Challenges Faced by Women Entrepreneurs

Business How To’s

24 October 2016

Challenges Faced by Women Entrepreneurs

  • Posted by Awfis Editorial

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The saying ‘It’s a man’s world’ is slowly becoming redundant as women are forging into more and more industries that were said to be only for men. Engineering, Politics, Marketing, Finance; one can see women leaders succeeding in every sphere. But even though the world has come a long way in providing women their due, there are still a lot of challenges that women face in the entrepreneurial world.

1. Lack of role models

As the entry of women in entrepreneurship is quite recent, there are only a select few you can look up to. Therefore, there is a scarcity in guidance and inspiration for women. Male entrepreneurs can also be good role models but the day to day challenges that women have to face are very different from those that men face. Therefore, for any woman trying to make a mark in the entrepreneurial world it is more relatable as well as aspirational to look up to a leading woman than a man. Successful women entrepreneurs like Shahnaz Husain, Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, Vandana Luthra, Suchi Mukherjee and Meena Ganesh are the ones who truly inspire.

2. Time Management

Some would say it’s only fair for women to have 48 hours in a day to keep up to the work tasks thrown at them. In our current society, a working woman is expected to not only do her job well but also live up to motherhood, wifehood and maintaining a good family life, and all this while also looking their best at all times. The perception of women since centuries has been that of a home maker and even though it is slowly changing, it will take time for the traditional gender expectations to fade out and for men to become equal partners in household chores. Until then, it becomes important for budding female entrepreneurs to become experts at managing their time.

3. Understanding the importance of Networking

Talking to people in the same sector and getting their insights, tips and hacks goes a long way in entrepreneurial success. Connecting with mutual friends and getting advice or business recommendations becomes a key contributor to success. However, sometimes women entrepreneurs might skip over the importance of networking. It’s important to take the first step to make new connections in a meeting, conference or event that you attend the next time.

4. Decision Making

In the entrepreneurial world it is of upmost importance to make strong decisions with complete conviction and direct all your efforts towards that. However, since childhood, some women face the issue of being put below their male counterparts in the priority list. A lot of decisions are made for them and hence when it comes to taking critical business decisions, it becomes difficult for them to do this confidently. In such cases, it is advisable to initially reach out to mentors and experts for some advice.

5. Money Matters

It is true! It is more difficult for women entrepreneurs to get funding as compared to their male counterparts. Male investors unintentionally prefer people who match their mind-set and abilities and sometimes women just don’t make the cut. It is also harder to get funding since it’s assumed that women lack the perseverance and may decide to call it quits at any time. The prejudice that women will always cater to their family first makes investors sceptical about funding a woman-led company. For women entrepreneurs, it becomes vital to be forthright and showcase a strong business acumen and intention to make it big despite all odds to get successful with funding.

Women Entrepreneurs can be exceedingly successful if given a chance at equal opportunities. A keen awareness of the challenges faced by them can lead to policies being formed to benefit in this area.

Overcome all your challenges as a woman entrepreneur. Look for shared office space in Hosur Road, Bengaluru or business centre in Churchgate,  Mumbai

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The Future to be Driven by Connectivity and Not Just Data

Business How To’s

27 July 2021

The Future to be Driven by Connectivity and Not Just Data

  • Posted by Awfis Editorial

The world is witnessing a swift upsurge in technological advancement as it treads toward the future. This advancement has engendered a substantial shift of masses to online services, automation, and IoT. The tech-dependent population produces an enormous amount of data, estimated – 2.5 billion Gigabytes while transferring, uploading, and working with various online Platforms. However, accumulating those large proportions of data has led to the realization. The realization that not only “Data” but connectivity is also the crucial aspect of the ideal future that we desire.

From the standpoint of the employee, a decentralized workspace model allows them to work from home while having access to a professional work environment near to home. It also provides a chance to work with close colleagues and engage in social contact with others.

The future of work might be “hybrid”

Enterprises are looking forward to the post-Covid era. For many, the ideal model incorporates both co-working and multiple offices.

Employees throughout the globe have adapted to the routines of enforced remote labor since Covid-19 upended our lives. As employers struggle to figure out the best path ahead for their employees, it is evident that many employees don’t want to put the genie back in the bottle.

