Celebrating Women’s Day: With 10 influential women who followed their passion to be at this stage where they are today

We can see Women leaders in all walks of life. This woman has fought a thousand battles, has cried a thousand tears, has been betrayed and rejected thousand times, but she still stands for her dreams and she is you – and you are unconditional beautiful, celebrate the women in you. 
On Women’s Day, womendigest.in is happy to share the journey of 10 women who are not only living their passion, but also they are the source of inspiration and motivation to others. 

 

Akansha Kohli, Founder & Creative Director- Saffron Gourmet

Tell us about yourself and your venture?
A. I began my career in fashion designing and Saffron Gourmet which started out in July 2020 was a chance venture for me as the need was felt for the same due to the nationwide lockdown. This was also a start for me to enthuse my passion for designing and creativity into it and that is what has made Saffron Gourmet create a unique niche for itself. Our play of traditional flavours assorted in contemporary ideas has elevated our brand to being a sought after one. We have some unique desserts and savouries like Besan fudge, Coffee milk cake, watermelon gajak, blueberry coconut ladoo, hara bhara cheeslings, peri peri namakpare to name a few of our culinary delights.
 
 
When was the eureka moment when you decide to follow your passion?  

A. My eureka moment came with the inception of Saffron Gourmet when a lot of people, due to the lockdown, were looking for exotic gifts to share their special moments of joy with their near and dear ones. Through this I also put my creative instincts into play, which was appreciated by a lot of people and they found it rather appealing and a twist in both taste and creativity. This was the beginning for me to showcase my talent and creativity which has also helped Saffron Gourmet grow phenomenally in such a short span.

What are the challenges you face being a woman entrepreneur?  And what is the simple suggestion you want to pass on to our reader to stay motivated to follow the passion?

 

The path for women has never been an easy one unlike men as at every step you have to break the existing stereotypes to showcase your work. 

 

 
Initially like all women I too had to juggle between home, work and others and strike a sound balance which I continue to struggle with even now. I would like to tell all women out there like me to give importance to your passion as well and let it be the fuel to drive you as it also makes you financially independent which is a must for all women. Striking a sound balance is the key here. one needs to be self driven and motivated to fulfill their ambitions in life.

Megha Sharma, Founder of LusterPR 

Tell us about yourself and your venture?

I pursued my degree in bachelors and masters in Mass communication from Indraprastha University. Being a Media enthusiast since my early days, it was my conscious effort in life to achieve a demanding position in this particular industry. All elements united were a force which aided me to eventually start my own company. Today, LusterPR is catering to clients ranging from lifestyle, luxury, art, education, hospitality, health, and real estate across the country.

When was the eureka moment when you decide to follow your passion?  
Well, I was working with a PR agency, where I gained a lot of first-hand experience about the job and also observed how the other executives were handling their duties. One fine day, I decided to quit my job and start my own venture and my entrepreneurial career kick started with the formation of LusterPR in 2013. My skills to influence the opinions and behaviors for excellent communication, interpersonal and management abilities all came in very handy to lead LusterPR.

 

My efforts were also graced in 2017 when LusterPR received an award from Shilpa Shetty for the best Public Relations Agency in Delhi which has further acted like a catalyst to lead LusterPR to new heights.

What are the challenges you face being a woman entrepreneur? 

Initially, I was bit hesitant to enter the public relations fraternity as an entrepreneur being a lady, but the modern era woman got the better of me. As a woman people often don’t give you the respect as your male counterpart, but I didn’t let these issues hold me back. In fact, a couple of years later when I decided to tie the knot and later on conceived a child, people suggested I should part ways with LusterPR. However, I was always determined to prove people wrong. I decided to manage my time effectively both professionally and socially, so that neither my work suffers nor my personal equations. Also, being a woman, at times people are reluctant to take you seriously, but now I have my ways to prove a point and make myself heard.

And what is the simple suggestion you want to pass on to our reader to stay motivated to follow the passion?

It is a common practice where people will try and dishearten you, instead of encouraging you. It is very clear right from the start that opportunities don’t just happen, BUT you ought to create them. The time is now to make things happen, because twenty years down the lane you will be disappointed by the decisions and things you didn’t try due to pressure from external forces. JUST BE YOU.

