Resilient Achievers

Dr Lakshmipradha: Epitome of Confidence, Energy, Enthusiasm and Optimism

“Challenge” is a term that does not indicate hurdle; instead, it’s a power to stand against and fight. So never run away from situations. Face them with an unambiguous and positive approach. There is no discrimination at any level; we as humans can achieve anything as long as we don’t mix negative emotions with targets.”

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Dr Lakshmipradha Receiving HerRising Award

When Suba Lakshminarasimhan, Founder, SLN Brand Studio, asked Dr. Lakshmipradha about ‘one advice’ she would like to share with the Women Aspirants, this was her answer.

Heightened confidence shown in her smile, ‘I can do’ attitude shown in her behaviour, walk and talk, it was an ‘instant impressive’ moment for Suba when she met Dr Lakshmipradha during Jobsforher’s HerRising event. Both are HerRising award winners, met during the ‘Expert Corner’ session as Mentors.

They connected offline, this interview is an extract from the conversation they have had later. As a person of Short Stature, the struggles Dr Lakshmipradha faced were countless. But, the most crucial aspect each one of us needs to know is how she overcame and succeeded in all the things she took up.

Dr Lakshmipradha started a career journey as a Dental Surgeon, later she embraced technology and started working as a Business Analyst, Healthcare domain consultant and Delivery Manager in various IT organizations and MNCs.

Dr Lakshmipradha has also been giving motivational and keynote speeches on various occasions.

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Suba: It is an absolute pleasure knowing you, Dr Lakshmipradha. I would like to highlight the specific struggles you had faced in life. I am using the word ‘highlight’ here because I am sure your journey will inspire many to come out of the shell and do the things they deserve to do.

Lakshmipradha: Thank you, Suba, for your positive words, you can call me Pradha or Lakshmi. (With a sweet smile, she continued).

True, each one of us has stories and different battles to share with this world Suba.

I had numerous challenges to face, mainly, lack of acceptance due to my short stature. Right from my school days, it would take fellow students and teachers a long time to accept me as ‘one among them.’ Later in college, people used to wonder whether I would be able to acquire skills like any other student and my ability in doing the procedures. When I shifted my career to IT field, it continued as the employers worrying about the customer accepting me.

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It was extremely challenging for me to make people believe that I can do things normally like anybody else. I pushed myself multiple steps and, not only proved that I can do but also achieved various accolades too.

Perceptions, Suba…..We are wired to see, assume and judge others based on our thoughts, beliefs which infact create a lot of challenges for ‘us’ as well as ‘others.’

Yes, I have proven people who doubted my ability in ‘travelling alone,’ ‘living independently,’ ‘cooking & managing home alone.’ I can, and I am performing day to day activities like anyone else living in this mother earth.

Her smile was heart touching.

Suba: That’s impressive Pradha. I have seen people not even realizing that they were hurting others due to ignorance. Sensitizing people towards discrimination. Even though things are changing ‘on paper’ I am sure the reality is still far away. How did you manage when people discriminate you or anyone else for any reasons?

Lakshmipradha: I understand people Suba. I have always been vocal when I witness any discrimination against me or anyone else. Instead of showing frustration, I used ‘patience’ and ‘calmness’ as a tool to educate and create awareness on how a simple ‘word’ or ‘deed’ can hurt someone very deeply. You know what, I have gained a lot of positivity and life-long friends due to my attitude.

Suba: Awesome attitude. God bless you, Pradha. How could keep up the patience and show ‘love’ towards those who hurt you?

Lakshmipradha: I must mention my family here Suba. My mom, especially….She had been a greater inspiration all throughout my life. We lost her this March. She inculcated ‘never give up’ attitude and ‘determination’ in me to pursue what I wanted. She always lifted me up and gave me confidence to look forward whenever I failed and fell down. My father seeded his positive attitude and supported me to pursue my dreams. My sibling always protected and encouraged me in all my endeavour. 

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With my friendly approach and happy attitude, I could gain hearts of many which includes my friends, teachers, colleagues and managers.

Suba: Tell me more about your Mom, Pradha.

