• #5 Couplepreneurs Share Their Business, Love & Success Mantra
  • Malini Agarwal and Nowshad Rizwanullah (Miss Malini)
  • Sneh Jain and Aditi Handa (The Baker’s Dozen)
  • Gaurav Taneja and Ritu Taneja (YouTuber - FlyingBeast)
  • Geeta Ramakrishnan and Ramesh Ramakrishnan (Transworld Group of Companies)
  • Kausshal Dugarr and Prachi Jain (Teabox)
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#5 Couplepreneurs Share Their Business, Love & Success Mantra

#5 Couplepreneurs Share Their Business, Love & Success Mantra
Image credit: Entrepreneur India
Features Editor, Entrepreneur India
11 min read

You're reading Entrepreneur India, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.

Couple-preneur might have become a popular term recently referring to a couple running a company today, but you better not mistake it for a new trend. Dig into history and you will realise how this has been a practice for ages now.

But when partners can have their differences, imagine when life-partners combine hands. Can business and pleasure work together? While many might find it tricky, Entrepreneur India spoke to five couple entrepreneurs to get an idea. These wonderful business minds, wake up together, work together, eat together and build a company together.
#5 Couplepreneurs Share Their Business, Love & Success Mantra

Malini Agarwal and Nowshad Rizwanullah (Miss Malini)

Malini Agarwal and Nowshad Rizwanullah (Miss Malini)
Image credit: Entrepreneur India

Malini Agarwal - Founder and Creative Director MissMalini Entertainment and Nowshad Rizwanullah - Co-Founder and CEO MissMalini Entertainment

 

Life Partners Turn Business Partners: 

Nowshad met Malini in 2017 at an event as part of her Friday Club social group. A year later he was accepted to Harvard Business School and they decided to fight all the odds and make this a long-distance relationship work. 

After two challenging years, he shifted back to Mumbai. MissMalini.com had been operational for about a year as Malini’s hobby blog. 

"Nowshad had a day job working in finance but would spend his nights helping me and their third co-founder Mike spin up business plans until we raised some angel funding. In February 2012 they got married and received their first funding in March. Ever since they have been building their lives and MissMalini Entertainment happily together ever since," said Malini Agarwal, Founder and Creative Director MissMalini Entertainment.

Pros and Cons of Working Together

Pros: Talking about the pros, Agarwal said, "I love that we are on the same page with our goals and building a business together. So we understand each other's work stress and get to do interesting things with each other on the same schedule. Whether it's work on building an app or going on a holiday!"

Cons: When you are working together, one often ends up taking office arguments home or vice versa. "Not being able to switch off from the office even when you're home. But I think we're doing ok in that department, also because we love what we do," she said.

Growing in Marriage & Work: 

All jobs can be stressful and stress makes relationships shrink, not grow. You cannot make this work if you are both putting in 100-hour weeks with no time for each other and yourselves. 

"Make it a point to have fun together. Stay close to your family and friends. Spend time on yourself to recharge your batteries. Make sure you spend some time apart because absence makes the heart grow fonder. Most importantly, listen to each other, be kind, and be empathetic. If your relationship is truly built on love, trust and respect, then there’s no limit to what you can conquer together," she said.

Agarwal also points out how couples make a really big deal out of it sometimes when it's quite nice to be on the same team and striving for the same goals.

Advice to Couples:

First and foremost, before getting into a co-working situation with your partner or spouse make sure that your roles are well defined. 

"Respect each other’s skills and that you check your ego at the door. This flows into the second most important piece of advice, set and know your boundaries. This not only means knowing when to switch-off at home after a long day at work but also knowing how to differentiate between your personal and professional domains," she shares.

#5 Couplepreneurs Share Their Business, Love & Success Mantra

Sneh Jain and Aditi Handa (The Baker’s Dozen)

Sneh Jain and Aditi Handa (The Baker’s Dozen)
Image credit: Entrepreneur India

Sneh Jain - Managing Director, The Baker’s Dozen and Aditi Handa - Chief Baker and Founder-owner of The Baker’s Dozen

 

Life Partners Turn Business Partners:

Some stories are short, crisp and simple. Sneh and Aditi connected through entrepreneurship. 

"I was a student in Aditi’s father’s course at IIMA on entrepreneurship. We met at one of the events which eventually led to long talks on starting a business and what is the driving force behind it. Thus, this was always in the background and around 2 years after our marriage, we decided to make our dream a reality and start our own business," said Sneh. 

Pros and Cons of Working Together:

Pros 

  • Complete trust in one another. 
  • Willing to give 200per cent and more effort for the business and for each other.
  • Understanding of each other’s priorities and dreams and willing to cede personal time for that.

Cons 

  • Blurred lines between professional and personal space.
  • Assumed as an in-house resource and hence, discounted to some extent.
  • Professional arguments can sometimes become personal rather than remain strictly professional.

Advice for the Couple: 

Working with his partner, Jain points out that it is important to accept that it is impossible to keep the two separate when both individuals are working in the same business. 

"Lines will get blurred and there is no point being frustrated at that happening because it will eventually affect both the spaces. The trick to managing both the commitments is to accept it and then manage it in a way to get the best out of both worlds. The best way to deal with ego is to ensure that any arguments do not turn into a non-professional one. And avoid giving references to anything personal in discussions in professional life, " he said.

Things To Avoid:

Individuals should avoid treating each other as personal partners at work and always ensure reporting guidelines amongst the team is very clear. 

"Many times, employees will treat both as one entity and that should not be encouraged. Not taking each other for granted, for example - small things such as asking time for meetings rather than assuming that the other person is always available makes a difference," he said. 

