Every year, March 8 is celebrated as International Women’s Day across the world to promote women’s rights and honour their achievements across the political, economic, social and cultural spheres.
This day is a reminder of the grit and determination of women all across the world.
There is no force more powerful than a woman’s determination to rise.
Every life begins with a woman. Respect and encourage every woman for what she is. Women, are always respected, loved and appreciated.
Theme of Hello Womeniya.com this year on International Women’s Day 2023 is…
“To promote entrepreneurship culture among women entrepreneurs across globe.”
Women Social entrepreneurship is vital for our future. Collectively we can make a change by closing the gap between men and women in the workforce.
Entrepreneurs are those adventurous, daredevils who drive deep into the pressing problems of society and try to find solutions to them, not by leaving the responsibilities in the reins of the government or business, but by trying to change systems as a whole and persuading societies to take new initiatives.
In honor of International Women’s Day, we are introducing you to a very dynamic and popular Business Entrepreneur from Baroda for her remarkable and outstanding performance in the social field. Yes, we are talking about Darshna Thakkar, a Business Entrepreneur & founder of Transformation. She shares her entrepreneurial journey with HelloWomeniya.com.
Famous As: Business Entrepreneur
Startup Name: Transformation
Hello Womeniya: Introduce yourself for our readers.
Darshna Thakkar: I am Darshana Thakkar, an expert in the Transformation of the business that helps businesses achieve growth with speed and scale. I am an Electrical Engineer followed by an MBA-Operations with hardcore industry experience in managing business operations. I have invested 27 years in Transforming Micro and Small Enterprises. My rich experience in resolving pain areas and the MSME/SME industry’s real-life problem are helping the organization for quick results.
I helped many MSMEs to increase profitability & achieve sustainable growth.
I am very keen on the growth of Indian Start-ups, providing mentoring and hand-holding support to start-ups to make them succeed quickly.
I am passionate about supporting women in pursuing their career and life goals. She is actively working for women’s entrepreneurship and leadership development.
With these visions, I started Transformation 6 years back.
The Transformation started with a mission of assisting Entrepreneurs in growing beyond their current stage and sustaining the same in the long run. Each business has the potential to multiply with the help of the right strategy, focused business plans, Optimal input cost, Competitive pricing, and the right decision at the right time, which helps to stay ahead of the competition. We support the ENTREPRENEUR to connect these dots and chalk the growth plan.
Transformation assists companies in establishing growth-oriented marketing and Branding strategy, achieving a quantum reduction in input material cost, and improving operational efficiency and profits with a long-term sustainability model.
The Transformation has started by seasoned and visionary women Enterpreurs Mrs. Darshana Manish Thakkar.
She has helped many micro and small companies to scale up the business and reduce cost up to 20 %” and mentored many start ups to successfully launch their businesses.
Hello Womeniya: What’s your message on International Women’s Day for Women.
Darshna Thakkar: We are now in the Amrutkal of Independent India and on the way to becoming “Atmanirbharbhara.” In my opinion, to make the India Atmanirbhar, “Atmanirbhanari” is the foundation stone.
There is discrimination every place against women may, be it in a job or it is entrepreneurship. The capabilities are women leaders and entrepreneurs often underestimated. Even the super-successful women of today also faced many challenges on their journey.
My advice is to stick to your goal and pursue your dream. Nobody can stop you except yourself. I understand women in India have more responsibilities in social life than professional ones. But come out of your comfort zone and dare to be different. The tremendous potential is hidden in yourself, dear WOMENIYA. Women of the current time are lucky enough to have a positive environment from all the stack holders of society, including the government, and both men and women of our country support them.
Women supporting women is my philosophy, and I follow that too.
Hello Womeniya: Share your Recognition and Achievements.
Darshna Thakkar: Founder and CEO of Transformation
Certified Women Director by IICA, Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Government of India
Member of the Board of Management at Makarpura Industrial estate co-operative bank limited.
Empanel and recognized Start-up mentor and Trainer by CED, Government of Gujarat.
Registered and Verified Business Advisor- Tata Nexarc, Tata Business HUB, Mumbai.
Chairperson : MSME Support & PRO at Makarpura GIDC Association, Vadodara.
MSME Transformation and Strategic Advisor- MSME Business Forum India
Author in India’s No -1 Industrial Automation magazine
Winner of Gujarat Women’s leader award 2022 by CMO Asia.
