Welcome to our section on Real Women – where we bring you stories of and conversations with real women who inspire us, who have changed lives and given back to the community.
Our guest for today is entrepreneur Sairee Chahal, Founder and CEO of SHEROES – India’s first women-only community platform offering support, resources and a safe space to women. We sit down with Sairee to discuss life as an entrepreneur and how she does what she does.
| 1. We know Sairee Chahal is an entrepreneur. What is it that people don’t know about you?
I have a deep spiritual side to me, which keeps me grounded in a rapidly-changing business, social and cultural landscape. I also love travelling, reading, dresses and sneakers.
2. Why are you doing what you’re doing, at SHEROES?
We are moving the needle on gender inequality by leveraging technology. As more and more women get online, we want to make the Internet a safe space for them where they can invest in themselves, grow their identity, connections, invest in good health and work towards financial independence.
Via SHEROES, women have a “me space” that enables their needs, dreams and aspirations. They find a community that is supportive, appreciative, and which really “sees” who they are, outside existing identities.
Women can access the platform via Sheroes.com or download the SHEROES app, and start growing their Sheroes footprint.
3. Your advice to budding entrepreneurs
Believe in yourself and your business, and then take charge of its fate completely. There are many organisations, mentors and platforms supporting entrepreneurs – seek support. At SHEROES, we have launched SHECO – our social commerce initiative to support women entrepreneurs. It offers training, tools and a community. We encourage engaging with your business peers. Struggling together and celebrating successes creates a solid peer support network, where conversations are not merely about work but other personal struggles that women battle to get to business success.
4. If you had a chance to do things differently, would you change anything? If yes, what would you change?
I would have definitely started SHEROES earlier! If that were the case, we would have initiated safety conversations around the Internet much earlier. We need more trust, empathy and mindfulness in the Internet culture and this is what we aimed for when we created SHEROES.
5. What are your 5 wardrobe staples?
Dresses, jeans, T-shirts, jackets and sneakers
6. What makes SHEROES special?
We are the first and largest women-only social network, and a transformative space for women’s lives. The network also runs one of the only chat-based counselling helplines, making counselling a mainstream practice. Other unique aspects include a credit access initiative, a social commerce marketplace, user-generated communities, champions and real-time support for women. Currently, the COVID-19 lockdown has influenced the network critically as women’s lives have been impacted the most. We launched several utilities to support our members, such as live expert sessions and training workshops, in collaboration with skilled partners. We also brought out an in-depth, easy-to-consume financial guide for women emerging out of domestic violence. Resources like this fill a deep gap which, sadly, exists for the vast majority of middle-class women.
7. What do you indulge in when you’re not working?
A good meal, a good book, beer or just hanging out with my daughter.
8. Anything you would like to add?
Ladies, take charge. The power to reach your dreams is within you.