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Rise Of the Mompreneurs We speak to women entrepreneurs who are mothers, and find out the reason behind their success.

By Kabir Singh Bhandari

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Photo by Christina @ wocintechchat.com

Kids. Household chores. Family. Office. These are just some of the things that mothers take care of, truly an intimidating task, but something which they have managed for so long. This makes them the most natural and efficient multi taskers, and over the years their tribe has grown.

"Earlier, there were restrictions on women going out and doing any professional work. So, they did not start their own business, but that aspect is reducing now. Women are fighting for their rights and are talking so much about equality. There is an awareness wherein the women, or the moms, have also come out and decided what they want to do and not just listen to the society. That is one of the biggest reasons there is a surge in mompreneurs," explains Shilpa Khanna Thakkar, CEO, Chicnutrix.

Thakkar believes that the ability of moms to multitask helps when being an entrepreneur because you need to nurture and grow your brand like your own child with a lot of patience. Balancing the two is very important. You have to be an entrepreneur at home and a mother when in the office, there is no set of dos and don'ts. So, when you have children, you first learn that no journey is the same. You speak to your fellow moms during the journey, and they have their own path and ways. "Trust me when I say it, the amount of patience a child can teach you, nobody else can do that," she says, making perfect sense.

Neha Mathur Rastogi, Founder, Wordswork Communication Consulting has been a mother and an entrepreneur for the past thirteen years and as is the case with any teenager, the journey has been full of ups and downs for her. It is a daily marathon when she tries to plan her time to the T and try to achieve that illusive balance between work and quality time with the kids. "The core idea is to not take yourself too seriously. Be vulnerable with the kids and not attempt to be the trophy mom. It is not always easy and can get hard but just like the core idea of parenting, it is as rewarding as it is difficult and challenging. I am heartened as more women are being able to achieve this balance between their goals and family lives. We also have a better ecosystem of support. I would not be able to manage this dual role without the ongoing support of my family," she tells us. Rastogi feels that the growing number of momprenuers presents them with the advantage of becoming a community of understanding, flexible and high performing women who can achieve a lot via coming together and collaborating more as well.

The community part definitely seems like a solid idea moving forward, and maybe that's why Shouger Merchant Doshi, founder of Rainmaker Consultants, which handles a bevy of lifestyle clients also co-founded the Pinwheel Project, which recently brought together 80 of the best brands in the mommy-kid universe from all over the country to Mumbai. Even Neha Dhupia had teamed up with them to create a breastfeeding booth with Freedom to Feed so as to promote the normalisation of breastfeeding.

In certain cases, becoming a mother became the greatest catalyst for change in their life. Take the case of Shweta Tanwar Mukherjee, Founder of Sociall Knot. She was working as the DGM of marketing brand alliances and activations, when she became pregnant. A difficult pregnancy led to her taking a break, post which she realized it would be difficult to give her full attention to work.

"Considering my professional background as a marketer, social media and digital marketing helped me bounce back. Simultaneously, I was also working as a photographer and taking on a freelancing assignment. This led me to express my voice and my new mommy emotions on social media, neatly packaging them up with some marketing jargon and promoting businesses in a very subtle way," Mukherjee tells us, who now runs a social media agency and has a child aged six years.

Time management and family support are recurring themes when it comes to being a mompreneur, for obvious reasons, as is the case with Deepshika Deshmukh, film producer and founder of Love Organically. Deshmukh admits that trying to strike a balance in all aspects of life isn't easy but it is not impossible as well –she considers her family to be her biggest cheerleader and the wind beneath her wings. "I would never have been able to dabble with work and home, had it not been for their endless support. In both my businesses whether it be production of films or my skin care range Love Organically, I believe my greatest strength has always been to trust my instincts. And of course, I fine-tuned my time management skills and also learnt how to delegate work to my team. This helped me manage work in an efficient way," she says.

Deshmukh started working in the first year after school, becoming an assistant to her dad and running errands on sets for him. She was never made to feel privileged just because she was his daughter. Later she got into designing and pursued interior designing for a while, after which came marriage and a sabbatical after both her pregnancies. Sarbjit (Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Randeep Hooda) in 2016 marked her debut as a film producer. The film premiering at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival was a very gratifying moment for her, and post that she has produced various films at Pooja Entertainment.

Deshmukh also turned entrepreneur with her skincare range Love Organically around five years ago. "My tips for mompreneurs are that it's never too late! I started my entrepreneurial journey after the birth of my children. If you believe in your dream and vision- wear blinkers and work hard to achieve what you've set out for. Learn to delegate and take help, which is very important for growth. And finally never give up every failure teaches you something, which only enhances and shapes your journey towards you end goal."

Kabir Singh Bhandari

Former Senior Assistant Editor

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