It takes lots of guts and grit to leave a plush corporate life and start your own business and that is exactly what Jhilam Dash, our next guest on women achiever has done. Jhilam Dash, Vice President – Operations and Board of Director, Insemi Technology started her career as a CAD Engineer and today is the owner of her own company in the field of educational services. Her journey is truly commendable and inspires us to believe that if you can dream it you can achieve it.
Brief about yourself (personal, family, education and profession)
I am married woman and mother of one and 3 years back started my own business. I never get tired easily and am the first one in my family to start my own business. I pursued my masters in Computer science and started my career with Magma Design Automation as a CAD engineer. Later on I worked in LSI and Synopsys before starting my own company InSemi Technology
|With her family|
What motivated you to leave a corporate life and pursue your own business?
I always had desire to do many things and was never satisfied with just corporate life. My Energy level never allowed me to sit and concentrate in one kind of job. My head was always buzzing with multiple ideas and being in MNC my time was limited. As there was always a plan to start something of my own and with the support and motivation from my husband I started InSemi Technology as a non-profit educational services in the year 2013.
How difficult was it for you to move from corporate job to starting your own business and what were the challenges that you faced?
We always had a plan and it was not an abrupt decision. We were prepared for the challenges. Business is like your own child. It needs lot of time, patience and effort to grow. Business development was always the biggest challenge for me as I had no prior experience in it. But I love to meet people and to understand the opportunities and as an outgoing person it helped me to overcome the barrier of talking to unknown people.
As a startup with a non-profitable training concept it was difficult to raise funds. It took a lot of time even to convince the college management to go for these kind of programs with their regular curriculum. When we got the first opportunity as a team we delivered the level of training where the students asked directly for more workshops from us. It was really encouraging. In 2014-15 we conducted workshop in various states in southern and north east part of India. In 2014, we started our in-house technology and product development in IOT and in 2015 we started our design services in Embedded and VLSI but our training wing continued to be non-profit.
|With her office colleagues|
You do most of the university training programmes for free and there is no monetary gain for your company, so what made you start with something like this?
We wanted to build a eco system with product development, design services and training. University programs is the part of eco system where we knew we will be able to transform student into efficient professional. This model actually helped us to reduce our product development and R&D cost by hiring efficient engineers trained by us in college. We make use of college infrastructure to conduct various trainings. It helped the students to gain knowledge of current technologies as a part of the curriculum. Our programs are designed in such a way that it makes a student into a complete professional.
Your job requires you to spend long hours attending seminars, training programmes - how do you manage your time across all these activities and also able to give time for your family?
Yes, initially it used to be very hectic as I had to travel across India to different college campus for workshops, trainings and business development as that time I was the only one handling business development. My family helped me a lot. My son many times accompanied me and patiently spent entire day while I went about the business.
I try to finish my office work in office and when I am at home I spend quality time with my family. Initially it was difficult to convince my son that I need to go out of Bangalore for business trips and will not be back home that night. I never travelled when I was working in an MNC. But travel is always a part of business development. My mom helped me to explain it to my son that this is same as how papa go out for office work and back to home once it is done. So yes little bit of adjustment was required but with right kind of support from the family I was able to manage both.
What is one advice that you would like to give to working women or women who are starting their own business?
Be active and plan your time. Treat your business as your child and plan your day so that you don’t have to compromise either side. Don’t push yourself rather plan accordingly. Nothing is permanent and the problems you are facing today will not be there tomorrow. Opportunities will be there. Be adaptive and open to change.
|With her parents|