Sheryl-Salis

Brief introduction about yourself.

I am a nutritionist by profession with a work experience of more than 16 years working with hospitals and multinational companies like Novo Nordisk and Johnson & Johnson.

Due to the nature of my jobs, I travelled extensively and met some very interesting people who enriched my life and made it more meaningful.Gathering rich experiences and learnings through my working journey of 13 years, I founded Nurture Health Solutions (NHS), in 2013.

On the personal front, I have been married for the last 15 years to a doctor and blessed with a lovely boy who is 7 years old.

 

Can you tell something about your venture

Nurture Health Solutions (NHS) was founded by me in the year 2013 with the objective of helping people transform and adapt to a healthy lifestyle. It is a health & wellbeing company offering niche comprehensive Health & Wellness solutions to Corporates and Individuals. NHS has an all-women dynamic team who are constantly striving to make a difference to people’s lives and working towards building a healthy nation.

We work with leading Corporate Houses, Pharmaceuticals, Nutraceuticals, Hospitals, Educational Institutes, Government bodies and Individuals in India and overseas offering services in the health and wellness space. Our retail clients include CXO’s, Industrialists, Celebrities, Corporate Executives, homemakers and children.In a short time span, NHS has touched more than ten thousand lives through our health coach programs having worked with reputed multinational companies both in India and overseas. Our dynamic and passionate team at NHS have successfully helped motivate thousands of people achieve their health goals.

NHS has had the proud privilege of being selected by the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (BMC) to develop the “Food Guide for Mumbai” inaugurated by the Mayor and the Municipal Commissioner of Mumbai. We are also resource partner for the MCGM (BMC) initiated jaanbachaao campaign to create awareness on NCD prevention.

 

Can you please tell us know about your journey 

I set up NHS in May 2013 after a very successful 13 year stint working with corporates. I was starting from scratch and had no idea where I was heading. With a job, one is used to a fixed income coming every month; here I was setting up a company which required finances and that meant exhausting my savings with no surety of returns. Since it was a start-up and no God father, I first decided to approach my contacts for work, had innumerable meetings with them but to my dismay no outcomes. At one point I was contemplating taking up a job as I had very lucrative offers coming my way and was worried about draining my savings. At that point, I reached out to a close work associate for guidance. He then told me, give it one year, If you don’t succeed at it, you can always get back to the corporate world. That gave me a lot of confidence. I then focused on making things work and was ready to take on any challenges that came my way. To my surprise, help came from unknown quarters. Fortunately for me, during the journey, I met the right people who only wanted to see me succeed. Today they feature in my set of loyal clients and friends.  Not coming from a business background, there was so much to learn, right from meeting the client, making a proposal, negotiations, drafting a contract, executing as per the expectations,raising an invoice which was very unnerving initially but today I feel very proud that I learnt so much along the way.

If I look back at my initial days of NHS, It was my spouse who stood by me like a rock. I had to set up the office which meant paying overheads like rent, salaries, etc. I also had EMI’s and other financial commitments to take care of. He would deposit a certain amount every month in my account to make sure I did not feel the pressure and could focus on work. I had to travel extensively in the first couple of years to set up the business for which I got all the support from my family.

My team has been my biggest strength. I am really fortunate to have people in my team who are equally passionate and driven. Today they are my biggest support system along with my family.

I started slow, first working from home, then rented out a small place and then took up a bigger space. We do not have a marketing team and spend zero money on PR. Our biggest strength has been the quality of work, quick turnaround time and customized cutting edge solutions we offer to our clients. We have got new clients and more work only through word of mouth, recommendations and referrals from our satisfied clients.

 

What are your future goals?

About the future, we have expansion plans and hope to continue doing good work touching more lives working in the health and wellness space. This is just the beginning and we have a long way to go.I would also like to give back to society by opening an NGO in my father’s memory working for the children with diabetes as that is something very close to my heart.

 

What piece of advice would you like to give to the aspiring youth who wish to pursue their dream of being an entrepreneur?

Gather some experience before you take the leap to become an entrepreneur. Dream big, start slow and stay focused on your goal; do not give up no matter what challenges come your way.They are temporary and you shall surely overcome it.If you sow the seeds of hard work today, you shall definitely reap the fruits of success in the next two to three years. There may be disappointments and delays initially and things may not always go how you want it to go. Be Patient. Remember- When you focus on problems you will have more problems. When you focus on possibilities, you will have more opportunities.

Realize having your own business will take a lot of hard work and you may often end up burning the midnight oil.  You will have to put in more hours in your own business than a regular job at the office but trust me, it will be worth it. Invest your money wisely. Do not get overambitious, take one step at a time. You can start from home initially. Do not spend too much on overheads. Avoid getting into partnerships with friends and family. Select a strong team who is passionate and self-driven. Take smart risks, revisit your business model on a regular basis, make the necessary tweaks as and when required and then expand. This way you will make lesser losses. Learn to accept failure, Retrospect, learn from your mistakes and be quick to make changes. Be ready to take criticism and feedback from clients, as that will only help your business prosper. Most importantly exhibit professionalism at all times. Prioritize, Organize,Delegate, Do Not Micro Manage

Do not feel guilty that you are working and not with your kids at all times. Believe me, quality time is better than quantity time. Create a strong support system at home to ensure things run smooth in your absence.

 

According to you, what are the top three essential skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?

There are many which help you become a successful entrepreneur

  • Self-Belief, Passionate, Self-Driven and Optimism
  • Hard Work, Focus, Patience, Conviction, Resilience & Faith
  • Constantly Updating and learning
  • Good Interpersonal Skills.
  • Ability to wear many hats and multitask

 

How do you manage the work-life balance?

Honestly, It is difficult but I’m trying my best. As women, however hard you try, you can never really strike the right balance. What I have learnt over the years is that it is important to draw boundaries and set time for work, family and some “ME” time to keep you balanced, fresh and avoid a burn out.

Thanks to my mom, I am an early riser. As kids we were never encouraged to sleep beyond 7 a.m. which we always detested and protested at that time but I am thankful to her today.  I wake up at 6 a.m.every single day. I spend an hour with my son getting him ready for school, making his tiffin. I dedicate an hour to work out which is the “Me” time for me. After this I am ready to take on the day. I plan my week ahead of time, work from 10 a.m. to 6p.m making sure I allot time and days for the various roles at work, be it administrative, patient management, writing books, articles, giving talks and  teaching. The key is to plan well, delegate and not get into micro management.  In my profession, it is extremely important to be abreast with the latest advances in the field of science, hence I dedicate some time to reading. I spend the evenings playing with my son which is the best destressor. I do not socialize much except on weekends. I am in bed by 10 p.m. as I need my eight hours of beauty sleep. We take short breaks every other month to rejuvenate and spend quality time together and one annual long break.

 

What are your views and opinions towards the ambiguous need to promote women entrepreneurship?

I think it is very important to promote women entrepreneurship .Unfortunately in India, especially in some communities, a woman has to give up her career after marriage and kids often leaving her dreams unfulfilled and dependent on the spouse and in laws for money. If you observe, women have a great knack at networking and creating those special bonds with others that can help them become successful entrepreneurs. Today, thanks to technology, there is so much a woman can do just by starting something small from home. This will not only give her the much needed financial independence, emotional wellbeing but also help her create an identity of her own.

 

Few words for IWIL

Kudos and continue to do the great job of fostering women entrepreneurship by providing a platform to women looking for support and guidance. Good luck in your endeavor to create a future of socially and economically independent women.

 

 

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