#Shepreneurs: How These Women in Off-beat Roles Do Everything & Get Everything Done
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The real achievement of the society is not when a woman becomes a mother, wife or a cherished daughter-in-law, it happens when despite her domestic and familial roles, she is able to dawn the armour of her dreams and reflect the light of her own life. Here are 5 women entrepreneurs who despite their responsibilities as mothers, daughters, sisters stepped beyond and created their own beautiful tapestry of women empowerment.
Priyanka Chaudhary Raina, Founder, Gracia Raina Foundation
Priyanka Chaudhary Raina came into the spotlight when she married Suresh Raina, one of India’s most popular cricketers, however, her journey before hitting the headlines is interesting and for everyone to know. Raina is an Indian software engineer, former banker and social worker. Before settling down as Mrs Raina, Priyanka Chaudhary Raina was working in the Netherlands as a senior software tester for ING. Just recently, she and her uber talented and popular husband founded the Gracia Raina Foundation, named after their daughter and an initiative extremely close to her heart. The NGO works to uplift and support women and children from the underprivileged sections of the society.
How do I do everything?
Raina says that she is quite organized and likes to stay that way. “Most of us have busy schedules, and there is never enough time. So, it’s important to prioritize tasks so that nothing is left unattended.” She also believes that planning in advance is the key to productivity. “At the end of the day, I usually make a list of my tasks for the next day. I do however try not to pack my schedule too much. I keep the schedule as light as possible so that I can accomplish all that I set out to.” Surely she is able to accomplish a lot, her experiences clearly reflect that.
How do I get Everything Done?
As an entrepreneur and a former business professional, Priyanka Chaudhary Raina has had to juggle several things. So what is her strategy to get her work done? “I always ensure that my employees work in a healthy environment, where they feel motivated and encouraged to perform best.” She is an ardent believer of the fact that no person can learn and grow while working for a boss who doesn’t care. Healthy communication, therefore, is vital between employees. “I try and inspire my team not just to get things done, but to also strike a balance between processes and results, as both are relevant for the individual’s and the company’s success,” she says.
Vanita Bhandari Director of DBS Business Centre
An avid squash player, businesswoman, management professional, art collector, traveller, there are many hats that Vanita Bhandari dons and well, excels, in each one of them as well. At 53, she is the owner-director of DBS Business Services, DBS Financial Services and DBS World Travel and her list of achievements speaks volumes about the perfectionist, committed leader and the devoted woman she is. Being a mother of two and married to a successful businessman hasn’t stopped Bhandari from carving her own niche and paving the way for women entrepreneurship in India.
How do I do everything?
With so much on her plate, it arouses curiosity, to see her calm and serene and get everything done. So what is her secret? “I believe in being very systematic and planning ahead as much as possible. I diligently make a to-do list and update it, making sure that everything, including the smallest item, is included.” Prioritize, is a word that holds great significance for Bhandari. “I try to keep on top of my work by doing things in advance. I also make sure I have a cushion for things that come up urgently and must be attended to immediately.” Tasks not finished are carried over meticulously to the next day, according to her. “I review items for the day first thing in the morning and tick them off when they are done - a great feeling of accomplishment,” she adds. She is indeed a great believer and practitioner of multitasking.
How do I Get Everything Done?
2 things that Bhandari swears by are a delegation and giving people the freedom to do things their way - even if it means not insisting on their doing things her way. “This makes people feel important and responsible. I am there to encourage and support but not interfere.” Things get done when everyone feels that their contribution matters, asserts Bhandari. “We review job lists and provide extra help if someone needs it. My door is always open when anyone needs my help.”
The greatest testimony of women empowerment is not when women excel in something they are already good at but when they venture into those territories which have only seen male penetration and no female presence at all. This holds true even more so for the DJ industry. Though women are emerging, few are able to make it to the top or gain popularity as much as their counterparts do. DJ Paroma is one such example. Paroma is one of the number one Female DJs in India and Asia. She recently won the WOW Asia Award 2018 under the Best Female DJ Category for Corporate and Lifestyle Events.
How do I do Everything?
