People who think they are crazy enough to change the world are the ones who do – Steve Jobs
Well, I may not have changed the world for the better (it is still a work in progress), but I was crazy enough to host the first entrepreneur meetup to bring together all the entrepreneurs I have featured so far. I must admit that it was a mammoth task at first for a single entity run enterprise like mine, but I am proud to have executed my vision and turn it into a reality.
However, the best part being, when friends, well-wishers and fellow entrepreneurs who reached out to offer a helping hand, it reaffirmed my belief that there’s still a lot of good people in this world who believe in you and your work.
A huge heartfelt thanks to Aparna Garg, the Founder of Let’s Get Lost, Apoorva Mairal, the Founder of The Sweet Store and Behroze Menon, the Founder of Beads Cocktail extended their support by being Gifting Partners at our event. Also a big thank you to Pallavi Mehta for encouraging fellow women entrepreneurs to attend our meetup and to Karthik a dear friend who ensured that everything went off smoothly at the event. Finally not to forget, Anand Rohimal, an amazing photographer (mentored by an ace photographer Priyam Dutta) for clicking such fantastic pictures at the meetup.
It was my long harboured dream to give a platform to aspiring entrepreneurs or those who want to bring out a positive change in the country and in our environment through The Lifestyle Portal. I am grateful that this first meetup proved to be a fantastic platform as a learning ground for so many of us.
I was truly humbled where the keynote and guest speakers attended my first entrepreneur meetup and spent the day interacting with all the participating entrepreneurs. Not once did they make me feel like a novice with no experience of hosting an entrepreneur meetup before.
Our two keynote speakers Sanjay Mukherjee and Avishek Ganguly took centre stage where they shed light on some pertinent yet undermined aspects of running a business. While Sanjay touched upon vital elements in entrepreneurship such as decision making and being the first to start something new, Avishek talked about the importance of getting the right team to propel your business further.
We also had Raina Khatri Tandon a Breakthrough Coach talking about how personal breakthroughs and focus are one of the key elements for personal growth and success. Her radiant personality, confidence and charm won over the audience. And Rhituparna Mitra, spoke about leading a sustainable and a healthier life for oneself which also proves to be beneficial for the planet as well. Her talk made us aware of the choices we make as consumers and as humans so that we can minimize the damage that we knowingly or unknowingly inflict upon ourselves and on our planet.
The second half of the meetup was open to all the participating entrepreneurs – almost 23 of them who got a three-minute slot to present their brand based on the theme ‘Challenges’ and how they have benefitted from it. This became a fantastic learning ground for each one of us where the entrepreneurs detailed out almost every challenge they faced, overcame which further fuels their passion to move ahead. While for some it was financially supporting their spouse, giving the special children a chance to lead a dignified life, the others overcame challenges of creating their own name, throwing caution to the wind and changing their career path for the love of turning into an entrepreneur.
Little did they know that the participants know that they were being judged by Sanjay and Avishek and guess who all took the prize? Aparna Garg bagged the Best Presenter Award, Anushree Chatterjee Patni for the Most Innovative Concept and Salloni Mirchandani Malkani took home the Most Promising Entrepreneur award.
My heroes entrepreneur participants were Shraddha Kiran Sawant, a Dealer in Floria Naturals Products which specializes in herbal soaps, cow therapy soaps, face wash, shampoo and floor cleaner. Neha Chavan – Founder, Elegant Jewels – that specializes in everyday affordable fashion jewellery. Megha Kumbhar – Founder, Nurturing Talents. Megha is a special educator who has been teaching special children for the past 20 years. I call them heroes is because this was their very first meetup, they were very nervous and yet, they went up and spoke about their lives, their visions and their entrepreneur journey, thereby inspiring us all.
I am also super proud of Taniya Nirankari, the Co-Founder of Amritsar Express a restaurant in Malad and Rupal Shah, a Certified Yoga Trainer, overcoming their fear of talking in public, to take this opportunity to talk about their work. And how could I miss, Adv. Nishant Makasare, who braved the Pune and Mumbai traffic in the rains and made it to our event for the last 30 odd minutes, and left us awe inspired with his speech.
When established entrepreneurs like Saloni Mirchandani Malkani – Co-Founder, Food Blogger’s Association of India (the FBAI) and Gaurang Chandarana – Founder, Wellzee & Abhisti – attended the event, I was truly humbled. It was very encouraging to have them attend our meetup and share their knowledge with other entrepreneurs as well.
Well, this is not the end as I recall this wonderful quote by Winston Churchill, that a friend sent to me on Whatsapp being several continents away, just before the meetup – “Success is not final, Failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts” – I felt I have learnt so much today, am so much wiser and now ready to continue with my dream of writing about entrepreneurs and giving them platforms like these to showcase their work. Until next time…stay inspired!
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