Beliefs go a long way
As a part of the weekly column, we speak to city entrepreneurs who are members of Sakal Times Women’s Platinum Club
A fighter all the way
Kavya Ladkat proudly calls herself a hero who rose from being a zero. She not only runs a petrol pump business single-handedly at Timber Market but also has a number of beauty titles to her credit.
The transition from being a homemaker to a successful entrepreneur was not an easy one. After her husband’s demise, she took the reins of their business in her hands and decided to face challenges with grit. Initially, it was difficult to manage, especially since she had no guidance, but over a period of time, she learnt the ropes.
Speaking about her testing times, she says, “I had no other option and wanted to prove that I can do anything. I had promised myself that one day people will know me for who I am and I started working towards it.”
Today Ladkat is the secretary of Petrol Dealers Association, which is a demanding position to be in. Says she, “I was naive when I first got into the business. I asked many people to help me but no one came forward. In fact, some of them put a lot of pressure on me. But instead of crying, I wrote a grievance letter to the Prime Minister and to the Petroleum Minister. As a result of that, actions were taken against those who had pressured me. This incident gave me fame and I was called Jhansi Ki Rani among the dealers and in the association. I also received letters of appreciation.”
After this incident, Ladkat was immediately appointed as a joint secretary of the association that gave her a good opportunity to understand and grow her business. She adds, “It’s a male-dominated industry. I stood up and fought for justice. There were many who took advantage, but for one and a half years, I fought with the goons and finally kicked them out when they harassed for free fuel. Such incidents taught me a lot. I got an unconditional support from my son who is currently studying in Canada.”
Staying positive in challenging times is a daunting task, but Ladkat strongly believes that positive thinking can turn any negative situation into something good. “I strongly believe that once I put out my wish to the universe, it starts working out for me. I am a staunch believer in the Law of Attraction along with the power of hard work.”
And how did the tough lady get so many beauty titles to her credit? She says, “I was always interested in fashion. I aspired to be an airhostess and travel the globe. Once I gained a grip over my life and business, I came across a contest called Mrs Dazzling Queen. My sister pushed me to participate in it and I won it. After this, I won titles like Mrs Independent Winner 2018, Star Pravahchi Maharani Winner 2018, Mrs Wanavdi Queen Winner 2018 and a few more. In 2019, I was the 1st runner up at Mrs India International, which was held in Dubai. I believe nothing is impossible and age is just a number.”
She concludes that even though she dabbles in both the fields effortlessly, business will always be her priority.
Dreams do come true
Rashmi Kumar is a fashion designer and co-founder of brand Tilism that promotes traditional Indian handicrafts through products like juttis and clutches. Tilism, which is seven months old, is set to release some Indo-Western apparel soon. Says Kumar, “With this, we aim to cater to different needs, varied age groups with different ranges.”
Speaking about her journey with Tilism, she says, “After studying designing, I didn’t do anything for a long time but I always intended doing something different than others. I was interested in Indian handicrafts and thought of incorporating them in my designs for juttis and Indo-Western clothes that can go with anything. I travelled a lot to hire designers and karigars for embroideries for juttis as we use pure leather for it. After a lot of trial and error, eventually everything fell into place.” She adds that it is her travel that gives her design inspirations.
Kumar strongly believes in the power of dreams. She says, “I dream a lot and dreams do come true. It is very important to think positive and believe in ourselves as everything that we want will come true. After setting up Tilism, I received very good response for my designs from people. I knew I was doing the right thing. Of course, throughout this journey, my family has been extremely supportive in every way.”
Kumar is working to ensure good education and health for the economically backward children.
Stronger the beliefs, stronger the results
Vinky Daryani, managing director at VDesigns, is an interior designer with more than 28 years of experience. She has many awards to her credit and is also an active member of various NGOs.
VDesigns was started in Nagpur, Amravati and Raipur at the same time in 1999. Daryani says, “Even before joining the degree course for interior designing in Nagpur, it was my passion to design furniture and interiors. I used to take up small projects initially. But I have been very lucky. I got projects from friends and family in and around Nagpur. I started with residential projects and moved to commercial.
In Nagpur, there was no flat scheme; there were huge bungalows. It was only after taking up residential work in Mumbai and Pune that I learnt about this type of residence. When people started noticing my work, they started calling me to decorate their house and that’s how the work multiplied.”
She, along with VDesigns, shifted her base to Pune in 2004 and continued her work in the city.
She too has a strong faith in the Law of Attraction. “Whatever you believe in, comes back to you in multiples. It is the same with work as well. Your equation with your team members, contractors and clients, everything comes back. I also believe in sharing skills as that goes a long way. Being a visiting faculty for a designing institute and conducting my own workshops, I teach students professional practice and soft skills,” she says.
“Apart from that, I put up exhibitions of my paintings and 50 per cent of the total money goes for girl child education.” She says that her husband and daughter have been her constant source of motivation.