Tag Archives: entrepreneur

Powerhouse of talent taking theatre to new heights in Singapore- Shalakaa Karnik Ranadive



“If you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.”- Marc Anthony

Women Lines entrepreneur of this month is the perfect example of this saying. She is an accomplished theatre, TV and film actor with over 20 years of experience. After starring in popular TV serials on leading national channels in India like Swabhiman, having worked for well-known production companies like BR Chopra, Balaji Telefilms, and UTV Productions, she went on to be part of several theatre productions in the UK. Since 2007, she has been based in Singapore and has produced and directed many plays through her theatre company Wecandoitt. Meet Shalakaa Karnik Ranadive who is also the Singapore representative for Anupam Kher’s acting academy Actor Prepares  and read her journey in field of theatre in her own words-

1.Please share with our readers’ little bit about yourself.

I started off as an actor in Mumbai, in the 90’s. During this time, I acted in many popular Hindi TV serials, including Swabhimaan, Astitva and Zara Hatke. After I got married in 1998, my husband and I moved to the UK, where I acted in films and many theatre productions, which traveled around the UK, Europe, and Canada. My family relocated to Singapore in 2007, and I set up my own theatre production company 9 years ago, called Wecandoit. Under this, I direct and produce my own plays. In addition, I run drama workshops for adults and children.

2. So when did you started this venture and what inspired or motivated you to take a plunge into this venture?

My latest venture in theatre is “Dastak”, the first and only Hindi theatre festival in Singapore. We staged Dastak for the first time in 2016, and this year we are staging its second edition. Having worked in theatre in Singapore for over 9 years, I noticed that all the Hindi performances that were staged in the country were overseas productions, and very few were based in Singapore.

My workshops have allowed me to discover a huge talent pool, not just actors, and directors, but also creative writers. I wanted to create a platform for these individuals to showcase their talents, and I wanted audiences to come and enjoy theatre without burning a hole in their pockets. Dastak is not only a festival, it’s a journey in theatre. You learn, you enjoy, you share, and you get to project your talents to an unknown audience. It’s all about creating a beautiful creative community, from all walks of life.

3. Can you share with us some of the challenges you faced during your initial days?

The challenge for any creative venture is the monetary support. When you have a new idea, it takes time for it to materialize and for others to believe in your vision. I knocked on many doors for funding and support but in vain. Finally, I had to self-fund, and everyone who came on board was pro-bono. I am extremely thankful for all the artists who agreed.

4. So how do you balance your personal and professional life?

The key to balancing your personal and professional life is having a supportive team on both ends. On the personal front, it’s your family, your home that acts like a pillar. Professionally, it’s the creative team or committee who works round the clock with me. It’s a motivated effort on both sides.

5. What would you suggest to other aspiring women who want to venture out on their own?

Don’t wait for the right moment because there is never a right moment or the other way to see- it’s always the right moment! If you have decided to venture out- start now!

6. Is there any person who has mentored/supported/inspired?

Life is a journey and I have met many people who have inspired me through this journey. I don’t read motivational books to get inspired. Every time I meet a new person, rather than scrutinizing their flaws, I only notice their good qualities and that’s my take away. I have stopped being judgemental. This helps me to stay Inspired.

7. What do you have in the pipeline for your venture’s future development?

Plenty! I would love Dastak to go international. My dream is to make Dastak cross boundaries, and for the theatre community to keep growing!
Dastak 2017 will be staged In November this year in Singapore.


Women Lines wishes best of luck to Shalakaa for her bright future and lots of success for all her ventures!





New Year Reflections!

Happy New Year to my lovely blog readers!











As new year starts and before mind starts focusing on goals and resolutions I want to reflect a little on the gone year which has carried with it so many learning, sweet memories, laughter, joys, emotions and much more.I am full of so much gratitude to so many things throughout year which has helped me to grow as better person –

1. I am thankful to you tube for sharing such  amazing contents on its channel, which has really helped me to gain great knowledge about so many topics, from finding my favourite recipe to teach my kid potty training:). Believe me friends, you can find solution of any problem live on you tube and this certainly can help you to improve upon yourself in all ways:)

2. I am grateful to platform TED talks which is a free platform of knowledge sharing.There is tremendous amount of learning from experts on different topics ranging from science, technology, motivation and many other subjects. Entrepreneurs can gain so much knowledge by listening to various topics on TED,which really opens up mind and benefits in taking right action.

