I am the Director of a New Delhi based fast growing company called Bigsea Marcom (I) Pvt. Ltd., together with my partner Pragath Dvivedi.
As the Chief-Editor of Surfaces Reporter magazine, an architecture & design magazine, focussed on products for interiors and buildings, I am responsible for the total content. As the CEO, I drive the businesses in marketing, promotions, communication and growth. Recently started Event division of Bigsea Marcom is very close to my heart. It has two event properties, WADe Asia and The Talk of Town. WADe is Asia’s 1st platform for Women Architects, Artists and Designers that celebrates through an annual mega event while content is circulated throughout the year to connect the women. The Talk of Town is a series of mini events that happen around India.
These apart, Bigsea Marcom is also into Market Research, Printing & Fabrication, and publishing of other B2B specialised magazines like Furniture Design & Technology and The Ply Reporter. Bigsea Market Research and the mentioned operations are led by Pragath Dvivedi. I am also the proprietor of a Design firm which is a small creative boutique helping clients to design their brand message, collaterals, corporate films and more.
Tell us about any current projects or initiatives.
My current project is WADe Asia – the universe for women in design, art and architecture. WADe is about documenting the progression of Women in Design. It is also about a common ground for women in creative pursuits to meet, network, learn and share. With the coming together of 6 countries, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Thailand, WADe Asia was magnanimous. WADe started with the objectives of:
- Ensuring visibility of Women-led projects
- Bridging Mentorship between Leading & Aspiring Designers
- Standing by those who want to come back to the profession
- Encouraging, Sharing & Learning through Research
- Celebrating the Life, Work and Achievements of Women Architects, Artists & Designers * Rewards & Recognition
I am glad to share that so far WADe is going very strong on the objectives and concluded a mega survey that is believed to lead the course of our future action.
What has been your greatest achievement personally?
After my parents expired, at quite an early age, standing straight amidst all odds to be the backbone for my family of five is one of my greatest achievements so far, on a very personal level. Today, all my sisters are settled in life while brother is about to complete PhD.
If you weren’t doing what you do now, what would you be doing?
Probably, I would have been a singer, actor, a film-maker or all of them together (haha).
Who has been your biggest inspiration?
My Father is my biggest inspiration. Through his life and beliefs, he has taught us to be brave and fearless, to be happy no matter how the circumstances are, and also to value relationships. These learning in the early childhood shaped my outlook & vision. These values stood by me as an entrepreneur as well.
What does the future hold for you?
The best way to predict the future is to create it, said Abraham Lincoln. I believe in the same. No one has seen the future so in my best capacity I would make every single day of my life meaningful for myself as well for the initiatives I stand for.
Which books are you planning to write and why?
Many of my friends are asking me to write on ‘How I did what I did.’ They want me to write and inspire other small town girls to come out and conquer the world. I was born in Kohima, where my father was posted, and breathed his last. My brother was 7 days old when mother expired. Father lost his job post that and our once-upon-a-time happy and complete family was broken & shattered. In some other nerve wrecking incidences, we lost our home and everything we had. I am the eldest of the four sisters. Managing to be sane was a challenge in those times. Then our dear father expired. How did I manage to take control of self and the responsibility of my three sisters & one brother, while not letting my dream to die, to be an entrepreneur, is a matter of discussion many times. After losing our parents, our home and most of the belongings, we five were there for each other. Our journey from the small town Kohima to Delhi without any support of friends & relatives makes us feel proud even today.
I was uncomfortable to share a lot of happenings but sensing that my sharing may help someone in similar situation to get strength in order to fight against the odds, inspires me to write. Every turn that my life took is like a story, rising from the point of suicide to turning my face to life & light, the tri-agenda to kickstart my vision while I was waiting to get admission in class-VIII, there-after launching 3D animation in North Bengal, picking up my backpack to head for Delhi, my time in the roads of Delhi, first break, and the several times when I was broke, before kissing success for the first time, does make a rich thriller for someone who listen to.
For me, the memories, joys & wounds, all are still fresh. If the book is able to motivate even one person to rise beyond circumstances, and if she motivates another one, I believe, many more Verticas would be born. ‘Rising Small Town Girl’ (tentative name) would be a book that stimulates passion in the aspiring young girls of India, and help women to re-think & re-work on self, to be the best version of their selves.
What has been your biggest challenge in achieving success?
For me the biggest challenge was Finance. There is a brief article based real life incidences that I had concisely put to share the 10 challenges I faced as a women entrepreneur in New Delhi. You may read it here
What has been your greatest achievement so far?
From the point I started, every step forward has been achievement for me. I was amazed when Economic Times quoted, “WADe’s creator Vertica Dvivedi believes mad unwavering passion is what makes things happen.”
In 2017 alone, I was fortunate to receive 5 awards including Hafele ORBIS Award for being the ‘Woman of Influence 2017,’ winner of ‘Photo Journalism AWARD 2017’, ‘Indian Women Achievers Award 2017’, ‘Exceptional women of Excellence 2017’ by Women Economic Forum, and was runner-up to get ‘SMEs Excellence Award 2017 by ASSOCHAM’ for Bigsea Marcom (I) Pvt. Ltd. in women entrepreneur category.
Yet my biggest achievement in terms of satisfaction has been to start WADe Asia. In 2017, it expanded to include representations from Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Nepal, Bangladesh and Thailand, forming WADe Asia (World Women Architects, Artists and Designers – Asia) the 1st combined platform, an universe for women architects, artists and designers. WADe received huge applause for spreading Women-led development across India and Asia. The latest annual event had 700+ delegates, 300+ projects, 100+ speakers, 23 Award winners, with grand celebrations that went on for 2 days in Gurgaon.
What advice do you have for women starting out on their own?
Ans: To start with, I believe it is possible to be a good mother, wife, sister, daughter, and a business leader/ professional at the same time just as it is possible to be a good father, husband, brother, son, and a business leader/ professional. For Women who are starting on their own, my sincere advises are:
1) Be kind to yourself. Do not tear yourself apart for the sake of doing everything. Intelligently weigh priorities, pros & cons, visualise at length and selectively work on things for maximum results.
2) Do not procrastinate. It will only add to your pain.
3) Drop your fears & ego, and ask for support. Make your family & friends part of your dream by connecting with them mentally, emotionally or through work. Entrepreneurship is a lonely journey. Good people along makes it worth pursuing. Men today are learning to support & co-operate while other family members have started to understand the value of women pursuing her own career. They are not Gods. You will have to trust them, involve them, support them and in turn get support & togetherness.
4) Women entrepreneurs, do not leave Marketing & Finance for others to take care. As an entrepreneur, be the engine of your marketing plans & finance. Driving them well will help you in delivering a better product/ service, and manage business in a good way.
5) Celebrate the smallest victories at work but do not lose the view of bigger goal. Stay focused, network well, and be addicted to learning new things.
I can keep going but I would be happy to address queries at [email protected] or contact me via www.vertica.in. Feel free to contact me as fellow entrepreneurs or to mentor the start-ups & rising entrepreneurs.