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Lakshmipradha’s Mom’s Painting

Lakshmipradha: My mom is a beautiful soul, our guiding angel. She had greater passion for arts. I am working on creating a platform through which I can showcase her artwork to the world. Also, on her memory, I am exploring options where I can help the struggling artists sell their artworks. I have a facebook page & a group dedicated to her artwork. 

 

Suba: Oh, that’s wonderful to know. Tell me about what you are doing currently and your aspirations.

Lakshmipradha: I am a life-long learner first before putting any ‘adjectives’ along. Basically, I am a soft-spoken, compassionate person who always look forward to helping and supporting others. Intending to enhance the lives around, I am working along with the professionals and providing career guidance and mentoring. When I joined IT industry, I realized the importance of unlearning and re-learning. Such mind-mapping and habit forming helped me change my dialect, attitude and gained more confidence communicating with the teams & client and collaborate with the cross functions to achieve project goal.

I took a break from full time job to finish off the book that I was writing Suba, ‘Delicate Darlings’ – it is a collection of stories on the upbringing of children based on my and others experiences. The book will be published very soon. Now, I am fully geared up to utilize my capabilities as an ‘IT Consultant’ in the industry, started floating my resume and attending interviews. Hoping to get into the right role & organization that helps me to establish my expertise and capabilities further ahead. 

About the Interview‘Words of Wisdom’ Interview with Dr Lakshmipradha is an initiative for ‘Women Contentment Program,’ a Mentoring program for women.

Ms. Suba Lakshminarasimhan, Founder director, SLN Brand Studio conducted the interview. Women Contentment Program (WCP) focuses on elevating the lives of Women by helping them create a new career, get back to the career after a break, develop Emotional & Social intelligence and build a Personal Brand.

About the Company: SLN Brand Studio offers Consulting, Mentoring, CXO Resume Writing and Corporate Softskill Training Solutions. Aiming at building the personal brand for Individuals, Entrepreneurs, and Businesses, SLN Brand Studio has developed numerous customized solutions.

Successful Women Entrepreneurs

Meet Varsha Savla: A Fashion Designer turned Entrepreneur, the amazing Journey behind Expressions by UV

Suba Lakshminarasimhan, SLN Brand Studio, Women Contentment Program, Varsha Savla
Suba Lakshminarasimhan interacts with Varsha Savla

Varsha Savla, Founder, UV creations, and a Creative Director & Fashion Designer in Expression by UV interacts with Suba Lakshminarasimhan, Founder Director, SLN Brand Studio.

UV Creations is a Design Studio that caters to the customized needs of styling for one and all. Expression by UV is the creative label of Varsha, which she has created after a lot of research as a designer. An act towards converting waste and developing sustainability model. More information on this below. More and more, Varsha’s love for fabrics is seen in all the products.

Suba: Varsha, glad to interact with you for #SLNNavathri’19 series. Thanks for your time. Tell us all about where and how you started?

Varsha: Indeed, a pleasure to be here Suba. Thanks for the inclusion. About my journey, I must say it is in Genes and, probably, a childhood passion that has taken a new shape now as UV creations. As I recall, adoring my mom and grand mom working on embroideries and building crafts with textile kindled a thought process behind my empire.

Varsha 9I studied fashion designing, had dreams of starting my own studio and joined as a head designer in an export firm in Mumbai. I thought of working in the industry for few years to gain the ‘right set’ of experience before starting anything on my own. Life was going as usual; as I was working hard to grow in the industry, life showed me a different struggle path. I got into bad marriage which left me an adorable son and a challenging life ahead. As a single parent, I had a humongous responsibility to take care of my son and my career growth.

Though I had tremendous support from my parents, I didn’t want my son to miss anything that he deserves. I was determined not to miss anything as a mom because of the change that occurred in my personal life. I took support from my father, with few thousands rupees investment, started UV creations. I started the engagement from home so that I could spend more time with my son.

That triumphant smile of Varsha indeed induced positive energy virtually.

Suba: That’s an extraordinary journey Varsha. I understand the ‘starting phase’ with considerable investment, balancing many things as a ‘solopreneur’ where every paisa counts.

