The second day of the ongoing Women Economic Forum in New Delhi saw Polish Ambassador to India, Tomasz Lukaszuk, speaking on women rights and startup culture in Poland, and what lies ahead for budding entrepreneurs in India
The second day of the ongoing Women Economic Forum in New Delhi saw Polish Ambassador to India, Tomasz Lukaszuk, speaking on women rights and startup culture in Poland, and what lies ahead for budding entrepreneurs in India.
How is the Polish startup culture different from India?
Women today have turned leaders in many industries and with reference to women entrepreneurship, startups are no less. A majority of businesswomen are creating their own venture in different sectors like green technology, cosmetics, hospitality, hotels.
Polish women have become inventers. We have a small scale enterprise that has invented makeup removing gloves, so it is really attaining goals with the change in the mentality of the society.
Women are daring to lead. Especially in Poland, they start work in their 20s just after studies where they take up a business venture and leadership responsibilities and prefer to start family life in 30s. They prefer to gain a certain level of welfare, establish a family and position their business, hence adding growth and perspective to the economy.
How do you support startups in Poland?
We have many programmes supporting startups. There are chambers of commerce, associations where men and women can learn leadership lessons, get skill training and work on their own with soft loans or microfinance opportunities. Just the way it is in India. But the story of startups has just begun in India whereas in Poland it has been there for long.
The system completely changed ever since we became independent from the Soviet Union. We remember the experience of entrepreneurship before World War II when there was a wave of people coming back to Poland. Our diaspora is now 16 million strong. So much so that 90 per cent of our business growth largely comprise of small and medium scale companies whereas in India it is 95 per cent. So, small team startups are benefitted with women on board as they have an expertise on lot of things.
What’s your advice for young entrepreneurs?
Follow your dreams and do not be afraid to try your creativity in different sectors. There are a number of opportunities in India. For the next 20 years, India is a developing economy and is expected to have 6 per cent GDP a year. With this, I am sure every business man would like to venture out in India as we see the business climate going to grow in the coming years. With GST in process, it will open doors to more opportunities in India.