all I want to do and I’m glad that I am doing it.”
What can we learn from Sairee’s success?
Sairee had started her own business since she was a teenager. Her passion and zest are derived from her excellent problem-solving skills. She pays close attention to what is going on around her and how things can get better. She always ensured that her business caters to what society needs the most. As an entrepreneur, one must focus on solving problems that are faced by the target market. Sairee exemplifies that when a business solves a societal challenge, it thrives.