After fifteen years of working in the banking and telecommunications industry, Manvi Dhawan put her career on hold to take care of her children in 2013. After seven years of sabbatical, Manvi gathered the courage to take an entrepreneurial plunge and live the much touted dream of being one’s own boss.
Looking for business avenues and opportunities, Manvi learned about Amazon’s Delivery Service Partner (DSP) program where the ecommerce giant partners with Small and Medium Businesses (SMBs) to deliver packages to Amazon customers – achieving the twin goal of creating unique business opportunities and delivering the company’s packages to the hinterlands of India.
The 44-year-old jumped at the opportunity after a friend’s recommendation and some online research. Wasting no time, she set up Saima Enterprises as a delivery service partner with one station in Panchkula in January 2021.
Within a span of 15 months, Saima Enterprises has expanded to operate eight delivery stations and create work opportunities for more than 150 delivery associates in the NCR region.
Woman in a man’s world
Manvi says becoming an entrepreneur is shaping up to be a very fulfilling and empowering experience.
As Delivery Service Partners, the venture ensures last-mile delivery operations to deliver packages to Amazon customers, with the logistics expertise and tech support from Amazon.
Despite claiming big growth, the entrepreneur declined to share any numbers and financial data regarding initial investment, growth, or revenue.
At the same time, entrepreneurship has not been without challenges.
Manvi says, “The transition from a corporate employee to full-time mother of two daughters, and then switching over to becoming an entrepreneur has been difficult and requires a great deal of support.”
Besides her own will power to make it happen, she says having a very supportive family and husband made all the difference. Additionally, seeing both her mother and mother-in-law as working professionals inspired her further to keep going.
Manvi is also breaking the proverbial glass ceiling by thriving in the logistics industry that was traditionally considered male-dominated. Personally, she hopes that building Saima Enterprises would inspire other women to take part in the logistics sector.
Bootstrapped so far, Manvi aims to expand her geographical reach and generate further employment opportunities in the future.
As Amazon leverages the strength of many small and medium business owners like Manvi, Karuna Shankar Pande, Director of last mile operations at Amazon India, says,
“These new entrepreneurs are not only building a strong foundation for themselves, but also creating additional job opportunities for hundreds and thousands of associates. Since the DSP program first launched in India, it has not only helped Amazon provide growth avenues to SMBs, but has also enabled it to reach into the hinterlands of the country. ”
Advising women entrepreneurs, she says, “I have always believed that neither our gender nor our age should be a hindrance to our career or success. Nothing can stop us from achieving success in life if we are determined. It is especially important for women to change their mindset. If you want to be heard, you must be financially self-sufficient, ”Manvi quips.