#5 Couplepreneurs Share Their Business, Love & Success Mantra

Gaurav Taneja and Ritu Taneja (YouTuber - FlyingBeast)

Gaurav Taneja and Ritu Taneja (YouTuber - FlyingBeast)
Image credit: Entrepreneur India

Gaurav Taneja - Founder FlyingBeast (Youtuber) and Ritu Taneja - Co-Founder FlyingBeast (Youtuber)

 

Life Partners Turn Business Partners:

Initially, Gaurav Taneja and Ritu Taneja started where he used to make vlogs and Ritu used to give a special appearance. All his activities were managed by organisation/agencies when he felt the need to have someone who can manage him. 

"I wanted someone who is close to me and knows me because there was a communication gap between the agencies and me. I used to miss out on brand collaboration activities and others. Ritu easily figures out things whenever I am down and then pulls up her socks. So she came and asked me what the problem was, I explained to her, In the entire process of finding a perfect person, she learned the entire process and became the manager of Flying Beast," shares Gaurav.

Pros and Cons of Working Together:

Pros: Business is like a relationship, it is the trust that we have that made us grow very strong. 

Cons: "We never show our anger or ego to our business partner, but if your business partner is your wife then you never hesitate to show your anger, love or even ego," he said.

Advice for Couples:

Our work life often makes us a slave. That's when detox is needed. "It is very important to take time for both of you from your busy schedule. Work can creep out anytime anywhere. We have decided that we will take one day in a month and will keep our phones off, away from the digital world and spend time with each other. As this is very important for a healthy relationship," he said. 


 

#5 Couplepreneurs Share Their Business, Love & Success Mantra

Geeta Ramakrishnan and Ramesh Ramakrishnan (Transworld Group of Companies)

Geeta Ramakrishnan and Ramesh Ramakrishnan (Transworld Group of Companies)
Image credit: Entrepreneur India

Geeta Ramakrishnan - Geeta Ramakrishnan- HR Director Transworld Group of Companies and Ramesh Ramakrishnan- Chairman of Transworld Group of Companies

 

Life Partners Turn Business Partners:

Love, at first sight, is a real deal, at least in the case of Geeta and Ramesh Ramakrishnan. They were young and madly in love and wanted to grow old and build a life together. 

"It was but natural that I took interest in his business and chose an area where I could flourish. He is a creative thinker and I am the ODC planner. It is a good combination. We balance each other," said Geeta.

Pros and Cons of Working Together:

Thousands people have a thousand opinions, many told the couple that working together in the same business causes cracks in the marriage. However, they feel it contributes to a stronger marriage, especially if you know and maintain your boundaries. 

"We have learnt to respectively agree to disagree and still go ahead. It helps us have healthy discussions, debates and objectively analyze problems and come up with creative solutions. It took us years to perfect this act. We fight to glory at times. But somewhere it is an unwritten rule to vomit all the issues and clear it out of our system, however tough and difficult it may seem at that time," she said.

Advice to Couples: 

Spend time in discussing and deciding how you will split your time commitments between your relationship and professional commitments. Prioritizing and splitting the home chores helps in smoothing the edges.

"Transcend ego from self-importance into self-esteem. A relationship is a game of give and take. Give from your heart, not from weakness. Define your boundaries and know when a firm ‘NO’ is your friend. Mutual respect is an important core value to have. Believe that your spouse is as intelligent as you," she said. 

Common Mistakes:

Bringing your work disagreement in the boardroom or bedroom, do not allow your inflated ego to lead the conversation.

"Ego narrows your focus into what you think is right. When in the office, be mindful of your language and tone and use tact over your temper or in your bedroom, it robs you of a good night routine," she shares. 

#5 Couplepreneurs Share Their Business, Love & Success Mantra

Kausshal Dugarr and Prachi Jain (Teabox)

Kausshal Dugarr and Prachi Jain (Teabox)
Image credit: Entrepreneur India

Kausshal Dugarr- Founder and CEO of Teabox and Ms. Prachi Jain- Brand Director of Teabox

 

Life Partners Turn Business Partners:

Sometimes life partners are the best business partners. At least in case of  Kausshal Dugarr and Prachi Jain. Post marriage, Kausshal started to get the business off the ground with the vision of creating India's first premium global tea brand.

"I realised that it would require more than just a good product to make that vision a reality. More importantly, it would require us to really focus on the experience (packaging/design/communication) to achieve that. That is where I reached out and sought Prachi to come aboard as a co-founder as we have complementary skill sets," shared Dugarr.

Pros and Cons of Working Together:

Pros: You come to see your partner and interact with as a professional and not just your spouse. "This helps you get to know the person at a much deeper level. Of course, you end up spending a lot of time together at home and at work," he said.

Cons: There is a thin line between work/personal starts to get blurred and makes things difficult to have that differentiation.   

Advice to the Couples:

To turn anything into a successful venture personal discipline is key. A work-life balance is ideal and most seek to find it. 

"We work together and sometimes those worlds overlap. When it does, it is important to acknowledge it and deal with it in a way that suits your best. Kausshal and I don’t mind if our alone time conversations slip into work-talk. That is who we are and we love it," shares Prachi. 

Easier said than done - keep professional and personal lives apart. While in the ideal world this might make sense, Kausshal and Prachi work differently.  

"We enjoy discussing work, brainstorming by the beach and numbers over breakfast. As an old saying goes, “When you enjoy what you do, you will never work a day in your life.” Our passion for Teaxpress is just that, we enjoy every minute of it including all the ups and downs," she said.