Shilpa Sachdev, Naaree.com’s reporter at the Women In Leadership Forum India 2011, caught up with Harshbeena Sahney Zaveri, Managing Director and President of NRB Bearings Ltd., to learn her secrets to success.
She is also the President of Ball and Roller Bearing Manufacturers Association and also serves on the Western Indian Council.
When do you know that it is no longer an idea in your mind, and that you can really turn it into a lucrative business?
I think I always knew that.
What inspired you to start on your own? How has the experience been so far?
I joined as a management trainee in my father’s company. I wanted to create a new work culture. I was the first family member to join. But I found that since I was a woman and that too family, the workers found it a little odd in the beginning.
Competence does not guarantee performance, passion does. You need to do things that nobody else wants to do. It is all about having the right perspective. There is opportunity in every adversity. One must never underestimate the power of inspiration.
What are some hurdles you faced initially when you started out? Your advice to women entrepreneurs on overcoming them.
There were a lot of hurdles but one must never focus on them; instead one must find a way to cope with them.
Before starting out, can you give us a checklist of all the things that you need to keep in mind i.e. apart from the great idea, what do you need to be armed with?
It is your job, you need to go find a way.
Is it beneficial to have a mentor when you are starting out on your own? What value does a mentor bring to the table?
One of my mentors once told me, I hope you are not going to go and do what your parents say.
What are the 3 key things you have learned in your time as an entrepreneur?
Turn crisis into opportunity. People make things happen and have fun.
Have you been using social media marketing? How has it helped?
Social media is dysfunctional. Real leaders meet people, they don’t tweet them.
Can you share some tips for women entrepreneurs to maintain a balance between work and family life?
Focus on things that are under your control. Don’t externalise but internalise things. Share dreams with your children. Be there for important times.
It is the smallness of our dreams that comes in our way. Have a dream and plan to make it a reality. Create a support group especially in your children and be prepared to sacrifice.