3. I am grateful to influencers on Linkedin for sharing their knowledge on topics related to various professions. I will strongly recommend women who are working from home to follow influencers of their work field. As ,when we work from home we have to strive to keep grooming ourself, which is quite challenging when you work alone.

4. I am grateful to social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp which has given amazing communication and content sharing approaches. This is helping in building up strong personal relationships and creating  awareness about whats happening in world.

Entreprenurial journey is  all about mindfulness friends and  mindful use of such platforms can really help in making this journey full of excitement and  amazing learning. With proper focus any woman can achieve whatever she wants. Start loving yourself  and your time and you will take proper  care of everybody, trust me:)!

4 Skills to succeed as an Entrepreneur!

imagesI am an entrepreneur and every new day is a new learning day for me!

In my start up journey I am like a school kid who is learning many new skills, as and when required. If you are an entrepreneur by choice then you know the roller coaster ride which this journey takes you through. Life is full of learning curves in any entrepreneurial journey. I have always looked out for inspiration from successful entrepreneurs like Arianna Huffington, JK Rowling, Oprah Winfrey, and many others.I have read about their sharing in media regarding their entrepreneurial journey  which is so inspiring. It gives me encouragement to look out for those traits which these entrepreneurs are having and I have to develop.

I have to learn a lot  as it is beginning of my journey, but will love to share few skills (which I am sharpening:))can help you to ease off your entrepreneurial journey-

1.Mindfulness-Entrepreneurs have to be always mindful what they are doing. They must be alert about living in present and acting as per to do list. All entrepreneurs are addicted to their to do list and cannot survive without it. It helps them to be mindful about their work and to live their life in present.

2.Focus– Entrepreneurs have to be very focussed about their goals. They must be having their business plan sketched in their heart and always be taking decision as per plans. Fully focussed mind can help entrepreneurs to achieve their targets within deadlines. In case you are not able to focus then invest time in training your mind to focus by doing some exercises and keeping yourself relaxed.

3.Patience– Patience is a virtue which every entrepreneur requires in abundance. Entrepreneurial journey is not a cake walk. It is be full of hurdles, challenges, and failures. Patience onlycan help you to survive in this field. Keep yourself calm and have a strong faith in yourself. This will certainly help you to succeed , no matter what the challenges are.

4. Good communication and networking skills- Since inception of the idea of the start up to the stage of  launching the business, entrepreneurs are required to communicate both written and verbally with so many types of people. Good communication skills will not only help you to deliver fast but also share your idea easily. Networking skills will help you to meet right people at right time which can help you to grow in your business.

It is a long way to go friends. I will keep sharing more skills as I will be learning in my journey. Please do share your special skill which you have acquired in your journey:)!

Book which will rewire your thinking process for business-Mind Over Business

It is rarely you come across some book which makes you think deeply about your thought processes and just rewires you with a completely new mindset to carry your business forward!                download

Mind Over Business written by Ken Baum with Bob Andelman,is  a must read book by every entrepreneur. Beautifully Ken has explained how to unleash your business and sales success by rewiring the Mind/Body connection.This book gives you mental edge to overcome obstacles and take advantage of opportunity. Various systems of breathing and relaxation techniques, goal setting , self talk, visualization, explained in this book will  certainly improve reader’s result.This book teaches the right way to set any goal and achieve it. This book guides in very practical way how to get more out of every busy day while following certain time management and motivation techniques.

It doesn’t matter  what the goal is, dream is, you are self employed working, having large or small company, sell insurance or clothes, this book will teach to use your hidden talents in best of ways and inspire you to reach to that goal you dream of achieving. Every chapter brings a fresh insight about creating big vision for your business,how to come out of your comfort zone, and howto sharpen your focus. Ken Baum has shared various smart tips which if carried out practically in real life , will certainly lead you to success road.

Few small adjustments to your workday can help to maximize your career.Don’t wait, just get up and grab the book,but only when you seriously want to achieve success in your business!


