International Women’s Day is a global day, celebrated each year on 8th March to embrace the achievements of women all around the world. Not only does the day raise awareness about gender equality, but also motivates women to make the most out of their potential.
To acknowledge the #IWD2021, ANS Commerce, India’s #1 full-stack e-commerce enabler, shares the conversation with Sonali Lalvani, Founder & CEO, Toniq – Fashion accessories brand in India. From the struggles she had to build this brand to the one thing that motivated her constantly, you’ll hear everything as she made her way into the entrepreneur ecosystem.
“ANS Commerce strives to raise awareness of gender equality and bring a change in the society.”
Theme for International Women’s Day 2021 | #ChooseToChallenge
This year the theme ‘Choose to Challenge’ outlines the courage and strength to take up a challenge eliminating gender bias and inequality. From challenge comes the change, thus the theme motivates people irrespective of gender to spread gender awareness while choosing to take up a challenge!
#HearHerJourney featuring Sonali Lalvani
To make women celebrate their worth with well-priced and beautifully designed fashion accessories, Toniq began its journey 10 years ago when there was a massive gap in the Jewelry category. But Sonali was determined and chose to take up the challenge, and fulfilling this gap. Today, Toniq has 200 Store-within-Store and also building out its online presence to reach a wider female audience.
Sonali Lalvani, CEO & Founder, Toniq, shares her journey as an entrepreneur with us. Not only did she face difficulties operating her business, but also lived through the judgements of many people. Explaining the challenges, she said, “Being a women entrepreneur and living in a fairly conservative city, Chennai, I have faced many issues. From the landlord refusing to sign the document without a male presence to the staff expecting a male to make the final decision on recruitment, I have witnessed many difficulties. In one of those instances, there was this priest during the Diwali Pooja, who got shocked when he learned that I am the CEO.”
After facing such challenges, Sonali is trying to make her company’s work culture healthy and comfortable for women. Sonali said, “ We are taking considerable steps in making our workplace extremely women-centric. In fact, our current workforce comprises 70% of the women.” Practising the aspects of gender equality, Toniq promotes its people solely on the basis of performance. “The workplace must realize that both men and women should feel safe to speak their minds”, she added.
For Sonali, the last year was very challenging as there was a strict guideline to close all the physical stores all across the country. But she didn’t lose hope and continued to scale her business online. She said, “Scaling up the e-commerce side of the business was my best decision ever as it has helped us a lot to boost our sales.”
Sonali Lalvani said she lives by the dictum – “Work today for your tomorrow.”
Today, our nation needs more women entrepreneurs like Sonali, to bring a change in the society’s patriarchal mindset. In fact, a woman entrepreneur not only motivates a woman herself but also inspires men of society to celebrate and embrace her passion and worth. “Women bring in a different perspective, and considering for us at Toniq our audience is women it just makes sense to have it more women-driven.”
Addressing all the women who want to start their own business Sonali says, “Do your homework. If you are looking at a business in fashion, it’s definitely not glamourous and the hours can be brutal. Always do it because you truly want to make a difference in your customs life.”
How is ANS Commerce helping Toniq?
ANS Commerce is assisting Toniq with its full-stack e-commerce solutions. From providing performance marketing to brandstore tech to warehousing & fulfillment to marketplace management, we strive to support Sonali’s business by broadening the brand’s online presence. Inspired by her journey? Want to start your own e-commerce business? Request your free DEMO now!
We hope that Sonali’s inspirational journey has motivated all the women out there. With that, team ANS Commerce wishes you a very happy women’s day! Let’s all #ChooseToChallenge this #IWD2021.