We humans can only survive through constant support from each other. The stories of our lives are worth living when we have someone to share it with. It gives life a purpose, a reason to go on. Moreover, meeting people who are alike in our interests, desires, and dreams is one of the greatest happiness in life. You can share your stories with them, take inspiration from theirs and work together for a better future. There are various communities in India that bring together like-minded people for the same motive. Such a platform for women would make a massive difference as it helps them to overcome the age-old notions of patriarchy in our society.
Sheroes is a community platform which provides a safe space exclusively for women to interact, support and empower each other. They are also given various resources and opportunities through the Sheroes website and app. They can talk, discuss and receive advice about jobs, health, and relationships. It also provides a setting for them to share their life adventures and motivate many others like them. The Sheroes community was founded by Sairee Chahal in January 2014. Within a year, around 6000 companies had made use of the Sheroes platform. They had reached 5000 locations all over the country and helped more than five lakh women. Almost 10 lakh women had profited from the aids and opportunities available at Sheroes by 2015.
Sheroes (1) primarily intended to help women to restart or succeed in their careers. A large number of women in India have to give up their job due to family, health or other issues. Sheroes hopes to provide adequate support for them by giving convenient job choices like working from home, part-time jobs, startups, reselling, partnerships, etc. This helps them to explore new modes of working that fits their lifestyle perfectly. As a result, they become self-dependent, and this can reduce gender bias and domestic violence against women to a large extend. They regularly host an event called the Sheroesummit and #theshift series in order to empower women all over the country.
Sairee Chahal, the founder of Sheroes, hails from a small town in Uttar Pradesh named Muzaffarnagar. As a young girl, Sairee was into reading and had completed many great works by the time she was ten. She believed in being independent and setting the rules for ourselves. Sairee wanted to move out from home after she completed her schooling, so she enrolled herself into the Russian language Course at Jawaharlal Nehru University. Even while studying, she took up various projects that gained her enough working experience in the field. It was during this time that the USSR dissolved into many parts and new embassies were being formed in India. She served the embassies of many countries and worked as a private Russian tutor for many.
In 1999 Sairee partnered with Deepak Karnan, a seafarer, to establish Newslink Services for the workers at sea. However, she felt an urge to have a bigger goal and a free space to work in. She returned to India in 2006 to enter the world of entrepreneurship. Her first business was SAITA Consulting, a company that helps and supports technology startups. Soon after, she initiated a platform called Fleximoms which would enable the effective communication between women and enterprises. Though this helped to provide career opportunities for more women in remote areas, Sairee wanted to make specific changes in the work lifestyle for women. Thus she came up with Sheroes, a community that helps build and improve the employment chances for women.
The birth of Sheroes
Though there were apps that intended to promote women’s safety, other aspects of women empowerment were not given much attention. Sairee Chahal realised that the issues at workplaces were a major difficulty that holds women back from excelling in their careers. They have to face problems like non-flexible work hours, sexual harassment, discrimination, and even unequal salary raise. Empowering women to work would also help the Indian businesses as it brings more talent from all over the country.
The focus points of this company included the creation of a safe community for women and the transaction of resources and assistance. The team soon launched a career support scheme through which women could receive advice and recommendations through the Sheroes app.
Sheroes: In a partnership with Paytm
In 2019, Sheroes entered into a partnership with Paytm, the famous digital payment company in India. It was a part of Paytm’s initiative to provide a women’s community through their platform. This interactive social feed will allow women to grow and support each other by sharing stories and events from their own life. Paytm had been witnessing an increasing demand for their content-based services. The women social networking will open further doors for their users. It is also a significant step towards women empowerment.
The team of Sheroes anticipates that this partnership will help to take their services to a broader audience. Their shared vision is to reach more women and share more stories of incredible and will and courage. Paytm’s profound influence in India has enabled them to make this dream come true. The thousands of communities on the Sheroes platform have become more useful to women all over the country through this platform.
Fundings and Investments
Sheroes obtained their angel round of funding worth five crores in 2015. The primary investors were Rajan Anandan of Google, Binny Bansal of Flipkart and Vijay Shekhar Sharma of Paytm, Girish Mathrubootham of Freshdesk, Krishna Mejra of Capillary Technologies etc. This round was led by 500 startups and Quintillion Media, a company owned by Raghav Bahl. Later in 2016, they conducted a series A round which raised 12 crore rupees. This round saw participation from the visiting investor Quintillion Media, Lumis Partners, The HR Fund and Rajul Garg.
During this transaction, the financial advisor was Dexter Capital, and the legal advisors were Vertices Partners. The broad vision of Sheroes requires a sufficient amount of investment, and the series A round helped them to widen their services. They also used the funding to strengthen their technology, resources and marketing strategies. By the year 2016, their services were available in more than 20,000 locations.