Interview with young woman entrepreneur of India

Interaction of Paycheck India team member with young upcoming woman entrepreneur of India. Success tips which led her to the path of success.

Women Entrepreneur in India

Mamta Nihalani, a small town girl, born in a conservative family, came to Ahmedabad in 2004 to get a job in an advertisement agency. She worked in different advertising agencies for few years before starting her own advertising firm - Advista Marcom Services in 2009, in partnership with Mr. Dhawal Patel. In three years, Advista has gained good reputation in local the advertising market. Paycheck Team met Mrs. Nihalani to know about her aspirations, future plans and her struggle as a woman entrepreneur.

Paycheck Team: Where are you basically from and why did you decide to move to Ahmedabad?

Mamta Nihalani: I belong to Sidhpur, a small town located in North Gujarat. After completing my Masters in Finance (in 2004), I decided to move to city and Ahmedabad seemed to me as an ideal place to fulfill my dream of making my career in advertising world. My hometown offered very limited career options and hence many young people like me moved to cities for better job opportunities. I came here with my mother. During my graduation, my mother suffered a paralytic attack, and it was impossible for me to leave her alone in Sidhpur.

I chose Ahmedabad as it was the nearest Mega city to my hometown. My second option was Mumbai, but the life pace of Mumbai is too fast and it may become difficult for one to survive in such a big city without any support or guidance. While in Ahmedabad a person can easily adapt to the surrounding environment and move along with the crowd.

Paycheck Team: What difficulties did you face while making your dream a reality?

Mamta Nihalani: I faced lot of barriers in transforming my dream into reality. Being a girl and moving to city all alone was something which was unimaginable in my family or for that matter even in my village. Everyone would ask “what is the need of moving to city when you can get everything here in Sidhpur”. However, my mother supported me and that support helped me move to Ahmedabad.

Real struggle began when I came to Ahmedabad. One takes time to get used to the busy city life, travel in bus to reach office on time, etc. All this demanded lot of rigorous work and this made the base of my career strong. Initially, I faced resistance from the industry as I did not have any prior work experience. People had complains about my working style. I knew I couldn’t continue like this for long and hence decided to work on my weak areas. My senior colleagues guided me and I learnt the tricks of the trade from them. Though stressful at times but it was fun as well.

Paycheck Team: So tell us what has been your key learning from your previous jobs?

Mamta Nihalani: First lesson I learnt was that in advertising field everyday is a new day. The services you deliver have to be new and fresh each time it reaches the client. Secondly, I have learnt the techniques and working skills needed to work reliably in this industry. Thanks to my previous jobs where I learnt business promotion skills.

Paycheck Team: How did you get the idea of starting your own advertising agency?

Mamta Nihalani: Since childhood I was good in creative field and I always wanted to make my career in this domain. During schooling I was attracted to commercials in TV, their concepts and their style of conveying the idea in friction of time always lured me. I discussed with my father my ambition of making a career in the creative field. To which he said “you can make your career in any field even after pursuing your bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, which would further help you in any profession that you take up”.

Unfortunately the same night my father passed away. Since that day I have followed his advice to make my dream a reality.

Paycheck Team: Can you take us through the journey of Advista Advertisement Agency right from its beginning to the point where it unwaveringly stands today?

Mamta Nihalani: I met my partner Mr. Dhawal Patel, through a common friend of ours. Mr. Patel had experience of 11years in graphic designing and he was planning to start his own advertising agency. He was looking for a business partner who had experience in the same field, who could share his work load and the responsibilities. Similar thought process and same target lead us to open the company Advista Marcom Services on 14th January 2009.

The process of establishing ourselves in the market wasn’t easy. Since it was a new venture and we didn’t have any existing portfolio to share with the clients, the common response always received was, “Ok, fine you have a good work experience, but what is of your own company?” We started with only one client in our kitty; gradually we started targeting clients from other industries as well. All we could do to convince our new clients was to tell them “Sir, we can do a wonderful job for you, give us an opportunity and pay only if you like our work” and every time fortunately our work was appreciated by the clients. Our current list of clients is ten-fold compared to what we had when we started.

In the beginning, we were facing difficulties to recruit people. Employees showed concern towards the stability of the company. Initially the team was not steady, it kept changing. Many employees joined and left, and then gradually we learned the techniques of managing employees. Dhawal and myself started inculcating the feeling of belongingness in our employees and our company gave a comfortable environment for them to work. I learnt all these things after establishing my own company and now I am getting favourable results from employees. Today, our company is progressing, people are interested in working with us and students from reputed institutes are sent to our company for trainings and internships.

Paycheck Team: How difficult is it for a woman to start a company?

Mamta Nihalani: Actually it is not that difficult, it’s rather challenging. It is challenging because at every stage one has to prove oneself. Irrespective of me being a woman, I can work late nights, can deliver what a job demands. I can manage my house and office; it’s about proving oneself every time, at every step and in any circumstances.

If you have decided what you exactly want from yourself, then all the hurdles turn out to be the stepping stone towards success. You simply need to be confident and determined towards your goal.

Paycheck Team: Keeping in mind the social and cultural bondages which generally trim down the freedom, confidence and boldness of women, what steps/programs/policies you would like to suggest for the ladies who want to be successful like you?

Mamta Nihalani: First of all, I would like to tell them to work on personality development. Build up self-confidence. For instance, if you have come from a small town, do not alienate yourself. Things will work the way you think and believe, if you consider yourself as part of the crowd then for sure you are one among them, else, you will lose your own self.

I would also like to add that though many girls/woman may work just to keep themselves busy, they should also consider it as an opportunity to establish their self identity.

Paycheck Team: Thank you for answering this interview. Would you like to share your secret success mantra with our readers?

Mamta Nihalani: Yes certainly, before that I would like to thank your team for giving me the opportunity to answer your thoughtful questions. I would like to suggest the readers never to step back from your goals. I always believe in the saying that “When obstacles arise, you change your direction to reach your goal; you do not change your decision to get there.”

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