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Empowering Women Entrepreneurs | Investreks EP 05 | Ashton Gray Investments

Investing wisely is a crucial step toward securing your financial future and building wealth.

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Speaker 1 [0:08 ]

Hello everyone, welcome to investreks and exclusive podcast series by Ashton gray in the strikes is the ultimate podcast designed for inquisitive minds like yours ready to delve into a treasure trove of financial insights. Get ready to stripe confidently in the intricate world of finance.

Speaker 1 [0:33]

Today, I’m thrilled to host see Nisha Dhanuka, a dynamic entrepreneur and finance expert. She has a solid background in business planning, risk management, corporate finance and banking. Her credentials speak volumes, holding an MBA in finance and qualifications as a chartered accountant and company secretary. But Nisha is more than just an accomplished financial professional. She’s a dynamic force advocating for empowerment in the entrepreneur landscape, particularly for women. Today, we privileged to delve into her insight, experiences and wealth of knowledge she brings to the table. Welcome, Nisha,

Speaker 2 [1:10]

thank you so much. To kick things off,

Speaker 1 [1:13 ]

why do you believe financial literacy is particularly crucial for women? You know, especially those venturing into entrepreneurship, Pensacola,

Speaker 2 [1:21 ]

I think that’s a very, very valid question, especially for doing business. First of all, let’s understand, why do we do business, we do business to make money. Of course, along with making money, we also need to achieve the objectives for which we created the business. Making money or generating money from businesses extremely important, as business needs money or cash flow to sustain and grow. If it’s a business owner, we don’t know how to manage money, we don’t understand the terms that I use in the financial world, how we can explain or guide our team to grow the business, or to not know how to manage the money. Right. So if we improve the top line, as well as the bottom line, we can’t shy away from saying that I don’t understand what’s happening in the financial world, I don’t understand the financial terms, it will not help you succeed. Fact, to give you an example, almost 85% of the businesses shut down because they are not able to manage their cash flow. Well. And most of the business heads beat women or men say that this was because they never took the initiative to understand the finance and their business. Now, if I go take one step back and go talk particularly about women, women somehow tend to be very risk averse. They feel that when it comes to manage your finances or money, they always fall on the male counterpart be their husband, their father, their accountant, anybody. And they feel that those people male counterpart will do a better job than them in managing the money, which is such a winner. Right? awareness and interest. Actually, one can upskill themselves, to manage their finances, their personal finances, as well as the business finances, along with, of course, other roles and responsibilities as a business owner or as an

Speaker 1 [3:30 ]

absolute inertia. So the importance of managing finances and business cannot be overstated. And like you said, 80% is a staggering number. And also, it’s encouraging to hear your perspective on debunking the myth that women may not be as adept as you know, at managing finances. But in reality with the right awareness and interest, anyone can upskill themselves in financial management irrespective of gender. Yeah, so moving on to the next question. Women often face unique challenges in the world of investments, what obstacles have you observed? And how can women overcome them to build a robust investment portfolio?

Speaker 2 [4:10]

So I have gone to a lot of foods and part of lot of food and we are these women entrepreneurs interact. Now, one common link or one common thing that I observed when women are talking about the challenges that they’re facing while they’re managing their finances, or why do they shy away from managing their finances? Is their mindset. This is what they believe that they can’t manage their money wisely, or if they invest, they will lose money. In fact, yesterday I was having a chat with a very, very successful Squadron Leader. The lady’s name is Jaya, now she has bought into business. She was saying that Nisha even today I am. I learned so much but I’m scared to invest money imagine a woman of that caliber she She has done so much. But still, when it comes to manage money or finances, she feels that if she takes any call, it will always make them lose money, which is not true at all. I haven’t come across any statistics which says women make bad investment decisions, or men make extremely good investment decisions. In fact, I truly am strongly believe that one small shift in the mindset that, yes, I can do it. I am as good as any other human being. When it comes to managing the finances. I think most of the problems will be solved. Of course, when you want to get into that space, you need to take a small step toward upskilling yourself, and making yourself a little aware about what’s what’s happening. I think it is as simple as that. Managing. Managing your money is not rocket science. It’s as good as you and I can do it. Anybody can do.

