Putting women's careers back on track

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Many women are forced to keep their career ambitions on the back burner after getting married and having children. But now there is no need to fret over it any longer.

Kochi native Chandra Vandhana's 'Fortune Factory,' is a start-up that helps women get back to work after a career break. Chandra is on cloud nine as 'Prayaana,' a fellowship programme of 'Fortune Factory,' got United Nations recognition for excellence in putting women's careers back on track, and making them exemplary entrepreneurs.

One among many

"I quit my job after my first child was born, and started searching for a new job when my child was six months old. When I finally got a job, which was up to my expectation, I couldn't take that up as my next child was due. I stayed at home for four years to raise the kids," Chandra said.

Around 500 applications were moved for a suitable position, but the career break was not helping to get a job, she added.

"The fact that I was a mother of two small kids was seen as a disqualification. But I continued my pursuit for a job relentlessly. I tried my hand at freelance and online jobs, and slowly but surely I regained my confidence," Chandra noted.

"During my struggling days, I always felt that it could have been better if there was someone to guide me financially and otherwise. And that seed of thought germinated into 'Fortune Factory' and the fellowship pragramme 'Prayaana' for girls and women who need guidance in their careers," Chandra said while explaining the genesis of her start-up firm.

More than 10,000 women were given training, and most of them went on to become successful businesswomen. And now, the UN Conference on Trade and Development award, it has been a long journey.

Chandra, who has a master's in psychology and business administration, started 'Fortune Factory' in 2014 after various stints in corporates and educational institutions. She has also worked as a DJ and dubbing artiste, and is currently pursuing her PhD in Psychology.

Business Prayaana

The purpose of 'Prayaana' is to identify each person's aptitude and strong points, and equip her to start a business venture. The stumbling blocks to prospective women entrepreneurs are lack of capital and confidence, and pressure from family members. This programme aims to remove these bottlenecks and pave a smooth path for women to start their own business entities.

Prayaana tips

Women can become successful entrepreneurs. If a woman can't start business on her own, like-minded people can come together to start a small enterprise.

A woman's interests, skills, aptitude and individuality should be safeguarded apart from her dignity.

Efforts should be on to make women financially self-sufficient.

Marriage and motherhood should not put brakes on a woman's career. A woman who stands on her own legs is a role model for her children.

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