We live in a society that talks about equal rights for men and women, but we all know that these are just “talks of equality,” and the reality is different. Gone are the times when men dominated society; in recent years, we have seen some significant changes. Women have started taking over, and they are on a path to prove society wrong with their achievements. These silent storms by women are striking patriarchy and taking women higher in the world.
With many women leading this change, two sisters, Neha Agarwal and Megha Agarwal, have held the torch in their hands as they enter the world of startups and entrepreneurship with their own startup, uoQpi. uoQpi is a co-working space in Gurgaon, which is a business hub and co-working space that was founded by women for women. The source of inspiration for the sisters is their mother, who started off as an entrepreneur herself when she was living abroad. The biggest thing they learned from her was that women could do anything and everything, from managing their personal lives to succeeding in their professional lives.
But as they grew up, they realized that the real world was different for women. Despite their ambitions and career-oriented thinking, the family responsibilities took over, and they were pulled back from pursuing their dreams.
The Inspiration for the Big Change
Talking to TimesNext, Megha Agarwal mentioned how the challenges faced by women kept increasing like family restrictions, unsafe environment, lack of network, support and mentoring opportunities, and being surrounded by male dominance in the corporate world. This gained their attention, and with more detailed research, they were shocked to learn the facts and felt that there was an urgent need to increase the number of women in both the startup industry as well as in the corporate world.
The second inspiration that further provided them the push to open up the business hub is the facts that they discovered on the internet. Megha from uoQpi shared some of the facts with us, and our team was stunned to read them and appreciated the efforts made by the duo for supporting women.
- Closing the gender gap globally in the workforce could boost the global economy by $28 trillion. In India, if the participation is equal to men, India’s GDP could witness a growth of $2.9 trillion.
- Only 8 million women entrepreneurs are present in India, a country with a population of 1.37 billion and a gender ratio of 48.2% females and 51.5% males.
- About $9.14 billion were raised in funding by startups, and only 5.2% of that amount was raised by startups with a female founder or co-founder.
These facts led to the beginning of uoQpi, a workspace that provided the women with a safe space and an escape from the world to re-energize, re-boot, and re-connect. uoQpi is a great combination of community that is filled with like-minded women who are willing to collaborate with others to give out new ideas.
The Dynamic Duo and everything about them:
Megha has spent the majority of her life overseas from her birth to completing her education, but Delhi and Melbourne, both are her hometowns, according to her. She graduated with an MBA Degree from Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia, and spent a decade in the Banking and Finance job. She used to travel between India and Australia and always interacted with women from India; she noticed the joy in their eyes whenever they spoke about work, but various reasons were stopping them. To fill in this gap, she decided to become an entrepreneur and start uoQpi.
Neha is the creative one from the duo with a Mater Dei Alumni, followed by a degree in Graphic Designing; she has always been the creative mind. Born and brought up in Delhi, Neha also spent a fair share of her life overseas. She decided to follow her passion for photography and specialized in maternity and baby photography. She spent 11 years in this field and realized that most women are entrepreneurial in their own ways, but they had the weights of other restrictions holding them back. The similar thoughts by the sister’s led to the birth of uoQpi.
The Rollercoaster Ride by uoQpi and team
Started in 2019, Megha and Neha were the part of the core team, and they had to plan everything on their own, from interior designing to budgeting and financing to marketing, creating CRM tools to provide IT support at space, and every other task was carried out by both of them. The journey has been full of challenging but fulfilling and satisfying. With limited funding, it gave them an opportunity to add a personal touch to uoQpi.
The other challenge was to make the place attractive and appealing for women and to do that, and they decided to add “HELLO GORGEOUS” in bold letters in the office. To bring life to the office, they decided to ditch the dull office scheme and decided to add indoor plants and different shades of green in the office to make the experience a good one for women. For constant motivation, there are quotes by successful women across the globe on the walls of uoQpi. This hub was the first of it’s kind in Delhi-NCR.
The Early promotion by collaborations
The sisters took care of almost everything themselves by taking over different roles, and their aim was to set up a hub with as many women professionals as possible such as from IT/Software programming to recruiting housekeepers and community manager. During the building phase, they hired a female website developer to complete the task. The collaborations with other professional women have been an enlightening and enriching experience for them.
The first milestone
The biggest milestone for them was when more and more women came forward from different walks of life and trusted them and had conversations with them. They shared their life experiences and stories and assured that uoQpi is the need of the hour. This has given the duo the confidence to open up more hubs across Delhi-NCR.
The current growth of uoQpi
Megha shared information about their current growth with TimesNext telling that their first hub is completely occupied by a company that prepares applicants for competitive exams. An in-depth conversation with the founders of the company revealed that the majority of applicants for the public sector jobs were women, and the company wanted to empower women to participate more.
With time, uoQpi is planning to open up more hubs for women from all professions, and they have also decided to increase the female force in the company by 30% in the coming time.
The Crytal Clear Vision
The company entered the startup and co-working space world with the vision to become the ‘incubator for women-led startups’ by providing them with the tools and resources needed to succeed. This platform is a safe place for women to work with other women entrepreneurs and brainstorm new ideas. They wish to support more women from different professions and expand the uoQpi platform to a larger scale. They are also looking for a new business hub location to help out more women and boost their involvement in the startup and corporate industry.