Speaker 1 [5:57]

Right, absolutely. Well said Nisha, so mindset is everything. So you know, just not in finance, but in everything one does, right. And also, you know, moreover, there’s a growing body of research highlighting that women actually tend to make more risk aware and take a more long term view when it comes to investments. And I think it’s time that we, you know, put these traits to use and make use of them to make, you know, good financial decisions. So, you know, coming to the complexity, part of things, women often face unique challenges in the business world. And how can female entrepreneurs overcome financial challenges and barriers? Are there specific strategies or insights you could provide based on your own experiences,

Speaker 2 [6:41]

as earlier said that entrepreneurship is just not about selling your product or services, you need to be Jack of all trades, you need to understand finance, marketing, HR, as, as much as you should know about a product or services you should your cell. So first of all, believe that if, as a woman entrepreneur, if you can start a business, run a business, grow your business, you are as capable as anybody in the world to manage your money as well. Finance, as I said, is not rocket science, it is as simple as understanding how to make profits. If you’re doing business, I’m sure you must be calculating, as a business owner, at what price you’re going to sell your product, you know how to make profits, right? You also need to understand what are the various costs involved, by which I can decrease or better my profitability. It’s a simple route, either you increase your sales, or you reduce your cost to better profitability, which are again drivers to increase your sales and how, when you have this money, how do you reinvest the money. So if as a business owner, if you say that I will only want to sell my product or services, I’m not going to look into finances, it will not help your business to grow, you must understand that how, where to reinvest your profits, how to grow your business, keeping in mind this financial jargon that we use in this business world, if you can take one simple step, you know, we women, we can, there are so many sessions happening around you know, which upgrade, which are free to set as a basic sessions on finance, for non finance, you know, take some call, do some investment, you know, use some money, because you might lose more money, but the amount of learning that you’re going to derive from that using the small amount of money would be phenomenal. In fact, in fact, pretty morning, I was reading somewhere there subsequent money paradox, which says that, in order to earn more money, you have to initially lose some money. And if you pick up any great investors, you know, it was not that from day one, they started making money, they made some investment decisions, they lost little money, then they took the learnings and that they are getting went ahead and made major color invested future money, and then they made money. So that is something that until us we lose burn your finger a little bit, you will not be able to take those big calls of big shots and out of

Speaker 1 [9:17]

thank you well said Yeah, because failures are definitely you know, stepping stones to success, not just in finance, like I said, but then like, you know, everywhere in life as such. And you know, there’s this analogy between running a business and managing finance, like you know, both require a fundamental understanding of key principles. So in support of your advice, it’s worth noting that Various studies have also shown a positive correlation between financial literacy and business success. So taking that proactive step towards attending basic finance sessions for non finance professional could be a great step to start off with. And, you know, moving on your journey from starting a business to achieving significant financial success is truly inspiring the show So can you share some key strategies and insights for women entrepreneurs looking to grow their businesses financially?

Speaker 2 [10:06]

