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Let no one tell you that you are incapable

  says RUTIKA MALAVIYA,CEO, Rooh Entertainment, Animation Digital Digest and Licensing Corner. In an interview with Alolika Banerjee, she talks about how she metamorphosed from an introverted person to a successful entrepreneur today.


Q. You have mentioned that there was a transition in your personality from being an introvert to an extrovert. How did this transformation happen?
My transition into what I have become from what I used to be is certainly remarkable. There was a time, when I used to be shy of people and spend entire evenings in any parties mostly at corners. During the initial years when I took up the responsibilities of my venture Rooh Entertainment, it wasn’t much difficult for me to interact with the clients because to be honest, they were the people who knew me previously from a long time.
However, as and when we expanded, it was necessary for me to step out of my comfort zone and reach out to the world. Trust me, initially, I was terrible at socialising and networking and failed miserably to put up a good show. I am fortunate to have received the assistance of a few business associates who taught me how to get over my fears. And now I can proudly say that I am quite adept at public speaking and have addressed audiences of 500 and above even outside India, in countries like London, USA, South Korea and Hong Kong.
I feel there is nothing that a human being cannot achieve if he or she badly wants it. There is a drastic difference between the old me and the new me and I could only change because I was keen for it.

Q. What made you decide that you want to go into the world of advertising?
My family’s roots are in Bollywood. I have grown up seeing television commercials being conceptualised. As a young girl, I had been part of the production team as well, and that induced in me a fascination for the world of advertising and events, right  from my childhood. I have worked as an intern in reputed advertising agencies like Ogilvy, Mudra and JWT. My stints in these places made me realise that I was meant for the ad world. The adrenalin rush, the chaos, the confusion and then finally the creation, all these are the stuff I live for.

Q. From a plush well-paid job at JWT to a start-up. What were your fears when you were starting off?
 I knew myself and believed in my instincts well. The ad world fascinated me right from the beginning and so I knew I will put up a decent show when I start my own venture. To be honest, I was so excited and eager to start off that I had no room for any fears whatsoever. There is one thing I truly believe in, ‘You don’t get what you ask for, you get what you negotiate for!’

Q. What were the challenges that you had faced when you started your company in the first place?
There were various challenges when we started off. Dealing with clients was one big issue that I faced. There were difficulties in convincing the clients to begin with. We were not a reputed name so it wasn’t easy to put across our point of view initially. However, since we never compromised on the quality of our services and believed in what we promised to offer, in the end, the clients liked our work and this way our clientele also expanded.

Q. You have mentioned that you always wanted to be an entrepreneur. How did you develop this interest over the years?
I come from a business family, so I feel entrepreneurship is there in my blood. I always knew that a 9 to 5 job was not for me. I feel that being the kind of person I am, I would never have been able to give my best had I been in a service oriented job.
I did my MBA from NMIMS and that went a large way helping me make up my mind about my resolve ahead. My studies in business management enabled me with business development skills, leadership qualities, decision making, multi-tasking and others. And as and when I started my own venture, I learnt the different aspects of the business from getting clients, making reports, talking to media, planning, strategies, finances everything. I love the challenges that life brings in each day.

Q. Now that you are running your own venture, what are the qualities you look for in people who seek employment in your own company?
 I like people who are self-motivated and have an innovative thinking process. I like to have people who work out solutions rather than those who are dependent on others to show them the way all the time! I look for one quality in them which is whether they are ready to handle the challenges and how they would react to them. They should be capable enough to deal with the situations assigned to them.

Q. How do you think an MBA degree equips individuals to face corporate challenges?
Entrepreneurship doesn’t need a degree or any kind of qualification. It’s a trait that’s inborn. However, I feel two years in a B-school can hone those skills and make students fit for the corporate challenges ahead. I feel along with the IQ, the emotional quotient or the EQ of a person is also necessary to make them face day-to-day situations in office.

Q. What do you think are the most important traits an entrepreneur needs to have?
I feel the most important qualities an entrepreneur needs to have are will power, dedication, commitment and consistency!

Q. As a woman, do you think you have ever been discriminated against in the professional sphere?
There is a rule that I follow in life, ‘your potential is only limited by your excuses!’ I have to admit that there have been occasions where I have been discriminated against just because I am a woman. But I never let that affect me and go against me in any way. My identity is way beyond any kind of gender bias.

Q. What are your aspirations in the near future?
To be on Forbes magazine as the businesswoman of the year! Hopefully, I’ll get there soon! (Smiles with a wink)
Q. Any word of advice for management enthusiasts of today...
Listen to your heart and don’t let anyone dampen your spirits by their negative reactions. Remember it’s not enough to dream big, you also have to work hard to achieve that big dream.