 

Dr. Aruna Kalra – Senior Gynaecologist and Obstetrician at CK Birla Hospital, Gurugram

Tell us about yourself.

I try to define myself every day. A passionate obstetrician, an expert Laparoscopic surgeon, a homemaker or a loving and attentive mother. A childhood dream inside an elderly body, who wishes to practise Bharatanatyam, kathak or an aware citizen who wants to educate underprivileged kids.

What is the best part you like about your profession?

The best part about my profession – To be able to give hope, positivity and courage to people with disease, pain or distress.

From your experience, what will be the advice you would like to give to all women who are a major part of the society? 

Women can spread awareness and influence masses. Their maternal kindness and empathy towards righteous cause and determination to move on against all odds, perseverance to bring the positive change around them for their loved ones and for the word is unwavering.

 

 

Ms. Manisha Chopra – Nutritionist, Dietician and Fitness Expert

Tell us about yourself and your venture?

My name is Manisha Chopra, I am a 42-year-old, born and brought up in Delhi. I am a mother of two lovely kids – my elder girl is 19 and the younger one is 13. My biggest support system is my husband who always pushed me to pursue my dreams and be a better version of myself each day. He is as passionate as I am which is truly a blessing. During the birth of my first child, I gained 32 kgs and started to feel uncomfortable, I hated the way I looked and wanted a change. I joined a join a gym and started to work out regularly under the guidance of gym instructors but I was not satisfied with the results and was not able to see a positive change. So, I took it upon myself to find a fitness solution so that I can get positive results. I went out on a quest to search for the perfect fitness regime which suits me and my body and yields positive results and helps me in having a positive outlook towards life.

When was the eureka moment when you decide to follow your passion?  

When I started training myself, people saw a lot of changes in me. My friends and people around me requested me to train them also and from that day I never looked back. I started training my friends and after watching the results on me and my friends’ body, I started getting a number of clients. 

 

Manisha

During that time too, I felt that what you eat is the most important thing when you work out and that’s how the journey of me, as a nutritionist, started off. I studied very hard, did intense research and finally got myself certified as a nutritionist. 

What are the challenges you face being a woman entrepreneur? 

As you all might know, being a women entrepreneur in this industry is tricky and filled with challenges, initially, no one really takes you seriously and have made it a fully male-centric profession. It is considered as a less fruitful and less satisfying profession and men are often known to take undue advantage of female instructors. I had to overcome this struggle slowly but steadily to make a name for myself and stand for myself in order to showcase the world who I truly am. 

And what is the simple suggestion you want to pass on to our reader to stay motivated to follow the passion?

There is nothing a woman can’t do or achieve. In fact, in today’s age and time women are often found to be more competitive and better than men in various different aspects of life. The challenges faced by women in various different aspects of life makes them a stronger version of themselves. A female trainer is often very highly regarded because their work is more efficiently seen and are considered as more sincere, dutiful and dedicated towards their work. My advice to one and all is to keep moving forward, target on being the better versions of yourself by each passing day, believe in yourself and work on your weaknesses even harder to convert them into your strengths. Do what pleases you, whether it is in any field, a positive attitude and positive commitment always yield great results!!

 

Maithillee Zaveri: A professional fine artist painter

Tell us about yourself and your venture?

I am a fine artist painter, born & brought up in New Delhi India. I have graduated from IGCSE & IB diploma program (respectively in 10th & 12th grade) (graduation year – 2008) from The British School, New Delhi. After which, she moved to Singapore & graduated in BFA fine art painting from The Lasalle college of the arts, Singapore (2008 – 2011). Though I have been exhibiting since 2007 all over India & a few in Singapore while I was studying there. 
During my school days I was always involved in extracurricular activities which included sports & teaching the underprivileged children in New Delhi. I has helped many gain confidence, motivation & encouragement esp those parents who feel art has no career. I has been an inspiration to many.

 

My artworks depict serenity through imaginary landscapes painted using acrylics on canvas. I also make black + white Indian architectures using mixed media on paper. As she believes black + white is an interpretation of reality & they flourish even today. I loves the intricate patterns/designs on Indian monuments/forts. They fascinate me. 
 
