Shivajini Seelan, the Managing Director of JS Partners, is a pioneer in the historically male-dominated world of finance and accounting. With over 20 years of experience and a lifelong passion for numbers, she embarked on a journey to establish her own accounting firm. Today, she not only runs a successful business but actively promotes gender diversity and empowers women to pursue careers in finance and accounting. Let's delve into Shivajini's entrepreneurial journey, the challenges she has overcome, and the strategies she employs to encourage gender equality in the industry.
A Passion for Numbers:
Shivajini's fascination with accounting began at a young age, inspired by her accomplished accountant father. Witnessing his dedication and determination fueled her desire to create her own success story. Armed with a strong accounting foundation and a natural affinity for numbers, Shivajini pursued a career that eventually led her to establish JS Partners, a comprehensive solution provider for SMEs.
Navigating Unique Challenges:
As a female entrepreneur in the finance industry, Shivajini faced her fair share of challenges. Despite encountering discrimination and bias, she refused to let these obstacles deter her. Cultivating a resilient mindset and building a robust support network helped her remain focused on her goals. She emphasizes the importance of persistence, adaptability, and a positive attitude in overcoming setbacks and achieving success.
Breaking Barriers in Funding:
Access to funding and capital remains a significant hurdle for many women entrepreneurs in the finance industry. While Shivajini personally did not face difficulties in this regard, she acknowledges the existence of gender disparities. She highlights the emergence of venture capital firms specifically focused on funding women-led businesses and suggests exploring alternative financing models like crowdfunding. Building a strong business plan, pitching effectively to investors, and networking with mentors and potential investors are crucial steps in overcoming funding challenges.
The Power of Mentorship:
Shivajini's entrepreneurial journey has been shaped by her experiences and the support of mentors and role models. Her father served as an initial mentor, but she also emphasizes the importance of networking with peers, finding admirable individuals, and staying motivated and focused on goals. Mentorship plays a pivotal role in providing guidance and showing aspiring women in finance and accounting the path ahead, enabling them to navigate their careers with greater confidence and knowledge.
Advice for Aspiring Female Entrepreneurs:
For aspiring female entrepreneurs in the finance and accounting industry, Shivajini offers valuable advice. She emphasizes the importance of developing a solid understanding of financial management and accounting principles, as well as staying up-to-date with changes in the regulatory environment. Effective communication and networking skills are also crucial for success in this field. Furthermore, fostering an entrepreneurial mindset, embracing risk, and being adaptable and flexible are essential attributes for overcoming challenges and seizing opportunities.
Addressing Gender Disparity:
Gender disparities persist in the finance and accounting industry, and Shivajini acknowledges having faced bias and challenges during her career. To combat these issues, she encourages individuals to raise awareness and address any unfair treatment they encounter. Education and communication are key in advocating for a more equitable and inclusive workplace environment.
Shivajini Seelan's entrepreneurial journey in the finance and accounting industry serves as a powerful example of resilience, determination, and success. As a female entrepreneur, she has defied gender norms and overcome challenges to establish herself as a prominent figure in the industry.