It’s 2012. We’re in an age and time – and a country – when a term like women entrepreneurs sounds a tad old- fashioned. India has always been a rich breeding ground for home-made entrepreneurs, people with simple but smart ideas and the business acumen with dollops of passion to make them work. As the playgrounds change, so does the game. Manufacturing and retail models have evolved in the past few years, and the internet has thrown up an amazing crop of entrepreneurs who’re redefining the career graphs of successful professionals.
Read on to know more about three women who’ve translated their passion into successful ventures. And as all their stories testify, it’s never all about the money; the journey begins with unbridled passion and… well, it never stops.
Rushina Munshaw Ghildiyal
Mumbai’s go-to gastronomy columnist, writer, consultant and author, started… and continues her success story with her immensely popular food blog, A Perfect Bite.
On how it all started
In 2002 I took a sabbatical to have my first baby. While in a new city, with a small baby, I discovered blogging. The blog name A Perfect Bite, was something I coined after a scene in the movie A Mirror Has Two Faces in which the main characters are played by Jeff Bridges and Barbara Streisand. I share a similar obsession with the Streisand character in the movie. When I eat, I need to get all the elements on my plate perfectly balanced in each bite. Similarly I wanted my blog to be a place where I could table everything food related; Indian food, world cuisine, food trends, food writing, food books, food in art, food in the movies, food travel… not boxed into one particular niche.
On balancing work and home
Being my own boss allows me to set my own pace, plan projects and deliveries around long term work commitments and important personal events like anniversaries, birthdays and family holidays etc. Being of a creative bent of mind, some aspects of doing business have been hard, such as getting my head around accounting and financials.
On the EQ of an entrepreneur
I am an emotional person and I have a hard time separating my emotions from work. It is extremely tough to protect one’s own interests when ones emotions come into play, especially when associations end. I have been lucky enough to work with a lot of inspiring brands at a time when they were starting out. It is easy to then get carried away and give in to supporting them through their internal budget cuts because you love the brand. I have learnt the hard way to stay objective because no matter how much you love the brand, love will not pay your bills. As a woman, distancing one’s self emotionally is also important with employees.
A serial entrepreneur, her ethnic Indi-chic footwear brand – Blue Pear – is not only extremely popular in Delhi and outside, but more importantly, it creates sustainable livelihoods for the people manufacturing them.
On customer satisfaction
I started designing the footwear sometime in 2004.I branded them in September 2010 and started selling them from my home. Whoever saw them went, “Wow, what pretty chappals!” That comment was usually followed by oohs and aahs for the comfort and reasonable cost. Recently, we received a wonderful compliment on our blog from a buyer in Bangalore who was thrilled that she could buy them in her size – 43! We provide them up to size 44. I took the chappals as part of a show to Dubai in 2005, where every customer, including the models fell in love and bought them in numbers.
On being her own boss
It’s easy because this is what I always wanted to do. At the same time, it’s difficult, because when you have a business, it’s not about yourself; you’re dealing with a whole lot of other people. I don’t think I’ve ever wanted to give up, although I often wonder at the wisdom of my choices.
My professional goal was in place from Day 1. There was no fuzziness or hesitation. Hardships come and go, but it doesn’t work any other way than a 100% commitment.
On designing v/s retailing
Oh I love both! I do call myself a born retailer and I do believe that God gave me the talent to design. My part is making it all happen in the real world, doing justice to the talents I have been born with and creating sustainable income for all involved.
Priyanka Prasad and Payal Parija
It takes a lot to make it to Vogue India’s power list, and gather an enviable fan base of fashion and celeb watchers on the way. Priyanka Prasad and Payal Parija’ blog, High Heel Confidential – nattily updating celebrity looks with ‘yays’ and ‘nays’ – is on the watchlist of the country’s hottest fashionistas.
On how it all began
The blog came about from a mutual love of fashion. Initially the posts were just about whatever caught our eye but we noticed that the hits always spiked when it was a celebrity related post. We quickly realized that unlike blogs elsewhere which religiously followed Hollywood celebrities’ sartorial successes and missteps, there really was no blog chronicling the Indian fashion scene. It was a niche that appealed to us and we decided that was what we were going to do.
On being their own bossesn
It’s both easy and not. Some days, we have to literally drag ourselves away from our laptops. And at others, we just want to take out a restraining order on them! But with there being two of us, we make sure the blog is covered.
On how the passion turned to profession
Not to sound terribly syrupy, but we’ve always seen it as a passion, never as a business or a hobby. And perhaps that goes a long way in explaining the blog’s success; we’d like to think that our enthusiasm comes through. The goal has always been to stay true to ourselves and let the chips fall as they may.
On the huge popularity of the blog
But, have we “arrived”? (big grins) Every time our blog gets mentioned anywhere, we get the chills… that hasn’t changed!
On working as a team
One’s better at certain things, the other at others. It’s important to recognize it and respect it. And we figure out a way to make it work. There are days when it may get tough but nothing a ‘Happy Hour’ can’t solve! We make a great team only because we are two very different people who come together in just the right way.
Advice for bloggers to take their passion to a new level
Commit to it one hundred percent. Pick a point of view and be consistent with it. And finally, be frequent with your posts. The readers will come.
Syndicated from Beauty and Style