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These #4 She-preneurs are Giving Multi-tasking A New Spin Basking in the glory of multi-tasking as women is a passé as the glory of heading multi-businesses is fast becoming the new normal

By Baishali Mukherjee

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Entrepreneur India

The more the merrier is an expression to explain "high on happiness quotient". When this happiness becomes a tangible reality established in figures and facts, the quotient gets a new meaning.

Basking in the glory of multi-tasking as women is a passé as the glory of heading multi-businesses is fast becoming the new normal. From tech to travel, food to fashion, and law to logistics, women are breaking all barriers.

Scroll down as we share the stories of four feisty women entrepreneurs who head multiple businesses.

A second generation entrepreneur, Preeyam Budhia, takes care of three businesses — the family-owned PATTON Group; Caring Minds, Kolkata' first super-specialty mental health facility and a state-of-the-art centre for psychological growth and Café ICanFlyy, a one-of-a-kind café run by special needs individuals.

Belonging to a business family, entrepreneurial spirit was a thing always encouraged. However, the realization of immense scope in business development and the desire to introduce progressive ideas in a traditional business prompted her to make it a full-time occupation and diversify.

Budhia is especially enthusiastic about her latest venture, Café ICanFlyy, started in August 2017. "I've always dreamt of running my own café. When the chance came to fulfil my dreams while becoming more involved in a one-of-a-kind social initiative that empowers individuals with special needs, I knew it was time to take the plunge," she shared.

According to the scion, the ability of making decisions and managing teams across multiple industries and sectors in a single day is what distinguishes entrepreneurs with multiple businesses from regular ones.

"Brainstorming with the training and development team about new self-development and mental health awareness workshops at Caring Minds, ideating events at Café ICanFlyy to generate higher footfall, negotiating with vendors for cost-optimization while striving to maintain good business volumes with international customers at Patton – all of these back and forth, throughout the day, each day," she said to explain her day's schedule.

For young Budhia, it has been a deep learning experience as an entrepreneur. "I've learnt it will be hectic, chaotic. You will have to put in 48 and sometimes 72 hours worth of work from the 24 hours that you have, but in the end it is worth every minute of it," she asserted.

Geetika Saharia owns an eponymous brand Ggitika Sahariia, a contemporary western wear fashion label for women, and Kasaya, a home-grown brand of organic and natural products.

She set up her first business after noticing the lack of good quality, finished garments that would cater to urban woman.

The second venture,Kasaya, started as a passion project as Saharia was fed up with the constant rashes that would erupt after using the most expensive and/or known skin care brands. She started researching on organic products that she could make in a small set up.

Eventually, she came up with a range of scrubs to suit her needs and shared some as sample with one of her friends, who loved them and the duo decided to launch the products commercially.

"Once we figured that there is a latent market for semi-expensive products, which delivered what it promised, we started transferring what we made in the lab to the furnace," divulged the young entrepreneur.

For Saharia, skills like delegation and time management are the key to manage multiple verticals. "Clear communication with partners, identifying synergy, keeping in mind the target audience, resource management due to increased band width, and knowing how to effectively manage money and staff are what worked for me well," she said.

"There will be times when one business will require more of your time and energy than the other. Here is when you will need to do a balancing act and handle certain aspects with a clear agenda and planning," warned the Kolkata-based youngpreneur.

Kirti Rathi owns Bogglingames, a board-game based startup cafe and Arts n Me, a creative brainwave that focuses on teaching craft forms to children and underprivileged.

It was literally by accident that Rathi took up entrepreneurship. She met with a road accident in 2014 and was bed ridden for nearly three months. That is when she started exploring possibilities of a career outside corporate.

She started to experiment with Quilling and with every artwork, she grew in confidence. Soon she was doing intricate patterns and designs that got her own personal following and Arts n Me evolved.

While looking for alternatives in digital medium to engage her child, her brother and sister-in-law informed Rathi about board game cafe. While exploring the thread, she was introduced to a world of board games that was fast exploding with innovation and unfathomable variety. She realized that she had a natural flair for games.

Rathi feels that the need for handling multiple businesses is pretty much same as the required skills for raising two kids. "Unless there can be common synergies found, it is very difficult to do justice with both. For me, both the business models ended up catering to children, so that way synergies happened," she elaborated.

"Synergy could be in terms of market, target audience, product, and personnel — or anything that helps you enhance your efforts," concluded Rathi.

Tanushree Nandan heads Red Ant Realty, a company focused on development of affordable housing and The Layman's Lawyer, an online legal services provider, though not aggregator.

Entrepreneurship is in Nandan's blood as she always saw herself in business at some point of time in her life. It just happened a little earlier than she had originally planned.

Nandan is a lawyer at heart! "The Layman's Lawyer had always been in the making, and it was mainly my passion for the profession and my earnest desire to change the way laymen look at lawyers, that made me start it," she explained.

Though fortunately the two verticals are quite harmonious for Nandan, she has her share of learning as an entrepreneur dealing with twin verticals.

"A good knowledge of the laws, the ability to understand clients, their needs and the acumen to reconcile the two, in addition to loads of patience," she prescribed as her secret for success in multiple businesses.

Time for Nandan is definitely a challenge as both her businesses have unique set of demands. "But having two businesses also pay off in a lot of situations and we can use acumen gained from one in the other and vice versa," she opined.

The lawyer-turned-entrepreneur wants women handling multiple verticals to be smart. "None of us are know-it-all. Play to your strengths, but also recognize your drawbacks and concentrate on getting those covered. Sharing control might be difficult, but it also means sharing burdens. While choosing partners or subordinates, ensure they respect you and are ready to shoulder responsibilities," clarified the accomplished business-lady.

Baishali Mukherjee

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