When Nalina Ramalakshmi moved back to India with her two kids after spending 20 long years in the US, she faced a tough time. Getting her children adjusted to a new city and adjusting to new expectations, Nalina found herself at a cultural crossroads – she attempted to bridge the gap between traditional and a global approach to parenting, which she followed while in the US.
“I saw that several other parents were facing the same issue, on the lookout for information on local classes, events etc for children,” says Nalina, who then saw an opportunity for a local parenting magazine.
From that developed the concept of Parent Circle, a magazine which attempts to bring together parents, educators and experts to share knowledge, ideas and experiences for the holistic development of children.
“We wanted to make a difference to one family at a time. This is essentially a platform to facilitate learning for parents. The end goal is to create happy, confident adults,” says Nalina.
As one traverses the journey of parenthood, we pause and reflect on whether we are doing the right thing and wonder whether we are concentrating on their holistic development,
she says adding that parents often tend to overlook the emotional quotient of a child.
So this magazine addresses a host of issues – from behavioral patterns to learning and awareness about diverse subjects – even nutrition and lifestyle.
“The aim is to build an eco-system and get all stakeholders on to one platform – connect them as parents on a common community and facilitate an easy exchange of ideas and knowledge,” says Nalina.
This is how this mompreneur started getting people to the common platform, Parent Circle.
Her children inspire her
Nalina is a mother of two, a 21-year-old boy pursuing Engineering in the US and a 17-year-old girl. Believe it or not, it is her children who inspire her.
My inspiration comes from my own children who touch my life every day. As a mother, my greatest challenge arises when I know I can help my child yet all I can do is only sit back and watch. This is when you feel the need to reach out to other parents, teachers or counsellors to get suggestions and tips on dealing with the particular situation. With this, I started reaching out to other parents,
says Nalina who believes that parents benefit from each other if they share information.
Nalina was a full time mother before she conceptualized her venture in 2010 and kicked it off in 2011. A software engineer by qualification, she also had some startup experience and had dealt with marketing, business strategy etc earlier. All this experience came in handy when she decided to start up Parent Circle.
Her role models
There is no single role model that Nalina has. “From my mother I learnt generosity and compassion, from my father discipline and focus and from my grandmother love and warmth. I am a dreamer and I
am always inspired by those who strive to achieve their dreams,” says Nalina, who moved to the US from Tamil Nadu after getting married and pursued her higher education there.Currently, she lives in Chennai.
Going digital is the obvious expansion plan for Parent Circle and Nalina believes that the penetration power of her platform would benefit more number of parents, especially in the Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities.
“We are the transitional generation of parents. Modern day parents need a more digitization-friendly approach to parenting. We even have plans to reach out to people in the regional languages,” says Nalina. She says she is happy with the current trend of parenting where children pose questions at parents and aid them in becoming global citizens.
“We are doing our bit by empowering the decision-making ability of parents. They can now make informed choices for their children,” says this entrepreneur who loves to sketch, paint and travel when she is not catching up with fellow parents.