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Vedika Bihani

IWB Intern

Technopreneur Sridevi Opens Up How She Was Judged By Looks Before Her Skills

  • IWB Post
  •  July 18, 2017

 

“To be a startup founder is difficult and to be a woman startup founder is grueling,” told Sridevi.

Sridevi Arunprakash like most of the women entrepreneurs faced numerous challenges while setting up her business, GUVI. This woman of steel showed all that ‘she can’!

With the immense support of her husband Arun Prakash, she coded her path to success and was recently recognized at Google Launchpad’s Build.

Incubated in IIT Madaras, GUVI is a skill accelerator to bridge the gap between skills needed in IT companies, relevant education, and employment. It has also won a major project QEEE which aims to teach Python in vernacular languages across 150 colleges in India.

Here’s an excerpt of my conservation with Sridevi.

If you could time-travel back to the day one at your office, narrate the experience.

I always belonged from an IT industry, but there were a lot more social challenges than I had expected. When I decided to quit my job, I had to convince my family members about my plan. A married Indian woman is not all by herself. However, my husband was supportive all the time and motivated me to go on with my dreams. I had only one employee on Day One that was I. I had no idea about how things would be down the line.Guvi

“Don’t worry, I will be there, even if you fail,” my husband assured me. Since then failures never scared me.

What were the challenges that you faced?

The people often judged me just by my looks. There were times when I was underestimated. Nevertheless, all their judgments, predictions, biases had evaporated after listening to me and realizing my skill.

It was difficult to find employees for a start-up, so looking for capable employees was another hell of a task.

Guvi

How big is your woman tech-team?

Attribute it to the industry bias, but we have only one female employee, who is also an intern. When she had just come from Coimbatore to Chennai, she wanted to leave the place in a day. Now, GUVI has become her second home. She is very close to me.

How many languages do you know?

Only two (Laughs). Tamil and English. I try my best to read in Hindi, but most of the time I fail. This is one of the reasons we had proposed courses available in vernacular languages.

Okay! You have a very interesting vintage FB profile picture.

I was searching for the picture of the first woman programmer in the world, Ada Love Lace. Since I couldn’t find her photo, I ended up with this. She was a woman like you and me but decided to take a path different from others.

Sridevi Arunprakash

Sridevi Arunprakash updated her profile picture.

We also see many posts dedicated to motherhood on your timeline. What are those things that you know, but your children think you don’t?

Sarcasm

Sarcasm. 34M likes. Welcome to official Facebook page of Sarcasm, part of Digihood Media Private Limited.

Motherhood is all about following your own instincts. My son acts differently when he wishes to get things done. He believes that he can fool me, but actually, I already know what he desires. He tries to be very smart and act confidently. But mother knows everything. (Laughs)

Do your kids teach you a thing or two about technology?

Ohh! A lot. I had no clue about the latest games. He is more TechnoSavi than I am.

What is that one thing you tell yourself every morning?

I thank God. I am fortunate to have a husband who supported my dreams. I also tell myself not to be afraid of the judgemental world. I tell myself to maintain the calm.

Guvi

And what is your way to relax after a long day?

My husband and I sneak out to live a time of our own. We love going on dates, drives or anywhere there is peace.

What would you advise to all women technopreneurs?

Be unique. Be yourself. Be courageous to face the world.

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