Words steal the day

One of the few woman entrepreneurs in the publishing and stationary line, Vinnete F De Souza’s hard work and skills have brought her state-wide recognition

Bharati Pawaskar / The Goan | MARCH 02, 2013, 08:12 AM IST

A gold medallist minted from the Pharmacy College of Goa,Vinnete F De Souza applies her pharmaceutical knowledge in helping those whoapproach her in distress after she got associated with the SamarpanFoundations. Vinnete has more than one facet to her personality: besides beingrecognised by GCCI for her entrepreneurship skills in 2005, Vinnete got theBest Performance Award from Rajhauns Vitaran, the noted publication house inGoa in September 2012. And as a Treasurer of the Goa Book Sellers’ Associationfor the past 15 years she is well aware of the economics of selling books.

“Selling books started more as a hobby which I later adoptedas a profession,” shares Vinnete who travelled to schools to sell books inremote places in Goa in 1982. Eight years later she opened her shop – WisdomBook House – in Panjim. Driven by the passion for the written word, Vinnetestepped into the shoes of a publisher and successfully carried out her role forsix years – 1990 to 1996. “I published 12 ‘additional assistance’ school books.I later wound that up because to be at the shop and to market my books to schoolssimultaneously was unmanageable. But I am happy I tried it,” shares Vinnete andcontinues, “Finance was the biggest challenge as the banks would shoe me away,underestimating my abilities. It’s hard to convince the men on top chairs thata woman can make in a male-dominated world.”

An active member of the Women’s Wing of the Goa Chamber ofCommerce and Industry (GCCI), Vinnete is well-informed. “There are around 235schools in Goa and 80-90 book shops and counters but there are no incentivesand schemes for us. In 2006, the government decided to provide free books tostudents from KG to Std VIII. Though it is a good step, we lost 70 per centsales in books along with allied items. That has not been recovered,” shelaments.

We need to bring in value for the state by bringing womenentrepreneurs to the fore. She says that one way of attaining Vision 2035 is byencouraging women entrepreneurs in the state. Personally, Vinnete believes ingiving back to society nothing proves this better than her contribution tocharity at the Samarpan Foundation.

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