“They say, you never know what you can do, till you try.” This is what has kept the ground-breaking DJ overcome every obstacle that has come in her way. “I have never told myself that something is impossible because it only means I-Am-Possible.” Like all successful people, DJ Paroma asserts that it is very important to believe in oneself, and it is her this belief that has proudly led her to that say she is a self-made woman. “Secondly, you need to be good at what you do and give full justice to it by doing the job wholeheartedly.” She shares that she observed and learned the skill from the best man in the industry himself, Bob Umulo. And lastly, she immensely loves her work. “Work becomes play when you enjoy doing it. I combined my passion for music and may need to do something productive, and DJ’ing happened.”
How do I Get Everything Done?
I have a thousand things to work on and get it done and we have only 24 hours in a day. “Co-ordination is extremely important and scheduling of my gigs needs to be done correctly without any errors. Then getting the designing and timely promotions done on my social media platforms is another task.” Planning, organizing, scheduling, assessing and executing are the five steps she follows in getting everything done. “To top it all, I have to keep myself updated with the latest trends and songs in the industry, public demands, and check out the huge number of e-mails and messages I receive in a day and revert to it.”
Arpita Mehta, Fashion Designer
Arpita Mehta is a fashion designer who has dressed up several high-profile celebrities including the like of Sonam Kapoor, Katrina Kaif, Kareena Kapoor Khan, Deepika Padukone, Alia Bhatt etc. Her 10-year-old journey of entrepreneurship mixed with passion is for the world to see. On Women’s Day, Entrepreneur India finds the perfect opportunity to decode Mehta and skim through her inspiring journey.
How do You do Everything?
“I am immensely passionate and highly driven about what I do,” shares Arpita Mehta. Mehta belongs to the fiercely competitive, entertainment industry. Working in a field and people who rely so much on external validation and materiality, Mehta has a tunnel focus and some benchmarks for herself, “It is hard to believe but good sales do give me the confidence that I am on the right track. I essentially make a yearly plan to have a macro approach and then divide it into 4 quarters.”
To top it all, she further has a tentative plan for each month for fine tuning and makes sure to add extra things on her list for the year. There is a drive within her to push herself beyond her comfort and that truly defines her success. “It gives me a push to outdo myself every time and helps my growth curve.” Innovation and change are also paramount for growth, according to Mehta and therefore she makes sure to re-invent her own designs and tries getting something new for everyone in different ways.
How do You Get Everything Done?
With multiple responsibilities to juggle and endeavouring to give her best in each and every aspect, Mehta knows how to get things done, “I truly believe that a team together can do many more things and can manage multiple tasks than individuals.” She is grateful to have an amazing team and feels that delegating the right job to the right person is the key to ensure seamless working in an organization. Teamwork sets the tone for success, “From the process of ideation to production, coordination between the team and having the right mindset is very important.” She also ensures that she continually provides guidance and motivation to people working with or under her which ultimately also helps the overall performance of the team.
Rachel Goenka, Founder and CEO of The Chocolate Spoon Company
Rachel Goenka is a mumpreneur. A mother to 9 month-old Kabir and the Founder and CEO of The Chocolate Spoon Company. Goenka made her foray into hospitality by attending The Ballymaloe Cookery School in Ireland and subsequently studied at Le Cordon Bleu in London to specialise in patisserie. Her academic credentials reflect how hard she has worked to become what she is today.
The Chocolate Spoon Company operates 5 restaurants, 10 patisseries and 2 central kitchens across Mumbai and Pune.
How do I do Everything?
Goenka says that waking up early followed by being organized are two most vital things for her. “Being organized goes a long way in ensuring work gets done and one can stay on top of things. I plan ahead of time, I put deadlines against each task that I need to complete and I organize myself and my day according to a priority list.”
Her mantra to stay motivated includes she making a lot of to-do lists as there is something very satisfying about seeing tasks completed crossed off. “I genuinely feel like it motivates you further.”
Healthy eating is another aspect. “I try and eat something small every two-three hours as well. Most people when they're at work tend to forget to eat, especially when you are immersed mentally but we need to also ensure that we keep fueling our body as well.”
How do I Get Everything Done?
Goenka says that creating a fine balance between responsibilities to be done by herself and delegating tasks helps her cope with the demands of her work. “While there are certain things that I have to personally look into, a large part of my morning is spent also delegating tasks to my entire team.” There is no point, according to Goenka, in “micro-managing” as it doesn't leave time for “introspection” which is very important when you are running a large compan