Since 1994, when she launched her first company, Wizz O Tech, her journey as an IT businesswoman in an arena dominated by males, has been nothing short of extraordinary. With her exemplary positivity, Khambatta has turned her entrepreneurial ventures to gold.
Under her leadership, E Comm Opportunities P Ltd was selected as one of the top five 'Emerging ICT Enterprises of 2005' of Gujarat by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). Here's more about Khambatta and her entrepreneurial journey.
Please tell us something about your various companies.
I have founded four companies till date - Wizz O Tech, ReachGujarat.com, N Wave Tech Pvt. Ltd. and E Comm Opportunities Pvt. Ltd.
When Wizz O Tech was founded in 1994, it opened the window of opportunities by introducing people to the internet. Wizz O Tech took up upon itself to educate people how to leverage the web for business development and growth. With Wizz O Tech, many companies in Ahmedabad became cyber-savvy. Wizz O Tech offered quality websites to businesses at a reasonable price and has been very profitable.
I launched my second company, E Comm Opportunities, the first broadband ISP of Gujarat with a network of about 150 kilometers, in 1997. E Comm merged with Sify in 2006 but was closed in 2007 when profit margins were beginning to be squeezed by public limited companies like Reliance, Tata, Airtel.
In 2006, I founded two companies - N Wave Tech Pvt. Ltd., which focuses solely on mobile application development, and Reachgujarat.com, a one-stop travel and tourism solution for business and leisure travellers. ReachGujarat.com became Gujarat’s first online booking travel-n-tourism portal. With real-time, centralized reservations for airlines, hotels, railway, buses, tour packages and car rentals in the state, Reachgujarat.com has always led the way for the online tourism industry. This pilot project is readying itself to scale up to the national level
Why did you decide to become an entrepreneur? Why did you not pursue a regular job?
I belong to a gene pool of business persons. It was hard for me to ever imagine myself chained to a regular job. When i started working, there were barely any women in business, especially in IT. I was drawn to IT since it was not capital intensive. Most importantly, it was a business where intellect is one's investments. So again this business challenged my intelligencia and knowledge. It was a challenge to establish myself as a successful businesswoman and at the same time, make a difference in society.
Can you tell us something about the initial years- what kind of challenges, struggles did you face?
There are always challenges. The biggest one for me was that women in India have always had to go an extra mile to prove themselves worthy of competition, but look at the heads of the coin - such a challenge has brought out the best in me.
Did you at any point feel like giving up and getting back to a regular job or doing something different?
Quitting is not for survivors, and in the world of business, it is the survival of the fittest. In fact, I am quite experimental. I love to do different things and do them differently.
What drives you?
My biggest motivators are the work I put my heart and soul into, and the faith that has been vested in me to complete the work. I love new challenges and overcoming them. Everyday, I am driven by commitment and responsibility and the urge to accomplish what I set out to do.
Could you please elaborate on business – the operating model, the differentiators of your business, plans to scale up etc?
The operating model of each one of my companies - Wizz O Tech, ReachGujarat.com, N Wave Tech and E Comm Opportunities - is to find viable, cost-efficient solutions. While other companies may invest lakhs to crack a problem, my goal is to keep costs to a minimum and find a better solution. This not only helps my companies survive amidst cut throat competition but also instates confidence among team members.
What are the growth drivers / vision for your enterprise?
My vision is to lead the development of revolutionary and innovative technologies, products and applications in the IT sector that will transform the way people work, learn, communicate and play. I want to create and manage path breaking IT businesses and projects.
What is your take on the growth of women in the business sector and entrepreneurship?
In the past decade, Indian women have scaled new heights in entrepreneurship and business. Earlier, few women worked in public spaces but with a changing economy, women are focusing on developing their careers and often supporting their families. Many more women hold important positions in diverse industries than ever before.
Even about a decade ago, women gravitated to careers in designing, architecture, education and the cottage industry but now, women work across business sectors, be it engineering, medicine, pharmaceuticals, IT, FMCG, banking or any other.