Brief introduction about yourself and tell us something about Hang Out.
I have 13 years of experience in the Retail and Entertainment Industry from the US, with companies like Cole Corporation, Discovery Zone, Calder, and others. I am also the director of companies like M.F. Entertainment & Amusement, Hang Out and Bouncy Town.
I graduated in business management from Northern Illinois University, US , with a second major in Human Resources. My zeal to do something on my own never took a back seat, though. I was running my own business of personalized and bridal gifts through chain stores in the US.
What ignited the spark in you to start Hang Out?
I am big on family interaction, bonding and spending quality time with my boys. I understood the importance of child development and learning through playtime. I wanted to promote family interaction as it is the stepping stones to family bonding. Playtime is a fundamental building block of who we are as adults. Physically, psychologically, emotionally and cognitively, childhood play, family bonding and quality time spent with our children shapes the person they become. Hang Out gives them the indoor playgrounds to spend quality time and have family fun that caters to all age groups while keeping parental needs in mind.
The dearth of family entertainment centers made me diversify and add a new line to our existing businesses.
We are sure the journey has been rewarding but did you face any challenges?
Being a working mom can be challenging. Especially with children who are of a tender age. As they get older we must be friends to them, and friendship comes with understanding, communication, openness and spending quality time. It takes a lot of effort and hard work. I will be honest, I used to work till late and be up at 6 am to send my little one to school. I worked after their bedtime, because I didn’t want to take away from their time with their Mommy. I juggled with tight schedules. My family and friends know I have a set schedule and are understanding of my time constraints. It’s all about time management and multi-tasking, I believe.
What plans do you behold for Hang Out?
We are launching a new brand called the Sports Diner bringing entertainment for teens, Tween & adults. Believing in a comprehensive family entertainment center one for the entire family the Diner with bowling, pool tables, VR-Zone, sports bar, electronic darts and other activities that even the grown ups can enjoy covers our goal.
What piece of advice would you like to give to the aspiring youth who wish to pursue their dream of becoming an entrepreneur?
My piece of advice for any aspiring youth is the ability to dream with your eyes open, Yes visualize your future, your creation, your achievements, live them in your dreams & have the courage to chase that dream and convert it into reality. My father always said to me ” have the courage to dream, the power to plan, aspire to achieve & the strength to execute your dreams.” & Always remember your actions should speak louder than your words.
According to you, what are the top three essential skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?
- Hard work & effort
- Ability to command & control
- Co-ordinate & organise
What are your views on the thought, that as compared to male counterparts, it’s harder and more struggling for females to make a mark professionally?
It’s certainly difficult for a woman to step ahead of men considering the physical attributes of a man because India is a male dominated country and women lack opportunities. But women are sharper and creative and can adapt easily to any given situation. Still, it’s harder for women especially in India as they are bounded by social norms and culture. But now women empowerment is growing rapidly and hopefully things will get better in ratio, in the future.
How has being an entrepreneur affected your family life? Has the family always been supportive?
My family is the reason Hang Out exists, my children are my inspiration & the reason I opened this project. My husband has been very supportive and always believed in me & my passion project, he’s helped me from the back end always, he is the back bone of this company. My in-laws were very supportive always and I couldn’t have done this without their love & support. My father is my business mentor & role model. He has taught me a lot & my mother has given me the love one needs to keep you going, even through rough times.
What are your views and opinions towards the ambiguous need to promote women entrepreneurship and women empowerment in India.
There’s a stereotype mindset about women entrepreneurs, your courage, hard work, perseverance, focus & strength can help you overcome any boundaries without gender restrictions is what I believe.
Words for IWIL
I think IWIL is doing a fabulous job of providing a safe space for women to talk and interact with other women, read stories about what they have achieved and get the required encouragement and respect required to start on their own