Being a woman in India is tough and being a female entrepreneur is even tougher. However, Sairee Chahal has challenged this situation by building a safe online community for women.
Chahal established the women-only social networking site, SHEROES, to provide a safe and non-judgmental place for women to share ideas, dreams and anxieties.
“I believe that the Internet is a very powerful tool for all kinds of impact. India is a living example of that, China is a classic example. With the population and the kind of issues we have, we definitely think we can do with a large safe space that is non-judgmental and constructive for women and it's absolutely the antithesis of the trend we are seeing on the internet. So it's a good time to do this,” Chahal explained.India has deeply entrenched gender biases. In fact, just to get funding for a project like this is not easy. But Chahal has defied the odds.
“We absolutely are unsexy in how we are, but we are super authentic. We are a safe space. We are built with empathy and those are our triggers. We are triggered to help, to reach out, to connect, to be who you are, to chase our own dreams and it’s not a social network – you are not bringing in your friends, there is no mother-in-law, there is no husband, it’s you and your dreams and what excites you,” Chahal told CGTN.
SHEROES is currently valued at 50 million US dollars, and has around five million female users. She expected the numbers of users to go up to 100 million in the next three to four years and, helping women be self-reliant through financial and emotional independence is something that is critical in India.