Sunday, 4 March 2018

Tete-a-tete with Srijata Bhatnagar: Guest of Honour for Women's Day

1. Tell us a bit more about the Srijata that we don’t know yet.
To know more about the Srijata you don’t know yet, you need to interact with her more often… ;)
Well, that’s one of the traits of Srijata, she finds opportunity in every situation to make a light hearted comment. Humor, laughter and optimisim are her most prominent weapon to fight this big complicated world. She believes in simplicity of everything, whether it is work, relationship or fun.
On a serious note, she is a person with unshakable confidence and determination. She believes nothing can stop anyone from taking a leap of faith but their own belief system. Secretly she wants to shatter every limiting belief system of her own as well as others. 
2. How was Ridhani conceptualized? What does the term ‘ridhanisymbolize?
'Ridhani' was conceptualized in the IIM Bangalore campus, while she was having a conversation with her classmates about fashion… the realisation struck that working women don’t find the right kind of clothes for their workspace no matter which walk of life they came from. She had been a victim of the same earlier in her worklife and now she knew she was not alone.
Hence, she decided to work on this problem and determinded to provide the perfect solution to working women. That’s how journey of Ridhani started.
Ridhani is a combination of an Indonasian word called ‘Ridhaan’ that means ‘satisfied and content’ and a Sanskrit word ‘Paridhaan’ that means ‘clothes’. Ridhani symbolizes “clothes that make you satisfied and content.”
3. What do on feel are the biggest concerns for women when it comes to work wear when you interact with them?
Unfortunately the concerns are many folds and most often women themselves are unaware of the problems. As a species we adapt and adjust way too much in every sphere of life… including workwear fashion.
The basic challenge is the absence of guidelines in workwear fashion for women in India, unlike the clear guidelines for men. Even if there are guidelines it has been set up by men, who don’t understand women’s issues at all. Therefore most often any or all of these gets compromised - comfort, style, individuality, and convenience. Making sure the women are lower on confidence while they are in their workspace.
The current workwear fashion for women blindly emulates the west, without keeping in mind the socio-cultural differences of our country. Therefore, there is a strong discomfort associated with workwear fashion. They have to conform to whatever the market offers them, no matter whether they like it or not.
When I interact with women they come up with either or all of these three issues, fit, design, comfort, and individuality.
4.  How important is creating a brand for yourself in today’s competitive business scenario?
We always believe branding is not for yourself, it is for others to perceive you the way they wish to.
Hence, we concentrate on doing our job right. Because, when you do your job, your brand gets created without a conscious effort towards brand building.
Frankly speaking, I personally find brand building overhyped, it derails you from accomplishing the original intention of why you started a certain business or do certain work in the first place.
No matter how competitive the business scenario is, concentrating on providing value to our customers have kept us sailing. If we would have concentrated on brand building, we would have closed down by now.
5. What does a module of Connect to Success look like in One-on-One Coaching programs?
Connect To Success is my flagship group coaching program which has been built on the very simple thought process that “When you connect right with your inner self, professionally, and personally success just follows effortlessly”.
The entire course has been built by me, using my 15 years long experience interacting with others, setting up multiple businesses, and running them all with ease.
My one-on-one coaching program follows the similar principles, however it is more elaborate and tailor made for the individual needs of my clients.
6. You have been a Speaker and a judge  for different Fashion Shows. How do you think modern Indian women perceive themselves or how their thought process has changed about themselves?
In my experience I have seen, todays generation of girls are clearer in their head, what they want from life, how they want to conduct themselves, their dreams etc.
They are focused on making their mark in the world. They are ready to reach out for help, unlike earlier days where they hesitated to make a move.
These girls are aware of their surroundings quite well and know what they deserve. Having said that, they need focused guidance to rise and shine. They need help in finding the ‘HOW’ part of their accomplishments. And, I believe it is our responsibility to make sure these diamonds don’t get lost in the deluge of noise in todays society.
7. What do you love doing the most, other than being engaged in your endevours?
Oh, I love spending time traveling to various unusual places and documenting my learnings, spending quality time with my 9 years old daughter, cuddling my 3 years old four legged daughter (a golden retriver), having soulful intelligent conversations with my soulmate, having mindless hilarious times with my circle of friends, blogging about every day mundane things that are quite extra-ordinary and helping people in need. 
8. What can the audience expect at your session at Art Blend Cafe on Women’s Day?
Well, I believe in dialogues more than monologue. Hence, audience can expect to have a great dialogue with me on career, fashion, life’s challenges, how to overcome those challenges innovatively without getting bogged down by them etc. And I promise to make this session a light hearted yet hard hitting one. At the end of the day audience will return with few pearls of wisdom and new friends for life. And if the audience is proactive enough, they might even end up figuring out their life’s purpose!

Friday, 19 January 2018

Beyond Being Mom: Deepti Mahesh

Heylos to all lovely momz reading this feature 'Beyond Being Mom'. I am super excited to feature super mom Deepti Mahesh. We all know her as a proud founder and owner of popular kids' destinationKydzAdda, but lets' know her beyond being a mom and a successful entrepreneur.

Tell us something unique about yourself apart from what we know

An IT Professional turned into an entrepreneur with two young boys who loves to travel and enjoy life. I completed Bachelors in Computers and Electronics and did my Masters from RMIT in Melbourne. Later, I also worked as a programmer followed by a business analyst in a couple of companies in Melbourne. 
After moving to Bangalore, I wanted to do something on my own and spend more time with my two little boys, I conceptualized Kydzadda. 