Varsha: Complete agree here, Suba. Even though it was my passion, it was the need of the hour too when I started UV creations. People…..Suba, I met many wonderful people who helped to broaden my horizon and encouraged me to live my dream that I had since my college days. After experiencing various ups and downs as an Entrepreneur, I got registered as MSME with the help of Mawe, fortunate enough to attend its first International Meet.

That was ‘The Moment’ Suba. At the same time, the IIM’s Women Entrepreneur Program was also happening. I didn’t miss the opportunity and enrolled for the same. Bitten by the entrepreneurial bug, I rediscovered myself and my UV creations. I joined myself as a Mentee in ‘Cherry Blair Foundation’ where wonder mentors helped me to shape up the business.

Learning every day from different people, various experiences has become a habit now Suba.

Varsha gave a hearty laugh.

 

Suba: Wow…..I loved the way you create positivity where people in different ways helped you to grow. I often tell my audience that ‘seeking help is an art which needs better clarity than helping others.’ I am sure you have this skill and utilize it also well Varsha. I am thrilled.

Ok, tell us about the significant struggles you had to face to deliver your products and how did you overcome such struggles?

Varsha: Thank you, Suba.

I faced a lot of troubles in the initial days. The biggest challenge was to get the right set of workers and train them. I was very empathetic, however, when they leave without any prior notice, I used to feel so stressed about quality and on-time delivery. I am focusing on building the right mindset in my team and train them well from various perspective.

The second biggest challenge is the price. It is still challenging at times to create awareness about the price for the customized & designer products. Our products are customized and not like the ones we regularly see in the shopping malls. India is one of the wealthiest countries in textile and craft heritage, but awareness among Indian consumer is one area that needs special attention. Especially, sustainable brands face such challenges in Indian market.

Suba: I get to listen to these challenges from many Entrepreneurs in my network. I have observed that most of the solopreneurs and entrepreneurs in the sustainable market treat the workers well. Mindset change in the worker community is something to be addressed. I also agree on the awareness of ‘value’ the consumers are getting in India.

Varsha, what is your ‘dream come true’ moment in this Entrepreneurial Journey?

Varsha: Our ‘Satva’ collection’s presence in Milan Fashion Week is indeed an excellent Milestone for me as an Entrepreneur and, ‘dream come true’ moment as a fashion designer. We collaborated with Ashtiani by Golnaz and showcased our sustainable fashion designs during the fashion week from 21st to 30th September 2019.

Suba: Very proud to know this Varsha, tell us about your brand ‘Expression by UV.’ I happily observe and look at the wave your products are creating under this label. How did you conceptualize this?

Varsha: Thanks for asking this question, Suba. I wanted to celebrate Craft, Indian Weaves and the Skill of our artisans who struggle to make their daily life. Looking at the waste materials after completing our products got me thinking for hours together. It was painful to see the textile creating the already spoiled ‘landfill.’ Moreover, hazardous chemicals disposed by fast fashion industry is a significant concern as well.

 

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This glamorous fashion industry contributes a lot on the landfill which was troubling me a lot. This is how a thought process behind ‘Expressions by UV’ was born, and today we are proud to be a part of sustainable industry doing good to our mother earth and earn a lot of happy customers.

We adhere to nature friendly skills combing it with style, and a good supply chain to make positive impressions on each life it touches. UV creations is a Studio for women who are globe-trotters, decision-makers and confident enough to make conscious choices for themselves and the planet earth.

Suba: Awesome. This is one question I ask all my candidates. Many women struggle or sit in their comfort zone because of one challenge. Managing life & career. How did you create an eco-system that helps you to balance your personal and professional life Varsha?

Varsha: This is a crucial and essential question, Suba. I always believed in the right working conditions and treat my team as family members. I have built a loyal team who help me in challenging situation. However, you know that apparel industry is still an unorganized sector and, sometimes you get into wrong hands. So my new learning is that to always have a backup plan, so the work does not suffer.

At the personal level, I had made my child independent from early years. He takes care of his things when I am not at home. My parents and family take care of my son when I am travelling. Specifically my Mom, my backbone at the home front. I have created a support system to take care of my son’s education too. However, I never miss spending Quality hours together with him and with the whole family.

