A slow and steady winner

Entrepreneur Manishha Paul speaks to Violet Vaz about her successful facility management company Winmark Services, love for taekwondo and why it is important for a woman to be independent

63When city-based entrepreneur Manishha Paul started her venture Winmark Services seven years ago, she knew that there was no turning back. Her husband told her that she didn’t need certificates to achieve her goals. He said, “If you have the will to achieve something, there is nothing that can get in your way. Just do things at your own pace and enjoy the journey.” Which is what Manishha has been doing so far, thoroughly enjoying her work and life!

STAYING COMPETITIVE

Manishha started Winmark Services, a facility management company which focuses on corporate guest house facilities and service apartments. “We have tie-ups with corporates only, who book our guest houses while they are in the city for a business meet,” says Manishha.

One of the major challenges that she faced when she began her entrepreneurial journey was ‘employee attrition rate’. “We had caretakers from different places, who we trained. We also did employee background verification check. But as soon as they got better opportunities, they quit their job,” says Manishha adding that they needed 24×7 service staff to look after the guest and the apartments.

Ask her what she enjoys most about being an entrepreneur and she replies, “Being an entrepreneur gives me the liberty to run my life on my own terms and pace. I can also take good care of my family and have enough time for myself as well.”

The confident entrepreneur is not in a hurry to expand her business. “I have my goals fixed and I can see myself achieving them slowly, but surely,” says Manishha who believes that her ‘sportsman’ attitude has helped her stay competitive and make her give her best every day.

TEACHING TAEKWONDO

While pursuing her BCom from St Mira’s College, Manishha decided to learn taekwondo. She showed immense dedication and enthusiasm for the sport which took her to the State level.

She also won two gold medals in succession during 1988-89 at the National level. After completing her BEd in Physical Education from Chandrashekhar Agashe College, she started teaching taekwondo at the Special Reserve Police Force (SRPF).

“Taekwondo will always have a special place in my life,” says Manishha who confesses that she met her husband, Kenneth Paul while they were both learning taekwondo. “Ours was a love marriage, I am from Maharashtra while he is from Andhra Pradesh,” she says adding that love knows no boundaries.

Manishha also taught taekwondo to specially-abled children at the Kamayani School for Mentally Handicapped.
After her stint as a teacher, Manishha moved to the corporate world. She became a Branch Manager at Reliance Life Insurance. “It took me a while to figure out that I may have inherited the business gene from my parents,” says Manishha who gave up her promising career at Reliance to start her own enterprise in 2006.

HAVING A PLAN HELPS

Manishha who enjoys travelling, trekking and dancing feels that if people love what they are doing, they will always be self-motivated.

She further adds that it is very important for Indian women entrepreneurs to be given recognition and encouragement.

“Being able to manage your family and work empowers women and makes them respected and self-confident,” says the proud mother of a 19-year-old daughter who adds that having high self-esteem keeps the woman healthy and in turn the entire family is healthy.

The advice she gives to other women is that it is always best to be independent.

“If you walk out of a door without a plan, you will lose your way. But if you leave with a plan and have the determination to fulfil it, you will find your way,” she signs off.

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