From an empty banquet hall, to house full; from solemn faces of first-timers attending our meet (not knowing what to expect) to transformed happy confident smiles, The Lifestyle Portal’s Second Entrepreneurs’ Meetup – Pune Edition was a success.
I am so thrilled that The Lifestyle Portal has yet again successfully empowered a new bunch of entrepreneurs who are testing the entrepreneurial waters for the first time in their lives.
I am so grateful to those who believed in my efforts and made it a point to be there in person for our second meetup in Pune. Entrepreneurs such as Shalini Singh, Founder of Galvanise PR and andwemet.com and Ikshita Tewari, Co-Founder, Nutriplate India, came down from Bangalore. It truly meant a lot to me.
I am also grateful to those who didn’t believe in my efforts, who refused to respond and reply to my messages and emails – it just made my resolve stronger. I am sorry if this intimidates those, who refused to reply to my emails or take my calls after saying “I will let you know”, as that added to my checklist of ‘Not to Do (Unprofessional) Things List’.
It is then the words of Michaela DePrince, the renowned Sierra Leonean-American ballet dancer’s words echoed in my mind – “I just love proving people wrong” and here I am, standing strong with entrepreneurs who attended my second meetup and making it a success.
This year the learning has been phenomenal. I met a Pune-based gardener, Reema Gopalan, who runs gardening workshops– I think in the day and age of AI, robotics and Machine Learning, coding to number of followers on social media, learning gardening is so refreshingly brave!
I learnt the varieties of mushrooms and how they’re good for our health and the planet from Trupti Dhakate, Founder of Quality Mushrooms, Pune. And there was Shyam Bari, a Mushroom Farmer, who took a train one day prior all the way from Burhanpur in Madhya Pradesh to talk about his struggles in the village and how mushroom farming has given him a second lease of life.
Sujata Rane, from Mumbai showed the varieties of cloth bags and utility items she stitches by hand with upcycled, waste cloth materials and has provided employment to lower-income group women, who are now earning a living through her home venture. Most impressive was Hari Dasgupta, Country Head, Shreeja India, who along with his brother are running a non-profit organisation empowering over 100 tribal girls from interior West Bengal through football and education.
In the day and age of competition and business, it was so refreshing to hear Chanda Rajat Sahu, Principal and Founder of Wiz Kids International, Mumbai about her entrepreneurial journey. We were awestruck by her vision of giving a new humane dimension to daycare facilities and preschools in India because she knows that a mother needs to get back to work. Her dedication into the field beyond her call of duty shows that people actually care.
It is when you meet people from all walks of life, do you realise that all hope is not lost.
Ikshita Tewari, Co-Founder, Nutriplate India, talked about taste buds and addiction how we can rewire our brains to make healthier food choices. She also talked about how her mum, Founder of Nutriplate India, Shaloo Tewari, makes healthy snacks in her home kitchen back in Lucknow. It showed how entrepreneurs want to take something beneficial to the market and make sure people get good products and services for a reasonable price.
There were entrepreneurship lessons learned from Shalini Singh, Founder, Galvanise PR and andwemet.com, homepreneur do’s and don’ts from Sonali Karande Brahma, an independent brand strategist and learning from mistake sessions from Adv Nishant Kiran Makasare, a transformational coach and legal advisor.
Sonali stressed the importance of homepreneurs drawing a ‘lakshman rekha’ or boundaries between their personal and professional lives. That even as a homepreneur, one should not think of themselves as ‘small’ and how they should be professional in their dealings with people.
Shalini talked about the importance of doing your homework right – licenses and registrations, having a capital to tide through the difficult periods of entrepreneurship because the journey can get difficult. Nishant talked about learning from mistakes made by others. He is by far one of the most impactful and powerful orators/ speakers I have come across. It’s a pity for those who missed hearing Nishant.
Dushyant Bhatia, Founder of Eating Cultures talked about his love for food and why he takes people on food walks in Pune. I think this is a brilliant way to know one’s city through its iconic food hubs.
I’ll be eternally grateful to Shalini, Chanda and Nishant, for cheering me on and making it a point to be there for me. You truly have a heart of gold.
Last but not the least, the event wouldn’t have been successful without the support of our gifting partners – Dr. Vaidya’s, Crimson Bluez, Truly Tribal and The Sweet Store.
I fell in love with those gorgeous fine crafted marble dhibbis from Crimson Bluez. Founded by Jasmine Patel, Crimson Bluez has quite an exquisite collection of home décor items, upholstery, high-end gifting, and handmade soaps and bath salts.
And what can I say, I am a big fan of handicraft and handmade products, and Truly Tribal stole my heart yet again with their goodies for speakers and participants. And an earnest thanks to Arjun Vaidya, CEO of Arjun Vaidya, for believing in our meetup and shipping across the hampers for all participants, even though he couldn’t make it in person.
I would also like to thank Kainaaz Mehta, Founder of Ammara, Jasmine Patel, Founder of Crimson Bluez, Dushyant Bhatia, Founder of Eating Cultures, Shweta Menon, Founder of Truly Tribal, Trupti Dhakate, Founder of Quality Mushrooms and Dr Vaidya’s to give away a little gift to each of our participants. It felt like early Christmas for all of us!
It all starts with a small baby step, we were all once babies, as humans, and as entrepreneurs. Let us create a healthy ecosystem that we all survive and take our country ahead on the map of progress.
Learning never stops, and I am always eager to learn more from people. Hope to see you and many more new faces in our next meetup, in a new town or city. Make sure, you book your tickets in advance!
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