Famous Parenting brings to you yet another Super Achiever Social Entrepreneur and Mom, Ms. Revathi Roy who is a known name in the male dominated commercial driving sector.
She has pioneered Asia’s 1st ever women taxi service, FORSCHE, in 2007, in which she trained more than 1000 girls to take up the profession.
Her current vision is to increase her past goal by training 10,000 women in the next 3 years by providing them employment in the 2 wheeler rider platform and taxi driving.
Ms. Roy’s initiative is a holistic measure of female labour force generation and empowerment.
A receiver of “Entrepreneur of the Year 2007-2008” by the “Bombay Management Association” in recognition of providing high quality innovative transportation service at affordable cost in Mumbai, Award from “Inner Wheel Club” of “Bombay Airport” and “Lions Gold Award” for “Favourite Social Woman Entrepreneur” and “Godfrey Philips Bravery Award Amodini 2012”, let us know more about this thoughtful Entrepreneur and Enterprising Mother.
Please connect the dots of your childhood that made you the person you are.
I was born into a family who had been traditional landlords in our villages. The concept of giving was always there. I always saw my parents helping a lot of people who were less fortunate. Having seen that, it was always very natural to be of help to anyone whom I could.
How has your formal education shaped your life?
Formal education gives you the necessary confidence in life. The exposure that one gets is amazing and that creates opportunities. So for me, the institutions and alma maters where I have studied are of paramount importance, my school Convent Girls High School, St. Xavier’s College Mumbai and University of Mumbai.
How has your journey as an Entrepreneur been? What prompted you to start out on your own at such a young age and that too in an absolutely unexpected sector?
My journey as an Entrepreneur has been rewarding and satisfying. I am very fond of driving and I combined my passion and business. There is nothing better than this. So in a completely male dominated industry, I chose to become the 1st commercial woman driver despite studying Economics and started a company called FOR SHE to train women drivers only. Till date we have trained 1000 + girls.
“Technology can enable women to find their true voice. Technology, if used for self-growth, can offer avenues to women which were unavailable earlier”. Your comments.
Absolutely true. Standing example is the app that our girls are using on the UBER/OLA platforms and very soon they will start using technology on the HEYDIDI platform. HEYDIDI is my venture that provides last-mile delivery for ecommerce companies in Mumbai. HEYDIDI plans to have 5000 women scooters Drivers in 2016.
How has your motherhood contributed to you as an individual and as a leader in empowering women?
Motherhood has been a very enriching experience for me. It has taught me patience and compassion. And of course, satisfaction to see children become good human beings.
Talk about three people who have had the most profound influence on you.
My Parents and the girls as a group who came to learn from me.
Please share some experiences of yours with women drivers while managing your four wheeler and two wheeler business.
There have been so many moments and experiences. One of the girls I trained later was found on the footpath after being thrown out by her husband. I took her to office and trained her to become a driver. With those earnings she has managed to make her daughter into a veterinary doctor. There was another girl, who had 3 little kids, but was very keen on making something of her life. She would come to our training centre every afternoon after lunch. She would put a lock outside the door of her house to keep her kids safe. These things really touched me. These girls go through lot of suffering in their lives but always want to make it in their lives. They were my inspiration. There was a lady whose husband was a drunkard. She would stay on the road, sleep in the car to avoid going back to the drunk husband.
Your philosophy of life in a sentence.
Life is beautiful if you give it a chance.
Tell us about your future plans.
I want to skill as many women as possible. We have just started a 2 wheeler parcel delivery service where we would have women delivering pizzas etc. I want to create lacs of women doing this as a profession. I am working to enable these women to have their own scooters through micro finance.
How has your journey and experience helped your sons to take plunge into start ups?
I have three boys. Two of them have their own start-ups. My eldest son Satyajit Roy is into food processing. He makes “Fried Onions” and is fondly called “The Badshah of Birrista” in his circle of friends. My second son Shurojit Roy is Co-Founder of BYOF Studio, a gaming company while my youngest son Shubhojit Roy is still studying. I guess they have seen my late husband and me as Entrepreneurs and it runs in their blood.
What would you like to convey to those moms who have dreams and ideas but they feel bogged down by family and social responsibilities.
Sometimes I feel that saying I have family responsibilities is an excuse. If you really want to do something, you can and you will. So my message to women and mothers is that if you really want to go out and do something, do it. Trust me that your family will support you, sooner or later.