Tell us about what inspired you to start your current business.
I own and manage a preschool brand named Head Over Heels in Magarpatta City, Pune. My child was my inspiration to start a school. My experience of living in England guided me in understanding the learning curve in a child and the importance of allowing a child to explore to learn.
What factors would you confirm have made you successful as an entrepreneur?
Having completed my Masters in Human Resource Management and Development, helped me understand the importance of building a good team to run a system. Then be it a team in a corporate or a team built by myself for my school. I am also taking care of HR in my husband’s company. In all the places I have realized that happy people make a happy workplace. Being considerate and compassionate with the workforce makes the team feel the onus of the institution. This cannot be done overnight. It, in fact, takes a lot of effort to build a strong and able team and there is no alternative to this. Any leader needs to be able to listen and solve the concerns raised by the team and I fell the ability to do that makes me feel happy.
Tell us a little about any challenges you faced when you first established this business. How did you overcome them?
Both my establishments are a brand by itself. To build a brand is not a cake walk. I am not going to say I have sacrificed anything because I do not believe in it. I believe I have invested my time and efforts in the right directions which have helped me bring the institutions to where they are today. I play multiple roles in my daily life eg – a wife, a mother, a daughter, a counselor, a team member, a decision maker and many more. There are times when I feel I can not think anymore but that is the challenge. To be able to push yourself beyond your own limits is the biggest challenge I had and I overcame that only by accepting the challenge and completing each one of it.
As a business owner, what cost-saving tips would you like to provide to the women of the country?
My husband once gave me a very wise advice. He said not to try to cut cost but to try and improve the revenue. Each time I felt there was a financial pinch I realized my only option was to think out of the box to maximize the situation and improve the revenue. In doing so I was surprised at myself with my creative brain clubbed with my husband wise suggestions from time to time. But the most important of all is to be able to plan and foresee your business, financially and market-wise.
Is entrepreneurship in India a level playing platform for men and women?
Entrepreneurship sees no gender. It is a field for anyone who is willing to bring a difference to the existing system and willing to brave the storm. Tough situations call for tough people irrespective of a gender.
Are there any instances of gender discrimination that you might have faced on this eventful journey?
I believe gender discrimination is a state of mind. If you think it is happening to you then that how you look at it and if you think it is not happening to you then again it does not matter at all.
India is a country of parallelly mounting competition and depression cases. What values and principles help one survive and sustain in such a climate?
Well no matter what field you are in, the determination is of utmost importance to get through any situation. I can and I will have to be the motto. I may sound like an aggressive go-getter when I say this but that is the way it should be. I find no reason to give up or quit. I am a big follower of the saying – you have one life so do the most of it. Yes at times life can push you to a point where you feel this is the end but that is the test that you have to give at that moment and pass it with flying colors.
Where do you plan to take your organization in the next five years?
My organization was certainly started with a passion to provide good quality service and our team effort has brought it so far. In the coming years, we would want our institution to be one of the most desirable ones to be associated with.