From Idea To Inspiration: Adhunika Singh’s Impact On India’s Entrepreneurial Landscape


Over seven prosperous years of helming her successful enterprise, Look What Happened®, the company’s founder Adhunika Singh was asked an unsettling query that persistently plagues female founders in India: “Is this a hobby for you?”

In a nation where nearly half of the total population is composed of women, there’s a troubling gender chasm within India’s entrepreneurial landscape. Merely 6% of Indian startups are established by women. The scant few who manage to infiltrate this paltry percentage grapple with challenges including lack of funding accessibility, insufficient mentorship, inadequate networks, and underrepresentation.

Is India letting down its female entrepreneurs?

Singh, who launched her enterprise in 2015, recounted her early struggles in the business landscape: “Securing serious interest from potential investors was a formidable challenge. I was once asked at an investor meeting, ‘What happens to your business after you get married?’ This sort of question would never be posed to a man.”

Singh embarked on her professional journey in the domain of fashion marketing for a jewelry brand. However, her enduring fascination with design and paper goods prompted her to quit her job. Recognizing an unfulfilled demand for chic yet premium stationery and lifestyle products, Singh’s design-led lifestyle brand Look What Happened® now boasts a loyal customer base exceeding half a million, spanning across 29 states. Her products grace the shelves of the renowned bookstore CrossWord, with its outlets spread across India.

Adhunika reflected, “At the onset of my venture, societal attitudes forced me to acknowledge my identity as a ‘female entrepreneur.’ I didn’t aspire to be a female entrepreneur; I merely sought to be an entrepreneur. From my experience, a woman has to labor relentlessly to command respect as a business owner, whether it be from investors, vendors, or accountants. There is a palpable unease among men when dealing with a woman at the helm.”

Adhunika Singh Founder of Look What Happened.

Singh concluded, “India needs a surge in the visibility and celebration of successful female entrepreneurs. It’s also my duty to exemplify to other women that thriving entrepreneurship isn’t a far-off dream. My goal is to create opportunities for them to learn from my mistakes, gain confidence, and take bold steps as entrepreneurs. Attaining business success as a woman in India necessitates hard work, perseverance, and the defiance of societal conventions. We need equitable access to funding, quality mentorship, and an increase in leadership representation. I hope to witness a significant shift in perceptions surrounding female founders and women-led businesses in our generation, and am committed to being part of that transformation.”

What’s next on the cards?

 “I have some stimulating ventures in the pipeline. I plan to develop online courses centered on subjects close to my heart, namely business, entrepreneurship, and wellness. I am excited to share my insights and experience with a broader audience, inspiring more individuals to join the entrepreneurial world.

Furthermore, I am contemplating launching my very own podcast on my YouTube channel. It’s an idea that’s been buzzing in my mind for a while now. I think a podcast would be an excellent platform to connect with my audience on a more intimate level, engaging them with enriching discussion”

As I shared, “All signs point to an exciting start to 2024, as I further stretch my wings in the business and entrepreneurship arena. With fingers crossed, I am looking forward to rolling out these promising initiatives. I believe in always striving for growth and innovation, and these ventures are a testament to that belief.”

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