This edition of Real Women sees Zariin celebrating the thriving entrepreneurship spirit of women. To do this, we feature three substantial ladies from the Entrepreneurs’ Organization New Delhi Chapter. With distinct business approaches, what binds them together is the EO forum and work life balance so typical to married working women. We promise you’ll be left inspired after this read. Meet Divya Jain, Geetika Gupta and Pallavi Khandelwal.
Tell us about your work and the most important thing you’ve learnt from your entrepreneurial journey.
DIVYA JAIN : I run a company called Safeducate, which is India’s largest supply chain skilling company, and we train around 25,000 students a year across our 52 center’s in 11 states. I started around 10 years ago and since then we have partnered with state and central governments and universities across the country to skill and provide job opportunities for thousands of children from the most backward regions of our country. We also created and launched the first mobile skill school in shipping containers, which are now being set up, across the country to drive skilling initiatives of corporate and governments.
Things I’ve learned over the years are that you need to have the appetite to take risks and go to the market for true proof of concept. What you started with will rarely be the final product and more often than not much cooler than what you envisaged. You need to be ready to change and quickly, know that you never know much and mostly, have fun with whatever you do. You always need to run after your passion and make it your life!
GEETIKA GUPTA: I’m a cosmetic dermatologist founder of Delhi’s premium cosmetology destination ISAAC. ISAAC is medical enterprise dealing in bespoke non invasive solutions for skin , hair and body learning :- talk to people be open to ideas. Work before starting your venture, be close to your patients or clients, meet and talk to them and establish a relationship with them. Make the experience or the product worth.
PALLAVI KHANDELWAL: We are in retail which involves a lot of customer handling. One big thing I’ve learnt is to listen patiently and rest follows.
Spell out a usual day at work.
DIVYA JAIN : Work for me involves a ton of travelling as we work across states and within states various districts. I normally try to do morning evening flights once a week to meet state heads and the rest spend in our Delhi head office trying to manage everything remotely. We do lots of Zoom conferences through the day with our different state teams and I do try and leave office by 4 PM to try and be home with my two babies.
GEETIKA GUPTA: My work starts at 10:30 in the morning. Starts with a zero hour meeting with all the key people and sales staff to discuss issues at priority and chart out the treatments for the entire day. I try to visit my individual centres once a week. I wrap up my work by 3-4 pm max.
PALLAVI KHANDELWAL: It’s super hectic and erratic keeping kids in mind and balancing work, kids and traffic.
How do you balance? A full time consuming job and your family. Please share your life hacks.
DIVYA JAIN : In my life, there really is no distinction between personal and professional time. I often, am on calls during play dates or managing the house while at work. Life for me runs on Evernote and mobile technology. I do ensure that I have clearly defined monthly targets and goals both personally and professionally. Most days my life resembles a precariously balanced house of cards but then I doubt I’d like it any other way. But my most useful life hack is for certain, delegate! I unabashedly ask for help and support from family and friends, coz a village does it take to raise a family!
GEETIKA GUPTA: I strongly believe in being healthy and happy in your own self to sustain the work life equilibrium. I believe in spending quality time with kids especially when going to school and once going off to bed. I try to plan experiential Plans with my daughter which help us bond and make memories.
Life hacks :- keeping high energy levels with the help of daily exercises which is combination of yoga , stretches, weights and light cardio. I try to mediate early morning which helps me plan and have clarity in my mind. Good healthy nutrition packed food to keep up the energy levels. Black coffee during the day. Playing with my one year old post work is the greatest de-stressor. Journaling at the end of the day.
PALLAVI KHANDELWAL: Prioritize is the word. I’ve learnt to live the moment.
As EO forum buddies, your friendships must have transgressed beyond the forum. What are some of the fun things that you girls would like do together in times to come?
DIVYA JAIN : We have grand plans, the girls and I; from adorning magazine covers to renting chalets in rural France. The past years have seen us traversing Bangkok in little tuk tuks and in the canals of Amsterdam. We are this planning a spiritual retreat to Pondicherry this year and also look forward to cutting off from civilization trekking in the mountains.
GEETIKA GUPTA: As forum buddies we like to learn from each other’s experiences and also make it fun by adding different experiences like rock climbing, cooking etc
PALLAVI KHANDELWAL: We all yearn to do adventure together which gets hell lot of bonding.
Favourite memory with the girls in your forum.
DIVYA JAIN : We had our monthly forum meeting and one of the girls was full term pregnant. She went to the doctor and he told her labour had started but she could come to the hospital by evening. Instead of going home, she decided to show up for our meeting. We shifted from the Hyatt board room to a hotel room and proceeded to have the most amazing four hours running through our agenda while at the same time timing each contraction!
GEETIKA GUPTA: Our last trip together to Amsterdam was quite memorable.
PALLAVI KHANDELWAL: Our retreats are most memorable.
Best go to “me-time” activity
DIVYA JAIN : My three favourite R’s – reading, riding and writing!
GEETIKA GUPTA: At home spa!
PALLAVI KHANDELWAL: My daily walks with music and colouring.
List out your desk essentials.
DIVYA JAIN : I spend little time on my desk while at work; most of it goes in running in and out of meeting rooms and between cities. What I do use the most is the whiteboard and markers, plus little notebooks that I collect from all my travels to make notes in.
GEETIKA GUPTA: My laptop, phone and charger, planner and my pen.
PALLAVI KHANDELWAL: My diary which I can’t live without.
DIVYA JAIN : I am fairly experimental with my clothes and accessories. While not someone who follows trends and latest fashions, I love new silhouettes, new colours and textures. Each season would invariably see me revamp my wardrobe albeit of course a few favourites.
GEETIKA GUPTA: It’s more classic.
PALLAVI KHANDELWAL: Lesser the better.
What kind of jewelry do you wear to work?
DIVYA JAIN : Simple pearl drops, my watch and engagement ring
GEETIKA GUPTA: Fusion
PALLAVI KHANDELWAL: My accent pieces depend on what I am wearing daily.
Your favourite Zariin piece?
GEETIKA GUPTA: Absolute collection
PALLAVI KHANDELWAL: The new collection-super funky yet Indian…and love the pricing.