Success Stories:
Her Story Her Way

Brief introduction about yourself and tell us something about your innovative startup Monapparel?
I am Monalisa Deb, originally from Kolkata, living in Bangalore last 15 years. Married, having 16 year old daughter. Started my corporate career in ITC Calcutta in 1995, after moving to Bangalore worked with IT companies like Infineon, Intel and NXP in administration and operations. While working in NXP, I started feeling the urge to start something of my own, wanted to explore my passion more and do what I always love to do. Finally took the challenge of quitting my job in 2014 November and the journey of Monapparel began.  

Your inclination towards creativity is awe-inspiring, what ignited the spark in you to give a new dimension to your creativity?
I was pursuing my passion for creativity through Painting and Embroidery along with my day job, for many years. But job never could satisfy me, 20+ years of a corporate career couldn’t douse the passion – on the contrary with passage of time the urge of getting back to the work I loved doing most only grew stronger.  

Please talk about your journey and future goals.
Before quitting the job when I was on idea stage, wanted to experiment with my painting and embroidery skills on fabric, making it as the new canvas. Being a fashion conscious person, wanted to blend art and fashion and give a new dimension to the apparel. The initial response from my inner circle of friends was very encouraging and motivating. I went on making hand painted stoles and t-shirts. But that was not enough to satisfy me, wanted to design apparel for women, using Indian rich textile. Future goal is to establish Monapparel as unique women apparel brand, reach out to the bigger audience and making its presence where art is finely blended with fashion through its simple and smart designs for Smart Indian Women . But it is a long journey!  

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?
No, I don’t think so. Almost every start up goes through the initial struggling period, irrespective of gender. With my corporate experience, it was little easier for me to handle administrative activities like communication, negotiation, and getting work done.  

What piece of advice would you like to give to the aspiring youth who wish to pursue their dream of becoming an entrepreneur?
Today’s youth are more focused on pursuing their dreams, despite that, my advice for today’s youth, if you are nurturing a viable idea for quite sometime and you are sure that regular routine job will not excite you, then don’t stop yourself from taking a calculated risk. It is a hard work but there is nothing like a successful implementation of your own dream, being your own boss.  

According to you, what are the top three essential skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?
Risk taking, Decision making, Inter personal communication skill and loads of patience.  

How has being an entrepreneur affected your family life? Has the family always been supportive?
Yes, family has been supportive throughout my journey, starting from my decision of quitting a well-paid job in IT sector to start a venture. Throughout my career, I had been balancing with my job and family, now my daughter is enjoying my company, me being at home most of the time and giving her more time than before.  

What are your views and opinions towards the ambiguous need to promote women entrepreneurship and women empowerment in India?
Last year was year of women entrepreneurs, I have been part of many organizations which are focusing and promoting women empowerment in India. It is very important to encourage women, especially in rural areas, to make them more confident to come forward and uninhibited to implement their unique and innovative ideas in every field.   Words for IWIL. I would like to thank IWIL for their search, to find me and give me the opportunity to tell my story to the people.