When was the eureka moment when you decide to follow your passion? 

I was in grade 6 when I discovered my passion for arts & sports. When school teachers would ask me “what do you want to become when you grow up?”I was headstrong since then about my decision even though I was unaware of how beneficial this career would be for me. But with the help of my family’s support, I continued to pursue my artist career & in 2017, opened my personal art studio from where I paint, take commissions on order & sell whenever I can through my own private collections. I started my art career by copying other artists, artworks & studying observational studies (still life drawings). 

Other than my artist career, I’m also a horse rider, a self-taught pianist & a trained Hindustani Indian classical singer (graduated from the Allahabad college of music – affiliated in New Delhi). I play the piano by listening to music. 

What are the challenges you face being a woman entrepreneur?  And what is the simple suggestion you want to pass on to our reader to stay motivated to follow the passion? 

I’ve faced challenges such as people trying to demotivate, discourage & belittling me. Making fun of an art career & of course balancing a home life & an artistic life has always been challenging for me. The initial years of my career, I struggled trying to establish myself as an artist & marketing my art + finding ways to exhibit/ showcase my works. 
 
Never judge, criticise, analyse or compare an artist without knowing/understanding their story. Because every artist’s story is different. An artist’s only knows his/her struggles/challenges. He/she should learn to compete with him/herself. The artist’s journey begins from where/when he/she started her artistic career till how far he/she has reached today. An artist’s competition is with him/herself to become a successful person in the future. Art & artists need to be appreciated.  People may discourage/demotivate you but how strong emerge out as an artist speaks thousands of words. Be a silent success artist, but take action if/when needed/required. 

Mish Sen: A Food Blogger 

Tell us about yourself. 

I’m an English teacher-turned digital marketer-turned food blogger! And I actually use both my teaching skills and digital marketing skills for my food blog and those skills help me a lot! I am from Kolkata and settled in the US. I focus on presenting recipes that are healthy or healthier versions of the original and on simplifying the cooking process. I love to read and I love to watch good, thought-provoking movies.

What is the best part you like about your profession? 
The best part is connecting with people! I love the conversations I have with my followers, I love their comments and their feedback. I also enjoy connecting with other creators and freelancers I work with. I would not have met any of these wonderful souls, if it wasn’t for my food page.

From your experience, what will be the advice you would like to give to all women who are a major part of society. 

I would say if you have a dream start working on it now. Time flies very fast and you don’t one day want to wake up and have regrets that you didn’t work on your dreams and didn’t make it important enough. You can take specific steps to go about your dreams, whether that be taking a course or doing research. It could also be planning and breaking down the end goal in small steps. to achieve anything you don’t only have to be in the “do” mode, but you also have to be in the  “think” mode. So take some time for yourself and invest in yourself!

 

 

Leena Madan, the COO of geoAMPS 

Tell us about yourself and your venture?

I accomplished my Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from Lady Shri Ram College in New Delhi, India as well as a Master’s Degree in Communication from Pune University, India.

I started my professional journey by heading the marketing initiatives for some of the biggest names in the US market. In 2010, I decided to venture into software development by starting geoAMPS and to help geoAMPS grow into multiple sectors. My entire focus was to contribute towards the growth of geoAMPS and through this journey I had the honor of receiving the title of Most Powerful and Influential Women of Ohio 2013. I was also a finalist in the National Association of Women Business Owners Columbus Visionary Award 2016.

geoAMPS is a enterprise product for land record management in several industries. Our product is very configurable which allows companies to adapt the software to their own internal needs though configuration. This helps reduce costly customizations and reduces risk. We also provide the most comprehensive product within the space which allows clients to use a single system to replace, in some cases, 8-10 different systems that they were using to manage their work. This inherently brings efficiencies, reduces duplication and errors.  All this has led to rapid adoption of our solution in the industry.

 

 

When was the eureka moment when you decide to follow your passion?

I entered the industry because we saw an opportunity to support an unmet need in a critical industry. When we were planning to get into this space, we approached a few organizations who we thought would require our product. The eureka movement was when our prospective clients responded very positively and showed their interest to collaborate with us once our product was ready.  Our participation  in the  first industry conference further solidified our belief that people had genuine in what we were offering.