Yes, I strongly believe and support that we as an entrepreneur, again, I say, well as an entrepreneur, let me not gender biases, say, male or female, you feel if you’re an entrepreneur, you need to be on top of your finances. If we don’t understand the if we don’t understand the complexity of these finances, we can always outsource our accounting and taxation or finances to professional, but still take monthly updates from we can’t just outsource and say, now it’s your job. I don’t, I will not get involved. You don’t know how to file taxes, you don’t know. You may not know how to pass a transaction. But you still must know from an accounting, even if it’s outsourced, how much sales are doing, what are the costs? How can I improve my cost per hire? How can I save my taxes? You have to ask for quite as these questions to your accounts department or the professionals that you have also, even at times, I have seen women entrepreneurs or entrepreneurs feel that is this question where I’m asking is silly. And should I even ask that question? There’s no question called silly because I always say to everyone, in fact that if you ask a question, you remain silly for a moment or you stupid for a moment. But if you don’t ask a question, you remain silly forever. So choice is yours you want to remain see for a moment or you want to remain silly forever. The more you ask, the better you will become. And also the accountability firm your team will increase that now my boss is asking me questions, I need to be on top of things I need to explain him or her that what I’m doing and why I’m so this will not be only the accountability, but also if you see it will also improve overall growth of the business. Also speak to the other entrepreneurs, I’m sure all the entrepreneurs do not later get into the same journey. Sometimes you are in the journey. Sometimes you’re behind in the job. Journey help other entrepreneurs, if you’re behind in the journey, seek help for those entrepreneurs who have gone through that attend to different business meet, go to so many seminars that are happening. In fact, we get to know so much about so many schemes and offerings that especially Google openers are given by government to grow their business. Right. Absolutely agree Nisha.

Speaker 1 [12:34]

So being hands on with finances is essential for entrepreneurs. And like you rightly said outsourcing accounts to professionals and seeking regular updates is a practical strategy because you know, all the planners can then make use of their time to focus on their core business strengths. So as someone with a strong background in corporate finance, what investment opportunities do you recommend for women entrepreneurs? Are there specific sectors or types of investments that would align well with a goals and aspirations

Speaker 2 [13:06]

so see there are so many asset classes where one can invest right now if you’re not investing at all, you can take a baby step of starting for real investing into a simple every now empty is only first of all we need to understand empty is just is not one of the bestest tool for investment and bloom, okay, it doesn’t beat inflation it has a tax component attached to it. So but to taste that how does investment feels like when you get interest you can start with FDS right now, don’t put an FD too much of a boat as I always say FD is only an emergency fund. So maybe three to six months of your expenses should be kept as empty not more than that. Then take one step forward mutual funds of course we all hear the word mutual funds are subject to market risk. So our other investment if tomorrow the day something goes wrong with the economy we have seen bank shut as well right there are people whose money but to grow money you have to take that calculated risk and then only your money will go one step forward go for you know more of debt funds which are much safer than equity funds. You know if now if you’re comfortable mutual funds go one step and start investing in stocks directly. There are so many good blue chip stocks. It is a people don’t understand that they fill the share markets are it’s like a gambling place to it is not it becomes gambling when you you know buy something to be sold tomorrow or day after to make quick money then it’s gambling. stock market is a long road process and it’s a long term investment. So if it’s even if you’re risk averse, you need to identify certain good stocks. And you need to understand if the business is growing economy is doing The stock is bound to grow. By investing in stocks, you get to benefits. But of course, the company’s pays dividends if they’re making profits. Also, someday when you sell the stock at a higher price, you also get capital appreciation month for stocks, apart from mutual funds, you can also invest in gold, you can always invest in real estate, there was a time when people used to feel that to invest into real estate, they need crores of money to buy a plot they need one crore to do. But in today’s world, you can invest into real estate in so many ways. One, of course, you can directly go purchase a flat flat building whatever you want. That is one way. Other way you can also go and read, which is nothing but it is like you can bold, it offers a simple model that if somebody, if a big builder, have bots allow you to plot what 10 throws, you can just take work, you know, a small do one small investment, but 25 like and take a portion in that. So you still have a real estate exposure in your portfolio. And still you don’t have to invest like clothes to get that exposure that as it relates to real estate, also one of a very good option for, you know, investors to invest into as as they grow and get deep dive into investment.

Speaker 1 [16:20]

Right inertia. So yeah, the investment landscape both in India as well as the world offers diverse opportunities. There’s not one but there’s like a plethora of options for people to choose from. And you know, beginning with an emergency fund and exploring other avenues is a thoughtful strategy. As the saying goes, the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago, and the second best time is now. So you know, the earlier you start, the better. But if you haven’t started the right time to do it would be today. So I urge everybody to get started with their investment journey right away. And coming to the last question of the episode, you’re not only an accomplished professional, but also a coach. So how can coaching and mentorship play a pivotal role in enhancing women’s financial acumen and fostering successful investment strategies?