Suba: Really impressed with the way you have taken steps to create an eco-system ,Varsha. I am sure many women out there who are struggling will wake up now and take up the responsibility to develop a support system to balance personal and professional life.

If I ask you to give ‘one’ suggestion or an advice to women followers, what would that be Varsha?

Varsha: Let me share something from my personal life again, Suba. When I decided to part ways with my husband, and, when I started UV creations in a small way and, while growing…..In all the stages, and, every day, I had/have people giving me good suggestions, showing sympathy, or, questioning my actions and talking ill on my back.

You know what, without judging anyone, I listen to everyone and everything. It was not at all an easy thing to do, but I was determined to have this as a habit. That is how I learnt how to filter information, take out the best and use it for growth. The information stayed in my filter went away, and I never gave a damn about it.

Believe in yourself and your ability. ‘Single mom’, ‘Amicable daughter-in-law’ ‘well-behaved daughter’ or any similar branding should never be the barrier for you to grow. But, create a right network, support system to start, survive and succeed which is very important. – Varsha Savla, UV Creations, Expressions by UV

About the Interview‘Words of Wisdom’ Interview with Ms. Varsha Savla is an initiative for ‘Women Contentment Program,’ a Mentoring program for women.

Ms. Suba Lakshminarasimhan, Founder director, SLN Brand Studio conducted the interview. Women Contentment Program (WCP) focuses on elevating the lives of Women by helping them create a new career, get back to the career after a break, develop Emotional & Social intelligence and build a Personal Brand.

About the Company: SLN Brand Studio offers Consulting, Mentoring, CXO Resume Writing and Corporate Softskill Training Solutions. Aiming at building the personal brand for Individuals, Entrepreneurs, and Businesses, SLN Brand Studio has developed numerous customized solutions.

Successful Women Entrepreneurs

A Journey of Neha Tripathi, from a Corporate Employee to a Host of ‘Neha Tripathi Talk show’: Online Platform that Shares Extensive Knowledge and Builds Employability Skills

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Suba Lakshminarasimhan interacting with Neha Tripathi

Neha Tripathi, the Founder and Host of ‘Neha Tripathi Talk Show’ interacted with Suba Lakshminarasimhan, Founder Director of SLN Brand Studio. The talk show focuses on sharing knowledge to the world by interacting with the Experts and SMEs across domains through an online platform.

Neha is an Employability Mentor and has specialized to Coach Women on a Career Break. She is a Professional Speaker, loves to travel and explore the unsaid stories of Entrepreneurs.

Suba: Thanks for your time, Neha. Tell our audience all about how you started the talk show and triggering moments of your life.

Neha: Thank you, Suba, for having me as a part of ‘Word of Wisdom’ series. The journey has been exciting. After a decade of corporate experience, I felt the need to do more to the community. Amidst shining well and growing amidst challenges, there was a ‘feeling of missing something’ that triggered me to think more towards starting something on my own.

Neha 3I had a pool of questions, and I was literally lost in the start-up city with my idea of how to start. I networked massively and searched for answers, but it took me a lot of time and costed me beyond my expectations. Moreover, I didn’t have any business background, struggled a lot to learn the intricacies of building a business. Such struggles, learning from experiences made me decide that I could do a lot to the Entrepreneurs and launched ‘Neha Tripathi Talk Show.’ Our Vision here is to share all kinds of experience and expertise with the audience.

Initially, we launched the platform for women, but eventually we felt the need for men since a lot of interest was coming on our way from them as well. Hence we opened up the forum for everyone.

“Neha Tripathi Talk Show – A platform to learn, share and speak your heart out!!”

A smile from Neha indeed triggered a happy moment here. A sense of satisfaction.

Suba: That is quite a journey Neha. Conceptualisation is one thing, but Execution is where more challenges pop up, right? How did you push the boundaries and build this empire?

Neha: Rightly said, Suba. Taking that first step is a challenge. When we know how to proceed, rest becomes a part of it and can definitely be figured out. Few personal traits I must share here. I had always been a consistent and hard worker; all I needed was the right guidance which I received gradually. I understood that I needed to have a Mentor who can guide me to define my vision and then, the execution. It took me 6-8 months to find my first mentor. It all happened accidentally but thanks to social media where we can connect and nurture the network for ourselves. 

