The road to a good life used to be through either engineering or medicine studies. I come from a small town in Bihar, and I was also expected to become a doctor, without even people asking me what I precisely wanted to do in my life; our fate is pre-decided.
I don't even blame my parents for it because there is a lack of factories/ industries and corporate offices in Bihar. Hence, people prefer a secured job rather than taking a risky and uncertain path of entrepreneurship.
But my desire to excel in business was always strong. From a small town in Bihar, I made it to Delhi University, promising my father that I will side by side prepare for Medical exams. I also got a seat in a Dental college but decided to continue with my English Honors degree. After my undergraduate, I chose to pursue an MBA and got an offer from Singapore.
Beginning Of Entrepreneurial Journey
Doing MBA in Singapore gave me great exposure, and it also allowed me to meet many different types of personalities from various industries and countries. I met people from underdeveloped countries, and we exchanged business ideas. What surprised me the most was that everyone wanted to return to their country and start a business.
Coming from a non-business background, neither did I have enough savings to invest in a business nor any experience. I secured a job in Singapore after my MBA with a good package, but in the back of my mind, I always knew I wanted to start a business (specifically a factory).
The seeds were sown in 2015 when I decided to start a goat cheese processing plant in Bihar, but one of my licences was rejected. Hence I could not fulfil my dream of starting a factory then. I continued with my job in Singapore, but that inner bug of mine would not let me be at peace. Over time, I saved quite a good amount of money.
One day I was sitting and looking at Singapore's skyline and said that beautiful buildings and infrastructure make any country look progressive and beautiful. I decided to return to Bihar and start a cement factory then. But opening a cement factory was highly capital intensive, so after more research, I thought I would start with wall putty production.
It was finally in 2018 when it got off the ground. I saved around Rs 15 lakh from my job, of which I invested half of that in setting up machinery and the rest in startup operational expenses. And thus, I founded the AKV wall putty company.
'Changes That Made Me Miserable'
I lost a strong pillar of strength, my biggest inspiration, my mother, while establishing the manufacturing facility in 2019. I was miserable and depressed for months after my mother died unexpectedly, and I couldn't make a significant difference in my personal or professional life.
Soon after, the COVID-19-led lockdown certainly impacted. I had to dig deep into my finances to make payroll and meet all our obligations. The ups and downs are part and parcel of any entrepreneur's journey, but it is not necessary that you must navigate them alone. My father has been my biggest champion and source of strength.
India being such a populous country, I have never seen many women plunge into traditional industries like sugar, cement and steel, especially in the male-dominated market of Bihar. Young women running such companies are also quite rare in the industry. Through the efforts, we have transported over 2000 tonnes of wall putty throughout the eastern states.
My life has been full of ups and downs. One after the other problems occurred, but I always adhered to this quote in my life "A winner is just a Loser who tried one more time".
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