and money-wise Success came to her
through closed doors
Success came to her
through closed doors
Pearl Drego on how money not only makes the mare run but also a marraige last or flounder.
Marriage and romance often flounder on matters of money. Of the many couples who come to consult with me, almost 50 per cent have money as the root problem of the relationship breakdown. Inequality in financial power leads to daily bickering that erodes the very basis of mutual respect and partnership.
I have found that problems
between husband and wife often surface within the first few months of
marriage, even when there is plenty of money and when the original
pre-marriage financial promises have been kept. The anxiety of hard
bargaining in the early phase of matchmaking—when the groom’s salary
is discussed and the amount of dowry is fixed—can create scenes that
haunt the couple for years to come. Daily interaction becomes a
patchwork of resentful arguments about spending, saving and acquiring
Housewife Akhila Chandra, 30, says the last week of every month is a challenge for her. "Even the smallest purchase is scrutinised by my husband. I often hear, ‘Why did you buy the bread from that shopkeeper? If you had walked 10 yards more you would have got it for Rs 2 less’." Her husband does not stop at this: he laments every month that they would have been better off had her father made better investments!
A woman who is not earning and is totally dependent on her husband for money is often denied the luxuries others in the house get. Mohini Chawla, a middle-aged housewife, was hurt when her husband—who sends their children on expensive school tours and travels abroad to watch golf tournaments—did not allow her to take a plane to see her own parents.
Besides, in spite of being very economical, she is accused of overspending. Maitri Srinivas, 45, gave up her job and personal income to look after her two children. Now, each time her husband relates to the children that it is he who is providing and caring for them, Maitri feels wounded and gets depressed. Arrogant shaming of the non-earning person is frustrating and can also end up in separation and divorce. Sharing information about their wealth and earnings does not come easily to men. Many wives do not know what their husbands are earning; where they invest; whom they bank with; or what is the proportion of white and black money they have. Soumya Singh, a working woman, was shattered when her husband died after their 10th wedding anniversary.
The shock was not only due to his sudden death but also on realising that he had squandered not only his, but her savings too, on market speculation. She had no reserves to fall back on. Several couples start joint bank accounts, but not many are happy with it. The most common complaint is that one partner is only spending and not putting any money in the account. Or, in some cases, one partner (usually the husband) monopolises the cheque book and the other rarely gets to use the money kept in the joint account.
Women who earn also face challenges. A woman’s earnings can create more conflict if she is often on tour or if she controls her own finances. The husband’s ego gets deflated if relatives discover this situation.
Ravi and Rita Garg - in their early 30s - were on the verge of a divorce because of money. They were hurling insults at each other over the spending or saving that each one did. Their respective in-laws made things worse by giving them advice on how to punish the other financially. After several sessions of counselling they now find that they fight less after having decided that he would spend on food, education and home care while she would spend on luxury items and family holidays. They somehow manage to share money as "Yours, mine and ours".
When men earn more, they tend to put themselves in an elevated position. Never mind if their contribution to raising the children and caring for the house is minimal. Men who earn less than their wives tend to feel inferior in comparison, and wives themselves are sometimes embarrassed at their higher earning power.
In fact, women tend to be shy about their earning capacities. In most cases, I have seen that they tend to follow the traditional domesticated stereotype of being ignorant about interest rates, investment options and bank balances. "How can I be smart about filthy lucre? That’s my husband’s portfolio. My duty is to keep the kids happy and see to their future.
Only I can keep the kitchen going and look after everyone’s needs," says Savita Aggarwal, 40, almost ashamed of appearing ‘calculating and greedy’ about money. Women like to think they are carers, not managers.
Couples would be able to handle most money conflicts better if social attitudes towards marriage - as an occasion for business between families and where men control most of the finances after marriage - change. When family budget decisions are taken jointly, domestic harmony can be far easier to achieve.
This entrepreneur with a difference makes hydraulic door closers and exports them, Kanwal Singh reports.
A woman of grit can go on to accomplish whatever she puts her mind to. Neeta Chadha is one such woman. She defies all obstacles to successfully handle Supreme Agency, a company that manufactures and markets hydraulic door closers all over the country.
Born and brought up in Delhi, Neeta a graduate and an MBA often helped her father, H.S. Sethi and proprietor of Everlite, the parent concern that manufactured hydraulic door closers in 1977-79. Marriage to Gurinder Chadha, a builder brought her to Chandigarh and marital bliss. Destiny had some surprises in store for this Piscean. Her father faced acute economic bankruptcy in 1985 and as the eldest of her siblings, a sense of responsibility dawned on her. She says, "Parents have always given us so much and for them even if you make a few sacrifices, I think it is worth the effort." In 1985, she took the reins of a losing enterprise in her hands and slowly and calmly worked to bring it out of economic pressures, singlehanded. She muses, "Life was tough and leaving my son here in Chandigarh was equally painful but I had an iron will and wanted to soothe the worries off my father’s forehead." In 2001, she shifted base to Panchkula and later to Industrial Area in Chandigarh.
