For moms who went into biz, family support means a lot

Deepa Reddy founder of ‘The Open Trunk’.

Three women talk about their experience of combining motherhood with business

Many working women take time off from work after the birth of their first child. Some use the break to balance the role of mother and entrepreneur. 

This Mothers’ Day, Metrolife brings you a glimpse of the life of mother-entrepreneurs. 

Payal Asthana Srivastava, mother of two sons, is co-founder of ‘Kalchi’, a ready-to-eat brand. She got down to business after she spotted a market for curry spreads that are quintessentially Indian. 

A civil engineer with a master’s degree in human resources, she worked in an HR consulting firm before she took a sabbatical. That was soon after her son was born. She recalls that was a period of ‘self-actualisation.’

Payal was aware of the stress in corporate situations, and thought she wouldn’t be able to do justice to the baby if she got back to a regular job.

“Work-from-home was not an option for me either, given that my baby was so small. That is when starting something on my own occurred to me—it would give me the flexibility I needed,”  says Payal.

Her first plunge into entrepreneurship was with the venture ‘Talent Speak’, where she imparted life skills training through sports.

“As I watched the health business closely, I understood the need to serve people healthy food. There is an alarming rise in consumption of ultra-processed and sugar-laden food with zero nutritional value. And the problem is more serious for working parents who find it challenging to prepare three to four meals a day,” she explains. 

She is grateful to her family, which she says backs her. “My husband has been extending a helping hand in taking care of our babies and sharing the household responsibilities,” she says. 

Payal A Srivastava of ‘Kalchi’.
Payal A Srivastava of ‘Kalchi’.

Deepa Reddy, founder of The Open Trunk, agrees. Her mother is a constant source of encouragement.

“I am fortunate she is in the same city, so whenever I need someone to talk to about work or a personal decision, I go to her. She has always been there for me, watching over my kids when I’m at work and also guiding me through thick and thin,” says Deepa. 

The Open Trunk, launched two years ago, was born out of her love for textiles and a yearning to create curiosity and pride for Indian craftsmanship. 

“Women have always worked twice as hard just to prove themselves. Thankfully, today’s women don’t have to struggle as much as the earlier generation but still, it’s a challenge and a task for women to prove themselves,” she says.

Her advice to other mothers out there is to plan, prioritise and always remember to have fun. “Keep your dreams somewhere in your list of priorities too,” she says. 

Annie Rakesh founder of ‘HappyKnots’.
Annie Rakesh founder of ‘HappyKnots’.

Annie Rakesh, mother of a six-year-old daughter, launched ‘HappyKnots’ a few months after her baby was born. Annie had earlier been a corporate trainer.

Though she worked from home for some time, she did not continue for long. She turned to art and craft to start something on her own.

“One of our aunts gifted a crochet blanket to our daughter. Looking at how beautifully it was done, my curiosity to learn the art became stronger. I watched videos online and eventually got the hang of it. ‘HappyKnots’ is a result of pure trial and error,” Annie says. 

She recently expanded her business into organising events under the brand name of ‘HappyKnots Events’. 

“My husband has been a pillar of support throughout. The fact that he takes equal interest in curating these handmade products, fashion accessories and decoratives encourages me a lot more. My daughter is also my biggest critic.” 

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For moms who went into biz, family support means a lot

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