Sucess Stories:
Her Story Her Way

Brief introduction about yourself and tell us something about Exult! Solutions? I am a woman, psychologist, writer, dreamer… among the other identities I hold. Till 2008, I tried the employment experience for about 8 years till I realized it was limiting my contribution to the world. Even as I was doing well a leadership role and climbing the corporate ladder fast enough, a part of me was not satisfied enough. So one fine day I gave up my last job in Singapore and decided to move back to India, trusting that the path forward will emerge. After a few days of pondering, I started putting together content for a website that would showcase all that I can offer, and Exult! Solutions (www.exult-solutions.com) was born out of that exercise. We are performance consultants and provide services in the area of organizational transformation, leadership development and learning. Our community outreach arm called The Womb Tales (www.thewombtales.com), works on our peace building projects.   What ignited the spark in you to start a new business venture? I did not go into business with a business plan or with any capital in hand whatsoever. It was simply a spark that said I have talent and ideas to offer to the world and that I need to create a platform to facilitate that. I grew up reading and studying about spirituality, philosophy, etc. and my years in college and later when I was engaged in active volunteerism and community work brought me in touch with conflict in the world and the need for peace. In those days, I used to think of world peace as something that people in beauty pageants talked about and someone like Mother Teresa worked towards. However, the corporate experience helped me understand how much economics contributes towards conflict. In parallel, my studies in metaphysics helped me understand how each individual impacts world peace, or the lack of it. So the larger goal while building my business was to contribute to peace building through the corporate world. Conscious capitalism has been the driving force behind Exult! Solutions.   How has been your entrepreneurial journey been so far? The journey has been challenging and trans formative. One of the learning has been about the difference between an entrepreneur and a professional and I am still learning to integrate the strengths of both perspectives.   What all challenges did you face while starting the venture and what were your strategies to overcome them? I did not come from a background in sales and therefore selling our services in the area of organizational development, assessments, leadership training, coaching, e-learning, etc. was challenging. Fortunately, given that people in my network were familiar with my work, assignments started trickling in. It has been eight years now and we serve clients in India, the Middle East and Africa and all business has come through invitations. Managing cash flows and finding the right people continues to be a challenge, but we are getting better at it. The strategy that has worked for me is to stay forward-focused and conservative in terms of finances, and on the people side, to hire for values and connect with the mission of the business, rather than for skills.   Please share your future goals for Exult Solutions. Our mission is to co-create compassionate organizations. In this context, our goals are to reach out to more organizations across the world and help them build strategy and people in a manner that business is profitable without having to harm the environment or communities in its wake. We certainly aspire to grow the team in size and have our presence in more places.   What piece of advice would you like to give to the aspiring youth who wish to pursue their dream of becoming an entrepreneur? I think it is important to establish a personal sense of purpose and then build the business(es) around it. That way, there is more drive and motivation to stay put through the challenges that you may face. It is also important to stay tuned into the practical necessities and compliances such as tax laws, registrations with relevant authorities, etc. so that are no operational hurdles.   According to you, what are the top three essential skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur? I suppose different people bring in different strengths into their successful businesses. The skills that have helped me include the ability to stay open to learning, curiosity and innovation.   How has being an entrepreneur affected your family life? Being an entrepreneur is a 24/7 job. Even if you are not physically working all the time, you never really disconnect completely from work. It has helped me to have a supportive family that appreciates and facilitates that. It also helps to have a great support system including the domestic staff that really lets you have more time on your hands.   What are your views and opinions towards the ambiguous need to promote women entrepreneurship and women empowerment in India? I am quite gender agnostic as far as entrepreneurship is concerned. Anyone - man, woman or transgender - can build a successful business so long as they have something of value to offer. As for women, I think it is time we drop the collective belief of being less than men or being victimized over the centuries. We are not our history. Period. The moment we drop the drama in our heads, we empower ourselves to go and achieve what we want as a businessperson, professional or a homemaker. We don’t need to be granted empowerment by anyone.