It’s so very exciting being a businesswoman – Anjana Datta, Interior Designer

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One gets to meet two types of people in business, broadly, that is. One, that think that you are just a pretty face, trying to kill time, your business being nothing more than the extension of your hobby. The typical rich housewife with a visiting card and a website: someone who is beyond facebook, but just about that. The second type is worse. They accept your professional competence, but are constantly looking for ways and means to short-charge you, somehow equating you being a female of the species with gullibility – you know weaker sex and all that.

Oh yeah, being a working woman and running one’s own business is exciting.

First they don’t want to give you a fair opportunity to bid. And one has to contend with every dirty trick in the book to get one’s drawings and proposals to reach the decision makers. Then, when by the dint of being the most aesthetic at the most reasonable price you are shortlisted, they start by questioning your ability to deliver the goods, stick to the schedules and stuff like that. Needless to say, one has to be at one’s stoic best to weather the storm, to put things mildly.

Then you are supposed to re-haggle the price, as being a woman, you are somehow expected to work at varying fractions of the ruling market price. And believe me, it’s the norm, rather than being the exception. And yes, even the re-haggled and re-negotiated payment schedules are not stuck to, with payment delays being an accepted, even standard way of life. With clients that do not timely pay and laborers / suppliers who won’t stay without their daily victuals, I guess being torn between two lovers, is a lot more than a mere phrase, as every business woman like me knows.

At long, read grueling, last, it is time to hand over the project. Only a few nit-picking clients screw their noses and make demands that even they know, are more in an effort to assuage their hurt egos than due to any genuine shortcomings on your part. With the feeling of the newly-wed maiden on her voyage to the groom’s place, you move on, handing over what you have built with your blood, sweat and tears. Sometimes, they are courteous enough to acknowledge your creation, mostly they are not.

Finally, when you build up your portfolio, one impossible project after the other and show it to the world, they will quip back snidely, “impressive list of backers, you have”. What the…?

Oh yeah, being a working woman and running one’s own business is exciting.

The bankers won’t give you the loan that you need. The suppliers won’t extend the credit that is normal in the industry. The laborers will not put in their full toil in the hope of stretching the work. The world won’t stop bitching behind your back. Sundry professionals on whom you will have to depend on normal courses will not let you rest in peace. You will get paid less, even while every other person will expect you to pay more, just because you are a woman. Oh, I forgot. On every single day of this test by fire, you will be met with derogatory comments and sexually explicit innuendos.

Oh yeah, being a working woman and running one’s own business is exciting. Exciting because, I didn’t study and excel in my chosen field so that I can mount the certificates on my wall. Exciting because, I didn’t waste a good part of my life as an apprentice, learning about the trade to while away my time. Exciting because, giving concrete shape to my inner urges, as an artist, an interior decorator is what gives me my kick. Exciting because, when I get back home to a hard day’s night, I can put my feet up, look myself in the eye and say, tomorrow do thy worst, for I have lived today.

Exciting because I am a single parent and I have to fend for my child.

And yes, it is always so damn exciting to thank all you guys who could have helped me but didn’t.

For more information and a look at my portfolio please visit:

www.innereindia.com

(Anjana Datta is a leading city based interior designer who has been adding her signature touch to a number of projects to rave reviews in discerning circles. Her hallmark is the Zen undertones that facilitate the unhindered flow of positive energies and are marked by clutter fee aesthetics. Muted lines, pastel shades, restrained use of design and the understated elegance of forms and feelings make her creations some of the most sought after, helping her create a niche even the connoisseurs raise their toast to her work.) 

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