Bringing about a social change – Shoma Bakre

By Sonia Motwani in Starting Up 19/07/2016

My entrepreneurial journey happened quite by chance and not by design. I’ve had a very chequered and extremely interesting career starting as a lecturer in a college in a small town in Assam to working in corporate America and then becoming an entrepreneur and finally a social development worker.

 
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Shoma Bakre moved back to India for 2 years with her family in 2003 when her husband was relocating for work. “I had 2 kids that time and decided to take a break from work and enjoy India. Since I had some free time on my hands, I took up part-time remote consulting for some people. What started as a work-from-home engagement quickly became a full-blown company in no time!” says the founder.

 

I did not have the time to see, think and hear what society thought of my choice

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Working on a bootstrap model with no time from work, she was supported by her mother to raise her 2 and 4 year olds. “My friends thought I was crazy to be working like a maniac when the reason for moving to India for us was to have a good and easy time,” she says. Shoma started up in 2004 with a business research and analytics company which grew to a multi-million dollar business with 400 employees. After the acquisition of EmPower Research in 2011, she decided to give back to the society and started up Let’s Do Some Good Foundation (LDSG) to bring about social change in India.

There would be guilt ridden days when I would feel terrible for not taking care of my children

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LDSG provides CSR advisory services and is a platform for multi-stakeholder collaboration to bring about social change in India in areas of education and employability for underprivileged children; health, nutrition, sanitation; women empowerment and livelihood; and mainstreaming of differently abled people. Shoma started LDSG with the belief that collaboration is key to success in bringing about sustainable social change.

I was dealing with very demanding, high-profile US clients while setting up a business in a new city before even unpacking our boxes!

Being new to the start-up ecosystem in India, Shoma figured out everything from registering a company to recruiting people, all by herself. Even at LDSG, she is hands on with operational work while handling clients. “In the middle of all of this I destress through my music classes, painting, reading and creative cooking, once in a while when I get some time,” adds Shoma.

My husband has given me free reign to do what I want to even if it means that I cannot give all the time, attention and care to my family that a woman typically is expected to

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Shoma believes that her family has supported her immensely in her journey. “Unlike other parents, mine never told me what to do or how to do – I had to discover what I liked to do, wanted to do, could do, and find my calling. This kind of freedom I think is what resulted in whatever success I have seen to date,” she adds. In her journey of entrepreneurship, Shoma believes that she put everything in her life on hold just focusing on sustaining and growing the business. But she made time for her family and hobbies. “It’s all about prioritising what’s important for you and making sure you allocate time for those come what may,” she adds.

With time I realised that life would go on whether I had time or not, so if I wanted to do something, then I just had to squeeze it in.

For any entrepreneur, there will always be hurdles and challenges, but what is life without a few of those? Shoma believes that being focused and taking failures in your stride helps a long way in the journey. She recommends future womenpreneurs to invest in the right support structure at home when they start up. “Don’t be ashamed to ask for help from friends and family when needed. You will have to give it everything to make it successful,” she ends by saying.

 

Website Link: www.ldsg.in

Follow Let’s Do Some Good on facebook

And you can follow Shoma on facebook too

 
 

Sonia Motwani
A full time business analyst and a passionate writer, she is hopelessly attracted to the passionate struggle story that every women entrepreneur has lived today! We possibly couldn’t have had someone better than her to write about women achieving new heights in the startup sector!

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