Next big challenge to me was the location. I had recently relocated to Bangalore, the start-up city and I hardly knew anyone. For the initial 6 months, I entirely focused on networking massively. Initially, I used to attend all the networking events, gradually, learnt how to choose the right event and build network consciously.

Suba: Hah….I can very well understand Neha. Getting such clarity and defining strategies for each trait is indeed the beauty of Entrepreneurship. Now, tell me, when it comes to your personality, any trait of yours, you had to change for survival?

Neha: Haha, not one, many Indeed….Let me list them out.

  1. I used to feel that my networking skills were exceptional, gradually identified a lot of areas that needed fine-tuning.
  2. I have always been a vivid reader all through my life, would pick any book/blog/article that anyone suggested. I realised that I was killing a lot of my productive time by doing so. I started to consciously pick the materials that I needed to learn at said moments.
  3. Emotional Management, still working on building a thick skin. I am sure you can understand what I mean.
  4. Invested huge in my learning process which I never did in my decade of corporate experience.

Neha and Suba had a good laugh as both could relate to many things from the list.

Suba: That’s quite an impressive list Neha. I can relate a lot here. What I observe is that not only you identified the weaknesses, rather areas of improvement, but also worked on them in the right way. And, yes, investing right for the continuous growth where I see a lot women hesitate to do. Happy to know that you have been investing right and reaping fruits as well.

I have an important question here. How did you build a support system to manage your personal & professional life?

Neha: Let me be honest here, Suba. I did not have to work on that at all. I am blessed to have a supportive family. My father always pushes me to aspire more in life, my in-laws love and care for me like their daughter.

The most important part of my life is my life partner. He has never ever questioned once during my entrepreneurial journey. Most of my weekends, I would be in meetings, attending events/ conference, reaching home late, skip cooking (mostly due to work and at times my lack of interest into it) but never ever I had to worry about it. When I enter home, my partner would be ready with the meal and a glass of water for me.

My family has supported in many others ways here Suba. Books especially gifted by my Father, younger sister, life partner make a great difference in my thought processes as well.

Again, I must mention my mentors like Jogesh Jain and Neeraja Ganesh and my virtual mentors like Vishen Lakhiani, YourStory Shradha Sharma who make a great difference in my way of working. I plan well to balance life and business. Suba, even though I have mentioned few names, when it comes to mentors, I have a long list, can’t cover everyone here.

Neha continued after a deep thought…..

Suba, I have learned a lot from many others too. Not only about what I should do, also what I should not do. I also observe and ensure not doing certain mistakes others do in the process of building a business.

Eventually, I became more of a silent observer which is truly contradictory to what I do on my Neha Tripathi Talk Show.

Neha gave a beautiful smile here which felt so satisfactory.

Suba: That’s great to know Neha. Family support is critical for both men and women to succeed in whatever they want to choose. What would be your suggestion for women who lack family support? One thing that you want to share with the Women Aspirants out there?

Neha: Ladies, please stop playing the victim cards. If you aspire to do something in life, it is your responsibility to make it happen. If you do not do it, understand that the purpose is not strong enough that could push you to convert that dream into reality. You need to thrive right to build a support system. 

When you see no support from your eco-system, it is time to change your communication. No one ever saw your vision, and that is the sole reason they do not understand it – Neha Tripathi

That’s one impressive finish to the conversation Suba, our Founder had with Neha Tripathi.

About the Interview‘Words of Wisdom’ Interview with Ms. Neha Tripathi is an initiative for ‘Women Contentment Program,’ a Mentoring program for women.

Ms. Suba Lakshminarasimhan, Founder director, SLN Brand Studio conducted the interview. Women Contentment Program (WCP) focuses on elevating the lives of Women by helping them create a new career, get back to the career after a break, develop Emotional & Social intelligence and build a Personal Brand.

About the Company: SLN Brand Studio offers Consulting, Mentoring, CXO Resume Writing and Corporate Softskill Training Solutions. Aiming at building the personal brand for Individuals, Entrepreneurs, and Businesses, SLN Brand Studio has developed numerous customized solutions.