Inspiration Personified-Shobha Tsering Bhalla

If you have a dream and you are passionate about it, nobody can stop you in achieving that .
Shobha Bhalla’s success story justifies this quote.  It sets a live example in front of all women entrepreneurs who share the burning desire.
Shobha has attained iconic status as a CEO of ‘India Se’ in Singapore . In an exclusive interview to Women lines, Shobha talks of her life and work.
Shobha Tsering Bhalla – CEO & Editor-in-Chief, is an entrepreneur in field of Print media. India Se , magazine produced by Non Resident Indians (NRIs) for NRIs about NRIs, is her brain child and has recently celebrated 4 years of excellence in Singapore. It is a leading lifestyle magazine for NRIs in Singapore.
India Se – a name which was coined by Shobha herself. She dreamt of it when she presented a white paper to highlight the need for such a publication, catering to the ever growing Indian population in Singapore. She says that “Five years back Indians had reached a critical mass and a critical achievement level but, alas, there was no global media platform to talk about our achievements, aspirations, our culture or multitudes of cultures.” It was that time she conceived the launch of a magazine which does just that.

Shoba’s passion to pursue her dream project led her to resign from her cushy job and give to Singapore – ‘India Se’ on May 27, 2007. A naturalized Singaporean, veteran journalist and a former banker Shobha was prepared with all required skills to start a magazine. She was the pioneering Managing Editor of Lycos Asia – in charge of Internet content for 9 countries in Asia. Prior to that she worked as Regional Research Editor in the equities research division of ING Barings and earlier, as a Research Editor at OCBC Investment Research. From 1989 to 1997, she was also a senior correspondent in Singapore ’s oldest national daily ‘The Straits Times’ and more recently Editor of the Impact and Property sections of Singapore ’s 2nd largest circulating newspaper TODAY.
Shobha was Born in Sikkim, India. After graduating she began her working life as a management trainee and correspondent banking officer at the State Bank of India, India ’s largest bank and moved to Singapore with her businessman husband 25 years ago. Shobha’s aggressiveness towards achieving excellence in whatever work she does and hunger for success differentiates her from others. She says “Hard work is only key to success”. At present her main challenges are to get quality output for her magazine and source the require finances to keep it running. Just like herself she demands the same passion from her staff.

“As NRIs we are among the most educated and highest earning ethnic minorities in our countries of domicile – making the term NRI a metaphor for success everywhere”. While sharing about the objective of ‘India Se’ as a magazine Shobha comments “While India Se is a magazine dedicated to issues that are important to NRIs and Person of Indian Origin (PIOs) it is not restricted only to these groups of recent Indian immigrants. As a cultural and lifestyle magazine, it also seeks to connect, inform and entertain all people of Indian origin even those a few generations removed, who identify themselves culturally, ethnically and emotionally as Indians. But in doing so, it does not exclude non-Indians who may want to find out what makes Indians – especially overseas Indians – such a powerful and vibrant economic and cultural force globally.”Focus of India Se “she shares “is on informing and entertaining an international audience of highly educated readers. ”
Recently Shobha was a speaker at a forum in programe ‘Breaking Barriers 2011’, organised by Women’s Indian Network (WIN), which is part of Singapore Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry(SICCI)  and Narpani Ladies committee, where she addressed a large crowd of women entrepreneurs.There she shared how proud is she to be a woman and does believes in woman power. She says ”If women can raise lovely families they can perform better in work force undoubtedly. ”Shobha considers Anita Roddick, owner of ‘Body Shop’ as her idol and is inspired from the way Anita has set up the whole concept of ‘Body Shop’ chain.
India Se’s vision is to become Asia’s and eventually the world’s most well-read and influential magazine among overseas Indians. Believer of quote “This above all: to thine own self be true,And it must follow, as the night the day,Thou canst not then be false to any man. – William Shakespeare.” Shobha is really Inspiration personified to all those budding entrepreneurs who have burning desire in their heart to prove something in life.

Women Lines wishes Shobha best of luck and success in life!

Dame Anita Roddick, Body Shop Founder-Entrepreneur with a difference!

It was interesting to read about Dame Anita Roddick in a book named Exceptional Entrepreneurship, which reports real life lessons from top business leaders!

