A strong woman loves, forgives, walks away, lets go, tries again, and perseveres… no matter what life throws at her.”
SMEQuest had the opportunity to talk to one such woman, Namrata Pandey, the young, dynamic entrepreneur & Managing Director of Evente Clinic. Evente clinic is a leading event management company specializing in organizing real estate events mostly promoting builders from new markets like India, Singapore and Dubai. Prior to starting Evente Clinic, Namrata Pandey has worked in senior leadership roles with leading Telecom IT brands. She currently lives in Singapore with her husband and a 7 year old son. And one thing that most people don’t know about her is that she holds a Master degree in Kathak, a classical Indian dance form.
SMEQuest: So tell us what’s the story behind Evente Clinic? How did you come up with the idea/inspiration to start this company?
Namrata Pandey: The idea came to me in 2013 when I started to work for a real estate company to target NRIs in Singapore for properties in India. They needed a very strong arm of marketing, which was a gap I found in the market. So I thought, why not. I started something small to give support to the other company, which I was working alongside. That’s how we kicked off doing events and marketing related work for the Indian developers to control the quality and the entire communication with our clientele. That turned out to be a huge success and subsequently became my primary work. And no looking back since then!
SMEQuest: Real Estate is a very male-dominated sector. How did you find your space? Did you have to fight for it?
Namrata Pandey: Yes, I certainly had to put up a fight for certain things. For example, even as an entrepreneur, the male counterpart can claim more money for the similar work that we have to do for a lesser amount. We have managed to fill that gap now. But it has taken us about 8 years to be known in that market space and get the acknowledgment we deserve. It’s not been an easy journey but then, what is easy?
SMEQuest: Do you think women leaders come across as less likable compared to men?
Namrata Pandey: I have personally seen that if a male counterpart displays a certain amount of aggression, he is often looked upon as a great businessman. If a female counterpart shows the same aggression, extremely unkind words will be used about her in her absence. I feel being intuitive, empathetic and compassionate is imperative in your work environment, be it a male or a female. It should be a part of your work ethics. But sadly, men are not judged for these qualities, but women who don’t show this behavior are less likeable.
SMEQuest: What are some of the characteristics that entrepreneurs should have? Anything specific for women?
Namrata Pandey: I would highlight a few points on this question.
- As an entrepreneur, you should have the right determination and integrity for the work you do because, without it, anybody performing anything doesn’t go the longest way.
- The next thing would be to have the capacity to take risks.
- When it comes to women entrepreneurs, their ability to make sacrifices is very important. As women, we always think about our family first, and a lot of times, striking the right balance of those sacrifices and compensating to build the right foundation for our kids is the key.
- Last but not least, I would say strong decision-making capabilities. An entrepreneur must be very clear about the decision they have to take and often, and it’s the most difficult thing to do. Personally, even I don’t know at times whether it’s the right or wrong decision, but nonetheless, I have to take it. And if you have the right set of tribe and the people around you to guide you and help you, you can make the right decision for your business.
SMEQuest: And what would be one piece of advice you would give to other aspiring female entrepreneurs?
Namrata Pandey: Never consider “giving up” as an option in your life. Because if that’s not an option, you will always find a solution to your problem. And therefore must have a positive outlook to achieve success. Another one, which I stand by, is to have the right advisers/mentors who can guide you with your decisions. Don’t get me wrong, and nobody will make your decisions for you. But having someone who is non-biased, not in love with you, or just saying yes because they are supposed to, will help you make those right decisions in your entrepreneurship journey.
SMEQuest: Starting a business in Singapore is quite straight forward and simplified. Additionally, there are various Government grants and subsidies available. Have you taken advantage of any? If yes, what were they? And did you find it challenging to avail them?
Namrata Pandey: We got selected by Enterprise Singapore the first time we applied for the funding in 2017. And during COVID 19, they came as rescuers and guided us in how we can take our business online. They provided us a lot of ongoing support and funds to build the next phase of our business.
SMEQuest: Talking about COVID 19, how did it affect your business? And how did you deal with it?
Namrata Pandey: This January, when COVID 19 had already entered some countries, we kept moving the location of the events based on the severity of the spread. Ultimately we realized we wouldn’t be able to hold physical events anywhere for a long time. We knew then that we have to go digital. Finally, in June, my partner, who’s based in India, and I decided to upskill ourselves. With the help of Enterprise Singapore, as mentioned earlier, we took a plunge into the digital space, creating an online portal catering to only NRIs (Non-Resident Indians) worldwide. We have just launched the first phase of it, and the response has been very good so far.
SMEQuest: Congrats and good luck with it! So how do you keep yourself abreast of industry trends, especially in this ever-changing global scenario?
Namrata Pandey: Thanks! I’ve been closely associated with a lot of industry honchos and industry makers. Luckily they are only a phone call away, so I keep in touch with them. I also take great interest in watching industry leaders’ interviews and pick up a pointer from that besides reading the newspapers and relevant articles.
SMEQuest: Finally, what does success mean for you?
Namrata Pandey: When I’m seen an entrepreneur and not just as a female entrepreneur amongst the Top 10 or Top 100 in my industry, that is my benchmark of success. I want this inequality in business and in the world of entrepreneurship to diminish and become almost negligible, as it should not even exist in the first place.