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India's women entrepreneurs quickly changed business for survival: Survey

Women-owned businesses saw a sharp decline in revenue: 73 per cent reported being negatively impacted by the pandemic, and almost 20 per cent were nearly wiped out

Topics
women entrepreneurs | entrepreneurs | Coronavirus

Shwetha Sunil | Bloomberg 

gender, woman, women, jobs, discrimination, inequlaity, pay gap
Covid-19 had a disproportionate impact on women all over the world

Most female in Indian cities were quick to change their business model and predict their operations will survive after the pandemic ravaged revenues, according to a new study.

Bain & Co Google, and AWE Foundation surveyed almost 350 and small businesses and found that 54 per cent had already made business shifts -- including new products or services -- and another 24 per cent planned to change by December. About 90 per cent said they believe they will survive the crisis.

Covid-19 had a disproportionate impact on women all over the world. In India, which has a vast gender gap across almost all social indicators, women are even more vulnerable. The South Asian nation has as many as 16 million women-owned businesses, fewer than 20 per cent of all enterprises, with most of them largely single-person operations, making survival crucial.

Graph

Women-owned businesses saw a sharp decline in revenue: 73 per cent reported being negatively impacted by the pandemic, and almost 20 per cent were nearly wiped out, according to the survey.

The changes made in business models include releasing new products or services, digital sales and delivery channels, as well as reorienting supply chains, sales and marketing. Some 60 per cent of the businesses reported including new products and services, while 46 per cent of focused on retraining and learning new skills.

“Post the initial few months, there has been rapid responsiveness,” said Megha Chawla, a partner at Bain and the study’s lead author. “A few characteristics of women-owned enterprises in India, such as being service-oriented, smaller and less capital-intensive, enabled faster adaptation.”

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First Published: Fri, October 16 2020. 15:35 IST
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