Meeta Wasan, 38, is the founder of Doon Consulting, a 60 strong, boutique-marketing services firm based in Gurgaon. Parachuted into India in December 2003, she started the company out of her dining room (large table, plug points, plenty of chairs) in July 2004. This is the eighth year of operations for Doon Consulting, which has been self-funded and has been profitable every year of its growth. Doon specializes in technology lead generation and sales force effectiveness measurement … And Doon virtually created these markets in India. Why we ask? Meeta breaks it down:-
What led you to start Doon consulting?
I have years of experience in sales with having done selling for dating sites to high end clothing and sales stints with technology services and products companies. However, I always saw my colleagues struggling with lead generation and closing of sales. I felt this was a specialized zone and required training and inherent skills. Also sensed there is a huge opportunity for any firm which could specialize in this service, so with this idea Doon Consulting was born.
How has been the journey till now?
It’s been great. We have come way ahead from where we started. Ofcourse there have been challenges at work and as well as, at personal front. Initially when we started the clients were hard to get by and were not easily convinced .But once we got the initial break based on the results, the clients not only stood by us but recommended us to several others. So the chain developed and now we have become a 60 strong team and a name to be reckon in the industry.
What were the major challenges you faced in the making of Doon consulting?
I faced many obstacles in the initial years. These challenges were both at the home front and the professional on the professional front since I had never worked in India did not know anyone So I started by making cold calls and setting up meetings. I recall sitting outside offices for hours days and sometimes even weeks to get the purchase order and to get the contract signed. In the initial dates I struggled with funds to pay my bills and staff. I struggled with finding a good team to work with I had obstacles in various places and found glass ceiling at the oddest places having said that I also found great mentors along the way who made this struggle worthwhile.
What needs to be done to encourage more women to become Entrepreneurs?
It is difficult to be an entrepreneur and doubly difficult to be women entrepreneur. But having said that there is beauty in meeting the challenges. What a women needs is clarity in her mind as regards to what she wants to do. And nothing like it if there is a family support.
To encourage more women to become entrepreneur we need to invest on their education first, secondly any women who wishes to be an entrepreneur should have a solid business plan in mind and then should back it up with sincere and dedicated effort.
Any message for the budding Entrepreneurs?
Entrepreneurs are boon for the society. Nothing like it, if a person wishes to start something of his own. But I repeat it should be based on logic and strong business plan.Any venture that an entrepreneur starts should see what need of the customers /clients it can fulfill. One should assess one’s strength and accordingly get into the profession of one’s liking .
These are the skills she looks for in her staff, which is composed primarily of women, particularly at the top level. ‘It takes a level of self-confidence, empathy and gravitas, to convince a C-level executive to meet a salesperson, or to attend a conference, quite obviously in addition to content ‘. Doonseems to manage to attract and retain people like this alarmingly well, and deploy them to a variety of industry verticals within the broad realm of technology. Their hip office in Gurgaon has very much of a Charlie’s Angels feel, sans, of course, the footwear.
Meeta believes in a healthy mix of work and family life. She is intensely focused while at work, and leaves promptly to pick up her daughter from the bus stop. This attitude is extended to her staff, a number of whom work part time or on flextime. ‘If you put your head down to work, you are no longer productive after four to six hours. So why pretend? Go home instead!’