Fulfilling the entrepreneurial dreams of thousands of women in Delhi, The Young Women’s Leadership Program was conceptualized by Neeraj Batra. An investment banker whose invested all his faith and fervor into making this program successful; his aim is to reach out to not just thousands but millions of women worldwide and give them a platform they’re worthy of. We chat with this earnest and enterprising banker to know more about what’s in the kitty of the YWLP.
Could you tell us a little about yourself?
I am an Investment Banker by profession. Since 1998 I have turned Edu-preneur and Angel Investor when I founded Infinity Trust and an early stage funding Company: StartUp Equity Partners (STEP) Ltd. The Company provides consulting and equity capital to early stage first generation entrepreneurs. I founded YWLP India in 2013 as a part of the product menu of OnCourse Vantage Ltd.(oncourseglobal.com) where I am the chairman and co-founder along with 4 other co-founders. OnCourse is India's foremost alternate education firm with a focus to bridge the gap between formal classroom education and real-world skills.
How did YWLP come into existence? What was the main inspiration behind its conception?
The YWLP was formed to recognise the lack of level playing field for women in the space of entrepreneurship. It was also to give many women who have moved away from a mainstream career, to start a family, a chance to return back to the joys of owning their own enterprise. The program works on a format that allows an opportunity to start a business or to grow an existing business and make it more bankable.
In today’s competitive workforce, with several online courses available, what gives YWLP an edge over its competition?
There is no competition or any other format in the market that offers competition to the YWLP. It is a unique proprietary product. The program uses a format of experiential learning with a highly seasoned faculty drawing on their experiences as investment bankers, startup specialists, management consultants and entrepreneurs.
What, according to you, is the main difference between women’s leadership style and men’s leadership style?
Women are better at collaborative skills. They also have a better intuition and sixth sense. Many women invest their emotions in their business which is not a bad thing. They also tend to be fairly creative. Men usually have a better understanding of the financial aspects of business and tend to be better executors in business. They are also more surgical in their thought process.
A woman entrepreneur you admire, and why?
Its very difficult to name one but it would probably have to be Oprah for the sheer odds that she faced to succeed. A story I really admire is about Coco Chanel who made it from the streets of Paris to the hoi polloi of Parisian couture. I also admire Marissa Mayer for the turnaround that she has achieved in Yahoo’s fortune.
What according to you makes Delhi 'So Delhi'?
The fact that we experience 4 seasons. The political backdrop is undeniable. The space, greenery and parks we have. The maddening traffic and inept municipal corporations.
What is the one characteristic about Delhi women that you feel would make them successful entrepreneurs?
I don’t have any reason to doubt or believe this. I think to be successful you only need one thing “how badly do I want this.” Thereafter it does not matter if you are a man, woman or child in Delhi or in Chennai.
What is the biggest challenge for women entrepreneurs in Delhi?
The mindset of their family and the men in their lives. Their lack of self belief and willingness to trade baubles and comfort for passion and pain.
One common misconception about women working in Delhi?
That they lack ambition. I think most human beings are aspirational by nature.
Any message for the budding women entrepreneurs out there?
Join the YWLP India. Get a Life.