There is no denying the fact that education and entrepreneurship are the keys to women empowerment. This is why many perceive Neeru Sharma as an empowered woman. She is one of the few who are at the helm of big businesses in a male dominated industry. However, according to her, there is no difference between men and women when it comes to entrepreneurship. It is all about perseverance and determination, which makes a person, excel in their particular field.
Neeru Sharma is the Co-founder of Infibeam. Infibeam focuses on developing an integrated and synergistic e-commerce ecosystem offering cloud based, modular and customizable digital solution under the brand name BuildaBazaar.
After working for Amazon and Alcatel, she had clear ideas about her intentions: she wanted to start up on her own with the support of innovative and energetic young people. Infibeam is a very successful e-commerce platform in India for automobiles, books and electronics. Headquartered in Ahmedabad, it counts 1300 employees, and has offices in other three cities. It acquired few other companies like Picsquare in 2008 and ODigMa.
For Sharma, Indra Nooyi is a visionary. “Nooyi has taken PepsiCo to the next level. She is representing India at the international arena and so strongly and consistently at that. She stands apart from all business professionals.”
Early Days and Education
Neeru come from a middle class service based family. Her father tried his hands in business, but he suffered a major loss. That's when her mom stepped in from being a housewife to becoming a businesswoman, by need, so dad could step out and cover the losses through a stable job. She has seen financial crisis situations but her parents ensured our education never suffered. She is a quick thinker, very thorough, supportive, and very open to new ideas. This is why she is a perfect example when it comes to empowered women in tech industry.
She holds an MBA from Carnegie Mellon University and an Engineering degree in Computer Science. Pre-MBA, she spent 5 years working in the technology sector, most recently working as Product Manager, Alcatel India where she led R&D related projects in the Intelligent Network services domain for major telecom partners in India, Australia and France. She holds Bachelor's degree in Computer Science and Engineering from Maharshi Dayanand University, Rohtak and a Master's degree in Business Administration from Carnegie Mellon University, USA.
Neeru completed Bachelors in Computer Science from MDU and worked for 6 years in the tech sector with biggies like TCS, Alcatel and worked around the globe. Post this, got married and her husband convinced to go for an MBA from Carnegie Mellon along with him. Since then, she has tech profile and entered the business world with Amazon, her first business job. She returned to India after a few years of experience and entered the world of entrepreneurship.
With an MBA and an Engineering degree in Computer Science under her belt, she has been associated with Amazon in media retail and Alcatel India as product manager. After gaining ample experience in top positions across various organizations, she went on to start her own venture Infibeam. Most people associated with her think her approach and maturity is beyond her young age.
Ms. Neeru Sharma is Co-founder of Infibeam Incorporation Limited and has been its Head of the Platform Department at since 2015. Ms. Sharma joined Infibeam Incorporation on April 1, 2015. Prior to Infibeam Incorporation, she worked at Alcatel Development India Private Limited for two years, at Tata Consultancy Services for approximately three years, and at Amazon Global Resources, Inc. for two years. She also worked briefly with EDS-Electronic Data Systems (India) Private Limited. She worked with NIGPL for over six years.
Neeru heads Corporate and Business Development at Infibeam.com, one of the leading ecommerce portals carrying over 100 lakh Stock keeping Units (SKUs). Before this venture, she worked with Amazon, US in Corporate Development and Media retail. Sharma chose ecommerce as a venture since the space was new, growing and previous experience had given her a lot of exposure and insights into ecommerce. According to her, the challenges are the same for every entrepreneur irrespective of gender - forming the right team, sticking to the core vision, making the right investments and generate value for the shareholders.
Infibeam is an e-commerce website that started in 2007, around the same time when India’s digital story began. Sharma credits her previous work experience at Amazon for inspiring her to come up with her own e-commerce idea. Started as retail portal, but the Big Idea was to develop an integrated distribution framework which can enable inclusive growth of the commerce eco-system in India by empowering merchants to create online identities fueled by an e-commerce engine. Thus, democratizing the online retail industry and opening the opportunity to millions of individuals, SME’s and large retailers & brands, to reach and serve audiences beyond geographical boundaries. Today they have both B2C and B2B business live and growing.
“The reason why women entrepreneurs are much more successful is that being women, we understand the market in a much better way, as even today, in the traditional setup, the household income comes to the woman. We understand relationships better, we are more trust-worthy and our perspective adds a unique richness as by nature we are bound to see more dimensions because it is our role. If we add up these three four things, then it makes it the most successful business formula,” Sharma says about women entrepreneurship.
Neeru has started a parallel platform business model which began with formulating a product equipped with industry best processes, tools and online learnings from our experience at Infibeam. As industry, customer behavior and technology evolved, the product became richer by the day, hence providing a comprehensive online solution to retailers across the web. New ecommerce solutions were devised for ticketing, digital content, digital marketing to enable multiple platforms of ecommerce serving diverse needs. This is the service and depth of ecommerce that they are offering through their ecosystem.
Infibeam is an ecommerce solutions company with Infibeam.com as our B2C customer facing arm. Buildabazaar is a technology platform offering multiple business solutions to serve diverse business needs of merchants, retailers, brands.
Infibeam is not just an online retail portal but an ecosystem of portals where ecommerce transactions are performed in any way, shape or form. Ecommerce is a mode of purchase but there are multiple business needs where such solutions are required. Their integrated business model enables us to provide comprehensive, multi-channel and multi-screen value added service to partners. Infibeam is all set to make investment in payment gateway company Avenues (India) (CC Avenue). And after becoming India’s first listed e-commerce company, it is now also venturing into Dubai to become the country’s first e-commerce player to take on international expansion.
|Carnegie Mellon University|
|M D University India|
|'“Family is the strongest pillar in life and they deserve their space always.”|
|“Work hard, be resourceful, network and maintain the passion.”|
|“Work smart not just hard. Delegation to the right team helps you work on the business rather than work in it all the time.”|
|“If we have a strong family support system, then nothing is a challenge.”|
|"Don't get too busy making a living that you forget to make a life!”|
|“Nothing will work unless you do.”|
|“Positions and profiles of people you meet are important but more important is that it is a human talking to another at the end.”|
|“Hard work never fails!”|
|“The percentage of women founders might be lower than men, but the percentage of successful entrepreneurs, in my view, will definitely be higher than men.”|
|“If you have a vision and you convert that into action and just keep going on with the hard work and not getting distracted by how the market is changing or how the client is reacting, then we can achieve whatever we want to achieve.”|
|“It is not just necessary for women to dream big, it is equally necessary for men as well. But women perhaps face more challenges not because a woman is an entrepreneur and corporates see her differently. But by design, our society does not accept women to work on revolutionary ideas.”|