Winner of Influential Women leader in business by Insight Success 2022.
Recognized as India’s most trusted consulting company by Insight Success 2022.
Felicitated by Mentor my board in the gracious presence of Honourable FM Mrs. Nirmala Sitaraman during Women Director’s conclave -2022
Recognized as Top 50 Trusted consulting companies of 2022 by Insight success.
Felicitated by the president of Makarpura GIDC Association during the Suvarna Jayanti Mahotsav on 17th Dec-2022 for her excellent contribution in supporting MSME and start-up Businesses.
Hello Womeniya: What was your key driving force to become an entrepreneur?
Darshna Thakkar: The business has been in my mind since childhood. But I couldn’t pursue that dream earlier in life. I interacted with several vendors and customers with a few companies during my corporate career.
During that time, I realized that many small businesses were operating in an unorganized manner. Many companies started business as a single entity and then grew informally. I also observed that many high-potential MSME companies face tremendous challenges with product quality, delivery, cost, and day-to-day operations.
They lack professionalism in internal processes as well as external communications. With my prevailing position in the respective company, I tried my best to support such an organization to improve. But that was very specific and for the limited network only. “Then after, I decided to quit the Job to start my venture, “Transformation,” with a vision to support high potential Indian MSMEs for sustainable growth and improved profitability.”
Hello Womeniya: How did you come up with the name for your company?
Darshna Thakkar: My vision is to transform Indian small businesses, including MSME and Start-ups. I want to provide a 360-degree company transformation covering business growth and internal business operations. I was very much inspired by the Japanese work culture and their dedication to the organization during my career at Mitusbishi Group company. I am passionate about transforming our small business organization with appropriate strategies. So decide on the name Transformation-The Strategy HUB
Hello Womeniya: How did you raise funding for your venture?
Darshna Thakkar: My company is bootstrapped. I started the company with my saving and received initial financial and moral support from my husband, Manish Thakkar
Hello Womeniya: How do you build a successful customer base?
Darshna Thakkar: My rich experience in the manufacturing industry handling many problem areas with limited resources is the main point behind my success after strong networking habits. Apart from this, professional values and qualities are essential for retaining and growing the business.
Because of this,I can provide solutions to my clients with a limited budget and minimum changes in the organization’s culture. We provide every client with customized solutions as a standard process doesn’t suit every business. Their solutions and implementation process are entirely based on the resource availability and budget of the client.
Apart from this, ethical business practice and transparency at every stage of the transformation process is the main reason for our client’s trust and our success of Transformation. “Moreover, We always ensure to keep all the information of our clients confidential,”
Hello Womeniya: How do you market your business, and which tactics have been most successful?
Darshna Thakkar: The number one rule is to network and connect with as many people as possible. Come out of your comfort zone, meet people, and help them as far as possible.
Secondly, instead of becoming competitive, adopt a collaborative approach. We are also allowing a helping hand to reciprocate a helping hand to yll.
How many hours a day do you work on average?
Being an entrepreneur, no fixed working hours. My working hours vary from 7 hours a day to 14 hours a day sometimes. Depending upon many variables.
Can you describe/outline your typical day?
As an entrepreneur, there is lots of freedom and many more responsibilities. Space in terms of flexibility of time. Duties in terms of managing multiple faces of the business. For example, One day, I move out of the home at noon if there is an online meeting early in the morning or sometime move out at 7 am if there is an outstation client meeting. Similarly, closing hours are also quite variable depending on the work. Usually, my professional work starts at 10 am and ends around 7 pm. It starts early morning or ends late evening, depending on the assignment.
Hello Womeniya: How has being an entrepreneur affected your family life?
Darshna Thakkar: It is only possible with the support of family members. It is said for the success of men, a woman is behind it. But instead, I would say for the success of any woman; there is a family behind it. I recommend all men and women support women in your family who is on the way to pursuing their dream. Especially the women of the family sometimes become the enemy of the women. I request: please-please allow her to move on to achieve her dream, Your family and our nation will be blessed with happiness and prosperity.
Hello Womeniya: What motivates you?
Darshna Thakkar: The growth of my client, the success of my mentee start-up, and the success of fellow women entrepreneurs is the primary motivating factor for me.
The trust of my client in my abilities is the key driving force for working hard for them to make them succeed.
Hello Womeniya: How do you generate new ideas?
