"The man who called me the apple of his eye. My mentor, my guide, my world. Two years ago, In the middle of the night I was awoken to find my father peacefully passed away in his sleep. A car journey I will never forget, with me in the back seat and my father resting his head on my lap which invoked some strong sense of emotion in me and made me realise I had to take control and step into his shoes so I can be there for my mom. We went for the cremation that afternoon and the whole staff was weeping and crying and I held one of them with a single tear unshed and told them ‘I am there for you and we are going to get through this’. After this I made a firm decision that I am going to be the daughter my father would have expected me to be and went for a meeting that had been scheduled right after. I did not perform any of my father’s last rites because taking his place at office was my way of giving back to my father. 2 days later I left for a work trip that he was scheduled to go on and after that there was no stopping me not knowing that it wasn’t going to be a smooth ride. There were so many people including my office staff which was the most difficult to deal with. In the first month one of my employees asked me ‘ what do you know? you have come from another professional background’ a lot of resistance from them where I would also hear ‘if sir was there he would not have done this’. The process of getting respect and to be taken seriously took a few long months, but now I’ve come out much stronger. In the past 2 years we have grown 76% in our amount of sales and expanded. From someone who was clueless and taking baby steps to learn this business to now becoming extremely confident with my work. I learn something new every single day and still have many various different challenges but with supportive people around me it has been a process of self growth.
My parents told me to get into something more professional. Some people are extremely passionate about who they want to be when they grow up and I had no specific passion for a particular profession. Due to my love for technical drawing I went on to study architecture. I had no idea what I was getting into, thought it would be making buildings and designs and doing research. I was not able to fit into the crowd. Most of them had a preconceived notion about me till my 5th year including the teachers. My college Dean once told me ‘your aim is to get married and not to study’ just because I came to college, did my work and left, unlike the other students who would spend hours working in front of the teachers. Then I had another experience where I was presenting to the Jury and my top went a little low and one of the teachers commented saying ‘look what she’s trying to do’. College made me tougher and I moved on with life to graduating with good grades. My dad has been asking me to take over his business since I was a baby and I still have the letters I used to write back to him saying ‘yes I will’ so when I grew up he asked me to spend two hours at the office while continuing working at my own firm. I started going for meetings to his office for half a day. Once there was a big head of a multinational company who at the meeting asked my dad ‘who will handle your business?’, which really made me furious while I was sitting in the room. If I were a boy would this question have ever been asked?"