Speaker 2 [17:08]

That’s why I think it’s a very, very important question. And sometimes, especially I see the women leaders and even entrepreneurs, we shy away from asking for help. We feel that when we go out and seek help, our one we may not get help. And other people might think that I don’t know, and I’m not the right person, you know, there’s a lot of self doubt about when we go and seek some help. So first of all, let me bring to your notice that you just said that I’m such an accomplished person I have done, I have accomplished so many degrees I have what a work experience. Even today, I went get stuck certain times, I don’t shy away from going out and seeking help you ask and it is given. So this is absolutely a myth among especially women entrepreneurs who that you know, I don’t know, should I go to? Why will they entertain me? Please understand, everybody has their own journey. And as a human being, when we get something you also like to give it back? Why Why am I doing this seminar or this podcast today? Right? I want to share whatever I have little I have learned in my journey. And if that can help even one person, you know it would be such a what do you say satisfaction for me that okay, by learning on my journey has helped somebody to grow, to over shy away from going out and asking for help. And mentors and coaches are so critical for the growth and growth journey, especially when you’re running a business. Now, we need to understand you always think that this mentor and coaches are very expensive, we need to pay them highly do who can remember our coach, you don’t have to go for paid mentors are coaching. You don’t have to go to some high profile better or coaches as you see on different platforms. Anybody who have gone through the journey, go and speak to them. Talk about or talk to them about the problem that we’re faced facing. They will give you a perspective. They will give you their how they see the problem is obvious how you see the problem. And when you talk to them, you sometimes realize that you already have an answer within you with just that. These mentor coaches act as a sounding board by asking the right questions to get the answer out of entrepreneurs. It’s a lonely journey, you’re at the top you don’t know you can go and discuss your problems. And if you don’t have these mentor coaches, your journey where will you go and talk about your problems? Right. And it is also not only one person you can go to for your finance, you can have a financial coach or finance mentor for your business today to discover a business mentor. So you can have multiple mentor coaches or people to talk to or get stuck that only one person will have the solution to be very open about it. And as you grow journey, you also need to change your mentor and coach as you talk. Right? Yeah, absolutely.

Speaker 1 [20:10]

And so So you mentioned of, you know, entrepreneurship, being a lonely journey basically highlights a critical aspect of mental health. You know, on a related note, mental health, whether in entrepreneurship, or a nine to five job is undeniably crucial, especially in today’s world. So the pressures and challenges regardless of the professional path can take a toll. And like you said, you know, contributing to the broader communities knowledge and success is a wonderful way to give back to the society. And I would like to take this moment to thank you for doing that. Nisha,

Speaker 2 [20:44]

thank you so much. Yeah. So

Speaker 1 [20:47]

we’ve actually come to the end of the episode, but then, you know, before we let you go, what would you like to be the golden takeaway for the listeners?

Speaker 2 [20:55]

So, I would like to conclude by saying, finance is not gender biased, or women can be as good as an investor as a man, and vice versa. So don’t shy away from making your own costs, whether in finance, or investment or business. Thank you so much. Absolutely,

Speaker 1 [21:16]

Nisha. So finance knows no gender bias, like you said, and anyone regardless of gender can excellent. I mean, can excel as an investor, so embrace making your own calls and finance and investments confidently? So we’ve officially come to the end of the episode. Thank you for your time, the shard has been a pleasure hosting you and our listeners are undoubtedly richer for the value perspectives you’ve brought to the table. Thank you for your time and to our audience. Stay tuned for more enriching conversations in the episodes to come. Neither one thanks for having me on

Speaker 2 [21:49]

the platform. It was pleasure interacting with you.

Speaker 1 [21:51]

Thank you so much.

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