Chavi Agarwal: The Story of A Woman Entrepreneur in Tech
Girl Power Talk interviews Chavi Agarwal, the Founder and CEO of CView, on her journey as a woman entrepreneur.
1. Please share your journey as a woman in business whose aim has been to be a voice for other women in this community and spread awareness?
Chavi Agarwal: My entire childhood I was encouraged to do more, take more risks and think out of the box. But when I started my graduation at Warwick, all that energy and the power was channelized on finding the perfect job, my sole aim and goal became to find a way to the 6 figure salary. I realized I was too driven by perception and was focusing on people’s goals to be mine rather than having a vision or a plan for myself. I kept on looking for that one million dollar idea or an innovation that I could possibly work on because for some reason we are constantly told to innovate something unique, be disruptors and create new markets to be called an entrepreneur.
I believe half my journey towards where I want to be began once I understood what I could do. I believed in my abilities bit by bit and miracles started happening and this was where my confidence increased. I would never regret that Job application process and securing one because that is where the idea or the germ for CView began. In noticing the issues recruits and students all around the world face during their application process I was determined to alleviate the problem of lack of right Job-Person fit and awareness of ATS compliance. The fire to be an entrepreneur and the urge to create something tangible for people around me led me to pursue a Master’s degree in Innovation Entrepreneurship and Financial Technology from Imperial College, London.
I combined my knowledge from personal experiences with my learning in artificial intelligence and machine learning and gave birth to a software development company that combines AI and Human expertise to guide students with their first impression into a firm- their CV. I had a 0 INR investment and today have an 87% profit ratio.
I believe that there is nothing more rewarding than making a difference in the lives of people and I am a huge propagator of Women Empowerment, which is why we donate 30% of its proceeds toward Women Education. Additionally, we do pro bono webinars in India, Tanzania, Nigeria, Nepal and Bangladesh to educate them about the importance of an ATS compliant effective CV.
Today, as I am living my dream of being an entrepreneur, It seems surreal for me to be able to say that I am the founder and CEO of CView, India’s first end-to-end ATS compliant CV Service.
2. What are your future goals as an entrepreneur?
Chavi Agarwal: I think being an entrepreneur, the ultimate goal is definitely expansion but apart from that I give myself deadlines and targets and try to hustle harder than yesterday.
3. Embedded within every challenge is an opportunity. What are some of the challenges you have faced in your life? Share with our audience how you overcame them and what you learned.
Chavi Agarwal: As a woman entrepreneur, especially in Technology, she faced the following two challenges:
Firstly, people, investors, partners and collaborators kept second-guessing her commitment and hence the longevity of the business. As a woman entrepreneur, she saw herself constantly working harder to showcase her passion, ambition and her long-term vision. She found herself explaining her vision and the enormity of it more than any male counterpart would ever have to.
Secondly, people expect women to be working in women-oriented businesses and the challenge then is to constantly face an ongoing perception battle. Although, what keeps her going is the fire and the urge to provide a new and improved value proposition to the youth, globally.
Apart from that, the organisation has to continuously educate customers about the ATS as most people do not understand the importance of it and thus, this results in a high customer acquisition effort and cost which is quite a challenge.
4. What are some women’s issues that you are really passionate about?
Chavi Agarwal: My business, career and company are blessed to be able to touch multiple women in their entrepreneurial journeys and career objectives. 42% of our clients are females and we not only help them create better income or job opportunities but also better education opportunities. I get a chance to speak to so many of them, learn what they are doing and get a perspective which is so fresh and new. Any female profile that we have ever made is not at all less than any male profile. I am a little biased to say this but female profiles are even more fascinating than a male profile. Females push themselves extra hard and have more leadership positions as they have a point to prove here. So I feel like I am blessed to be able to touch more and more people’s lives through Cview.
Additionally, 30% of our profits goes towards female education and we also help self-help groups of below income societies and villages for females to create more income opportunities. We have helped over 5 lakh women till now and continue to do so and this is something we are deeply passionate about. Now to add, we have an all female team which I am very proud of. On a daily basis, we exacerbate the fact that we stand by women empowerment and women education.
5. You are clearly a leader of learning. How do you balance investing in yourself with investing in the relationships you have with other people?
Chavi Agarwal: It happens quite effortlessly. I mean, our identity is built of multiple small facets and personal and professional are both quite significant parts of it. Of course, there are times when I have to prioritize one over the other but then again, where there’s a will, there’s a way.
6. What are your sources of happiness and inspiration?
Chavi Agarwal: When I see our clients getting into their dream Job, University or Internship because of the Cvs & Profiles we built for them gives me a constant source of happiness, motivation & inspiration.
Apart from that, I find inspiration in the smallest of things around me. I think that’s what happens when you are doing something that you are actually passionate about.
7. Please share a quote or life mantra you live by.
Chavi Agarwal: My life mantra is that no matter what anybody says or tells you, you have to concentrate on your career and you have to create a financial income stream for yourself. Nobody else is going to do that for you and you cannot depend on other people for your finances and livelihood. This is something that I say time and again. Nobody’s going to help you in times of need. It’s you who you need to support.
8. What advice do you have for youth and our growing community of leaders? In other words, what would you tell a younger version of yourself?
Chavi Agarwal: As a budding female entrepreneur, I cannot stress enough on the fact that you really do not need high investments or a million-dollar plan. You can leverage your skills, existing platforms and tools available to create value and establish something you enjoy doing. We had a 0 INR investment and have a 92% profit ratio at the moment through our bootstrapping efforts. You just need the will and the urge to create value for people and address existing problems in the market. We are constantly told to innovate something unique, be disruptors and create new markets to be called an entrepreneur. That is not true, you can be innovative in the way you tackle a problem by creating a new value proposition for the market.