Brief introduction about yourself and tell us something about Anthyesti?
I worked as a software engineer for 9 years before inflowing into entrepreneurship. I am a mother of a 3 year old. Life was very smooth for an IT Professional but the hunger of doing something out of the box pushed me to take the big leap. The moolah, the 9 to 7 cushy job, and the repetitive nature of my job didn’t entice me enough to continue my software profession.
Anthyesti in Sanskrit means ‘last rites’. It’s the sixteenth sanskara as per Hindu scriptures. ‘Anthyesti Funeral Services’ was started with the purpose of assisting families in their loved ones last journeys. We want to be the one stop solution for all funeral related services in a family. For every human being death is a very emotional break down and any external intrusion is considered a taboo, but Anthyesti wants to only ease the processes involved in conducting a funeral and not intrude into a family’s personal space.
What ignited the spark in you to start Style Anthyesti?
Sometimes when we get all that we desire of, life gets a bit boring. When there are no challenges and no puzzles to solve life is nothing but monotony. Right from having a good paying, satisfying job to an amazing spouse and a wonderful child, I felt I had the world with me. So, I upped my risk taking quotient, and got into a very challenging industry. Moreover, I strongly believe in the phrase “There is no higher service other than service to mankind”. So, here I am.
When did Anthyesti start?
In the mind about 2 years back, on the grounds about 6months, in papers about 5 months back and fully fledged operations began 5 months ago.
Please share your future goals.
We would want to spread our services all across Bengal before moving to other metro cities. Slowly, we want to capture the whole of Eastern India. We have located few cities for the next round of expansion. We want to be synonymous with post-death services. We will do anything to get there.
Something about the challenges you faced while starting Anthyesti.
We faced a multitude of challenges. Being the only woman entrepreneur in a vendor industry that is dominated by men was the first obstacle to tackle. Creating a space for professionalism in an industry that anyway had a demand was another obstacle. Facing the customer in a grieving situation to market funeral services is the biggest challenge we are still facing yet.
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?
I strongly disagree with the thought. No doubt, women are the weaker sex when it comes to physical endurance but in fields of mental stamina, professional world and multitasking any day they would surpass men. It’s all in the mindset of society. The day a boss treats both a male and female subordinate equally, that day it’s no more a struggle for a woman. I proudly say, that transformation yet again can be brought by a WOMAN itself. I strongly encourage mothers to stop giving differential upbringing to sons and daughters and while they teach a daughter to handle a home as well as to handle a job, teach their son also the same.
What piece of advice would you like to give to the aspiring youth who wish to pursue their dream of becoming an entrepreneur?
Well, what’s stopping you guys..The world is waiting for you. Don’t underestimate your abilities. Women, you are naturally empowered to multitask efficiently, so go pursue your dreams, there will always be a force behind you to take care of your household duties. Men, you are much more than just making money and feeding your dependents, so go create successful empires that feed millions.
According to you, what are the top three essential skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?
- Passion: Without passion a dream is reduced to a mere goal. One should eat, drink and live their passion.
- Perseverance: The ability to go on and on and on a gazillion times irrespective of the problems and societal brick backs is what makes an entrepreneur stand apart.
- Patience: Every business has its pick up point, growth point and a saturation point. The wait to strike the pickup point and grow it to a level and then innovate it further beyond the saturation point requires a great deal of patience.
Is it easy to maintain the work-life balance?
Yes, it is as long as you prioritize your commitments in each sector. And most importantly be with an activity in totality i.e. 100%. So, say when you are spending time with your family, be in the moment no phone calls, no Whatsapp etc. Similarly, when you are your office desk don’t let your mind wander into what’s happening at home or a party. When its business it’s only business when its pleasure its only pleasure. Don’t let them tread each other’s paths.
What are your views and opinions towards the ambiguous need to promote women entrepreneurship and women empowerment in India?
I never dreamed about success. I worked for it. Sheryl Sandberg once said: “A truly equal world would be one where women ran half our countries and companies and men ran half our homes.” I’m sure that day is not far off.
Words for IWIL
I’m very grateful for letting me voice my views and my enterprise. You are a doing the most difficult job in the women empowerment eco-system of spreading the word amongst the communities . Implanting the thoughts of women entrepreneurship in a man dominated world is a very daunting task. I’m glad you have taken up that challenge. Keep going!!!!