Hi there! My name is Rashmi Kelkar, and I am the engine behind three boys. My 5 month old baby is a quiet little cutie, the 2 year old is the opposite of that, and lastly a 33 year old I am still teaching to boil rice. I gave birth to two out of three from that list. Home for us is the beautiful city of Perth, Australia. I haven’t always lived in Australia, but I will talk about all that in later blogs.
After giving birth to my now 5 month old, I fell pregnant again 2 months later. What?! Really?? I’m not that crazy. I meant – pregnant with an IDEA. Business idea. Time of conception – September 1st 2018, 12.01pm. I reached out to a potential supplier who is also a lovely mommy, and that’s when we decided to pursue an arrangement. Now, I am not going to spell out the name of my business because this is my personal blog, and I am writing this purely to share my entrepreneurial journey with you all. I want to talk about how I came up with the idea, the issues I come across, how I handle the people in my life, the situations – you can learn from it, laugh about it, or teach me a thing or two (because I like opinionated people).
A little bit about what I did in my past life – I was a commercial banking manager in a major Australian bank. At that time, I lived in Melbourne and that role was probably one of the most challenging things I have done. While in Perth, I was a private wealth manager in the same bank. Whatever it is, I thoroughly enjoyed my jobs because of the clients I met and the friends I made at work. And the things I have learnt. I’ve seen clients get rich, get poor, do unimaginable things to themselves – all because of their businesses. I’ve seen clients save, seen them spend beyond their means, and the repercussions of that all. I will share some of these stories anonymously as the days go by, because we can all learn from them.
My new life now revolves around family, and the business. It is an international business, and you won’t believe the experiences I have already had. I am ethnically Indian, but moved out of India when I was 5 years old. I have started this business in India but sourcing of products is done from around the world. In order to wrap the goods in readiness for the courier, I have been trying to source a particular packaging from Mumbai itself however it is so difficult to get my point across on the phone! I know exactly what I want, and I even found manufacturers who say on their webpage that they sell it, but when I call them they do not really answer properly and just end up saying “no we don’t sell”. Then I went online onto the Alibaba website and it was so simple to source the exact same thing from China. China really makes it easy to do business. In my opinion, Indian businesses have a little bit of catching up to do in the communications department, but I am sure that will happen at some point. I have decided to just deal with it when I am in India in a couple of weeks.
It is not just Indian businesses, but I think I have some work to do in the communications area myself! A couple of weeks ago, I signed up with a company based in Luxembourg for a Virtual office in Mumbai. As part of that package, I get a local phone number and a receptionist who will answer as though he/she works in my company. When I was setting this up with the agent over the phone, I kept saying “the virtual receptionist this” and the “virtual receptionist that”. At the end of the call, the agent said “Madam, you will get a live receptionist”. It didn’t make sense to me as I was quite sleep deprived thanks to the kids. I said “No I would like a virtual receptionist please”. The agent paused, and said “Sorry Madam, we can only offer you a live one”. I went on to insist I would like a virtual one as I have purchased the Virtual office package. He then ended our conversation quickly by saying “Sorry Madam, but she is alive. Anything else please call back.” I took some time to make sense of it. Finally it hit me – a real person will be answering calls made to my company. Okay, got it! I could hear the agent laugh at me as he kept the phone – oh well, I made someone’s day.
Speaking of day, the day is over and the kids are yelling for attention. Time to fill some bottomless pits with food. Friday nights are Fish and Chips night for the family. Thank you for being there for my first ever blog post! I am leaving this website very simple for now, but as the days go by, I will add pictures and make it as beautiful as I can 😊 More from me next week!