Companies are now managed in a variety of methods. Employees have been granted permission to work remotely until at least 2021 in certain cases. Others have summoned employees back to work on various timetables and in staggered groupings. Others leave it fully up to individual employees to choose where they want to work.

However, companies all over the globe are beginning to consider several office spaces in the long run, including alternative methods to manage work communication and hours, as well as a physical presence.

The future of multiple offices is all about flex

Multiple offices benefits –

  1. Assisted intelligence, which is now widely accessible, enhances what individuals and organizations are currently accomplishing. A basic example is the GPS navigation system, which provides vehicles with instructions and reacts to changing road conditions.
  2. People and organizations can now use augmented intelligence to perform things they could not accomplish before. Car ride-sharing services, for example, could not function without a mix of programs that coordinate the service.
  3. Autonomous intelligence, which is currently being developed, builds computers that operate independently. Self-driving automobiles, when they become widely used, will be an example of this.
  4. Some optimists believe AI will enable people to spend more time engaged in higher-level thinking, creativity, and decision-making as robots assist humanity in processing, analyzing, and evaluating the massive amounts of data that make up today’s world.

Insight into Exigency of Connectivity

The true potential of data is unleashed by adding layers of speed and capacity and orchestrating greater connectivity. Greater connectivity has multi-fold implications. It implies connecting a greater number of devices, more kinds of devices, revolutionizing industrial use cases, enabling cloud-native data platforms, greater automation in the ecosystem, driving business processes through intelligent networks, and attaining exponential scale across different industries. This is the power of data that is waiting to be explored in the future, riding on the promise of better networks.

Hence, it becomes inevitable to invest the resources for escalation of connectivity that will be instrumental in achieving the needed business growth. Below, we have discussed the vital aspects of connectivity that corroborate it following better prospects.

Employee benefit

As part of an employment relationship, indirect forms of remuneration (also known as fringe benefits) are offered to workers. Employers must do more than give a “fair day’s pay” if they want to recruit top-quality workers in today’s environment. Workers also seek a benefits package that provides decent compensation. There are several advantages in place, and workers have become used to them.

Connectivity – Relevance in Future

The prominent companies will yearn for reliable and prevalent connectivity to efficiently deliver their services. These companies with advancement in the future have to ensure their extended reach towards larger masses. So, there arises a requirement of an extensive network to sell their products. Besides, to cope with the high investments because of state of the art equipment and technology incorporated. Hence, connectivity will play a vital role in escalating the reach to critical masses. Let’s shed light on some significant factors to ensure better connectivity in upcoming years.

Crucial Considerations by Telcos

Telcos, in general, need an infrastructure that will enable a very sustainable business model. This model needs to be made up of durable, manageable, affordable, and also reliable equipment. They must meet the demands of the people without succumbing to technological obsolescence. The unpredictable whims of the global economy must also be met with due diligence.

Connected Future – Internet of Things (IoT)

The future is demanding connectivity with the onset progression in tech devices. Smartphones, laptops, tablets, Personal computers are not the only devices that will require fortified connectivity in the coming days. Other household devices like doors, toys, robots, washing machines, fans, ACs are all getting smart with the time that can be connected with other smart devices. And with the ultimate connectivity with the internet, perfect sync can be achieved. These interconnections of things through efficient networking forms the term “Internet of Things (IoT)”. For this reason, a proper connectivity plan has to be executed to improve the working of all the devices.

The range of available smart devices is enormous, and their reach will increase with every passing day. More and more people will gain access to the devices which will further propagate the demand for connectivity. The majority of people own smartphones that can facilitate the Internet of Things (IoT). Several stakeholders seek connectivity solutions, including radio, chipset makers, and AI automation hardware.

 

Improvement of faster cycle

While operators enjoy the benefits of IIoT, others do, too. While production and process engineers gain from this as well, quality engineers, as well as other frontline engineers on the shop floor, also benefit. Shop floor engineers must manually gather, combine, and evaluate the data from sensors, all without the help of IoT. When using IoT equipped shop floors, companies can automate data collecting, allowing them to spend more time perfecting operations.