What keeps you motivated and what is the simple suggestion you want to pass on to our reader to stay motivated to follow the passion?

Looking at the massive growth of geoAMPS, as well as the growth of various individuals within the organization keeps me motivated to follow my passion. I live by the mode of the “relentless pursuit of perfection”, I’m not perfect, but each day I work to get a bit closer to that goal.

 

Rupali Grover – Creative Head at Klick by RG. Inspired by fashion

 

Tell us about yourself and your Venture? 

The brand is 9 years young!

I’m the Creative head at Klick by RG. Inspired by fashion, I love to experiment, innovate and most importantly, always love what I do.
My background has been B.Com Hons. From Shaheed Bhagat Singh, Delhi University, followed by masters from Pearl Academy, New Delhi.

When was the eureka moment when you decided to have your startup?

During my post grad final year, we got an opportunity to showcase our creativity through our own designed range at our college exhibition. My clutch bags were adorned with elements like pencil shavings, metal studs, brass, mother of pearl designs and they were well received by the audience! This gave me a big pump and the idea of Klick by RG was born.

 

 

What keeps you motivated and any message you want to give our female readers who are still confused to start their own venture or not. 

Women are equally capable of achieving almost anything they desire, so go ahead do what you want and you will succeed.

women day special

Neha Bahl, PR and Brand Marketing Expert, Founder, Qube Communication

Tell us about yourself and your venture?

I am a Media & Brand Communication expert, Brand Image Consultant and a digital media marketer who runs a 360-degree digital marketing & PR agency, Qube Communication. Prior to her entrepreneurial drive, she has worked across various brands in Media & PR industry across various mid-senior and senior positions. Qube Communication is a budding agency in Media & Brand Communication industry wherein they not only provide PR service to their clients but a boutique of services under one umbrella which includes Brand Consultation, PR, Viral Content Marketing, Digital Marketing, Event Planning & Management, Corporate Video Shoots among others.

When was the eureka moment when you decide to follow your passion?

I never thought that I will be a thorough PR Professional as I have worked in New Channels, Radio and even with UTV. Profession of PR just happened to me. In 2015, while I was working with India’s one of the top PR firm, my senior never let me work the way I wanted to perform for the clients I used to manage. And one fine evening I decided to quit my job and followed my passion and registered my own PR Firm where everyone would have the freedom to perform and work in their own style and comfort. 

 

What keeps you motivated and what is the simple suggestion you want to pass on to our reader to stay motivated to follow the passion?

The constant changing dynamics of the media industry which challenges me every day and in past 3-4 Years media is shifting towards the Digital. Clients are also becoming more demanding expecting more these days. So we can say PR industry has changed 180 degree. I suggest to the reader that whenever you feel demotivated and lack of enthusiasm you should think about the bigger picture and challenge your creative on the every step so you can see the best in you every time and to justify the reason why you want to this in the first place.

 

 

Sneha- Food Blogger


Tell us about your journey as an Instagram influence?

I started my influencing career on twitter and not Instagram in 2012. Rather Instagram was private for me initially, as I was skeptical to make it public as people misuse the images. But that’s everywhere, hence started with a business account on Instagram. During those days we never had fancy handles like people now have. 

 

 

women day special

We use to keep handles as simple as we could. After I started putting my daughter first portfolio pictures, moms started asking me and that’s how even brand came to work with me. So in 2013 October, I started my account.

When was the eureka moment when you decide to follow your passion?

After my angel was born, I used to share a lot of thoughts of my parenting journey and motherhood facts. People started asking me about everything I posted. I never knew that my work would be so much appreciated. One day Himalaya baby care brand came to me and ask if they can feature my motherhood journey on mothers day and also that was eureka moments when I thought I should post professionally on Instagram.

What keeps you motivated and what is the simple suggestion you want to pass on to our reader to stay motivated to follow the passion?

Even today I write what I feel, without seeing what others think. As every mom has unique DNA, I have a unique view, need not be always matching with other moms. If my followers love my views they are still following me.

I always say if you have passion, you will end up doing it. I always wanted my kid to travel from the day she was born and the newborn to be same. So, follow your passion, the universe supports you always.

 

Olivia A

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