GLADYATOR: Meet the twins making a mark in the sustainable fashion field.3 minute
In a time where Climate change is being debated upon, there is a company which takes the most used thing, and makes it safe for the environment, your clothes. Coral Doe was started in 2018 by Aqsa and Tuba Sajjad to make comfortable clothing that is sustainable and ethical. They intend to be 100% sustainable by the end of 2023 and are working well towards it.
The company and the team intends to go a step beyond and create awareness among its users about the need of the hour, sustainable fashion.
We spoke to Aqsa, Coral Doe’s co-founder, and here is her take on being an Entrepreneur and her aspirations.
- Please tell us what being a business owner means to you and why you became an entrepreneur in the first place?
For me, it's about getting to do something I love every single day. It may sound cliche but as a person who suffered from depression, anxiety, and mental health issues, it was very important to my well being to have a reason to wake up and work hard every single day. Coral Doe has brought meaning to my life and has given me something to work for.
Plus, the thought of working for someone else's dream has always been suffocating. It only made sense to become an entrepreneur.
- What or who has been your greatest influence in business and why?
Gary Vee. He's a huge motivation and encourages you to focus on all aspects of your life: professional, personal, and all others.
- What would you say is your greatest professional accomplishment to date?
Growing my business to 2000+ customers in under a year has been the most rewarding experience. Sometimes, I truly can't believe we did this.
- What’s the best advice you have received in business that you wish to pass on to our readers?
I read somewhere: These 5AMs will make you a legend one day.
This has stuck with me since the day I read it. But it's important to take it with a grain of salt. Sometimes, hard work and waking up at 5AM isn't the way to go about it. Sometimes, you have to work smart rather than hard. Also, another good advice is to keep at it and to try to sustain your business in every way if it's something you love. But also to know when to quit. Not all businesses are sustainable and the world isn't ready for every idea yet.
- What has been the most effective marketing initiatives or programs you have used to promote your business?
Word of mouth is always the best way to market your brand. Instagram content and ads have also been great for us.
- What one thing have you learned as a small business owner that has served you well.
Every sale and every customer matters, as a small business owner. It's always lovely to see customers going out of their way to support, review, and comment.
- Are there any resources or tools you’d like to share with other small business owners that have helped you run your business? If yes, please describe.
Gary Vee's videos are a brilliant resource.
Any tool that'll keep your finances organized is important. Invest in a good accounting software. Finances are everything.
- Have you faced any failures? How did you overcome that failure and what did you learn from it?
Everyone faces failure. You either learn from it or you go backwards.
- What do you do for fun/relaxation?
I go to the gym and I read a lot of books. When you have your own business, it's hard to draw boundaries with work. Work never stops. It's always important to force yourself to take a break from work.
- What is the Number One Business Goal you plan to accomplish over the next year?
Expanding into new markets.
Learning more and more business literature.
Diving deeper into sustainable manufacturing and trying to move other brands towards it too.
- If you were to give an advice to a 16 year old you, what would you say?
Find a supportive circle of friends. Invest in people and friendships. It'll go a long way in life.
- How can I be a good leader?
Put your team first. And lead with compassion.
- The last question, what keeps you up at night?
The thought that maybe I should be doing more and working harder (Not a healthy thought at all. I always have to remind myself to give myself credit)
FOITO- Transforming lives with the right career path3 minute
I recently came across a book called ‘Ikigai’- The Japanese secret of a long and happy life. And the secret to a long and happy life is to find a career which gives you a purpose to wake up to every day.
As a child, whenever I was asked “what do you want to become”? the answers changed every 6 months. So I had a plethora of choices starting from a doctor, to astronaut, a comedian, a robotics expert, and whatnot.
But then little did I realize that what we dream of and what we end up doing can be stark opposites. As we step into higher education we get into peer pressure or family pressure and eventually choose a career which is “Trending in India” and finally fall into a spiral of gloom and despair when we realize halfway through that we do not like our career path.
Owing to the immense competition, we are still stuck in a maze where it is almost difficult to get to know ourselves. But it is important to note that embarking on a path to the right career without a thorough analysis of your own self is a horrible mistake and, as a consequence, all of us may eventually be left in a state of absolute misery!
Therefore, before planning out our future job opportunities, our main focus would be to better understand ourselves. It means developing our latent talents, finding things that really attract us, searching for experiences that give us an adrenaline rush, recognizing work that doesn't make us feel drained and helps us to reach our highest potential.
This seems quite daunting for us being in a country where only rhetoric learning is given utmost importance and there is less scope for developing skills that match our passion.
Still, wondering how to go about it?
This is where FOITO comes to the rescue.
FOITO was incorporated in November 2018. They have covered a journey of 1.5 years and have already completed more than 30 + training projects and over 80 skills assessments. Having a network of 20 + trainers across India, they have been able to deliver effectively to all their clients
A brief introduction about the founders:
Mr. Shabar Syed (Co-Founder)
Enthusiast, ambitious and imaginative, his diverse professional experience, his passion for teaching and his versatility in strategic analysis help him deliver enriching interaction-based learning sessions.
