July 2001 – I became a company secretary, ready to embark on my professional career.
July 2020 – Germination of my two start-ups: Discidium Solutions (Discidium) & Sushi Express (SE).
Discidium is a solutions-oriented entity focused on making services like advisory, business consulting and compliance accessible to start-ups, MSMEs and the mid segment companies. It is essentially a culmination of my two decades worth legal and compliance experiences with notable brands like Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas & EY.
SE is a result of my passion and love for cooking and baking. My spare time is often spent reading recipes and discovering baking hacks.
Establishing Discidium & SE, I have, over the past few months, ‘unlearned’ quite a few things that took me years to master, and ‘learnt’ many things that I am still struggling to master. I am often reminded when I talk these days that ‘this is not EY’ and that the life of an entrepreneur is very different than the life of a professional. I couldn’t agree more.
Being an entrepreneur is an all-consuming love affair that you have with your ideas, goals, vision and aspirations. There is no place for many activities that one would otherwise partake once the office hours are over, simply because there are no ‘office hours’ for an entrepreneur. The switch-on, switch-off mode is non-existent. There is no comfort in the first week of every month about salary getting credited; instead there is the anxiety of finding clients and getting paid. The easy nonchalance is replaced by anxious musings. I have lost the number of times I have debated with myself in the last few months about the journey I have embarked on, and the viability of it.
Was it an easy decision to go over from being an employee to an entrepreneur? No, it was not. It is not easy to think like an entrepreneur after thinking like an employee for nearly two decades. You mind is just not attuned to the larger focus that is needed and you often end up being shortsighted. My approach to conversations has changed. I have had to make a focused attempt to see and hear beyond what is being said and leverage on that opportunity. The sheer number of people I get acquainted to is terrific and I end up learning something new every day. As a person who is constantly looking to evolve, grow and push her limits, I cannot be happier than I am today.
Do I miss the perks of being employed? Yes, sometimes I do. I miss the ease with which I would socialize and entertain. I miss the feeling of being stable and grounded despite the events happening around me. I miss my lazy, not-doing-anything weekends.
Am I happier? Yes! Being an entrepreneur can be extremely satisfying. It is more so for me because SE gives me the creative satisfaction of seeing a perfectly rolled sushi being enjoyed and appreciated by my customers. I can’t describe in words the absolute joy of seeing a perfectly puffed up pita bread, or the swell of the cake being baked or the way my home smells when the brownies & breads are baking.
Discidium began out of my calling to pay back, give back to the society. My knowledge and skills acquired in the last two decades can benefit a lot of young entrepreneurs and help them make a difference and that is what fuels me to venture ahead. A conversation on how to structure a legal entity, or a discussion with my fellow colleagues on CSR or data analytics brings up a thousand ideas on how that thought can be capitalized & put to use.
It is an incredible feeling to know that I am growing richer each day, with my experiences and learnings, and the ability to empower others with what I have to offer. My journey of a thousand steps has begun :)
Hetal is the founder of Discidium Solutions, a brand that aims to disrupt the market and has quality, delivery and affordability at its core.
She is a company secretary and a lawyer with over 15 years of experience in corporate advisory. Read more