Efforts to encourage more women into entrepreneurship will yield results if supporting structures are put in place to help young women start businesses at an early stage so that they can learn from their mistakes as they grow, Kiran Daswani, Chief Executive Officer of The Greens – an eco-friendly residential developer – has said.
She said women in Ghana today are more capable of achieving great feats if they can persevere, have consistency and unshakeable faith. She however, noted that more supporting mechanisms, an enabling environment and, most importantly, the confidence to take a risk and start from an early age and learn from mistakes as they grow, are needed to spur women on. In terms of limitations, she believes that there are little or no limitations for women but the ones they impose on themselves.
“Women are producers of life, nurturers, caregivers, and custodians of humanity. Throughout history, women have had an enterprising spirit. What I believe that’s lacking is the support mechanism, the enabling environment, and most importantly the confidence to take a risk and start. I feel younger women should get into entrepreneurship at an early age so that they can make mistakes and learn from them as they grow,” she said when asked, what can be done to encourage more women to venture into entrepreneurship.
Born in Spain but raised in Cote D’Ivoire, and currently living between Accra and Dubai, she said being a female CEO in the male-dominated real estate industry has brought her more advantages than disadvantages: “The journey to the top might be harder as a woman, but once you do make it people are aware of the challenges you faced and treat you with greater respect and admiration”.
Achieving inclusive growth
To Kiran Daswani, who is also a Membership Officer of the Young Presidents’ Organisation (YPO)- Ghana Chapter, an organisation that brings young Chief Executive Officers together, inclusiveness comes from respecting that everyone has something to contribute and respect for every talent, gender, race and ability is a starting point.
She is also a firm believer that as a people and society, wanting goodness and success for one another is the only way to come together without having to pull the other down, regardless of whether they are male or female.
This, she noted, explains why at The Greens, employees are selected not based on unalterable factors such as gender or race. Instead, she said, the focus must be on their capabilities and what they bring to the table.
“We are all firm advocates of gender equality and hope to break the stereotype that real estate is a man’s field. Starting at the top with me and venturing around the company, our sales team is over 50 percent female – who are led by our brilliant sales manager Sarah Agyebeng,” madam Daswani stated.
Pandemic’s impact on real estate sector
According to her, the pandemic has affected every industry as both businesses and clients have been forced to re-order their priorities – with the real estate sector taking a nosedive as clients become more hesitant to make large investments.
Despite impacts of the virus, she said, “we have observed a surge in demand for our properties by clients in the diaspora due to the current financial instability in the Western world. Cost of materials has skyrocketed, but so far we have managed to maintain our prices”.
About The Greens
The Greens’ first development came to life in 2017, with a housing project offering a variety of eco-friendly residential properties in a gated community. Tucked away in the foothills of Community 25 near the busy industrial city of Tema, the estate comprises 105 housing units with two, three and four-bedroom duplexes and spans over seven acres of land. The Greens is centred on modern convenience, featuring an array of community facilities and amenities.
“Our main priority is to give our clients the perfect combination of luxury, affordability, environmental sustainability and design. This along with the fact that we do our construction in-house, ensuring both quality and price control as well as forming life-long bonds with all of our homeowners are some of the key factors which set us apart,” she said.
So far, over 70 percent of the houses in this project have being bought, while the company is currently in the process of launching the residential part of a new mixed-use development in Greater Accra; a place she said one can shop, dine, work and play – a unique offering in the region.