Success Stories:
Her Story Her Way

“Do not under estimate yourself and don’t let your domestic or any other duties be an excuse for not being an entrepreneur. They are your strength. Being a working woman makes me a much better wife and mom. I am happy and hence my home is happier.”  

Brief introduction about yourself and tell us something about “Balance Nutrition”?
I am a dietitian with a PG in clinical nutrition, a health menu designer, blogger and recipe developer. I am 30 years old and live in Mumbai with my husband and five year old daughter. Balance Nutrition – – is an online weight loss and lifestyle management clinic. I set up the organisation following nine years of experience in the field of health, food and nutrition. Having travelled widely, I love to experiment with food and now strive to help people across the globe with their diet-related issues with the foods available locally. I used to be the Chief Dietitian at Lilavati Hospital, Mumbai (RKHS), one of the leading hospitals in India. I was lucky enough to be one of the pioneers of health kitchens in the corporate sector and have since developed over 800 health recipes that are tasty and yet extremely healthy. I have since authored a book ‘Getting rid of Obesity’ published by MBD Publications and remain on the panel of the Early Childhood Association (ECA) Balance derives from a firm belief that nutrition and lifestyle management can transform lives. This online model helps more people access genuine nutrition therapy in order to lead healthier lives. went live on 29 August 2014. We have online programs for weight loss and lifestyle management and also PCOS, diabetes, post pregnancy, thyroid and many other disorders. Our target market includes mothers who want to lose post pregnancy weight and others who suffer weight gain due to certain medical complications and conditions.  

What ignited the spark in you to have your own venture?
After having a lovely baby, I resigned from the post of chief dietitian at lilavati hospital and was consulting a few corporates. The executives there were extremely busy to follow a text book diet chart and had many health disorders. It got me thinking that the traditional diet charts shall have to be modified and a more practical approach shall have to be used.
1. DIETS ON EMAIL – no one had the time to come for a consultation, hence began the emailing of the nutritional assessment sheet and preparing diets and emailing them. All details and recipes needed to be attached too
2. RESTAURANT AND ALCOHOL GUIDE – no executive was ready to skip a board lunch meet J hence I had to give options from the things available. The restaurant guide today has 36 cuisines from chaat to fining dining and can be used        even when travelling globally
3. TRAVEL/AIRPORT and HOLIDAY GUIDE – on similar lines I made a food guide for frequent travelers and those on a holiday.
So the entire base of balance nutrition started developing and to my surprise, I had my 1st NRI client in JAN 2014!! She had read my updates on facebook page that I had made as a hobby.  

Something about your journey & future plans.
I am working towards making balance nutrition a full-fledged company with a solid back end foundation. It shall have a CRM for managing clients and prospects. I wish to expand and have teams for website administration, social media and marketing ,accounts, admin, dietitians handling clients and senior dietitians doing latest research on health and wellness, planning menus and developing recipes. We also plan to start child nutrition and corporate nutrition too. So my team of 19 shall be a team of 50. We also have started working on opening retail Balance Nutrition Centres called EX2 – Experience & Exchange! Where a client shall be able to interact with us other than the internet.  

What all challenges did you face and what were your strategies to overcome them? NONE  

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 know none of us would like to read this, but yes being a female does make it a bit tough. A female boss, that too a young one is not preferred by all. It is only now that my vendors take me seriouslyJ . Though my area of expertise (dietitian) in India is largely female dominated, it makes it easy on that front.  

What piece of advice would you like to give to the aspiring youth who wish to pursue their dream of becoming an entrepreneur? Do not under estimate yourself and don’t let your domestic or any other duties be an excuse for not being an entrepreneur. They are your strength. Being a working woman makes me a much better wife and mom. I am happy and hence my home is happier.  

According to you, what are the top three essential skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?
- ALWAYS GIVE MORE THAN EXPECTED - ALWAYS TREAT YOUR STAFF LIKE YOUR OWN FAMILY - ALWAYS BE CALM Since I belong to a service industry, it is essential we always are in an upbeat good mood. Clients come to us with a lot of hope so we have to ensure we surpass their expectations J  

How has being an entrepreneur affected your family life? Has the family always been supportive?
I am truly blessed to have a family like mine. I have never had to keep a maid for my little baby. Whether it is my mom, husband, sisters or my brother in law- all have helped me in bringing up Trissha by always being ready to baby sit depending on their work schedules. So I was never worried about my child. My husband has been my biggest support as he is the only one who recognised my talent and pushed me to start an active career after the baby. Whether it is a work issue or a domestic issue, he is always around despite having a busy job himself. Being an e-commerce business, we work 24 hours. I am at present concentrating on building the core of the business and improvising the services to a class level. So I am spending more than eight hours a day thinking or working on the website. At weekends we tend to take it a bit slower. I spend one hour on my own health and fitness every day. Being an active mother (without home help) takes about four hours of my day. So when it comes to my child and home, there is a three to four hour a day slot reserved come what may. Nights are about reading. I am a liberal mother. Trissha is never forced to do anything she does not want to do. We always discuss things and then she is given a choice. I just explain things to her and make sure she is guided well. We have our differences (yes – she’s only five) but at the end of the day we reason things out. The rule of thumb for me to be a happy parent is to manage that fine line of being firm and working towards making the child more confident and independent by being there. There are some things that are non-negotiable – our reading time, food habits and physical activity time – the rest, we take it as it comes  

What are your views and opinions towards the ambiguous need to promote women entrepreneurship and women empowerment in India?
NOT NEEDED. Hard work, a good business model and the fire to do something is all that is needed J