SHEROES is a women-only social network accessible via Sheroes.com and the Sheroes mobile application.
An insightful interview with a proficient Founder, Visioner & Innovator, Ms. Sairee Chahal, Founder, CEO- SHEROES
SHEROES is offering over communities, a free-to-use counselling chat helpline, resources, mentorship, peer-to-peer conversations, a marketplace, a reproductive health tracker and opportunities for women.
CT: You’ve redefined the women’s community. How did you come across this idea?
SC: A few of my personal life and work experiences really helped connect the dots. Growing up in the small town of Muzaffarnagar, I observed the struggles of women, and also got to know a bit about unvoiced desires. In 1999, I built an internet business, and the idea of leveraging the Internet as an enabler was seeded in my mind. SHEROES connects these dots and is the largest women-only social network in the world, accessible via Sheroes.com and the SHEROES app.
This is a transformative online eco-system for women where they can grow their identity, build connections, and invest in themselves, whether it is financial independence, mental health, entrepreneurship, or creative expression.
CT: What is your story/journey as a woman?
SC: I grew up in a small town and moved to Delhi for higher studies. I started working while still in college and always knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur. My first experience of building a start-up in 1999 was a major learning experience, one that culminated in me falling in love with the Internet. This was a transformative time for me as an entrepreneur leveraging technology, and set the stage for conceptualising a platform like SHEROES, which has technology as the vehicle for scalability, and re-imagining products for women. We are building what we refer to as the “Women’s Internet”, a safe, non-judgemental space for women internet users.
CT: Tell us something about the SHEROES team?
SC: SHEROES team comprises deeply committed product managers, a tech team and community team, building the slickest possible product for women internet users, based on real-time needs, conversations and data on the app.
CT: Is Your Start-up Bootstrap or Funded? What is the business model SHEROES follow to do the things differently and what are the range of products SHEROES offered?
SC: SHEROES is a funded start-up with its own revenue streams – Managed Remote Solutions (MARS), our remote B to B unit; our brands business, and SHECO, our social commerce business.
CT: How much do you think society has accepted women as working professionals?
SC: There are still many biases that crop up around women at work – women are not good in science, women cannot be leaders, they cannot perform certain roles in male-dominated roles, they cannot build a career in sports. The biases are rampant, and we are also seeing changes as more and more get online and leverage the internet to empower themselves in understanding how to navigate such challenges.
In June we are looking forward to a women-only hackathon with one of our key partners to nurture women product managers to build products of the future. Earlier this year we also brought out this report along with Google, and Bain & Company on the state of women entrepreneurs – “Powering The Economy With Her Women Entrepreneurship in India
CT: Share with us something about the trials of having a ‘women-only-network’?
SC: Research indicates that Internet in generally less safe for women and our top priority is to make it a safe, high-empathy network leveraging both AI/ Machine learning tools and human intervention.
CT: Your mission of women empowerment does not limit itself to India. Share with us something about your “global” mission.
SC: We are a 20 million network with a 5% global footprint. Since we are an online network we are seeing women from the Indian sub-continent, middle east, America, Europe, Africa getting on to platform and building their identities. This has helped us understand that there are several interests, issues, challenges that are universal for women.
We aim to be a 100 million network by 2023, and also become a multiple-language platform, as we move forward.
CT: Please share a piece of advice with aspiring entrepreneurs.
SC: Entrepreneurship is a lonely journey, yet, we share common struggles. My advice, especially if you’re a woman entrepreneur is to join communities that nurture shared learnings and conversations, so you have a peer group that you can reach out to for any support.
We have some phenomenal ones on the SHEROES app – from niches ones like fund raising and SHECO (our social commerce initiative) to general start-up communities – these are helping entrepreneurs learn, grow and build strong networks for themselves.
CT: At last, a few words you want to say about our CLIQTAX and your experience about it?
SC: CLIQTAX is a wonderful resource base for start-ups and founders to learn and grow their knowledge.
CLIQTAX extends heartiest wishes to Ms. Sairee Chahal for her journey as a Founder, Mentor and entrepreneur. Kudos to her for such an amazing interview.