Introduction: Tell us about yourself, your background and what you do currently
The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams. And it was my dream that enabled me to achieve success and satisfaction in my professional career. I think of myself as a perfect blend – excellent business understanding and people management skills, I have over fifteen years of experience as an HR professional and I have worked with big corporations and start-ups.
I was born and brought up in a traditional Marwari joint family in Indore. Unlike the female relatives in my family, I never had any interest in sewing, cooking or painting which are typically regarded “must have qualities” for a bride-to-be. So much so that relatives predicted that I would be a sure-shot failure in the marriage department but here I am happily married for the last 14 years with two adorable kids.
What piqued my interest as a child was my father running his business which inspired me to follow the same path.
I completed my BBA and Masters in Indore. An average student in school, I was always my teachers’ pet. However, the move from school to college changed my outlook. From an exceptionally protected kid in school moving to college was a cultural shock given my background. That’s when I transformed into an ambitious and competitive individual. I was at the forefront of all the competitions, represented my colleges in many national level competitions and won laurels. Since then, there was no looking back; I was determined to break free from the image of a traditional Marwari girl.
And I not just broke free of the image constraints. with my razor-sharp mind and intellect I excelled in whatever profession I chose. While pursuing my MBA, I started working for English daily as a sub-editor and also did some freelance work for The Times of India, Indore edition. However, immediately after completing my MBA, I got married and shifted to Pune. Although I was keen to pursue my career in the media field, the limited opportunities in Pune made me shift my focus to HR, which was my specialization in MBA.
In more than fifteen years of professional career, I have worked with a number of companies and achieved growth and recognition in all of these companies. Unfortunately, what was amiss in these roles was job satisfaction. I then started strategic HR consulting for SMEs. This gave me the fulfillment that i was looking for as I was able to see immediate results of the strategic solutions i provided to these companies. In 2014, after I met with an accident and was bed ridden for almost a year, I completed my post graduate diploma in counseling psychology from Fergusson College in Pune.
Things took a turn for the better when my friend and ex-colleague, Avani Shroff discussed the idea of creating a cost-effective online platform for home-based businesses, popularly know now as www.Gharobar.com. I was thrilled and even with my broken leg at that time could have jumped for joy. It had been my dream to start my own venture and make a significant difference in the life of others. This was the opportunity that i was waiting for and I grabbed it with both hands. In 2015, I left consulting to get into the online bandwagon and realize her childhood dreams. As a co-founder and Director of Six Hats Online Solutions Pvt. Ltd., I am now working towards making my first project, www.Gharobar.com, the only pro-seller online marketplace portal for home-based sellers, a huge success.
I always believe Challenges are good and even better when they are different every day.
Challenges at work have never deterred me. Balancing work and family life have been a daily challenge. But I’ve sailed through. I believe in delegating the tasks and I avoid micromanaging. Rather I think it is important to follow up and always have a Plan B in hand. Clear communication in succinct and easy language and a focus on priorities is how I breaks it all down and I can handle everything. My crisp sense of humour always makes dealing with problems a little easier.
Tell us about any current projects or initiatives you wish to promote
Home based businesses face several operational and marketing challenges and there is no single comprehensive platform that can help them grow their business.
www.gharobar.com is not just a “marketplace” for home based sellers to sell their products online, it is a support-system that helps with expanding their market, facilitating payments and door-step shipments with feasible and economically viable options. This way, the small, home-based sellers can focus on doing what they do best – developing exclusive and high quality products painstakingly made and curated – like exclusive jewellery, clothing, chemical-free health and beauty products, kids’ products, household items, home-made gourmet foods, customized gifts, festival products and quirky products, while they leave the rest in the able hands of the gharobar.com team.
- In 2016, my company, Six Hats Online Pt. Ltd. and www.gharobar.com were the only wholly owned women entrepreneur company shortlisted by SEAP Pune Connect amongst top 21 showcase startups of Pune
- My company was Awarded as the fastest growing startup by Women’s Connect
- Awarded as the #MadebyHer Star Performer at the recently held conclave on women owned business by the Woman at Work Magazine.
- The only marketplace to sell products made by individuals trained under PMKVY’s Skill India program
What has been your biggest challenge in achieving your success?
One of my business challenges is getting customers to buy from gharobar.com. One of the concerns consumers most likely have in shopping from Gharobar.com is their concern for quality since the products are sold by home based sellers. I must say that you will be pleasantly surprised by the quality of our products, their packaging and the service of home based sellers. A lot of hard work and passion is seen in our work. Most importantly, Our products are one of a kind products that you’ll not find in retail outlets
What has been your greatest achievement personally?
Success for me is all about fulfillment for my work that I am doing through gharobar.com is extremely satisfying. When the home based sellers turn to me and say how we have given their business wings , that defines success for me
If you weren’t doing what you do now, what would you be doing?
I would be probably a full time writer and blogger!
Who has been your biggest inspiration?
I take my inspiration from everyone I meet. The home based women entrepreneurs I meet everyday have such inspiring stories, their zeal to do something of their own in limited resources, to become financially independent
What does the future hold for you?
Building a Seller App of Gharobar.com, upgrading our current website, reaching a wider audience through social media campaigns, flea markets and corporate tie-ups are some of our near-term milestones and strategies. The final goal is to have 400,000 sellers successfully netting in profits through gharobar.com.
Rashmi is a MBA – HR graduate from DAVV University Indore and holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Counseling Psychology from the Fergusson College, Pune. Her first job was as a Sub Editor for an English Daily called The Free Press in Indore. She pursued her career in Human Resources and worked for companies like ABN AMRO bank, OS2i and Sodexho India pvt ltd. She took a break from her job when she had her first child and started consulting various companies in strategic HR and Organisational Development. Currently she heads the marketing and strategic decisions at Gharobar.com
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