Various Facets of a Woman's Entrepreneurial Journey

By: Ambika Gupta, Founder & CEO, The A-Cube Project

Holding a B.Tech degree in Biotechnology from SRM University and a PG in Communication & Journalism from Xavier Institue of Communications, Ambika is a passionate entrepreneur with exceptional leadership and managerial skills. Additionally, she is also a Certified Florist from London Flower School and has even completed certificate program on Leadership Principles from Harvard Online Business School.

In conversation with Women Entrepreneur Magazine. Ambika shares her views on the strategies which she used to overcome any gender-specific hurdles in the business world. She also discussed how she have leveraged her unique perspective and experiences as a woman entrepreneur to drive innovation and differentiation in her business.

What inspired you to start a company of your own? Tell us about some of the challenges that you faced during the initial phase of your entrepreneurial journey.

When I shifted to Chennai in 2011, my family didn’t let me work anywhere else and wanted me to either join the family business or start-up a company of my own. This pressure from my family members pushed me towards thinking about what I like doing. I love to travel, meet new people and get bored very easily. So, I constantly need something which is really challenging and keeps me on the edge. This constant search of ‘something new’ in everything led me to foray into the events space and incept The A-Cube Project.

How do you manage your work-life balance as a women entrepreneur?

During the peak season times, I do not have much work-life balance. So I chose a team of people whom I enjoy working with. When I am with them, I feel surrounded by good energy and it is really fun to hang-out with them, wherein we take small breaks in the office to watch Netflix or sit together and go on a binge-eating marathon. Such activities free us of our work related thoughts and ensure that we remain stress-free.

What are your strategies to overcome any gender-specific hurdles in the business world?

I am proud to be in an industry that values women. As a woman, I am really good at multitasking and am capable of balancing between business and emotions. I have never faced any gender disparity in this industry; in fact, my gender has actually helped me be more successful. This is because I have been able to connect with our clients quite easily and thus have a clear understanding of their expectations and demands. My work speaks for me and I have thus been able to command a certain amount of respect in my field.

How have you leveraged your unique perspective and experiences as a woman entrepreneur to drive innovation and differentiation in your business?

I had lost half my family by the time I was 14 years. I therefore learnt very early in life that we as humans are very brave because we tend to lead our lives fully aware of the fact that we aren’t going to be alive for too long. So as long as I am alive, I want to touch the lives of as many people as possible and have a positive impact on their lives as well. Thus, I lay immense emphasis on design at A-Cube and even encourage individuals to develop various leadership skills and qualities to mold themselves into future leaders.

Instead of copying design from Pinterest boards, I prefer developing our own creative designs that inspire others and make it to the Pinterest boards for other to copy. I thus use my emotional quotient and creative quotient to bring about a change in the industry in terms of design and developing future industry leaders.

Share a few lessons from your journey as a women entrepreneur that could inspire other aspiring women entrepreneurs or business owners?

Perseverance, grit and resilience – having these three characteristics going a long way in surviving the entrepreneurial field. Also, one must get accustomed to being stressed and fatigued as an entrepreneur. Patience is another virtue that every entrepreneur must imbibe, because entrepreneurship is not a destination, but a life-long ongoing journey. Most importantly, chose a team that shares your views & opinions, are flexible to working extra hours when necessary, and perform to their maximum ability.