Originally posted in OutlookIndia.com on March 8, 2020 by Rajat Mishra.
“I want you to remember something because of a lot of times people get nice things and they start to think differently. We got here from hard work, patience, and humility. So I want to tell you, don’t ever think that the world owes you anything because it doesn’t. The world doesn’t owe you a thing,” – these were one of the famous dialogues of the 2015 American drama – Joy, whose plot centres around the story from rags to riches where a self-made millionaire Joy Mangano created her own business empire
But it’s not only the movies that feature true stories like John Mangano. There are a plethora of super ladies who take every challenge head-on.
Malini Saba, a businesswoman, and a philanthropist made inroads into the industry in the ’90s when the industry was a male bastion. “It was a man’s world when I stepped into this industrial world. I would never have been given the opportunity to lead a company. I had many failures and downturns. But it has been a great journey,” recalls Saba.
Saba hails from a middle-class family, armed with her Ph.D. in Psychology.
“It was not an easy road but it made me stronger and made me understand the value of education and money,” she says.
It was way back in 2002 that she launched The Saba Family Foundation, her dream to do some philanthropy. The foundation’s three areas of focus are healthcare, education and human rights.
Recalling the gender discrimination she faced, she says, “I have always been subject to discrimination, be it any place, but I took all those things head-on and moved on as well.” She adds that despite immense modernisation the outlook of the society has not evolved enough to accept female at the high echelons of administration. We still hold women to a different standard —their voices and cries are not heard and not taken seriously. This has to change.
She further adds how parted ways with her husband because her success was creating a problem for him. “Sometimes you have to make tough decisions for yourself without thinking about the society.”
Malini Saba’s story is an example of a struggling lady who emerged victorious after beating all odds. But Bhavna’s story is not less than that.
Bhavna Sharma, who grew up in Chandigarh, came to Delhi to pursue her graduation from prestigious Shri Ram College of Commerce. After working for some time she went to study MSc Accounting and Finance from London School of Economics. It was after this she realised she always wanted to do something on her own and entrepreneurship was the one area, she was inclined in. It was in the year 2019, she started her own venture Cureveda. She says, “I always knew that I have a penchant for creating something new, that inclination was there since a very young age that is why my journey in the healthcare sector started way back in 2009 only.”
She crisscrossed many states and did extensive research in the field to bring Cureveda to life. She says, “I have been fortunate enough that I did not face any discrimination in my family from either side but I can’t shy away from saying that yes being a young lady there have been multiple times when people questioned me on the basis of my age.”
Bhavna, a confident lady says that her husband has no doubt helped her but that she has done the same for him as well, adds, “But we manage our own ventures but always discuss whatever issues we face.”
Supra’s story is emblematic of women’s innate multitasking abilities. Supra, an entrepreneur and a mother of two kids, has a lot of responsibilities on her shoulders. A 24-hour day could not suffice for her needs. But with a broad smile on her face, she deals with all the challenges graciously.
Supra hails from a middle-class family that shifted to east Africa in her early childhood. But even being in Africa she could not forget India. “India was calling me every now and then, so I decided to come back,” says Supra. She pursued her studies from Delhi University and has been a prolific swimmer that led her to take part in prestigious Commonwealth and Olympics games.
But her love for India pushed her to come up with a venture that can reflect the colours of India. And, her calling paved the way for her new venture. With her husband Varun she opened Maachis – an outlet that has collected every cuisine from India. Supra says: “Food is the only thing that can win many hearts, thus I worked day and night to bring this outlet into the existence that emits Indian flavours.”
Supra, Bhavna, Malini may belong to different sections of the society and may have different roles and responsibilities but the one thing that they have in common is the zeal to fly high.