Mum and me: meet five mother-daughter entrepreneurs scaling heights with their innovative startups
The bond between a mother and daughter is unmatched and unbreakable. And these five mother-daughter startup duos across sectors prove that when they join forces, great things start to happen.
Sangeeta and Shubhika Jain, RAS Luxury Oils
Co-founded by mother Sangeeta and daughter Shubhika Jain in 2017, Raipur-based RAS Luxury Oils offers a range of natural and plant-based wellness products. The brand is also the first fully farm-to-face venture in India.
On how they started out, Shubhika says,
“I was looking for high-performance completely natural, preservative-free, vegan skincare products for my mother and really couldn’t find one. It struck me that there is no brand in India that focuses on organic, luxury oil-based skincare and wellness products, manufactured by them from farm to bottle."
RAS distributes and markets its products through five-star hotels including the St. Regis Hotel in Mumbai, Park Hyatt in Hyderabad and Shangri-La in Bengaluru. The brand also has an online presence on portals such as Nykaa and Amazon, and their own website.
Anureet and Arushi Sethi, Trijog
Founded in 2014 by mother Anureet and daughter Arushi Sethi, Mumbai-based Trijog is a progressive mental wellness platform that offers a variety of solutions for every need of clients, institutions, and corporates.
Arushi grew up seeing her mother Anureet, a clinical psychologist with over thirty years of experience, fighting the stigma surrounding mental health and helping people better their lives. Arushi believes that if something is bothering our minds, no matter how small or big the issue, it is important we voice it.
“We are a nation suffering in silence! We all acknowledge that we have problems. But why is it that we are ashamed to talk about them?” she asks.
Trijog started as an assignment to come up with a company idea during Arushi's final year of college in 2014. Wondering if she could use the opportunity to make an impact, she approached her mother, and together they started Trijog - Know Your Mind Pvt. Ltd.
Affiliated to the Rehabilitation Council Of India, Trijog is certified and authorised to take care of behavioural, emotional, and learning requirements of children, adolescents, and adults.
Jaya and Shweta Shivkumar, WhySoBlue
Founded in 2015 by mother Jaya and daughter Shweta Shivkumar, Thane-based WhySoBlue is an in-house, hand-made, and customisable clothing brand.
Initially, Shweta didn't want to start up, but following the untimely demise of her father in 2012, the mother-daughter duo was left at the crossroads.
After a 13-month stint at a magazine and another six months at a different organisation, Shweta decided she had to turn her life around, and quit her job.
“I told her she should not continue doing something just because she is the lone earning member of the family, she could always follow her dreams of doing something related to fashion,” says Jaya.
With more than 25 years of experience in needlework, making clothes for her daughters and friends, Jaya's skill was the perfect fit for WhySoBlue. While Shweta takes care of sourcing the fabrics, deciding on the final designs, and marketing, Jaya looks into the execution and the stitching.
From drawing inspiration from existing designs, to creating something new, WhySoBlue incorporates the latest trends into their products. It operates online through its own portal, as well as through its studio in Thane.
Rama Pandey and Shashi Pandey, Infinite Mobility
Founded in 2015 by mother Rama and daughter Shashi Pandey, Rajasthan-based Infinite Mobility is a digital marketing platform that helps vendors plan their advertising budgets on different media delivery channels. It also allows clients to use the portal for ad-space along with the digital marketing aspects that the company specialises in.
After retiring as teachers, Rama Pandey at 72, and Dr Shashi Pandey at 46, decided to venture into a completely new area, and started India’s first digital marketing social network, Infinite Mobility.
It all started when Rama was on a vacation in the US. While surfing the internet, she noticed random messages, videos, and pop-ups on her computer and smart phone. Rama then became determined to understand how digital marketing works, and approached her daughter Shashi with the idea. Soon after, the duo began working on Infinite Mobility.
Rama, who is skilled in economics and mathematics began managing the company's strategies, and Shashi who has strong interpersonal skills and has expertise in social engineering, managed the overall growth.
Talking about the hurdles of being women entrepreneurs, Rama says,
"Entrepreneurship means a lot to both of us. It’s a real test of our execution skills. We’re sure, everyone wants to do something rewarding. But when it comes to execution; 80 percent quit and out of the 20 percent who try, around 18 percent fail. Only a minority succeed, and we want to be in that small percentage."
The majority of Infinite Mobility's employees consist of women and retired personnel, because Rama and Shashi believe that experience and wisdom is a great asset to any role. Once on board, the employees are trained in basic computer skills, and gradually strengthen their abilities.
Today, Infinite Mobility has a network of over 100 clients, more than 650 campaigns, over 175 affiliates and millions of devices connected to the portal across India.
Neelam and Kritika Kapur, WisTree
Founded in 2016 by mother Neelam and daughter Kritika Kapur, Delhi-based WisTree is a learning and mentorship platform that connects users with industry professionals from established companies like Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Amazon, and McKinsey. It also offers mentorship by alumni of prestigious universities like Oxford, Cornell, Wharton, IIMs, and IITs.
Kritika says she was the 'typical overwhelmed software engineer' who was confused between an MS abroad, giving the CAT or the GMAT. Ultimately choosing none of the three, she went on to work at Zomato and Healthkart, among other companies, to better understand her interests.
On the core idea behind WisTree, Kritika says,
"WisTree was born out of deep-seated need to change the status quo and give Indians from small and big cities alike a real shot at achieving their dreams.”
The biggest challenge the duo faced was getting industry experts on board without monetary incentives. Gradually, Neelam and Kritika successfully convinced mentors with 'just the right reasons, facts, and numbers'. They also say that the mentors were excited to do their bit for aspirants who needed guidance, because they didn't have the opportunity to receive such mentorship when they needed it.
WisTree plans to expand to Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Chennai, and Pune.