Swati Vakharia, Founder – Women Planet Foundation Charitable trust
Swati is the brain child behind the very successfully — run women oriented platform — ‘Women Planet’ and ‘Women Planet Foundation Charitable trust’. After 7 years of experience in SEO and online marketing, she wanted to do something not only for money but for a cause too. This thought instigated the idea of Women Planet and today, Swati is happy that this epiphany happened as she is able to use her expertise to give something back to the society, in her own little way.
Women Planet is a podium where individuals from different walks of life congregate, spread awareness and enlighten each other on the rights of Women in society. It is the only online platform that provides Free QA Sessions & support with the help of the plethora of unique and unusual set of experts or e.g. Lingerie expert, gardening and many more. Ever since then there has been no turning back. Today, Women Planet has close to 300,000 followers from all across the world, which is a tremendous number to achieve for a young start up that it is.
However, Swati didn’t stop at that, as there were even bigger things to achieve. Even though digital platform helps in linking great number of people, she realized there are still areas and places in India where internet availability is questionable. Keeping this in mind and with clear focus on reaching to as many women as she could, she is now also a founder of Women Planet foundation, a charitable trust. Swati is on a mission of empowering rural women and women from small cities by educating them on various concerns. The barriers that rural women face in culture and awareness harm their chances to obtain equal rights. Through women planet she conducts several seminars and workshop for women dealing with their health, hygiene, education, supporting small scale entrepreneurs. The focus is not only on social issues that women in our society face but also to address the need and importance of well being and sanitation of women in India.
She is currently working on the Menstrual hygiene booklet that can be distributed free of cost in rural areas and the social campaigns that would encourage women education and provision of additional resources from awareness, to saliency, to action. In the midst of multitasking, Swati dons many hats. From individually running the digital platform to heading the marketing division and being a successful founder of the charitable trust, this incredibly skilled and creative personality truly signifies the spirit of ‘necessity ‘with ‘artistry’. She chose to make unusual choices and willingly chose a path that may not seem ideal to many but has emerged unscathed, beaming like a winner. The uncanny ability to transform into an entrepreneur comes to her with utmost ease.
Besides this she is also associated with NGOs like Srotoshwini Trust, Olakh to reach to the wider number of individuals. Versatility is the virtue she epitomizes and loves to dabble in various challenging mediums. Speaking on her role of a founder of this unique concept — Women Planet, Swati says, “Empowerment allows any individual to reach their full potential and to believe in their own capabilities. Considering the fact that today women can achieve anything they wish for if given proper exposure and guidance, through Women planet I want them to achieve this and much more. It is my small way of giving back something to the society. I plan to continue coming up with new ways and concepts of reaching out to the women as I truly believe in the saying when you enlighten a woman, you enlighten the whole generation.”
The entrepreneurial journey
“Since childhood days I was opposed to the hypocrisy and duplicity of Indian society towards women. In 2012 the gruesome case of the Delhi gang rape was the tipping point. That incident instigated within me an urge to try and bring about a change to the situation in which Indian women often find themselves. Leveraging power of digitization and its measurable effect, in a few weeks I came up with the idea of an open online platform where we could bring like-minded people together to share their thoughts and educate women on various concerns. Today Women Platform is successfully running with an aim to educate, empower, and entertain.
However even though digital platforms help in linking a great number of people, there are still areas and places in India where internet availability is questionable. Keeping this in mind, and with a clear focus on reaching to as many women as we could, I founded Women Planet Foundation — a charitable trust with a mission to empower rural women and women from small cities by educating them on various concerns. Through Women Planet we conduct several seminars and workshops for women dealing with their health, hygiene, education, supporting small scale entrepreneurs. The focus is not only on social issues that women in our society face but also to address the need and importance of well-being and sanitation of women in India.
I am glad we are on this journey to reach our goals and acknowledge the recognition and support that we have received from all around.”
High point in career
“Switching my career from SEO and online marketing to Women Planet Foundation is the definite high point in my career. It was something very challenging. From a big team and support system, you have suddenly zero support. Struggling to learn new things to making your path accessible is memorable for me and is also something I am proud of.”
“My role model is not just one or two people around me. It is Every Single Woman who is working hard to build their identity and uplifting others. Every mother, wife and daughter who is always ready to compromise and make other’s life beautiful. I value each of their smallest compromises and admire them from bottom of my heart. My role models are the real fighters like Laxmi (Acid attack survivor) and many other girls who fought for their rights. All these people keep me going in what I am doing with Women Planet Foundation. I want to reach to as many women as possible and bring a small change in my own way.
I think each individual brings a new story to your life and teach you something. I am happy to see such inspiring and motivating people around.”
Most important milestone in life
“Foundation of Women Planet has been a big milestone in my life but the biggest is yet to come. I have some plans with our charitable trust, Women Planet Foundation. I am sure I would be able to share about that soon and I am certain that I will reach my target.”
Women are the better halves. What does it mean to you?
“I don’t think it’s got anything to do with the gender. It is more about two individuals who are partners and companions for life, where both male and female are equal. Something called “Half or 50%” suggests the equality here. It is good when partners feel they are each other’s better halves and complete each other.”
Experiences on being a woman entrepreneur
“A woman and entrepreneurship goes really well together. It asks for extra courage and efforts but it gives a way more satisfaction in return. Yes, people are not yet ready with open heart and mind to accept this Entrepreneur Avatar of women but women are ready to give them some time to digest that 🙂 We should not stop or move backward because society is not yet ready to accept it. Rather we should act stronger and help them realize this well with time and facts. I am really lucky to have truly supportive husband and family who understand my dreams and encourage me to fulfill them. They are my strength and motivation and I would have not been able to become an entrepreneur without them.”
How do you / did you believe in making dreams come true?
“Yes I think your dreams define your aim and a life without aim is no fun. Everyone should have a dream and that one aim that keeps them motivated. I believe in making dreams come true and have faith that if you are focused enough, you will surely be able to fulfil it no matter who you are.”
Most challenging assignment
“Trying something new, is like nurturing a new life, it is always challenging. My journey wasn’t that smooth but it was definitely a great learning phase of my life. From the day I started Women Planet, I have enjoyed each and every moment watching it grow and connect with people. Initially it was difficult for me to understand the industry and work on an entirely new platform. Now I have a better understanding of it and also know the common links shared.
Changing roles, shifting responsibilities are the biggest challenge. Working at office for entire day, handling international clients on laptop to moving out with and meeting different people & conducting interviews, seminars, campaigns is something really different. I am an ambivert by nature and switching self to an extrovert personality is the professional challenge.”