 

Automation Industry and seamless technology

Considering the automation industries where chemical and mechanical processes are regulated AI integrated machines. These are employed with advanced software creating an interconnected network coveting the improved connectivity options. With the entire revolutionized network of machines in the industries and factories, the automation industry will need to notch up its game. Connectivity will become a vital aspect to cope with the challenges of better future data handling with optimized and well-organized systems.

With unlimited design options, seamless technology allows for several different stitches to be added to a garment. For example, side-by-side jerseys and mesh knit knitting may be used. Other techniques such as rib and jacquard knits may also be used. You won’t be able to achieve this with any other knitting method.

The total global manufacturing process has been revolutionized thanks to seamless technology, allowing cloth companies to better respond to current fashions since garments do not require to be cut and sewed. This new technology is designed to generate completed goods and eliminates the use of conventional manufacturing methods. Using this knitting method, you may save up to 40% on manufacturing expenses when compared to other techniques.

A seamless system does not experience any waistband or side seam problems, nor are they susceptible to damage because of the large percentage of artificial fibers before, like nylon.

 

Visibility of the product

At the manufacturing shop floor, the use of industrial IoT (or IIoT) allows engineers and management to have insight into the production process. As another example, manufacturers may use sensors, such as RFID and break beams, to monitor components as they travel through assemblies. Industrial IoT apps may provide supervisors and plant managers a real-time picture of their teams’ yield by connecting with the tools and equipment employees need to do their duties and with the machinery in use on the production floor. This kind of visibility is beneficial to manufacturers because it assists them in identifying bottlenecks, determining the source of issues, and increasing productivity.

 

Factors Facilitating Improved Connectivity

The accessible networking frameworks today deliver the performance that is not sufficient as many places are still not well-connected. The companies should dynamically optimize and control the available network resources through efficient software. As companies optimize the whole system, CIOs should examine the core functioning and help in further digital transformation.

Fortifying the network speeds

The fundamental aspect that is significant in catering to the connections all over the world is cellular connectivity provided by telecom firms and established companies. There is a fifth-generation network in the pipeline requiring considerable tweaks before its introduction for public consumption. It will turn out to be a whole new ball game in the industry with top-notch speeds for data transfer and consumption all over the online platforms. More and more players will come to light providing the services increasing the accessibility to remote areas where even getting the second-generation internet speeds is rewarding. The masses will readily engage and involve further snowballing the data consumers.

However, this surge in data can be complemented with effective connectivity, proving that the future to be – driven by connectivity and not just data.

 

Technological advancements

The improvements in technology over the last two decades have ushered in a tremendous transformation in the business sector, affecting all parts of our working lives. Technology has become a fundamental aspect of the contemporary business environment, from the way workers enter the workplace to the way they attend meetings or cooperate remotely. While these cutting-edge, sophisticated technologies provide limitless possibilities, their main goal is to maintain a smooth workflow and boost staff productivity and efficiency.

 

Opting for Precise Services

As with the realization, albeit slowly, many companies will emerge to facilitate superior connectivity throughout the entire online network. Companies should excel in providing access to their services and that too with ease. This aspect can be accomplished while amplifying their reach to a large number, and types of devices incorporating highly advanced UI and a newfangled set of functional capabilities. This further generates the requisite for data like never before. Hence, that is where effective services come to the rescue, providing community-driven insights, analytics, and expertise to specific companies to expedite growth and reinforce the aptness. These tend to escalate the participation and contributions of its clients, acting as a Catalyst providing reports, interviews, latest stories, case studies.

Hence, choosing the services that provide pertinent prescience to companies about the relevant. Thereby, these can act in advance and achieve the desired outcomes.

Final Thoughts

In brief, the entire concepts mentioned above alludes to the equitable influence of Data and Connectivity on the future operational needs of various platforms and companies. Hence, opting for apt and reliable services to alleviate their growing needs and help make informed decisions is the need of this hour. It will prove to be a Panacea for both elite and budding companies in the coming years.

