Ramya And Priyanka Of Startup ‘Nexrea’ On Women’s Participation In Tech And Entrepreneurial Space
- IWB Post
- April 13, 2019
Two sisters, Ramya Gujjula and Priyanka Gujjula, with their startup ‘Nexrea’, are using creative skills to create innovative products and deliver top-class solutions. One is a doctor and the other is an architect. Through Nexrea, a proprietary Augmented Reality platform, Ramya and Priyanka are creating the world’s first immersive sales, training, marketing and servicing solution for the healthcare industry.
Right from their childhood, Ramya and Priyanka say that they always had the support of their parents in doing what they like. “We belong from different education backgrounds but we have certain complementary skills which make us compatible. It’s like we complete each other,” says Priyanka.
Ramya adds, “I am a doctor, I am good at learning things. Whereas Priyanka is good at solving problems. So I plan things and if any crisis occurs, Priyanka is good at handling it. She is good at maintaining her calm under pressure or deadlines. That’s how we cover the entire spectrum and complete each other. I think that’s what binds us together and keeps us together.”
Working becomes fun when you work with your sister due to the sense of compatibility and understanding. Talking about their work life, they say, “Women always have two worlds to manage. And the best way to ace is through work-life integration and not work-life balance. We spend a lot of time working. Our family has been very supportive throughout this journey. We often work on weekends but a good balance between family and work has helped us a lot. Also, being sisters helped us in this startup.”
But let’s not forget the perception of women in tech. It’s surprising that an industry so dependent on talent is lagging behind due to its patriarchal beliefs. Unfortunately, many multiskilled women are likely to be deterred by the hostility engendered by this mentality. Ramya believes that this remains a major challenge in the ecosystem overall. She argues that, “There should be women talking about it and encouraging other women entrepreneurs at the same time. Support is required. The mentality in India has to get better. It is a chicken and egg problem.”
“There is a lot more representation of women in the technology and entrepreneurial space, but people have this perception that a woman would start something in a commodity space, like setting up a boutique, etc. This must change. Women are getting into more powerful roles and starting their own companies in deep technology,” Ramya says.
Discussing the conscious efforts to get women into leadership positions, Ramya shares, “It can lead to more female-friendly environments. But the people around us are pretty evenly split by gender. Technology and entrepreneurial space encourage risk-taking which can be a source of a lot of friction for women.”
However, Ramya feels that despite the ideologies, this trend is finally beginning to change. She says, “Stigma is leaving huge imprints on people’s minds but we can say that things are changing. And what needs to change in order for that to happen is the percentage of women taking up these roles. There has to be more representation. And this can happen when women are given support and encouragement not only from parents and spouses but also from the ecosystems.”
But for Ramya and Priyanka, the confidence in the product they built is very high and they don’t see these as major challenges.
“What bring clients back are the intricate details that we take care of. Small things matter and we take care of every tiny detail, and that’s why clients like us. I believe that when compared to men, women have more attention to detail,” Priyanka says.
And that is how they also mastered the technology they use today, despite no formal training. “While a lot of what we do has to do with 3D, it’s something both of us have learned through our careers,” says Priyanka.