“God could not be everywhere, and therefore he made Mothers.”, how well we do connect with this quote cited by English poet and novelist Rudyard Kipling.
Whether we are in the best times of our lives or are sailing through rock bottom, it is our mothers we long for. Mothers, after all, are our anchors, critics, best supporters, best buddy and our greatest well-wishers. Mum truly is the word that runs our world!
While every year we have a day kept aside to appreciate our mother’s roles and significance in our lives, this year we want to make it different! Apart from devoting themselves looking after the emotional and physical well being of their children, many mothers have made a mark for themselves, following their dreams and passions while balancing between motherhood and personal aspirations. Many mothers decide to embark on a business voyage becoming a “mompreneur” and thus doing away with the notions of the conventional male-dominated world, becoming their own bosses while doing the best for their children.
With an intention to celebrate a mother’s entrepreneurial journey, we have come up with few amazing mompreneurs stories who are making an impact in the society and world, building empires and legacies, one baby step at a time!
1. Suchi Mukherjee-Founder, LimeRoad
What today has evolved into India’s leading one-stop shopping destination for Men and Women, LimeRoad had its idea incepted while founder and former investment banker Suchi Mukherjee was on a maternity leave.
She said, ” While awaiting the birth of my son, Aadit I would often spend my time flipping through the pages of magazines. It was once I came across a beautiful piece of jewellery that I wished to buy but discovered there was no place which shipped in India.”
This was how the idea in place for a women’s online lifestyle platform and the challenge of turning entrepreneur with two young children to take care of had begun.
The LimeRoad app which accounts for nearly 70% of sales, has the highest conversion rate in the country of nearly 15% where industry average is 3-4%, with higher performers we believe in the 6-7% range,” says Mukherjee.
Backed by Tiger Global Management, Lightspeed Venture Partners and Matrix Partners India, the company has raised about $50 million in three rounds of funding recently.
2. Falguni Nayar- Founder, Nykaa
Heard of Nykaa? I bet you would have. Now Meet the lady behind this women-centric e-commerce portal providing beauty and wellness a new horizon in the e-commerce sector.
Falguni, a veteran in the field of financial planning with a enormous experience of 25 years, decided to quit her high paying job to be an entrepreneur to found her calling in “Nykaa”
Being a doting mother to her daughter Adwaita, 26, recalls the early years of elementary school and says it wasn’t always easy to have a working mum. “I missed her! I would call her non-stop and disturb her in meetings,” she says.
Nykaa founded today sells more than 35,000 products from 650 brands and has today become the best selling brand in the beauty and wellness niche.
While, those who are familiar with her, Nayar is a role model and those who don’t- the story goes like this. She’s a woman with a formidable career path and a closely knit supportive family who strongly believes in the philosophy that a woman must “lean in” to be successful. There is no glass ceiling, women must commit, she says.
Adwaita who helped her mother launch Nykaa considers her mother to be the most important inspiration of her life.
Before, we end are you pondering over the same question as me? Why the name of company Nykaa? ” Because, it means you are the actress of your life, she says smiling! There is no doubt Nayar is relishing her role.
3. Meena Bindra-Founder, Biba Apparels
Meena Bindra, was not even typical navy officer’s wife when she began a small tailoring outfit for women garments from her Mumbai based home back in 1988.
Being married at a young age of 19, I was a homemaker till my older son Sanjay went away to a boarding school and the younger one Siddharth turned seven. But, I had seen a discovered opportunity for women’s north Indian ethnic wear in the market and liked to dabble in good design, that was the day I decided to come with Biba, reminisces Bindra who is now 71.
Today, Biba has emerged as a market leader in the women’s ethnic wear market, with her son Siddharth, 40, at the helm as managing director. The apparel company has grown way beyond Meena could have imagined in 1990.
4. Tammie Umbel- Founder, Shea Terra Organics
The next mompreneur in our list includes Tammie Umbel, founder of a Virginia based Shea Terra Organics.
While sharing her journey she tells she had already become a mother of eight back in 2000. “Despite doing a lot of things for my children, like taking them regularly to activities and religious programs, I still had time left over. So I decided to create Shea Terra Organics, a line of skin and hair products, made from African ingredients like shea butter, argan oil and baobab.”
Coming from a conservative spiritually aligned family, Tammie explains how difficult it was she started working in her factory taking her kids every day while the older ones stayed home.
“I had to put them in the van early in the morning, drive around, look for lunch, spend $50 on lunch, and then my husband would pick them up at 7 p.m. when he’d get done. I was about to have a baby too. It was hectic.”
Vitamin Shoppe has today rose into a prestigious skincare brand with the company sailing at $500,000 profit. Tammie who has been running a business while being a homeschooling mom and the main caregiver to her children is surely an inspiration for all aspiring mothers who want to set out and create a mark for themselves.
5. Manvi Pavitra- Founder, PamperedMoms
A Hyderabad based orthodontist by profession, Manvi Pavitra is an unconventional yet an inspiring name in the list of mompreneurs who chose to carve out a niche for herself.
Life presented Manvi with an opportunity when she became a partner in prestigious Jubilee Hills Clinic that eventually led to the birth of her first brand Dentist N Dontist.
However, the lady did not stop here and soon found that she was pregnant. While living in Hyderabad she got certified as a Lamaze instructor and that’s how Pampered Moms came into existence.
The company operations cover a wide plethora of pregnancy fitness, from dancing and fun sessions for pregnant couples to postnatal weight loss and lactation consultation, all under one roof.
“I have immense support from my husband Pradeep Yarlagadda, who runs a green business, and my mother,” says Pavitra. Pavitra reckons that if she hadn’t been a mother she may have well not been an entrepreneur.
So with this, we come to an end with our featured story on next-generation mother entrepreneurs each of which is scripting her own success story in today’s new age world while setting benchmarks in their chosen fields.
Hats off to all of these women entrepreneurs!