Clicking with her son after Halloween Bash
As an individual, what has been your greatest achievement?

There is no greatest achievement yet. I always look further and set new goals and feel I can do more. Every goal of mine when reached with enthusiasm and hard work gives me a feeling of a great achievement. It inspires me to aim and climb higher. 

One thing that you want to change in your life and Why? 

I wouldn’t really want to change anything in my life. I am truly blessed to have a great family, a lovely set of friends and doing what I enjoy. 
hmmm ... but if at all there is anything, I would like to find more time in busy schedule to travel and explore places with my family. 😊
Deepti during her event at KydzAdda along with her younger son Vihaan.

One thing you always carry in your purse ... 

Just like most women, I love handbags and purses and apart from the usual wallet, cards, a bit of makeup etc. But what no one knows is that I also carry little bits of papers on which I scribble when I am home. Its more of a to-do list, appointments, reminders, and anything I want to work on. I scribble on this anytime whenever it strikes my brain; it could be while I am making the my kids study, cooking or even sometimes in the middle of the night. lol

One song that describes your life ...

I love music and listen to all kinds of music - Carnatic, Bollywood, western. There are various songs that describe my life based on the phase of life I am in. Currently, the song ringing in my head for the past couple of days is “I believe I can fly, I believe I can touch the sky”

Your all-time favourite movie ...

Hmm… cant think of any. Movies for me are something to unwind. A medium to not think of work or other chores for the 2-3 hrs. So I don’t have any favourites. If I were to choose, any comedy movie will usually be my first preference.

Who inspires you the most?

I draw inspiration from a lot of people. I like to read modern take on mythology and there is always something to learn. From my personal life, I draw inspiration from my husband for his patience and commitment; my mom who is great at multi-tasking; my dad from whom I have learnt the discipline without which I wouldn’t be where I am today and my in-laws who have achieved so much in their life. 

Your teenage crush? If any :)

Cant think of anyone in particular. It’s a phase of life every girl goes through and guess most crushes at that time were the movie stars then 😊

Your biggest fear, if any ...

An unhappy family. Work, money, fame… nothing can make anyone happy as long as the family is not happy together. At the end of the day, I would like to return home to smiling faces and a satisfied lot.

Your biggest strength ...

Undoubtedly my family. 

We know you are a trained Carnatic singer, tell us more about your singing talent to our readers ...

My mom is a Carnatic singer and teacher and she is the main reason why I am a trained Carnatic singer. When I was a little girl, like every other kid, I didn’t take it seriously. But my mom ensured I learned an practiced it. However, when I left to pursue my Masters in Melbourne, I wasn’t regular in practice but then I always came back to music and singing to feel rejuvenated and get a break from the monotony of work and home. I have learned a lot of Keerthanas and performed at various places. That said, I would like to learn a lot of songs from the huge database of songs my mom has collected over the years. 

How do you manage being mom to two boys, your brain child KydzAdda and hubby?

I plan my household work and office work every day. Having a plan and addressing one task at a time makes things easier for me. 

What things do you do or want to do differently from what your parents? 

Can’t think of anything I would do differently from my parents. They have been the cornerstone of what I am today and would like to give a similar upbringing to my kids.

Three words to describe what family means to you:

Love, happiness, and strength.

Your message to our moms who aspires to be mom entrepreneurs ...

Give your best shot to everything that you aspire leaving no stone unturned. Your passion and your hard work will speak for itself and give you the results. Being a mom and an entrepreneur requires a lot of dedication and having to manage them both can sometimes feel like a mammoth of a task. 
In times like these, take a break, go out with friends, do whatever makes you happy apart from anything that has to do with responsibilities. Taking time out for yourself is also important to keep you sane and focused.

Your message to our moms who are reading this interview ...

Enjoy whatever you do. Everyone has issues but every problem has a solution. Sometimes finding the right solution may take time but eventually, you will get there.
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Deepti with hanging out with her friends. R-L Sushma, Priya, Sharda, Jyoti, Deepti and Nidhi

How did you get to know about MomzSpace?

Just before starting Kydzadda, I tried to connect with moms, in general, to gather information and understand their requirements. In the process, I got in touch with Nidhi Pathak who was just starting this amazing community of moms called Momzspace. 
Until then, I had never heard or come across any such gathering and I was highly impressed with the way she networks and brings in like-minded moms and entrepreneurs together.

Any special reason to co-host MomzSpace 5th Anniversary?

One of the first set of activities we held at Kydzadda was Momzspace meets and Kids Kitchen which was hosted by Nidhi. Our journey with Momzpscae started even before Kydzadda Banshankari started. 

Nidhi has been a great support for me in various aspects of my work and personal life. Hosting Momzpsace 5th anniversary is a small gesture to thank her and the Momzspace community.

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Your best experience being a part of Momzspace.

Meeting and planning events over lunches with Nidhi without a question :) The Momzspace events I attended was enlightening as I met women from various backgrounds, experienced and expertise and I always learned something new. 

According to you what a mom must expect when attending MomzSpace 5 year celebration

I think they should actually come with no expectations. A 'celebration' is something where you go to enjoy and let go of anything serious. Considering it’s a 5th birthday party for Momzspace, I would like to see moms coming in for a nice chat, meet new people, network and have fun.