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Female Entrepreneur: Vidya Deshpande and Mimi Chakrabarti – Co-founders: Soul Purpose Travel

Mimi (khaki shorts) and Vidya (maroon trackpants)

Mimi (khaki shorts) and Vidya (maroon trackpants)

Tell us about yourself
Stay at a haveli in Churu, August 2014

Stay at a haveli in Churu, August 2014

SoulPurpose Travel was started by two women who are passionate about travel and adventure. We realised that many women want to travel, go on adventure trips but don’t know where to go. SOULPURPOSE bridges that gap and gives women with a thirst for adventure the chance to go on a trip with a group that promises safety along with a good time. We understand the need for trips that are meaningful, relaxing and yet full of fun.

Vidya Deshpande, is a former journalist with more than 26 years of experience, having worked with top newspapers and TV channels in the country. She decided to give up her full time job and pursue her passion for food and travel. Vidya is the mother of a college-going son. She loves walking, exercising and the outdoors and continues to write on travel and food for magazines and websites.

At Hornbill Festival in Kohima, Nagaland, Dec 2013

At Hornbill Festival in Kohima, Nagaland, Dec 2013

Mimi Chakrabarti is a former advertising executive and mother of two grown-up children, whom she home schooled. Mimi gave up her job to bring up her children and to teach them at home. The experience of home schooling her children taught her many a precious lesson. Mimi is also a professional photographer with an eye for detail. In addition she is a yoga acharya and a trained singer.

SOULPURPOSE bridges that gap and gives women with a thirst for adventure the chance to go on a trip with a group that promises safety along with a good time.

Tell us about the company you have set up.

Based in Gurgaon, SoulPurpose is a partnership firm that was set up in December 2012. We organise group experiential travel holidays for women only. Our holidays look at adventure: wildlife safaris, trekking, rafting, culture and history, food and culinary trails and wellness and yoga outdoor camps.

At the Tropic of Cancer with our group Jan 2014

At the Tropic of Cancer with our group Jan 2014

We also organise leadership training and personality development courses for women using outdoor experiential learning as well as ‘Holiday with a Purpose’ where women can doing some social work even as they holiday.

Why did you set up the company?

Both of us had a passion for travel, which we wanted to capitalise on and convert into a business. Also many woman we know would keep asking us to organise adventure trips or them, so we decided to form SoulPurpose and pursue this dream.

Both of us have very understanding husbands, who have stood behind our venture, and children, who encourage us to pursue our passion.

Rhino safari at Kaziranaga National Park, Dec 2013

Rhino safari at Kaziranaga National Park, Dec 2013

What has been your biggest challenge in achieving your success?

Our biggest challenge has been to find effective ways to market our company. We have been able to reach out to women in Delhi NCR successfully but need to reach out to women with similar interests in other metros too.

What has been your greatest achievement so far?

In a short span since we have been operational, we have organised 14 trips to places as offbeat as Nagaland, Beas Kund and Ladakh. All out trips have been successful without any hitches and we have ensured safety and comfort of the women travelling with us.

If you have a dream, chase it, you will find a way to reach it.

Trek to Beas Kund in June 2014 with moms and kids

Trek to Beas Kund in June 2014 with moms and kids

Who has been your biggest inspiration?

Today there are many women CEOs and women leaders around the world and each one of them has something to inspire us.

How do you balance your work life and home life?

Balancing work life and home life has never really been an issue. Vidya has always worked full time, and Mimi is used to travelling a lot with her children. Sometimes we have to juggle our trip dates to accommodate personal needs, which is not too difficult. Both of us have very understanding husbands, who have stood behind our venture, and children, who encourage us to pursue our passion.

What advice do you have for women starting out on their own?

If you have a dream, chase it, you will find a way to reach it.

Shooting spider (on cameras) at Bhandavgarh National park, Oct 2103

Shooting spider (on cameras) at Bhandavgarh National park, Oct 2103

Can you recommend any organisations or networking groups that have particularly helped you on your journey?

Biz Divas and Gurgaon Moms.

If you could ask for one thing to help propel your business what would it be?

Our desire to be different.

What does the future hold for you?

We are looking at expanding into several other verticals of business that will all be women-oriented.

SoulPurposeLOGO

Vidya Deshpande: +91 98734 10696; Mimi Chakrabarti: +91 98101 01602

Our website: www.soulpurposetravel.in

To follow us on Facebook, click like on our page: www.facebook.com/soulpurpose

The media loves us! Check out: http://www.soulpurposetravel.in/#!press/c1mip

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