The 4Ps that make every SEEMA entrepreneur successful

Seema Kumar

This week we celebrate the achievements of Indian women entrepreneurs. Since SEEMA launched, we have featured nearly 20 women entrepreneurs who have founded companies in diverse disciplines—from fashion and food to tech and social good. We’ve barely scratched the surface, yet we see the impact. Each SEEMA entrepreneur’s success story is unique, but they share four key characteristics, four Ps that make them successful. What are they?

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1. Purpose: Komal Ahmed started Copia because she saw perfectly good food being thrown away even as homeless shelters looked to source food to feed the hungry. She saw the opportunity to make a positive change by using algorithms to link businesses with nonprofits looking to feed the hungry. This drive to feed the hungry helped Komal stay the course when challenges came her way and helped her push forward against the many odds she faced as she scaled up her out-of-the-box idea. A mission orientation and a desire to create impact can help you power through the greatest of obstacles. Read her story here.

2. Passion: When Nadiya Siddique learned from personal experience that women of South Asian origin are prone to a vitamin D deficiency that makes them susceptible to various health issues, she turned to her passion for fashion as a way forward. Siddique co-founded StealthyWoman, a line of wearables, smart jewelry that helps tackle vitamin D deficiency by keeping women more in tune with their vitamin D levels. When you combine purpose with your passion and turn your strengths into a business proposition, you can turn a great personal insight into a business plan for greater good.

3. Persistence: Even as a little girl, Joya Dass dreamt of becoming a TV anchor, but her parents were far from supportive. But Joya was not one to give up easily. Growing up in a home of domestic violence, Dass knew she had to build a secure future for herself. She put herself through college, wrote letters to people asking for help, obtained a scholarship and took out additional student loans to fund herself through graduate school. She also funded her every move across cities and states from Pennsylvania to Washington, D.C. to realize her dream. For the past 20 years, Dass worked as a TV anchor, covering the financial sector, a job she recently quit to focus full time on her business venture, LadyDrinks, a professional network for South Asian women that started about eight years ago. So try, try, try again, if you don’t succeed at first.

4. Perseverance: When Shermin Lakha, a young successful lawyer left her cushy job and launched her own start up, she was prepared to work hard. As the founder of a legal startup, she understood the birthing pains of launching her own company, and signed up for the long hours and commitment it would take it to nurture her business to success. Launching your own business is not for the faint-of-heart and certainly not for someone who will give up at the first sign of trouble. The stamina to stay the course, test and learn and be in it for the long haul will serve you well.