Growing up, I was the personification of the rich brat cliché. I got everything that I asked for and could never manage to value anything. But life came crashing down for me just as I was to enter adulthood. My parents got separated after which I was forced to turn into the sole breadwinner of my family. A girl with no ambitions turned into a woman armed with goals and a purpose to unleash true potential. College took a backseat and work turned into worship. I am always glad that life chose this for me. It taught me the power of change that could only happen when one steps out of one’s comfort zone. I am truly living the saying - necessity is the mother of invention.
Namo Padmavati was a definite lightbulb idea. I think that one can never start a business if they are busy planning it, waiting for the right time or waiting for the completion of a certain course or a lesson. You just need to start with it at the moment. An entrepreneur must always be on their toes to get things done. There’s no right time, you need to decide what time it is.
Renting an office space, filling it with employees who work for fixed 9 hours a day and paying them on a fixed salary basis, measuring their performance at regular intervals etc. OR just hiring a Virtual Assistant who is available anytime and anywhere. A businessman who would always look to reduce his costs and save his time makes the right choice of hiring a virtual assistant.
Entrepreneurs and businessmen do not have all the time to manage things themselves rather they get them outsourced. And that is what exactly a virtual assistant does and that is what I do. Helping others has always been my motto and that helped me validate my idea.
Did you have any experience/expertise in the area?
I started with zero knowledge about my industry. All I had was a basic computer knowledge and average communication skills to begin working. I remember an incident where one of my potential clients asked me to talk to him on Skype, and I got frightened. I was not confident about my English and my skills and denied giving a reason. Later I realize that I need to develop myself in every aspect to be a successful businesswoman, and since then, there is no looking back.
Who is your target demographic?
An entrepreneur and a businessman are present in every street in the world. There is no demographic target in my niche. I wish to expand myself in every country and reach out to every single entrepreneur. I believe there is no limit for your customers when your dreams have no limits.
One client of mine from Australia with whom I worked to manage his Airbnb properties asked me to help him as a coach for optimism in life. He was a man all in business and making money that he never made friends and acquaintances. It was a deal he offered where he had paid me to talk to him as a coach and motivate him, which was never my cup of tea and never my job. I could never even think of such a business, but I ace it because it just needed me to be me.
What happened in the early stages?
I started with zero funding. All I had was my computer and an internet connection, which gave me access to the world out there.
I found my team at my HOME! My mom is the co-founder, and my siblings are my founding team. It all happened in my home, and I am grateful to all of us.
It is very important in finding the first employees to never make hiring decisions emotionally. You are not here to sell ice cream. You are here to provide the best quality; you are here to help entrepreneurs get the best, pull off the maximum profits. For once, you might feel that a person needs my help irrespective of the quality he/she provides. Helping is a different thing, and employment is a different one. Never mix and match both of them.
Did you run any companies prior?
No! I was a newbie when I started (20 years old)!
Yet again, Necessity is the mother of all inventions. All the situations molded me in such a character where I had to support my family financially first and emotionally next. That’s what motivated me to start my own business.My family is the best support for me. They motivated me when I had no clients and appreciated my efforts and hard work irrespective of what the world had to say. My mom has been my constant support since day 1. She used to sit with me until 3 am, and she made sure I succeeded in whatever I did. When things were not pleasant, I lost all my friends. Everyone moved away, and now they come up to me, asking if I have any job for them.
What motivates you when things go wrong? What is the end goal?
I failed but never gave up. I mean, what's the use of struggling so much and then just giving up? I lost so many clients, gained so much weight, was stressed almost all the time, dad never messaged us again, lost friends but now when I think about it - IT WAS ALL WORTH IT!! I became what I am today because I was lucky enough to encounter the challenges.
I know it is super easy to say that never give up, but what if you don't? Let it be business or personal life - you have to understand that if you are facing a challenge now, you are lucky that life chose you to be above average. You got to have a healthy mindset of accepting things as they are and working to make it better.
I am not here for the money or the experience. I am here to create a long-lasting legacy. I never want to market any of my services to anyone. I want to create something meaningful that’s going to make a difference.
Do you have any advice for someone just starting out?
The first 1000 days of your business - you are going to fail badly, will make break-even or go in loss, there will be nothing to be proud of, but this will be the most happening phase of your life. This phase will decide if your business will fall through the cracks, or you will establish an empire.
Whatever it is - don't be too hard on yourself, it is okay if you learn nothing, it's okay if you want to sleep the rest of the day but always remember, bounce back stronger. Build your mindset in such a manner that any externality will not affect you. NEVER GIVE UP and ALWAYS LOVE YOUR FAMILY!
What has driven the most sales?
For me, LinkedIn has driven most of my sales. I am always active on LinkedIn, always hunting for opportunities and sharing stories.
What’s stopping me from being 3x the size I am now is just the dedication and the resources available to me. I wish to be 10x size to that of now, but right now, I am working on it. Things take time, and soon my sister, who is just 18 years old, will be joining me full-time. I am so excited about it and super sure that this will boost my confidence and will power to grow and expand.
How do you protect yourself from competition?
I believe that there is no one I can compete with except myself. I would any day prefer growing together as a team over crushing anybody’s business and growing alone. It is because I believe in faith. What has to come to me will happen irrespective of any factor for the good or bad.
What are the top 3-5 apps your business could not run without?
On an everyday basis, I use Trello for project management and coordinating the work with my team. Next, G Suite which comprises sheets, documents, and everything required to maintain everything at one place and ensure no chaos of information. For communication, I use Zoom.
These apps help me to keep everything on track and being a virtual assistant/project manager, it is very important for me to use them to make the process easy and time efficient.
What are your next steps for Namo Padmavati?
I am soon launching a lot more services than I am offering now. My goal is to become the one stop shop for all the small and large companies providing curated services for all the non-core yet essential activities of the business.
I am planning to launch a podcast but I don’t have any set dates! So this will not be counted.
In 5 years, I see my company owning a beautiful fully-fledged office with maximum women employees who are working hard to support their families. My goal is to make the foreigners realize that not all the Indians are spammers, and you can trust us more than anyone! My goal is to set an example for every human out there saying if I can do it, you too can!Would I ever sell? NEVER. Namo Padmavati will be mine forever. Whatever I am today or whatever I will be in the mere future, it's all because of this company, which is very close to my heart. Building this company from scratch and making it big has taught me everything in life. Be it profits or losses, I will be responsible for it, and Namo Padmavati will stay with me until my last breath.
|Company Name:||Namo Padmavati|