Manohar Reddy (Co-Founder)
Humble, technically strong, he knows the best way to manage the most complicated situations. His unique actions and imaginative concepts, together with his first-hand experience of working for a leading retail store, helps him add practical scenarios to the workshops.
Swagata Ganguly (Co-Director)
Bcom Hons graduated from Delhi University, now pursuing an MBA at IIM Lucknow, was part of FOITO 's journey as an intern and is now looking to manage the venture forward as a director.
The USPs of FOITO are as follows:
Their Skill Evaluation Module is an emotional intelligence-based skill evaluation that seeks to help people determine their best career choices based on three-point requirements. They also recommend the necessary preparation programs on the basis of the qualifications needed for the career paths thereby obtained.
The best part is whether we are at the beginning of our career or in mid-level jobs they can help us steer in the right direction based on our educational qualifications. Or if we want to venture into entrepreneurship they give all the necessary training by Industry Experts customized according to our needs.
So, FOITO provides a fascinating opportunity for those who want to explore their latent talents and are able to find some promising career opportunities where they'll be successful. Join our Webinar to find all the answers to your career questions
As the saying goes “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life." —Confucius
21 Must-Know Laws for Indian Women6 minute
Women in our nation have reached great heights of success, yet most of them are still not aware of the most common laws for Indian women laid down by our government.This article attempts to help educate about the laws for Indian women.
“Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.” ― Martin Luther King Jr.
Women in our nation have reached great heights of success, yet most of them are still not aware of the most common laws for Indian women laid down by our government. Whenever a wrong is done, often we let the matter slide because we don’t want to deal with police and courts. If each one of us knows our rights, instead of being terrified, we could actually fight the wrong. This article attempts to help educate about the laws for Indian women. The term Police itself is so misunderstood by us. POLICE stands for Public Officer for Legal Investigations and Criminal Emergencies.
Ever partied too loud or too late for the police to come and intervene? Or have been in a situation where the traffic police have threatened to take you to the police station? Well, they can’t!
- When women interact with a Police Officer- Women cannot be arrested after sunset and before sunrise. If arrested, they have to be presented before a Magistrate within 24 hours and should be kept in a prison separate from the male prisoners. The arrest and search of your body can be made only by a female officer.
- If any form of questioning is required with the Police: If the police officer wants to do any investigation or question you further about any complaint you may have filed, he needs to come to your home and do such questioning at your residence. The police officer cannot call you alone to the police station or any other place of his choice.
- When Woman endures sexual harassment or a sexual assault at the workplace: Each one of us has had that sneaky boss of ours eyeing us in a manner that made us uncomfortable. Or in an interview, a sexual favor was demanded in exchange for the job. Whether verbal or non-verbal, such action is not acceptable. All such complaints are to be filed within three months of the occurrence with the Internal Committee at your workplace. If there is no Internal Committee, you can file all such complaints with the Local Committee in the town where you work or reside.
- Women have a right to Equal Pay: There should be equal pay for men and women for the same work done by them in the same position. For example, Two team leads with equal experience, should receive the same salary irrespective of their gender. No gender discrimination can be made even during the hiring process. This has also been guaranteed under the Indian Constitution.
- When a woman works night shifts- There should be proper security measures taken by your employer if your job demands night shifts. This includes your travel to and from work. No woman should be made to work alone in a night shift and has to be necessarily placed in a group.
- Woman’s right to say No and Sexual Assault: When you are touched sexually without consent, or forced or coerced to establish any form of physical relationship, it is sexual assault. If any form of threat is made to you to get the consent, it is not consent. Stalking, eve-teasing, Voyeurism, acid attack, outraging a woman’s modesty, showing pornography etc. are all considered to be sexual assault and sexual violence.
- Woman’s Right to Privacy: The identity of a sexual assault victim is to be kept confidential under all circumstances. Your statement may be recorded by before a Magistrate without being overheard by anyone else. Even in the judgment, the judge refers to you as the ‘victim’. All the Bollywood movies where cross-examination is done in open court, it is only entertainment purposes. The reality is very different.
- Medical Examination in the event of rape and sexual assault: A medical test to establish rape should be conducted within the first 72 hours of the incident. It is to be performed by a female doctor. The test establishes any sexual activity performed on the woman and helps to detect the rapist if any semen sample is found in the victim’s body. Rape is a crime and not a medical condition.
- FIR in case of Sexual Assault: There is no time limit to report rape or sexual assault. A case may be filed in any police station that the victim wants to, in the presence of a female constable. This is known as the Zero FIR. Section 375 and 376 of the IPC deal with rape. In certain cities like Delhi, a woman may report a sexual assault online or through a registered post letter to a senior police officer.
- Woman’s Right to Free Legal Aid: When reporting a sexual assault, if you do not have a lawyer present, you may ask for legal aid and the police officer has to provide you with it.
