Leading by example
As a part of the weekly column, we speak to women of varied professional backgrounds who are members of Sakal Times Platinum Women’s Club
Like the famous Abba song The Winner Takes It All, Shital Thakkar, director, Inter National Institute of Fashion Design (INIFD), Pimpri Pune and Expert Lovell Finishing Academy (ELFA), is an achiever . Originally from Nashik, Thakkar has been associated with the glamour industry for the last 16 years and has seen it evolve. When asked how would she define herself, Thakkar says that she is strong, fearless, wise, beautiful, loving and caring.
Thakkar has been constantly climbing the professional ladder as she believes that if your dreams don’t scare you, they simply aren’t big enough.
Life does get a bit busy for Thakkar, as she is a single mother but she knows how to balance it as a mother and a professional fashion designer, which not only makes her the leader of her own life but also a role model for many others. The 35-year-old is extremely passionate about what she does, and hopes that in the process, she inspires more and more people to climb up the ladder of success.
Talking about INIFD, she says that it is considered to be one of the most premium institutes of fashion design in the country. “The institute has come a long way in the last few years and with every passing year, we want to help hundreds of students to follow their dreams and carve a successful career for themselves in the field of design,” says Thakkar. The institute has a global presence which includes 180 centres in India, and a few in London, Chicago, Jakarta, Dubai, Bangladesh, Indonesia and more, she adds.
Thakkar bagged the INIFD Centre Of Excellence award from Twinkle Khanna in April 2015, an award that has inspired her to do more for the institution and students.
Talking about ELFA, she says, “It is known that many a professional, whether they are doctors, engineers businessmen or architects, have found their calling in the world of glamour. This is a world every dreamer likes to be part of and just like all professions, it is one where passion, determination and dedication play a vital role. To enhance these talents and find proper direction in churning one’s energies, ELFA was born,” says Thakkar.
Having its corporate office at Pimple Saudagar, ElFA is now getting ready to go international very soon, she informs.
Her success mantra is that if you don’t have the courage to lose sight of the shore, you can never cross the ocean. She points put that this is the time to dream big and take efforts to make them come true. “Always make three promises to yourself — be strong, be honest and be committed. And always aim to reach the destination, however, don’t forget to enjoy the journey!” she concludes.
Anusha Rathod believes that life goes on, no matter what, and there is no force in this world besides your own will, that can stop you.
Rathod moved to Pune from Delhi when she got married a few years ago. Back in Delhi, she was running her father’s textile business. “My father is into manufacturing hosiery items like socks, gloves, lounge wear and so on. I was comfortably set into running this business,” says Rathod.
She is a graduate in Fashion Retail Management and done her Masters in Family Business Management. However, when she moved to Pune, she joined her family business here — Rathod Jewellers. “At Rathod Jewellers, we are both into retail and manufacturing gold, polki and diamond jewellery. We have established three stores in the city,” she says.
She points out that even though her forte was designing and product development, the jewellery work required a different approach. “However, moving to the new field was a good challenge for me and I quickly took up the responsibility of Sales, Designing and Business Development,” adds Rathod.
A career-oriented woman, she also loves spending time with her family and friends. She strongly believes in living her life to the fullest. “Even though I am in a set career field now, I want to achieve great heights and keep contributing to the family business and take its legacy ahead,” she says.
Rathod who keeps herself motivated, says her entire family too has always motivated her to excel in life. She strengthens her beliefs through The Secret by author Rhonda Byrne.
Her father is someone who has motivated her to grow in life, says the talented lady. “His ideology, growth pattern, intelligence and business sense is something I really look up to. It has helped me a lot in life,” she concludes.