Flip side of the usual story

If you want something said, ask a man, if you want something done, ask a woman, said Mar-garet Thatcher. There may be exceptions, but Thatcher’s observation remains the rule, more or less. At least, this group of women in Guwahati is proving it. Before they started their journey with a national shopping portal, all they had was talent and perseverance and they used them to their best. Who said women are helpless? Just flip the coin and see the other side of the story.

KRITIKA JAIN, a interior designer based out of Guwahati, faced hurdles to pursue her dreams and aspirations right after marriage. Prior to her wedding, Jain was a successful inte-rior designer in Kolkata, designing homes and making utmost use of her creativity. How-ever, that took a pause after she got married five years back.

But Jain was not a quitter. She was ambitious. Her husband was supportive and wanted to encourage her dreams. One fine day, she decided to visit her husband’s factory that makes quilts. Seeing the quilting machine, Jain got the inspiration of making bed sheets and linens with it.

Jain started by making four pieces of bed covers. Luckily, they got sold immediately among her social circle. That encouraged Jain to manufacture more such products. Gradual-ly, she made 50-60 bed covers and bed sheets and sold them at exhibitions.
Jain was aware of e-commerce platforms like Flipkart. Soon, she registered herself on Flip-kart and started selling her products online.

Through her hard work and dedication, Jain has not only expanded her business but has also been able to break stereotypes in her in-laws’ house. She has even encouraged other women in the family to do something on their own. Her brand, Red Velvet, is now a craze on the online platform.

NAZREEN SHEHNAZ is a 40-year-old super woman who runs a personal care business, Zuif Beautech, while taking care of her seven-year-old and one-and-a-half-year-old sons. Based out of Guwahati, she started her business on Flipkart in 2014. Shehnaz used to work earlier as a loan officer. After marriage, she decided to start a family and quit her job.

But she moved on to start a salon. This is where Shehnaz learned about hair products and cosmetics. She also observed how many people wanted to invest in beauty care. Shehnaz then had a child which led to a momentary halt in her career.

After some time, she began researching something she could take up from the comfort of her home. She noticed that online shopping was increasingly growing and came up with an idea. With the knowledge she gained while running her salon, she decided to sell hair products and cosmetics.

Initially, she faced a lot of challenges as she had no clue how to run an online business. Gradually and with guidance from Flipkart, she worked towards building a successful business.

“Patience is inherently a special gift to women and they can use the same to rise to any lev-el of success,” she says. Shehnaz is looking forward to selling more products, growing her business and at the same time help her children with their school work.

JHUMA is a 25-year-old woman delivery executive for Flipkart in Guwahati who has tak-en up the mantle to support her family from a young age after her father passed away. She is also among a growing number of women working with Flipkart as delivery executives or kirana partners in the North East.

While financial constraints after her father’s demise forced her to take up multiple jobs to help sustain her family, this didn’t deter her from completing her studies and becoming a graduate.

With Flipkart, she looks forward to growing further by learning the nuances of customer delivery and customer experience management.

She says it’s not just about deliveries but how the job has helped her build confidence to help customers. “I feel comfortable with my job which is usually not considered a female-led activity. Driving around the city on my vehicle, delivering parcels and attending to cus-tomers provide a sense of pride and gratitude in me and this has been possible with the immense support of my hub incharge and fellow colleagues,” says Jhuma.

PUJA is a 24-year-old delivery executive in Guwahati. She has been working with various companies since she passed Class X to financially support her parents and younger brother. Puja’s father owns a small electrical store, where she too helps out in the mornings. Before joining Flipkart, Puja used to work as a cash collector in a small finance company. Howev-er, she wanted to work in a domain that involved working on the field and provided more freedom. Though she has been working with Flipkart only for four months, Puja says she thoroughly enjoys delivering packages throughout the day and is happy with what she does.

At first, customers in the locality were astonished to see a woman delivering but now, she is a well-known face in the area and often receives support and encour-agement from them. Talking about her experience, Puja says, “My family has al-ways looked at me with pride… I feel with the right support and encouragement, a woman can go miles in any field of work. My job also provides me with the op-portunity to learn… and pushes me to work even harder.”

(In arrangement with Flipkart)