Charkula Arts Academy, an Event, Performance management and promotion organization is quite familiar name in Singapore. The organization has identified growing interest in Art, Folk dances, and Music from the sub-continent. Programs organized by Charkula are very popular and close to Indian population’s heart. Credit goes to Director of Charkula Singapore Ms Alka Sharma, whose hard work has brought credit to her organization. Women lines presents Alka’s journey on the entrepreneurial road in her own words-
1.Please share with our readers little bit about yourself?
Ans. I am a Science Graduate with specialization in Chemistry and Drugs. I have been in Singapore for the past 8 years plus. I am running a business since 5 yrs plus now. I have two kids aged 15yrs and 10yrs.
2. So when did you venture in this business and what motivated you to take plunge in this business?
Ans. I have been in this business for the past 16 yrs. I have helped my Father-In law in expanding his business in the past. Since we settled in Singapore so we started a company here. In India we specialized in Folk Dances of India but Singapore being a diverse culture country we have branched out in more commercialized events as well. We still do the cultural promotion worldwide as Charkula Arts is associated with Govt cultural exchange in India.
3. Can you share with us some of the challenges you faced in your initial day?
Ans. Singapore being a different and diverse cultured market it was not easy to penetrate the market initially. Though we had participated in the Govt organized Village Festival in Singapore with our Cultural group but we observed that only Bollywood was the main stream entertainment for locals. That was the reason for us to diversify our outlook. We have organized cultural events in Singapore in the past and will continue to do so in the future as well but to accept the changes and grow is what we need to do. Each event is a challenge in itself every time you do it, you learn all the way even though we have been doing it all the while each day is a new challenge and teaches us new things. But the process of learning is the one that fine tunes the persons prospective in Life.
4. So how do you balance your professional and personal life?
Ans. I have a very supportive family. My husband and kids understand my work and they know there are certain times that it is tough for me to give them much time. But the positive part is that I have flexi hours of work so I try to arrange all my work so that I don’t have to disturb my family life. Family is very important for me and it is the first and foremost priority. But with the support of my husband it has been much easier to achieve the balance. Brahm (My husband) has always been very helping and thoughtful of my work and has always supported me.
5. What would you suggest to other aspiring woman who want to venture out on their own?
Ans. I would just want to share that it is tough to work out there but continuous handwork, focus, the perseverance to continue to take up the challenges in a positive way will definitely bring success.
6. Is there any person who has inspired or motivated you?
Ans. I was very much from a different field of work but had always been very active in cultural events in School and college. After getting married I saw my father in law, who had started this company 35 years ago, and his business became my interest. Therefore I decided to join him in his business. With his guidance and Brahms’s support it became easier for me to learn and establish myself. If you have a strong base it is easier to build on it so definitely I am fortunate that I had their support, guidance and experience to help me.
7.What do you have in pipeline for company’s future development?
Ans. We are organizing an event on 10 th NOV ,”CHAAR LAAINA” with Hindi poets Padamshri Surendra Sharma Ji and Dr Rahat Indori Sahab. For the company we are trying to expand in other geographic locations. We would like to focus on the less travelled art forms other than the commercial events. We have worked on documentaries for the less travelled art forms of India which was done for OKTO channel.
Women lines wishes all the best to Alka for her future initiatives!
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