Set yourselves up for failures, challenges; KTR tells women entrepreneurs at WE Hub fete

K T Rama Rao called upon women entrepreneurs to show greater appetite for harnessing the opportunities and prepare themselves for challenges in life, far from gender considerations

Set yourselves up for failures, challenges; KTR tells women entrepreneurs at WE Hub fete

HYDERABAD: Telangana IT and Industries Minister K T Rama Rao on Wednesday called upon women entrepreneurs to show greater appetite for harnessing all the opportunities provided to them and prepare themselves for challenges in life, far from gender considerations.

KTR took part in an interactive session after delivering his address at the fifth anniversary celebrations of WE Hub in Hyderabad. The establishment of WE Hub was the brainchild of the Minister as part of the Telangana Government’s efforts to optimise opportunities for women entrepreneurs towards the larger objective of women empowerment.

Looking back at the five-year run of the unique incubator, KTR said that the WE-Hub journey had just begun while refraining from the number-crunching for the platform at its nascent stage. More than being enamoured by the quantum of business and numbers, it is the success stories of the women entrepreneurs that should be more important and inspiring, he added.

On the question of the societal viewpoint that, more often than not, tends to see women empowerment from a different prism as compared to that of men, KTR struck a pragmatic chord asking women entrepreneurs to base their businesses on the power of their ideas. “Talent cannot be monopolised, based on gender. The power of a business idea is what should matter. Also, women, who seek equal rights and empowerment, should show the appetite and passion to harness the opportunities provided to them so that they would be able to succeed,” he commented.

He also called upon the women entrepreneurs to not be discouraged or dejected by failures encountered at the start of their endeavours. “Even KCR (garu) lost his first election but then he became what he became. Since then, he has never lost an election again. Never give up with a failure on the first step,” KTR said.

The Minister also urged the women entrepreneurs to set themselves up for ridicule, some humiliation and also failure. “LIke Mahatma Gandhi said, every new idea is typically ridiculed at the outset before it is eventually embraced with the test of time. When KCR (garu) started the statehood movement, everyone laughed and did not buy the idea of a separate Telangana until 2013-14. He has not only made this possible but today, he has set up Telangana as a role model for the entire country and that is what this journey is all about. Now, his vision has gone pan-India with the formation of Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS),” he said.

The Minister also sought to remind the women that there was no life bereft of challenges. He said that challenges were universal across fields and could not be distinguished, based on gender. Every successful person will have to overcome these hurdles and challenges in life to scale greater heights, he added.

On another question as to how far we are digitally empowered in rural areas, KTR came up with an elaborate explanation to drive home the need to leverage India’s human capital and technology together.

He said that China, whose economy was on par with India’s until 1987, is now a USD 18 trillion economy as compared to India’s USD 3.5 trillion. “The reason why it grew six times the size of India is because it moved on in the right direction to invest its focus on technology. Now that the world has realised the pitfalls of putting all eggs in one basket in the post-COVID-19 pandemic scenario, India stands with its best chance to emerge as the viable alternative to China.

“Coupled with technology, India’s advantage also lies in its human capital. The country’s median age is 28 and 65 percent of India’s population is well below 35 years, which offers enormous potential. More importantly, Indians are extremely good at tech adoption. The country has not option to leap-frog and instead, it has to pole-vault. If India can utilise the human capital and technology, what the US has done in 50 years, we can do it in the next 15 years. And what China has done in 30 years, India can do it in the next 10 years,” he felt.

Speaking of how technology can be used as the biggest force multiplier, he referred to the amazing success story of Pelli Pula Jada, floated by Kalpana, an IT Employee. He said that, using a Facebook page as a technology tool, Kalpana was able to attract one lakh customers and create employment to more than 350 people.

Then came the question on the conditioning of the girl child and the adverse influence of parents on it. KTR was of the opinion that parents should desist from conditioning a girl child and instead enable women to chase their dreams at every stage of their life.

He was also quick to shoot down a question as a no-brainer on how differently he would mentor his son and daughter. “I mean it when I say both boy and girl are equal. Every time I see an incident like sexual harassment or molestation that is reported in the press, it breaks my heart. Because, it pains to realise that we, as a society, are still with a primitive mindset in some aspects.

On another question, the Minister felt that the traits of discrimination or gender equality among children is largely influenced by the way they are taught and raised at home by parents.

In this context, he took his own case in comparison with his sister. “Our parents never made me feel that I was more important than my sister. They got us educated equally well and my sister was sent to the US ahead of me. To my kids, I keep telling the same: Do what you want. Be a good human being. Pursue your dreams. Follow your heart. Me and your mother will be there to protect if you falter and fall down. Give this little hope and confidence, and the kids will conquer the world,” he said.

As the interactive session began winding up, the Minister had to deal with a few light-hearted posers. Known for his quick-witted responses, KTR quipped that “it’s a women-dominated world,” on a question as to how he would feel having grown up amongst strong women, be it his mother, wife or sister.

Asked about the life lessons he may have learnt from women he had interacted with, both at home and outside, KTR said that women are more methodical, organised and focussed. “The way women are wired, compared to men, is very different. Women are more methodical, more organised and more focussed. You find these three qualities in most women,” he said.

KTR also had no hesitation to admit that women are the real bosses. “Everyday is yours. We are working for you. Men are just playing along and acting in a Women-dominated world. You are the bosses,” he remarked in a jovial retort.

His parting shot was as funny as it was stinging. “We can’t say this about (Narendra) Modi since he is single. Rest all are scared of their bosses (at home) and anyone denying this is simply lying,” he said to end the interactive session with a round of hearty laughs.

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