Sucess Stories:
Her Story Her Way

I can proudly say that WE ARE WOMEN PLANET and we have shaped it together. I wish, together we all will unite and join hands to Educate:Empower:Entertain!”   Brief introduction about yourself and tell us something about ‘Women Planet’? I belong to a humble middle class family from the town of Vadodara, Gujarat. As a student I was very keen on sports however, eventually focused on classroom studies and went up to do an MBA. Having finished my MBA in finance I joined Times of India as an operations executive in Ahmedabad. I worked there for 1 year and really liked my job but the gujarati in me kept itching me to start something of my own. This urge in me made me a part of an Information Technology firm by the name Black iD Solutions Pvt. Ltd. located in Baroda. This company was an attempt by a group of friends with willingness to work together. It has been a rollercoaster journey so far. The growth of the company has been an adventure with an equal amount of risk and fun. With Black iD, I got an opportunity to start with a new department for “Online Marketing and SEO”. I grabbed the opportunity and with time and efforts, we got great success in SEO Industry. After 7 years of experience in SEO and online marketing, i wanted to something not only for money but for a cause too. This thought instigated the idea of Women Planet (www.womenpla.net). I am happy that this epiphany happened and I am able use my expertise to give something back to the society, in my very own little way.   What ignited the spark in you to create such a platform? Well what I am currently doing is purely by chance and thanks to the grim situation in our country. The tipping point for me starting Women Planet was The Nirbhaya case. I was genuinely affected by that heinous crime and took an expeditious decision to try and help out in whatever way I possibly can. Since, online marketing and SEO was my forte I found it suitable to do something that I can manage and persist. If this effort of mine can even bring the slightest change to the perspective of people towards Women I will be content. I always feel that one need not to be a part of formal organization like an NGO or something similar to support others. Using your professional skills to do something good for people around you will suffice. That is how I am trying to give back to the society. I started Women Planet as a blog and kept it open for all. As it’s meant for people, I wanted it to take its own shape - by the people, rather going for a structured and forced plan. That is what worked well and from a simple blog, it became a community, a forum, a Print & Digital magazine (where our subscribers gets a free copy), a hub for people to share their opinion! Now, I can proudly say that WE ARE WOMEN PLANET and we have shaped it together.   Little bit about your journey and future goals. We are actually planning on a moment to help women in rural India. Since, everything is in planning phase it will be difficult for me to make any claims. Also, we are currently doing small things like organising and executing events with Local NGO’s that support women in rural area. Our immediate plan is also to deal with smaller but important issues like hygiene for girls in rural parts. We are all set to organise an event to raise fund for a social cause. A cause which would be successful with the help of city Vadodara’s assistance. It will help us to coming up with a small booklet explaining the significance of hygiene and menstrual cycle for villages in Gujarat, we do intend to do it at a national level in future.   You are also the co-owner of an IT firm, how do you manage to give the best wearing two hats? It is a bit challenging when it comes to multi-task to handle few things with same priorities. IT Firm, Black iD Solutions Pvt.Ltd. and Women Planet, both are truly valuable to me. It is fun switching one task to other and learning new things with experience. Sitting on your chair with laptop in AC office to moving out, run a campaign and meet the needy people can show you different aspect of life. It asks me to compromise many things in my life and I am trying to balancing things with the flow and more support from people. I wish, together we all will unite and join hands to Educate:Empower:Entertain!   The path must have been full of challenges, how you dealt with hurdles. Trying something new, is like nurturing a new life, it is always challenging. My journey wasn’t that smooth but it was definitely a great learning phase of my life. From the day I started Women Planet, I have enjoyed each and every moment watching it grow and connect with people. As I do not belong to Journalism background, it was difficult for me to understand the industry and work on an entirely new platform. Now I have a better understanding of it and also know the common links shared by IT and Digital journalism. With Women Planet, I found the opportunity to explore this new zone and it gives me a chance to connect with different type of people around the world. Which I have to admit is not only fun but enriching too.   What's your opinion about whether women can have it all? Yes, personally I am a strong believer of gender equality. I think your skills and powers are beyond your gender. You need to think and act as a human and it is important to count the other person as a human too. Gender can never be the deciding factor for any professional or social thing and the whole world should overcome from such behavior soon.   Must Have’s for a successful entrepreneur. Being an entrepreneur is all about your willingness and attitude. It is a very beautiful and different kind of feeling which I will not be able to share in words. I think it asks for 3 main things to come up with a happy and successful business person. -Understand your nature and choose your career/business accordingly -Always be honest to yourself and to your work -Enjoy your work   Has it been easy to maintain the work-life balance and how supportive has been the family? It is never easy to maintain work-life balance. My mother is a school teacher and I have seen her struggling out to manage work and social life from my childhood. She is truly an inspiration and I always try to maintain work-life balance the way she does, though I know I am not as good as her. When it comes to family, I actually find myself very lucky! My family is my strength and inspiration. My husband, Dr. Jyot Vakharia has always shown faith in my work and stood beside me for any kind of support I need. I was born in a job class family and I got married in a business class family. After my marriage, the exposure to business within home inspired me to build my career & identity. Our daily discussions at dining table are much more useful than doing MBA in B-schools. My father in-law is a very successful Businessman and his talks not only motivated me but helped me to build my personality as a business woman. Generally in India, women find it difficult to concentrate on their career after marriage, but in my case I could work with double energy and is one significant reason for my success so far! I am glad to have a mother in-law who totally understands me and my work. When it comes to gender equality, she is the most neutral person I know.   What are your views and opinions towards the ambiguous need to promote women entrepreneurship and women empowerment in India? I am not sure what people think about Woman and why they objectify them. Sometimes even a woman herself do not understand the value of being a woman, rather I can see woman sometimes do not treat the other woman as Human. I think women equality and empowerment will happen only when women will start treating each other with respect and the same way she wants to get treated. First, we girls need to be strong and open about our goals, plans and career. We need a better empowered India where each family member is equal. No girl needs to compromise on their study or job. Each one is empowered with equal rights. I can just hope for such India and try with my way of small little efforts to move towards the same.