Darshna Thakkar: I firmly believe “Change is the only constant” There is no age limit or end for learning any new things. As a professional, I am continually updated with new technology, market trends, etc., and constantly updated with the latest management and business practices. I am doing lots of reading and learning to generate and implement new ideas for my client’s success.
Hello Womeniya: What is your greatest fear, and how do you manage fear?
Darshna Thakkar: As far as you are working ethically, there is no fear. It only comes when you lie or cheat someone. Otherwise, success and failure are part of life during the lifecycle of the business.
Hello Womeniya: What are your ideals?
Darshna Thakkar: Transparency and ethical business practices.
Hello Womeniya: How do you define success?
Darshna Thakkar: The definition of success is unique for everyone. In a true sense, it is the purpose. The purpose of what you are is to start the entrepreneurial journey. If you can solve the purpose of starting your business to some extent, which gives you satisfaction, it is a success. If it is to earn money and wealth creation, then there are many other ways. But fulfilling the own inner purpose gives a deep feeling of satisfaction. For me, my pursuit of starting the entrepreneurial journey is to Transform the business of our Indian MSME companies and to provide mentoring to our youngsters to start and succeed in their businesses. Ultimately, successful start-ups generate employment for many other people; this way can contribute to national development.
Secondly, a large no of employable women is looking for opportunities. I want to provide them with mentoring and a platform to fulfill their dream of doing something.
Hello Womeniya: Do you believe there is some sort of pattern or formula to becoming a successful entrepreneur?
Darshna Thakkar: No, there is no standard formula or definition of success. Hard work, dedication, and focus on your goal bring shining results.
Hello Womeniya: What is your favorite aspect of being an entrepreneur?
Darshna Thakkar: As an entrepreneur, I can support many other people to pursue their dreams and become successful. I am not earning my livelihood but employing others as well.
Hello Womeniya: What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
Darshna Thakkar: It is while someone recognizes that they are benefited from my association. Recognition of my efforts is a significant motivating factor for me.
Hello Womeniya: What piece of advice would you give to college graduates who want to become entrepreneurs?
Darshna Thakkar: I have observed in recent years our youngsters are looking for quick results. They need instant results for any of the efforts. Nothing comes easy; they remember this thing. They must work hard, learn many skills, and, most importantly, wait at least 1000 days to eat the fruit of success. They need to know to formulate and adopt a suitable strategy to succeed in the business.
The most important thing I believe in the entrepreneurship journey is, Don’t run after to find a successful business idea that makes you billions. But look after the solutions for the problem in the belief that make you billions. But look after the solutions for the problem in society in the surrounding area. Make it your passion and make the affordable and reasonable solution your business. I am dam sure you will be a successful entrepreneur.
Hello Womeniya: If you had the chance to start your career over again, what would you do differently?
Darshna Thakkar: I find societal problems and try to resolve them with my ideas and business.
Hello Womeniya: What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?
Darshna Thakkar: In my opinion, strategic planning, organizing, and networking are the key to success in the business.
Hello Womeniya: What entrepreneurial tricks have you discovered to keep you focused and productive in your day-to-day busy schedule?
Darshna Thakkar: Prioritize the task appropriately instead of random activities. Sometimes it is important to say NO when it’s not your cup of tea. Don’t jump everywhere who shows you stars in the sky.
Hello Womeniya: What key activities would you recommend entrepreneurs invest their time in?
Darshna Thakkar: Strategic planning and goal setting are the essential secrets of success. People often miss out on the steps and work very hard but in a haphazard manner. They are always in firefighting mode and don’t properly plan the business process and activities.
The second important task is the skill of delegation, which is often missing in most small business owners.
After growing at some level, you cannot handle everything alone. You have to delegate the task to your team appropriately with proper monitoring. I say monitoring and not controlling. In current times where millennials and zen-z people are in the workforce, they need freedom and recognition for their work. Never try to contour them with years-old supervisory methods. Keep trust in them and follow for results only.
Hello Womeniya: Who has been your greatest inspiration?
Darshna Thakkar: The most significant source of my inspiration is my family members. They are always with me in any situation. My parents taught me the fundamentals and ethics in life. They helped me pursue my dream by allowing me to pursue an engineering career, which was very limited for women in the 90s—all my siblings provided motivation and moral support during my whole life, whatever it was. My husband is always there with me in all the situations of life. He is the best guide for my professional journey to learn business tricks.
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