DECODING THE ART OF SUPER SUCCESS
From my personal experience, I can say that success never comes to anyone overnight. You have to pass through a lot of struggle, especially when you are a woman and a first generation entrepreneur. I still remember those days of my early life: After getting my Bachelor’s Degree in Dentistry when I decided to go abroad for further studies, my husband Dr Vikram Shah came forward and extended his support saying “You should go. I will take care of our four-year old son.” When a woman takes a decision, support from her life partner plays a pivotal role.
A woman must get space and freedom to pursue her career. When I started out a little over 25 years ago, I worked for a salary of Rs 600 per month because I wanted to be associated with someone from whom I could learn well. Later having studied further in the UK and the US, I became a stickler for perfection. Those days, hygiene was not an issue in India. I was often professionally isolated even by those who worked for me because they thought ‘madam ni requirement alag chhe’. Today, this approach is the reason why I have an impressive database of patients from across the world. My journey seems very smooth today but I began my dental clinic with one chair. Today, we have seven centres across the country and are in the process of planning more.
LIFE AND CAREER
Like all other women, when I started working, I often felt guilty of ignoring my son and husband Vikram. My son was only a year and half old when we came back from London. We were struggling to set up a good practice. Sometimes I would come home late to see my son sleeping, after having eaten some dry nashta. Ditto with my husband. When I started my independent clinic, I set my clinic’s timings according to my son’s school schedule. This was important for me. I perfectly understand a woman and a mother’s need to balance one’s life and career.
Things gradually changed. For example once there was a big industrialist (name withheld on request) who came from London. He had got 17 dentures by dentists across the world but was not comfortable. Someone recommended my clinic here. As I always do, I gave my 100 per cent to sort out his problem. After three years or more, we were in London and he invited us to his place. My husband and I went there and were pleasantly surprised to see he had thrown a massive party because he was so happy with the work I had done. I could see so much happiness and pride in my husband’s face.
That was my beginning. Today, I am in a very happy space. Yes, I have fought my battles, juggling between home and family and professional commitments. A woman is a natural multi-tasker. She often has to pack in 48 hours of work in 24 hours but then women are so well-organized and efficient at whatever they do. Whether it is the kitchen, the hospital, or an international conference, a woman can juggle different roles effortlessly with a bit of planning.
A woman is a natural multi-tasker and she can pack in 48 hours of work in 24 hours because she is well organised
Dr Darshini Shah is a dentist and implantologist who runs seven centres across the country, and treats patients across the world