Why a Distributed Workspace Strategy is a Win-Win for Your Business

Business How To’s

29 June 2021

Why a Distributed Workspace Strategy is a Win-Win for Your Business

  • Posted by Awfis Editorial

With India reeling from the second wave of COVID-19, organizations are once again re-evaluating their workspace strategy for the future. Experts are now excessively discussing distributed workspaces – a decentralized combination of WFH, WNH (work near home) from satellite coworking spaces, and head office occupancy – as a viable, new-age workplace framework. It can ensure employee safety and wellbeing while delivering on business continuity needs. This distributed model is an amalgamation of adaptability, efficiency, and resilience. These all are critical for businesses to pivot quickly in the current uncertain times.

The unprecedented pandemic period has proved that while remote working can be effective, the long-term future of work is more likely to mix remote and on-premise working formats.

Benefits of Distributed Workspace Strategy

Hybrid or distributed workspace strategies are emerging as a win-win solution for stakeholders on multiple counts, with specific advantages associated with each format:

  1. Savings on recurring real estate costs:
    For a start, distributed workspaces do away with the need to incur enormous, recurring real estate costs for a large head office with thousands of staff. The cost of acquiring, developing, and maintaining such large campuses with well-appointed offices has significantly impacted profitability. Organizations also apply a sustainability lens when reconsidering large, under-utilized spaces or a one-size-fits-all strategy to workspace distribution.
  2. Tap the benefits of both remote and co-located work:
    While a remote workforce can collaborate across geographical, physical, and organizational boundaries in innovative ways, this collaboration is often easier for team members who interact more frequently or are previously well-acquainted. The transition to a remote workforce has not significantly impacted big group projects already underway; however, all-virtual collaboration on new projects has proven more difficult.  Moreover, a fully remote workforce often misses out on the ‘chance’ connections and engagements that depend on physical proximity and are critical for innovation and knowledge sharing within organizations. These findings further underscore the inherent advantages of a distributed workspace approach.
  3. Improved productivity:
    With less time spent commuting, a distributed workforce can focus on collaborative tasks and achieve an improved work-life balance. Technology-enabled remote collaboration and training can also help reduce corporate travel and other operational expenses.
  4. ‘Softer’ benefits:
    Social cohesion, collaboration, and culture-building are necessary for the sustained growth of organizations and are often best achieved through visual and sensory cues in physical settings.
  5. Employee retention:
    A distributed workspace strategy means that employees can work from home, or close to home, and amongst peers or solo. This flexibility helps improve employee satisfaction, which in turn can reduce attrition rates and recruitment costs.
  6. Diversity of talent:
    Distributed workspace strategies mean that organizations are not limited to specific geographies and can potentially tap into a wider base of diverse employees from varied professional and socio-cultural backgrounds.

The time to plan on how to combine the best aspects of remote and co-located work is now.

 Why do organizations opt for it?

Leaders and decision-makers must consider the following key aspects while envisioning reinvented workspaces of the future for their organizations:

  1. Hygiene, safety, and security – When asked to work out of physical office spaces, employees will seek robust processes and systems for workplace hygiene, sanitization, and social distancing. Tech-enabled, ‘minimal touch’ features will remain critical drivers of workplace safety. Wellness checks and IoT-enabled tasks might also emerge as standard features of in-person workspaces.
  2. Flexibility in usage – Workspaces will need to support organizational nimbleness. Office configurations must be flexible enough to adapt to changing requirements – for example, whether a team or individuals is brainstorming, hosting a virtual workshop, or conducting daily meetings. Organizations will need to find ways to establish a sense of employee ownership of personal space or create a temporary sense of ownership through a reservation system. Seasonal changes in office space use depending on business cycles will also need to be factored in.
  3. The right mix – Working out of satellite offices and remote work-from-home are both here to stay. However, the nature of remote work is likely to change, especially when devised as a blend of co-located work and work-from-home. While employees have been working virtually for more than a year now, it is entirely possible that the full range of opportunities that remote work provides is yet to be discovered. However, rather than apportion a chunk of work processes to remote employees, each enterprise should deeply evaluate its unique practices and workflows to design customized, distributed workspace strategies that deliver specific business needs. Naturally, this process of workspace rationalization will vary with industries, geographies, and even organizational culture.
  4. Digital beyond virtual meetings and email – Digital rostering mechanisms with inbuilt recommendation features can optimize organizational knowledge flows. Managers will need to consider larger business goals when deciding how to use workplace collaboration tools to manage performance.

