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Keeping the fires roaring
May 24, 2013 COMMENT comment
     
Keeping the fires roaring
By Purva Bhatia
 
Is life easy or difficult when your life partner is your business partner? We ask Vandana Khosla, director, Elvy Lifestyle, how she balances her multiple roles. It is a very tough job but somehow I feel every woman has the competence to manage multiple roles.
 
It was a typical arranged-marriage setup. A proposal came from the groom’s side, and a few meetings later both decided to tie the knot. What followed was a partnership not just in love but in business as well. Vandana joined her husband Lovy Khosla’s family handicrafts export business. Married for 20 years now, both later started Elvy, India’s only lifestyle shopping catalogue. It was her gut feeling that made them start the venture and within a span of a year, they had two stores in Delhi.

A post graduate in interior designing from Sophia Polytechnic, Mumbai, Khosla is a mother of two children, Ishita (19) and Yajur (17) and a successful business woman.
Khosla credits her husband for all her success. “My husband has always been my backbone and helped me take my steps forward,” says 41-year-old Khosla.
 
Is it difficult to work with your partner in the same organisation?
People say that it’s difficult to work with your partner in the same organisation but I feel that once you separate your roles it becomes easier and that is what precisely we have done. He takes care of the finance section while I purely look after the creative part of the company. So we don’t interfere in each other’s work but make sure that every decision we take for the company has the consent of both.
 
What does it take to maintain equilibrium without compromising the role of a founder director, wife, daughter-in-law and a mother?
It is a very tough job but somehow I feel every woman has the competence to manage multiple roles. And my mantra is to prioritise. When we started Elvy, my children were at a very tender age and needed all my time and care on the other hand Elvy was the third baby in the family and needed the same too. I divided my time and made sure I donated equal time to both. My mother-in-law that time was my biggest support as she took care of the children when I was away and I knew my kids are not at the disposal of the staff . I work for half day and am back home by 3 pm to bestow proper time to my children while I still keep myself connected with my work though mails and phone calls.
 
How difficult is it to travel frequently and also be there for your children? How do you take out time for that?
As the children were growing up, they saw their mother working and that made them more independent. They knew I was away and they had to do a few things on their own. So I feel that my children have learnt through my journey and today are independent individuals. My daughter is in US studying marketing while my son is still in school. And I see the zeal to do something in life in both my kids.
 
In between balancing family and work, do you manage to get time for yourself? What do you like to do in that spare time?
I love to read fiction. I also enjoy books like The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari by Robin Sharma; it is one of my favourites and I feel connected to many parts of it.
 
How do you deal with the work pressures and professional stress?
Yoga is the key word. Every morning one hour of yoga is must and I call it ‘my time’. I meditate and perform different asanas, which I feel somehow keeps me energised and going throughout the day.
 
A word of advice you would like to give every working mother...
I feel it is very important for every woman to work but always give your children more priority than your work, at least during their grooming years. I personally feel that I would want to be a successful mother first and then a thriving entrepreneur.
 

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