Today, she has two units running and the sky is the limit for her. She has dealers all over India and most of her time is spent travelling as she markets her product herself. Neeta says: "Handling business is not peanuts. I have worked very hard and the last four years have been very rewarding.
I had faith in my calibre but this stupendous success was a bit of a surprise. I have managed to expand my market 20-fold today and over 20 types of door closers are being manufactured by us. Our main wholesale dealers are in Delhi, Bombay, Calcutta and Bangalore. Besides we have had a considerable success in AMC’s and after-sale service system that I have recently introduced. Our warranty is for 18 months and later on, we have the AMC, which is maintenance including changing of parts. This is new concept in our field. I have over 100 employees working for us all over India. Most of them have seen me grow from a little girl to their boss, so I really did not have to face any gender bias. I am like a family to them and I truly feel for them in the same way. I feel, a working woman should keep control over her temper and not bear grudges. Having a right attitude and ignoring people who do not believe in love in life and think they are demi-Gods. Never have bitter
thoughts for others because by thinking negatively about others, you are placing those people at an advantage plus you are harming yourselves. This is my mantra of success. All her life, a woman is serving someone or the other. As a child, I served my parents. Then my husband, and later my children. Now, I am doing something for myself, and I enjoy it. I have a lot of hobbies that include reading, Vippasana, Reiki and meditation."
She has also ventured into trading of
other hydraulic door closers and can supply these for any colour scheme
or for matching d`E9cor. The future promises an export tie-up and
extensive market survey for this pushing lady. She smiles and adds,
"People and friends from all over the world are pushing me into
these plans and, God willing, I will take them seriously soon."
With an amazing drive to succeed, we are sure her endeavours will open
more doors for her.
For a saleswoman of South African Gujarati descent in Johannesberg, a commitment to client service paid dividends when she was named the top seller of Mercedes-Benz vehicles in the country.
Many people aspire to owning a Mercedes-Benz, one of the most elite (and expensive) brands of motor vehicles in South Africa. Aasiya Mohamed made 184 sales during 2003 to make it into the record books. Her achievement was considered more significant because males dominate the field of motor vehicles sales in South Africa. As her prize, Mohamed will be jetting to Stuttgart in Germany to see firsthand how the cars she sells are made at the Mercedes-Benz plant there. Mohamed started out as one of the first finance and insurance managers with Mercurius Motors in the town of Boksburg, east of Johannesberg, a decade ago. "A year after I started, the dealer principal offered me a job in sales, where I've been since, enjoying selling vehicles," said Mohamed, who is married to schoolteacher Solly.
Her sales of 184 Mercedes vehicles in one year was the highest such figure in many years, according to colleagues of the modest woman with an infectious laugh. When asked what the secret was to sell so many cars, Mohamed remarked in jest: "I can't give away that! "But I think customer service is of utmost importance— going the extra mile. That gets you lots of repeat customers and referrals by satisfied customers." — IANS
A vault for experience
Experience is not a bad word in women’s gymnastics is what Mohini Bhardwaj believed in and wanted to prove. She should have hung up her leotards long back but thanks to her grit and Pamela Anderson’s generosity has the resources to return to gymnastics and even make a bid for the Olympics at 25, when most gymnasts take their last bow. Of Russian-Indian parentage, it was Mohini’s lack of resources and vegetarianism that made the Baywatch actress root for her. A former All-American at UCLA, who received $ 20,000 from Anderson to fund her training. Says the gritty gal: I have this motto of living life without any regrets. That’s what made me start training again. I don’t want to look back and say I didn’t train. If I try, then no matter what happens, I know I can look back with a clear conscience." Go Mo is what we all would like to join Pamela in saying.
No maiden in distress this
Keira Knightley is acting as Guinevere in the new film King Arthur. She will be a new Guinevere for a new kind of audience. King Arthur, is based on historical accounts of a real Arthur who helped save ancient Britain from being over-run by invading Saxons. Gone are her songs and conflicted passions, and in their place is a warrior princess, aptly portrayed by the 19-year-old Knightley. Keeping pace with the changing times, to give the old legend a modern colour, the heroine is no shrinking violet. Instead, she girds herself in leather bands and body paint to tempt a reluctant Arthur into fighting for his crown. No maiden in distress, this Guinevere leads Arthur into battle.
Gul in full bloom
From a former Miss India to an anchor, a movie actress and finally to a campaigner against AIDS. Gul plays all these roles with panache. She has blossomed into a woman d heart with her career in the glamour world. In the city recently, she came across as one who spoke out her mind in a straightforward manner. As a young girl, Gul was involved with a project of garbage clearance. A firm believer in involvement in socially relevant causes and the need to step out of one’s self to do consciouness raising, Her involvement with the fight against AIDS is a proof that not only is she a woman of style but also one with a social conscience.