4 women of substance share their personal highs and challenges of motherhood


As we celebrate Mother’s Day today, the question that begs to be asked is what motherhood in 2017 entails. Is being a hands-on mother incompatible with being a super-achieving woman of substance?

HerStory spoke to four achievers to understand their biggest gratification and challenge of being a mother in 2017.

Almitra Karnik is the Head of Marketing & Global Growth at CleverTap. She oversees the growth across CleverTap’s global markets, managing brand strategy, digital content, and partner marketing. Almitra is a prominent member of the Silicon Valley startup community, having led product marketing at Twilio, and most recently building Splunk’s global brand recognition.

According to Almitra, one of the biggest challenges is to be present to experience your children’s milestones. Their first step, their first word, their first sports day, their first stage performance. The way to deal with this is to not think about time spent but the amount of quality time spent. She says,

I make sure that I don’t check emails at the time when I am with kids or start planning for my next meeting when I am at the park with them. So, you need to optimise the time you spend with them by being physically and emotionally present rather than just counting the number of hours you are with them.

Nidhi Jindal Gupta, fashion entrepreneur, wife, and mother to two beautiful children, was crowned Mrs India ‘Queen of Substance' first runner-up recently in New Delhi. Hailing from a small town in Haryana, Nidhi grew up in a conservative business family, a tight setup that did not believe in breaking the norm that ‘good girls from good families’ were born to follow tradition. Without telling anyone, Nidhi filled up a Miss India form. She was called for screening, but the idea was met with such resistance from her parents that she gave up on it. Her decision to pursue fashion designing as a career was treated with disapproval from her family as well. So, she has come full circle today as she is a fashion entrepreneur who has established her own apparel brand and she made it to the first runner-up position in the Mrs India pageant as well.

Nidhi’s thoughts on the challenges of motherhood: "Motherhood is a humongous responsibility, and the biggest challenge is striking a balance between being a mom and continuing to nurture yourself as an individual too. I’ve taught myself to keep growing and follow my dreams without hiding behind ‘motherhood’. Bigger challenges bring home bigger lessons and consequently, stronger growth."

Leshna Shah, an extremely well-travelled and well-read jewellery expert has spent over 15 years in the jewellery industry of which she has dedicated two years to nurturing her brand Aurelle.

Having lived in New York, Leshna was exposed to international design aesthetics and sensibilities. She always felt that there was a huge market for chic, ready-to-wear, well-crafted fine jewellery in India, and thus, took it upon herself to create that space by introducing her brand to the market. Her jewellery has been worn by celebrities like Sonam Kapoor, Malaika Arora Khan, Sania Mirza, Nimrat Kaur, Sonakshi Sinha, Karishma Kapoor, and many others at various events.

Leshna’s take on her parenting style:

I am a hands-on mother as well as a hands-on creative director. I love knowing how my kids did in school, how their non-curricular activities went, and planning how we can spend quality time together and bond. And it is the same with my other babyAurelle. I love being involved from start to finish in the creation of the piecessketching to sourcing to CAD to end product. Being involved and hands-on at work as well as home requires immaculate planning on my behalf and that is my biggest challengefinding the perfect balance between my kids and work and yet giving my 100 percent to both keeps me on my toes every single day.

Product launches. Go-to-market strategy. Consumer understanding. If there were ever three phrases that were synonymous with Rati Shetty, BankBazaar’s Chief Product Officer, it is these. “Raising the bar” got hardwired into her DNA during her Toblerone experience at Kraft Foods where she unwrapped product launches with finesse.

Stints in the US, Brazil, and Taiwan have lent a global flavour to this marketer’s profile. At BankBazaar.com, Rati brings the same doggedness to product conceptualisation as she puts ideas through the hoops and uncorks trailblazer product concepts.

From left: Almitra Karnik, Rati Shetty, Nidhi Jindal Gupta and Leshna Shah.

When it comes to challenges, Rati prefers not to focus on them. She says, “There are plenty of challenges and I cannot pinpoint just one. The challenges are what keep life and work exciting. If there aren’t challenges, then that would mean there is a problem.”

Mothers like them and many, many others invoke pride in the way they almost effortlessly juggle their work without infringing on quality time with their children.

HerStory wishes all the mother reading and following us a very Happy Mother’s Day!


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