It seems like the word entrepreneur seems to crop up more and more these days. After all, everyone dreams of making it big, however, in all the hype and glamour surrounding the term we seem to have forgotten the struggles and risks that come with it. It’s not an easy job and, when you’re a woman, it can be even more difficult. We’re celebrating International Girl Child Day this October and we thought we’d get in touch with our partner- dietician Ekta Sood to understand her journey as a female entrepreneur.
If you were to meet Ekta on the street, you’d probably mistake her for the average college student. Her spontaneous personality and infectious smile wins over her clients immediately. As she begins to tell us about why she chose to become a dietician, there’s an animation in her voice that speaks of true passion.
Ekta’s story is not uncommon- her mother had encouraged Ekta to take an interest in nutrition from an early age, and she knew that this was the route she was going to follow as well. She completed her schooling from Himachal Pradesh, and moved to Chandigarh to pursue her Bachelors and Masters degrees in Dietics and Nutrition. After this, she trained with a senior dietician for a couple of years, and was generally quite content with her job. Then she had an accident that turned her life around.
Less than two years ago, Ekta was walking down a busy street when a bike swerved and fell on her. A passing van caught the edge of the bike and she was literally dragged down the road for a few metres. After that, it was a haze of pain. She spent four months confined to a bed, with fractured limbs and bandages all over. And that was when it all changed.
Even while she was struggling to recuperate, Ekta’s passion never waned. Instead, she describes how, as she was lying down, she would prop up her clients’ diet charts in her arms and keep on working. It was at this time that her parents started speaking to her about setting up her own practice. She tells us she was hesitant at first- she was still recovering from her injuries, and wasn’t sure if she could sustain the difficulties of setting out on her own. However, with her parents’ continued encouragement she finally made up her mind and never turned back.
Within two months, Ekta had found a location for her clinic in Delhi, had relayed her plans for the interiors to her brother through constant phone calls and emails, and was ready to make it big. In mid-2014, Ekta’s Diet Dazzle was set up and ready to go.
When we ask her whether it was tough at the beginning, she just shrugs and says “Of course there was some struggle but I had a strong support system in place. My parents never once let me feel like I couldn’t succeed.” Soon enough, business picked up, with clients coming in through word-of-mouth referrals or Urban Company. Today, Ekta’s clientele is spread across various cities in India, and abroad and she shows no signs of slowing down. She tells us she never takes a day off, even Sundays are half days-
“I love what I do so it doesn’t feel like work!”
Well, isn’t that what entrepreneurship is all about?
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