Ritika Grover

The young business woman

Ritika is a 23 year old girl, working really hard to grow into a successful businesswoman. She was given every possible privilege so that she could stand on her own feet.

My mom and dad have worked together with each other to balance their jobs and home with their two kids. I have grown up watching them running in the mornings doing errands, getting us ready for school and then coming back home to help us with homework and dinner. I am glad to have seen my mom work and my dad help with household chores. Not many of us have the privilege of being born to and watching such parents.

Now, I am 23. I am a pass-out from the topmost course at Shaheed Sukhdev College of Business Studies, an ex-KPMG employee and I have just launched my business, a week ago, after 18 months of juggling between my job and the work for this startup and saving up money.

My story is fairly simple. I work for what I want. This is what has been the guiding principle all my life. When I decided to startup and shared the idea with my family, they were, as expected, not very supportive about it and I see it as very natural because you literally want to protect your baby every time and business is brutal. I was working with a Big 4 then. As they were not really supportive, it didn’t make sense to me to take any money from them. They definitely would have given, if I had asked but I didn’t because I was not doing something they wanted me to –like, do an MBA. A professional course + MNC Job + MBA- this is very clichéd but that is generally how things turn out for not so creative yet intelligent students at school.
At this point, I had to decide and make a choice. I chose my dream. But also decided to own it and prove it that it is possible.

I kept on working for my business along with my job. I moved out to live alone to manage my job and the startup work. About 10 months later, when I was nearly ready with the products and the portal, I knew I had to quit. While they were still hesitant, this time, they supported me. They had seen the conviction with which I had worked. I had self-run to basti’s, industrial areas and many vendors to get my product sorted. I did give up a lot on my social life, the extravagant outings and the vacations. Mood to drink was usually on ladies nights and self-cooking was the way to stay fit because there was no time or money to gym. In a salary of 25k, I did manage my rentals, my trips, money for my startup and other expenditures of us girls. It was tough, for sure, but it was worth every effort. I was guided on how to save and plan my finances by my soon to be life partner who has played the most influential part during this journey.

Summing it up, here I am. I have been able to pull a decent launch, my own inventory and a kick-start to a running business while I still wait for my full and final settlement. I did not take any money from my parents until the very launch. Only recently I have borrowed about 17k to fulfil a PO for packaging.

My journey, so far, has been all about managing time and money to make me go where I want to. It looks apparently that it is easy, but it wasn’t with a full time job, a loving relationship (which demands my time), a big social circle and a family with my recently married sister. Now, when I have been able to manage this, my mom too has expressed her desire to run a business and so has my sister. I am proud to have set an example that it is possible.

We often take care of the big things but it is the little ones that matter the most.
Every rupee that I saved on taking a shared cab or metro over personal cab made this possible.

Women, especially women I say, need to be cautious about where and how our money is going. We have jumpy hearts and lots of additional expenditures men don’t have (parlors, pads, shopping, and jewelry) and it is only natural to be swayed away in a sale. While it is easy to rely on your man or family to take care of your expenses but it takes efforts to consciously manage your own money. Money is a practical aspect of the world we live in. Dreams need money. I am happy to have come this far by now and I am only motivated to go further and keep working on my own dreams.

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