In Conversation With… Pooja Goel, Founder, Pink Collar Professionals
Can you please help us know your professional background?
I am an MBA graduate in Marketing, from IMT Ghaziabad with a special interest in Digital & Marketing Analytics. Previously, I have worked on various projects with startups like OYO, Career Anna, CogniAble, and CG & Company in domains like Digital & Social Media Marketing, Market Research, and Analytics.
Also, I hold 3 years of industry experience with Infosys Limited and Edgeverve Systems, where I have worked closely with clients in different parts of India. I have also worked with international clients and has been to Medellin, Colombia in 2016 for a year.
I have always enjoyed volunteer work and have been involved with different organizations like Teach For India, Goonj, Arpan Padhai Kendra, TiE to name a few.
By heart, I am an Electronics & Communication Engineer with a special interest in robotics. I always appreciate and strongly believe in continuous learning.
What motivated you to choose entrepreneurship, rather than a corporate job after graduating from IMT Ghaziabad?
I had a keen interest in entrepreneurship and zeal to know the startup ecosystem in depth. Thus, after quitting my previous job, I took on different startup projects, worked as an intern to explore domains and know-how of startups. Later on, when I started my MBA journey from IMT, I joined the Entrepreneur Cell of my college, where I participated in many of the startup events, summits, and seminars and got a holistic idea of the startup world.
Exploring the startup ecosystem and attending multiple women-oriented summits, it became evident to me that women in the startup ecosystem played a very small part. And, this is the scenario across India, that we have very few women entrepreneurs and women who run small businesses. So, I decided to work for women entrepreneurs and build a platform that caters to their needs and enable them to be more vocal.
Thus, in February 2020, after graduating, I started working on my idea to help women entrepreneurs with digital and social media marketing and named it ‘Pink Collar Professionals’.
Can you please help us know about your venture ‘Pink Collar Professionals’?
Pink Collar Professionals is a social entrepreneurship initiative to help women-led small businesses with digital and social media marketing. During this tough time, we are talking about being Aatmanirbhar and running the movement “Vocal For Local”, but it is not possible without Digital Women in Business. Pink Collar Professionals is aimed towards this initiative and wants women of India to be self-reliant and be digitally vocal.
We not only help them build and maintain their digital presence, but we also enable them to be self-sufficient to manage and understand the digital strategy of their businesses. We have been featured by Forbes India Magazine and YourStory for the work we have done so far and the impact created by us. We thrive to create more impact on the businesses we work for and also the society at large.
What are the services you offer? What is your business/ revenue model?
We are a consultancy plus service-based company where we help our clients understand their target audience and channel their marketing efforts in the right direction. Our major areas of expertise are Digital Marketing, Social Media Marketing, Paid Ad Campaigns, and Marketing Analytics. But we are not limited to offering these services, we help women entrepreneurs in the complete digital transformation of their businesses and help them with the process innovations.
We have classified our services in majorly three categories: Business Digital Transformation where we help businesses who are not present online or have just started their digital journey. Second, Digital Marketing Support in which we help business which is present online but are not able to make effective use of digital and generate leads because of lack of expertise, and third, we believe every business is unique and many a time they come to us with specific requirements and objectives, so for them, we have our Custom/Specific Program. There is no fixed pricing, as we charge our clients based on their business growth and capabilities.
What is the vision of your organization?
Digitalization is no longer an option for SMBs – it’s a matter of survival. We thrive to emerge as a mindset. When the women’s participation in business rises and reaches the ideal number and when we will be able to push women to the CXO level, that will be the real success of Pink Collar Professionals.
Although, In the near future, we aim to reach 5000 women in India, (rural and urban) and be part of their successful business stories.
Since there are a lot of companies that offer digital marketing services, what is your USP?
We are not directly competing with any company that offers digital marketing services. We are unique in ourselves in 2 main parameters:
First, we are the ones who understand women entrepreneurs. We not only offer them the marketing services but we care for them and want them to be successful. We are social entrepreneurs, working towards a larger cause of society, helping women build more businesses, and be in CXO positions.
Second, as we are the expert in consulting women-led businesses, we provide premium services with a better understanding of their businesses and also the individuals. We provide these services at a very affordable price because we want to create more impact.
Since you have left out a lot of markets, as you want to focus on offering services only to women entrepreneurs/ women lead businesses, how is the scalability of your business model?
I don’t believe we have left out any market, While I believe we have created a niche (Blue Ocean) for us where there are no or very few players. We have no problem being the Apple of the Smartphone category. It is not about serving all, what is more, important for us is that we work for a social cause and we don’t want to dilute that.
Although when we talk about scalability, We have already started working on it.
First, we work with individual women entrepreneurs or small business owners in the Urban part of India.
Second, we have already started our Rural India Chapter, in partnership with Smile Foundation where we impart digital literacy to women and help rural women entrepreneurs to sell their products using online mediums. And We look forward to partnering with more such NGOs and organizations who work for women empowerment.
Third, we are looking forward to partnering with small Incubators, and E-Cells of Colleges in order to foster entrepreneurship in girls so that they can choose to be an entrepreneur as a career choice.
What impact did the covid pandemic have on your business? We would like to know both – the positives as well as the negatives.
Covid has impacted a lot of small businesses, and we are dedicated to small businesses, until they make money, how can we expect them to pay us. So, It is a very hard time for all the small businesses and for us in terms of making revenue, but on the other hand, it is very inspiring to see how every small business owner is making a conscious effort to adapt to the new normal and innovate their business model.
I would say like a coin has a flip side, covid has also impacted in a positive manner in terms of clients being aware of the need for the digital and being online. Earlier, if it required a lot of convincing efforts, now they understand that even to survive they have to go digital. It is no more a point of differentiation, rather it has become a point of parity.
How do you think the role of women in entrepreneurship is evolving in recent times? What are the positives and what are the challenges that lie ahead?
I personally believe we are moving in the right direction. We are seeing many of successful startups whose founders are women. Going forward, we will see more women entrepreneurs and this term Pink Collar Professionals will become a very common term.
Digital disruption is a very big opportunity for us, it has given us an immense number of possibilities in terms of overcoming the barriers of mobility, networking, accessibility, etc. Now, every woman out there can connect with anyone on LinkedIn. She can go out and register for any summit or event without thinking to take out 2 days of traveling to the conference location. And it is very easy to connect with your customers and engage with them online, the need for office space or site locations has decreased drastically. It is time for women to leverage the power of digital and make a huge impact on society.
Challenges are always there, we still face challenges in terms of mindset, roadblocks by society, and family responsibilities. But, these are the challenges that will go away over time with conscious positive efforts of all.
*All views are that of the interviewee. UdyamGyan does not promote or endorse any claims.