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Be It Silicon Valley Or Tough Indian Terrain, Women Entrepreneurs Still Battle Prejudices

Publication Date: 
May 24, 2012
Economic Times
Rituparna Chatterjee

Fellow at the Rock Center for Corporate Governance Vivek Wadhwa is quoted in the following article speaking about female Indian entrepreneurs. Rituparna Chatterjee wrote the following story for the Economic Times.

In the 1990s, Pooja Sankar was a shy girl growing up in Patna. She was taught to stay away from boys, which made her years at the boys-infested IIT Kanpur a lonely battle. Sankar, who found programming just as hard as making friends, studied alone; she was too shy to ask her male classmates for help.

Haunted by that experience, in January 2011, Sankar launched Piazza, an interactive website that allows students to ask, explore and answer all kinds of questions under the guidance of their instructors. Her startup already has 200,000 users, and the backing of Silicon Valley movers and shakers like Ron Conway and Mitch Kapor. "Who I am today is all because I was a shy girl in India," she says.


"Indian women think out of the box because they have struggled so much, unlike most entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley who think like each other and develop similar stupid solutions like each other," says Vivek Wadhwa, an entrepreneur-turnedacademic , and a vocal voice in the Valley on female entrepreneurship.