- Right of Abortion: Abortion is the right of a woman. Hence, no parental or husband’s consent is required to abort. Under normal conditions, until the 20th week, the woman can abort and if there is any risk to the life of a mother, abortion can be done until the 24th week.
- But without the woman’s consent, abortion is illegal and a punishable offense. During pregnancy, under no circumstances can any test be performed to find out the gender of the baby. This is a crime.
- Right against cyber crimes: With the advent of technology, it has become much easier for criminals to hide behind their digital screens and harass women. Cyber Stalking, Identity theft, Online Defamation, Morphing pictures, pornography, etc. are all crime.
- Cybercrime complaints may be filed online at https://www.cybercrime.gov.in/ or in your nearest police station. You may file a complaint anonymously as well.
- Rights of a married woman: The Supreme Court in India has said that every married woman should be treated with dignity and respect. You are entitled to live in the same house as your husband and to be maintained by him. Any act of bigamy on the part of your husband is a punishable offense.
- Woman’s right Against Domestic Violence: If your husband or any other man in your house hits you, you can file a Domestic violence case. This may be filed with or without simultaneously asking for Divorce.
- Right to Property and Streedhan: All the gifts received by you before and after marriage ceremonies or during childbirth, is your personal property and no one can take it away from you, not even your husband. You have an equal right in your father’s property as well. Similarly, you also have a right in your husband’s property after his death.
- Woman’s right to give divorce: Divorce is always a second chance at happiness and everyone deserves to stay happy. If any cruelty is being meted out to you, you can ask for a divorce. Adultery, Bigamy, religious conversion, insanity, missing for over 7years, or non- consummate the marriage, are divorce grounds.
- If your husband has committed rape, bestiality or sodomy; on any other person, it may be a ground for divorce provided you can prove it. Marital rape is considered in India only when the age of the wife is less than 18yrs.
- Note: It may be noted that the marital laws in our nation differ with respect to the caste and faith of a person.
- Right to Maintenance and Alimony: In the event of judicial separation or divorce, a woman is entitled to maintenance from her husband for herself and her children, as long as she does not remarry. The amount depends on your lifestyle under Section 125 of CRPC and decided by a judge. Alimony is a one-time payment of maintenance.
- Right to Child’s custody: Ideally for a child below the age of 5yrs, the mother is the natural guardian and the child should remain in the mother’s custody. A female minor child is usually placed in the mother’s custody always.
- A right to Maternity benefits: Becoming a mother is one of the best feelings in the world and it should not stand in the way of your success and career graph. Every expecting, adopting or surrogate mother has the right to maternity benefits. It may be claimed for up to 26weeks and post this, if the nature of the job permits, you can opt for work from home. During the period of maternity leave, you cannot be fired or demoted. Even if the mother dies during childbirth, your heir is entitled to the payment of any maternity benefit that is due. Even at instances of miscarriage, it is supposed to be paid. Some common queries were answered by the Ministry of Labour & Employment which may also be helpful- Maternity Benefit Laws
- Woman’s right to Live-in relationship: Any sound woman above the age of 18yrs has the right to choose her partner whether to get married or be in a live-in relationship with. Live-in relationships are legally recognized by the law. And children of such couples also have legal rights against the father.
- Right against Dowry: Both giving and receiving dowry, whether in the name of gifts or anything else is strictly prohibited. If you are being tortured by your in-laws in the name of dowry, you may seek divorce and legally imprison your husband and his family.
National Commission For Women
The NCW is a government body in India that aims to voice the rights of women in our country. It has advocated and fought against archaic laws. It strives to ensure the safety of women, both inside and outside their houses.
If anyone of you have any further questions regarding your rights, you may click the link below to seek help for all such matters: http://www.ncw.nic.in/helplines
The website also provides the space to ask your questions online as well. http://ncw.nic.in/
The National Women Helpline number is 181.
My Personal Experience:
Being a lawyer, I have encountered many women who wanted to file for divorce or get an abortion or wanted to file a complaint in general for any atrocity meted out to them. But more often than not, they would not go through with it despite living horrendous lives. Their biggest fears involved only one question- What will the people think? Log kya kahengey! And how would they support themselves and their children after the incident? But all these fears are unnecessary as there are enough laws in our nation to protect the interest of women.
India, the land of Durga, Kali and Saraswati, ironically is famous for being one of the most aggressively dominant patriarchal societies in the world. But since Independence, one step at a time, an attempt is made to bring change. The laws though abundant lacks awareness.
Women have traveled a long way from being uneducated and married at the age of 10yrs to now becoming the CEO’s of some of the most prestigious companies worldwide. Battles are being fought day in and day out in against patriarchy but most battles are yet to be won.
Once the rights are identified, it shall become increasingly easy to get these rights implemented. One step at a time and we shall be in an equal state with the men in our society if not superior. This is where feminism begins. This article hopes to be a step in the direction of achieving that.