argaret Thatcher once said, “Any woman who understands the problems of running a home will be nearer to understanding the problems of running a country.” Contrary to her saying, entrepreneurship has always been traditionally seen as a male preserve and the idea of women taking up entrepreneurial activities are considered as a distant dream. The greatest deterrent to women entrepreneurs is that they are women. Indian society is patriarchal and Indian women are traditionally considered to be home makers and not 'business women.' But with changing times, women have as certained themselves as most memorable and inspirational entrepreneurs. In almost all the developed countries in the world, The new generation women across the world has overcome all negative notions and proved them selves beyond doubt in all spheres.
Their role in the economic development is inevitable. Rumi Sikdar, CMD, Ants is one such woman, who breaking all the stereotypical beliefs of the society has been changing the landscape of skill development sector in India. Ants started in 2005, it was for the first time adopted as a business model. Rumi has been helping school dropouts, under graduates & post graduates, working professionals and special groups like juvenile, PWD and vulnerable women to build skills according to their capabilities and make a living for them. “Because Skill is Power”, they say.
Skill Development: The Inspiration Behind
Rumi always had the fetish to indulge in business that contributes for the most of the welfare of the society. Thus, after working for 10 years in NGOs and well known organizations, she joined hands with her husband Rajesh Rathod and co-founded Ants Consulting in 2005. However, as they say ‘good things do not come off easy, Rumi while setting up this venture went through a lot of struggle. “When you are training human resource there are a lot of financial support that is required to run the business. Thus the greatest challenge that I faced as an entrepreneur was organizing the finance for the company.
Apart from that, finding the right man who suits the job was another big challenge for me. Dealing with the statutory regulations of the Government, recovering funds from the clients and being responsible for the salaries of the employees were the other challenging tasks that as an entrepreneur I had to survive”, says Rumi. But Rumi, being the extraordinary woman she is, did not give up on her hard work to set up the organization. With her stern belief and ability to take ‘on the spot’ decisions, Rumi has been meticulously resolving various issues and difficulties pertaining to the day to day business function. With utmost sincerity and determination for her work and the firm as well, Rumi has been successful in to retaining clients and providing best services to them. “Over a period of eleven years, I have personally learnt a lot. As an entrepreneur it has been a great journey and a humongous learning exercise”, she adds.
Being a Woman and an Entrepreneur
“Women have the capability to nurture and train people with a lot of patience which is indeed an additional advantage for Ants”
Rumi has been a major part of large network called ‘We-Connect’, an international body for the women entrepreneurs. She was also awarded Women Entrepreneur of the year under Social Sector, 2015, by EMERGE a network for women and working professionals. Rumi, was sent in 2016 as a delegate to Orlando, USA, as a part of Women Entrepreneurs from Karnataka. Asa powerhouse of talent, Rumi believes it is all about finding the right opportunity to build oneself. She not only believes that women are a precious asset of an organization, she has also been proving this by recruiting major number of women employees in Ants. Ants has a competent team of 120 employees among which 30 percent are women. According to her, women have the capability to nurture and train people with a lot of patience which is indeed an additional advantage for Ants.
With a strong commitment towards work and belief that ‘to be a successful Entrepreneur one needs to be bold, assertive, fearless, ready to learn and make decisions’, Rumi has excelled in her business exponentially and stayed on ever growing market of Skilling with new products and services. And with that note she never forgets to take a break from her professional life; she travels, spends time with her family and makes sure that she is happy and content with whatever she is doing in her life.