Advice for Young Women Entrepreneurs

By: Niharika Nigam, Director-Business Development, Jumpin Heights

Niharika brings a decade of experience with Jumpin Heights, India's highest Bungy platform in Rishikesh.

Like a lot of women in businesses, I fell into mine by way of my family. My father started India’s highest bungy platform in Rishikesh back in 2010, when I was in college and what could possibly be more exciting than to jump right into it. It’s been almost a decade that I’ve been a part of this budding brand, a pioneering adventure into the exciting Indian market.

Exciting because it is price sensitive while being receptive to changing themes, slowly but surely. It can be as set in its ways as it can be dynamic. And best of all, what is most exciting is to be part of it at a time when it is booming.

It would be foolish to deny that feminism in India is in a transition- we are moving from a wholly patriarchal society to a more just one, but we aren’t quite there yet, while having also come a long way—this is equally true of our own selves, as much as of the times we live in.

And just like with everything in transition, the initial instinct is to fit in. To pretend to own the room when you’re really just uncertain.

In Bungy Jumping, a higher percentage of men sign up compared to women, but more men also back down at the edge than women.

Double guessing ourselves is our own vestige of patriarchy. The only way we overcome this is by being okay with making mistakes. In fact, feeling entitled to them.

I recently launched my debut novel, called 3..2..1..JUMP, a travel fiction that reimagines the Bhagavad Gita in contemporary times, with the metaphoric Arjuna, a woman with fears, in conversation with my metaphoric Krishna, a Bungy Jump Master who sells courage for a living. During my research, I was pleasantly surprised to know what the Gita propagated : man is a co-sharer in the work of God. There is free will, rather than one arbitrary way of doing things. Instead of pretending to do what has been done, what must be done and how it should be done, there is courage in exploring how it can be done. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in this decade, it is that all our perceived rules of the game are merely the box that we may have inherited, but it isn’t the whole playground.