Hi Riddhi, Please tell us about Yourself
I am a self-made-woman and have followed my dreams with relentless focus and conviction. From a very young age, I knew that I could not be financially dependent on anyone; not because I could not, but because I did not want to. The youngest of four sisters, I was the pampered one. I had great sisters to look up to and follow. I had lovely, open-minded parents who encouraged the four of us to be our own selves. My dad, having worked in a big Corporate for many years and had set off on his own and done exceedingly well. My mother was Practicing Doctor. All this meant that I was privileged and could have anything I wanted. But I knew that if I had to have an identity of my own, I needed to do it on my own.
I started my career early, then took a break to pursue my Masters in London. When I returned, I went back to my entrepreneurial setup with gusto, but had to take a break again for marriage and childbirth later. However, the independent and entrepreneurial streak in me, questioned me and I got back to doing what I loved doing. Today I am financially independent, have a reasonable following for my work and am appreciated and receive citation for my contribution to the society; all because I believe in myself and my work.
Please Share about your professional journey, Rhhyns Academy and LAJA
I started my career as an entrepreneur at a young age of 18, when I started coaching children in self-development. I studied Law and then went to London for my Masters. When I returned, I wanted to do something on my own and was talking to a friend about this when a commotion on the adjoining table filled with teens drew my attention. That’s when Rhhyns Academy Pvt Ltd was started in 2004, in reaction to the need to educate the young and youth of today about Indian culture, about behavior, about ethics, about Self-development, about Personality enhancement and more. After a couple of years, I started LAJA with the sole aim of helping the mothers who came to drop their children off for Rhhyns programs find themselves and develop themselves. The idea was to help them women see what’s unique and special within them and then let that inner glow shine outward.
Being a mother, I also started the Mocktail Gazebos to provide organic, home-made juices and mocktails to my son. What started off as something for my son, soon got marketed and sold to buyers outside as well.
I also run a group for Parents of children aged between 0 to 6 years where I guide them on Parenting and building the parent child bond. I also launched a Creative Kiddiz page for young entrepreneurs, especially those between the age of 5 to 18 years, where they can showcase and sell their handmade products without having to pay me any commission. I have now launched Yodhaa, a network for the youth, where they can find guidance, mentors and support in understanding their complex age problems.
Share something from your Corporate Career
I had been L & D head for a MNC at Ahmedabad for 3 years , handling a team of 18 . But realized soon that I wasn’t made to work for anyone. Hence came back to the world of entrepreneurship. Always been an Entrepreneur by heart and nothing stopped me from getting back to it after span of 3 years.
What was the inspiration for you start your own business?
I have said this a number of times and don’t mind repeating it. My father has been my inspiration for being an entrepreneur. Coming from a very affluent family, he had all the means to have life handed down to him on a platter, but he refused and left his very princely life with just Rs 60 in his pocket and a young wife by his side. He started from scratch in Mumbai and despite facing a lot of hardships and more, he made it on his own. As a kid I have heard his story so many times and yet I would ask him to keep telling me this story. I grew up listening to this and that set the tone for my aspirations. When I wanted to start my entrepreneurial journey, he encouraged me, believed in me and that was more than what I needed.
What have been some of your achievements in your professional life?
To list a few, I believe these are some of the achievements in my professional life that I am extremely proud of:
- National Award for Cultural Activities – year 2004
- Speaker at TEDx for consecutive 3 times
- Awarded for “Excellence in Wellness” by Pinnacle Fame Awards 2018
- Young Entrepreneurs Award
- Hastakshar #Self Made Divas Award
- Awarded “Notable Performance Skills Trainer & Life Coach 2018” by AspiringShe
- Featured by Herexpertise.com as a Woman of Substance
- Featured by City Women Magazine on International Woman’s Day
- Interviewed by Brand India Magazine in the April/May 2018 ‘Women 3.0’ issue.
- Top 100 Woman Achievers Listing by #AspiringShe
- Speaker at Times of India organized Times Education Show 2018
- Listed in the book by Captain Gupta “51 Successful Entrepreneurs of India” as one of those 51 women. This book is going to be distributed to few IIM’s of India.
The difference you have made to others
When I started the Rhhyns Academy Pvt Ltd, I had hoped to help the youth find their true calling, help them become better and more confident versions of themselves and help them become future ready and future leaders. Over the past two decades I have seen batch after batch of students learn and go. The validation and proof of the difference I have made in their lives is when former students come back to visit and thank me for helping them emerge as confident, mature individuals who are now riding the wave of success in their careers and personal lives.
When LAJA was launched I only hoped to help women realize their true potential. In 2014, LAJA had only one chapter in Mumbai, but now we have two chapters in Mumbai, one each in Surat, Navsari, Ahmedabad, Pune and Delhi and are enroute to launching to more chapters. This has been possible because we have made a difference to the lives of the women who have joined us. We have helped them acknowledge, accept, love and improve themselves. Proof of this is when a 67-year-old woman participated at one of our events. After they event, she came up to me and thanked me saying that, this was the first time in 67 years of her existence that she had truly done something for herself and felt wonderful and accomplished.
What do you want to be acknowledged for
I want to be acknowledged for changing the lives of women across the world. I have started small, here in Mumbai and now have gone to other cities. I hope to cover the country before moving to other countries as well. An empowered nation / world can be built only if the women who birth and nurture the youth is confident and empowered.
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Haven’t been able to take up much in comparison to offered by eGrowth . Though Atul has always been helpful whenever I needed connects or help.
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