Future of work: Vision

In a new world order, the future of work will be defined by decentralized working spaces with optimally sized teams and inbuilt flexibility of space and time. Workforce density is likely to be both distributed and flattened. Many employees who have had to adapt to working from home will now be at ease with its inherent advantages. At the same time, well-planned physical working spaces will come to be synonymous with ideas, culture, connectedness, and agility. These workspaces will serve as hubs for mentoring, co-creation, and productivity.

Final word

India is one of the fastest-growing economies globally and is an attractive investment destination driven by economic reforms and a large consumption base. Against this backdrop, India’s Commercial Real Estate (CRE) ecosystem is fast evolving from being just providers of space to emerging holistic solutions providers.  CRE leader Awfis has worked with 1500+ companies and 28,000+ professionals, ranging from India’s coolest start-ups to Fortune 500 companies, to develop customized workspace transition strategies and redefine how work gets done in the current business environment. Awfis provides fully integrated products for kinds of requirements, including Enterprise Workspace Solutions, Flex Workspaces, Design & Build Solutions (‘Awfis Transform’), Integrated Facility Management (‘Awfis Care’), Remote Working Solutions and Work From Home Solutions (‘Awfis@Home’).

The pandemic has led to paradigm shifts in both shared workspaces and work of the future. With its community-first approach, Awfis is establishing new benchmarks in India’s CRE industry every day. You can learn more about Awfis Enterprise Solutions here, or send in your queries at info@awfis.com.

Marketing During a Pandemic: Dos and Don'ts

Business How To’s

05 June 2020

Marketing During a Pandemic: Dos and Don'ts

  • Posted by Awfis Editorial

The Coronavirus pandemic has affected business in ways beyond imagination. Market experts have estimated that COVID-19 will cost the global economy a whopping $2.7 trillion. This has not only scared businesses and marketers out of their wits but makes them ask – what to do next?

Unless you are in the business of essential products and necessity items, you need to change the way you have been marketing your brand.

Here’s a set of marketing guidelines for those trying to stay afloat in the present economic landscape.

Be agile.

Businesses that can adjust and adapt to the restrictive environment will be the ones to stay ahead of the others who fail to change their strategies. Just because you cannot serve your customers in person, doesn’t necessarily mean you stop serving them altogether. Include free services or change how you deliver. Abide by the hygiene practices issued by health authorities. If you are an offline business, now is the time to switch to online and be available 24/7.

Focus on paid ads.

With customers increasingly turning to online modes of information and entertainment, this is the right time to jump into PPC advertising and other paid digital campaigns to capture traffic and conversions. Cost Per Click rates are down, and this leaves room for marketers to make the most of the opportunity. Exploit the reduced competition and scoop up the market share, while others are pulling themselves out.

Offer flexibility of payment and services.

If you are in the retail business, (not necessarily in essential goods) and have managed to retain/acquire customers, offer the flexibility of payments to make it convenient for them in this tough economy. This helps you retain loyalty as well as ensures a consistent flow of customers by easing their payment plans. If you are in tech-based or SaaS services, offer more informative and educational training to your customers. With people losing jobs and looking for newer opportunities, such offers make for a good gesture and help them stay connected to your business.

Expand your social outreach

This is the perfect time to stay connected with your customers through social media and digital channels for information and support. Harness the power of interactive content, instant updates, and entertaining resources to interact with your customers/clients. This will make them feel included in your business even when you are not working in full capacity and would go a long way is your brand awareness and outreach.

Along with the above, remember:

Do not panic and make a hasty marketing strategy if there is a sudden shift in the market. Always use the available data and analyze your next move.

Do not game the market. Stock buying from wholesalers and reselling them at a hiked price might work in the short run but won’t be sustainable or become a legit business strategy.

Do not go silent on your customers. Always stay connected and let them know that you are present and striving to be in the business.

As COVID-19 continues to turn the world economy topsy turvy, businesses must make the most of every possible resource and avenues to make themselves heard and seen.