International Women’s Day Interview: Meenal Sinha, Founder of Meetingsandoffices.com


International Women’s
Day 2018 Special Interview Series
Name:  Meenal
Age:  45
City: Mumbai, India
Occupation: Entrepreneurship
Meenal Sinha is the founder of Meetingsandoffices.com (MnO),
a platform aggregating co-working
spaces, shared workspaces and flexible workspace options across India. MnO
offers flexible workspace facilities at 200+ locations, 500+ meeting rooms and
board rooms, 95,000+ workstations as well as numerous training facilities,
private offices etc. across 15 cities in India.

ST: Please tell us briefly about you.

Meenal: I am an
entrepreneur, living and breathing my dream. I am also a management
professional with more than two decades of experience across branding,
communication and shared workspaces.  Before
starting Meetings and Offices, I was the Country Head for one of the largest global
brands in the serviced office industry. I have an Honours degree in Economics
from DU and a Management degree from Indore.
ST: Who is a woman that inspires you the most and why?

Meenal: Every
woman who has ever taken a step towards taking charge of her own life is an
ST:  How are you
celebrating this year’s International Women’s Day?

Meenal: Every day is a celebration of womanhood. I am a
frequent speaker at business events and women’s fora. In fact I will be
speaking at the Women’s Economic Forum this coming April. I am a part of the
All Ladies League, of Habitat for Humanity’s ‘Women Build India’ vertical, a
mentor with TiE, SHEROES, some business accelerators and business schools. I
have set up sessions with some of the women entrepreneurs that I mentor and
that would be the ideal way to celebrate.
ST: What is the most important message you want to
send out to all the women around the world on this occasion?

Meenal: You’re half of humanity, the better half, the stronger
half, the more giving half. Unshackle yourselves, dream big and make dreams
come true. If you can’t do it, nobody can!

ST: What
according to you is ‘women empowerment’?

Meenal: The freedom to choose your path and the commitment to stay
focussed are at the core of women empowerment. Women want to do everything and
excel at it all; giving them a paradigm that frees them to try is empowerment. Entrepreneurship
according to me is empowering as well, it is a tough role and has everything to
do with your ability and passion to persevere in the face of all odds.
ST: What would you say are the main challenges facing
women at present in India?

Meenal: Like I said, women want to do it all, but are often
pushed and societally coerced into making limited choices. Somewhere we haven’t
understood the concept of equal halves and women are as responsible for this as
men. We refuse to give the nurturer a nurturing paradigm; the mindset that
women have more duties but fewer rights persists. This retrograde mindset is
our biggest challenge.
ST: Where
do you want to see yourself in next 5 years?   
Meenal: Same brush, many more colours and a much larger
I have strong
convictions about my business and shared economy as a whole. Five years from
now, with enhanced access to internet and improved technology, businesses that
work on collaborative platforms will probably be the norm of the day and will
contribute more than 50% to the service industry. We will be at the forefront
of that change; we will also be a symbol of it.

Meenal Sinha
(This interview is a part of ‘International Women’s Day interview series’. Share your feedback at startupterminal@gmail.com)