Dame Anita Roddick was owner of Body Shop,which, has 2,400 stores in 61 countries, and is the second largest cosmetic franchise in the world, following O Boticario, a Brazilian company.Body shop is now part ofof the L’Oreal corporate group.

During her lifetime, Body Shop founder Anita Roddick had built a reputation for innovation, integrity and social responsibility. She died at age of 64, in 2007 as she suffered from major brain hemorrhage.

Dame Anita set up the first Body Shop in Brighton in 1976. She pioneered cruelty-free beauty products and turned them into a highly profitable business. She is a real inspiration to all businesswomen. To quote her from this book-

I am aware that success is more than a good idea. It is timing too. The Body Shop arrived just as Europe was going ‘green’. The Body Shop has always been recognizable by its green color, the only color that we could find to cover the damp, moldy walls of my first shop. The company went public in 1984. Since then, I have been given a whole host of awards, some I understand, some I don’t and a couple I think I deserve. Businesses have the power to do good. That’s why The Body Shop’s Mission Statement opens with the overriding commitment, ‘To dedicate our business to the pursuit of social and environmental change.’ We use our stores and our products to help communicate human rights and environmental issues.”

It is so inspiring to know about the passion of Anita Roddicks to work for climate and environment safety through her work. Her campaigns are the reflection for her motives in life to make this world a safe place to live.

Some of her campaigns-

· 1985 – Stop the dumping of toxic waste in North Sea, Greenpeace

· 1986 – Campaign against whaling of sperm whales, Greenpeace

· 1987 – Acid Rain pollution, Friends of the Earth

· 1987 – Published first ‘Green’ Diary, Friends of the Earth

· 980s – Against Animal Testing for cosmetics, collected 4 million signatures through shops

· 1990 – The Body Shop Foundation set-up. Over first 6 years of operation donated more than 3.5 million pounds to 180 charitable groups

· 1990 – Set-up project to refurbish 3 Romanian orphanages. Work extended into Albania and Bosnia

· 1991 – Funded Unrepresented Nations and Peoples organization

· 1993-98 – Ogoni Campaign against Shell and Nigeria

Anita Roddick was having a basket full of various awards from various governments like in 1984 – Veuve Clicquot Business Woman of the Year, 1988 – OBE – Order of the British Empire , 1996 – Women’s Center’s Leadership Award, USA and many more.

Some of her inspiring quotes which I came across this book-

“When enthusiasm comes from heart its unstoppable because its driving your life and its part of the template of who you are.”

“Women are good at combining their interests with their skills and transforming them into a livelihood.”

“Entrepreneurs are anti hierarchical creative people who are obsessed with their businesses. They are also a fountain of ideas but often need others to help make them happen.”

Anita Roddick  is an inspiration to all those businesswomen who want to do something in life with a difference!

Traits for Entrepreneurial success for womenfolk!(Part 2)

It takes a lot of persistence to get you from a great idea to a profit-making venture!

Entrepreneurs are following  some special elements  of success which makes them what they are.There are skills to do business. Going across some books I came across these elements of success which are followed by successful entrepreneurs-


This is crucial for planning, implementing, and conducting a new business. It helps organize and direct the important steps for your venture and can mean the difference between success and failure.There are different workshops  by various women groups, which can provide free help in writing a business plan.


Select the goals you want to concentrate on and the direction you will take to achieve those goals. Determine daily, weekly, monthly and yearly goals, for your business. and then make a to do list of steps that you will take to accomplish each goal.


If you want to start your business, expert say that you must have 6 months to 2 years savings with you as a back up.This is just to cover living expenses. Money for business is to be arranged after estimating how much will be your start up cost. Loans from banks, friends, savings etc can be good options while making financial arrangement for business. Then to keep your business going you have to have a cash reserve for all your purchases, bills and other expenses. Keeping good records and consulting with financial ad visors will all help you to stay in business.


Using your records and advice of your accountant or financial advisor watch for the point when your business begins to make profit. Depending upon how much money you have borrowed it may take  about 2 years. It depends upon the type of business, like  a service business such as public relation and counselling, will generally require less start up money than opening a small shop with inventory or another product related business.