From JP Morgan to investing in childcare & education: Here’s Sonia Chugh
Sonia Chugh is tossing several ideas at any given time – being a mom, an entrepreneur and sometimes even a teacher. She is the founder of Mumbai-based daycare center
Her objective is to give high quality early childhood care and education that allow kids to lead fulfilling, successful and rewarding lives. Chugh is trying to create a carefully planned curriculum for varying ages of maturity and well resourced environment that is welcoming and engaging.
Giving out motherly touch to her business was Chugh’s motto. So, what better than a children school. Bagged a masters in computer application from Lucknow University, she moved to US. When she came back to India, something happened that changed her mind and directed it towards opening a day care. And, what is that? Read her full interview:
What motivated you of opening a day care center?
Before moving to US, I worked in Bangalore for few years. When you have a baby in hand, the important thing you first look around is her surroundings. Before she starts walking itself you start looking for a better school, environment for her. In US, those facilities were there. But I had to move back to India, and searching for a good school forced me to open my own day care. Here I find few structures in education while the money asked is big and professionalism is somewhat absent. So, setting up this school at some level was really my own need. My daughter was the first student here. The mother inside me motivated me a lot.
What was it like turning entrepreneur?
It was all together a whole lot a different experience for me. I have done masters in computer application. The difference between these two industries were there. A person like me, who may be suddenly started a whole new career ditto me only can understand what I have gone through. Taking a first step in a business is not so easy, learning, taking courses, researching, travelling, volunteering day cares and most importantly grooming myself took a long time. The main part was financial issues. To give a good infra-structure to babies needs a well funding. Still after so many days of this establishment, I’m learning regularly, working 27×7.
What was the family support like?
I would be very honest in this case. I had a very stable job, associated with J.P. Morgan as an associate Vice President, a good salary was in my hand. When I started thinking of leaving a flourishing life to open a day care, my family was not happy at all. They had their reasons, which is correct also. I was on at the peak of my career, in that time if you tell your family that you want to startup something else on your own, no one will understand the words. But yeah, I was kind of self-motivated and my husband was there with me all the time. Which no one saw, he recognized the entrepreneurial-ship skills in me. So, he promoted me and my school.
When you take a decision to start of something on your own, it’s like jumping into an ocean.
So, do you think these motivations has changed over the years?
See, when you take a decision to start of something on your own, it’s like jumping into an ocean. You have to swim away, have to be constant determined especially for a person who was already settled. So, if you have financial stability, challenging mind and a good support from family then you can survive. Without motivations, you won’t last long. I’m blessed, I have it.
Your greatest achievement so far…
Happy Minds is the greatest achievement of my life. I personally take care of the employment here plus it’s social responsibility also, we’re providing employment to almost 50 people here. There are 70 mothers, who would have left their job if Happy Minds weren’t there. I know this personally. They are just like me. On a pick of their career with a child, they were clueless about the future. Happy Minds helped them. So, definitely this gives me a vibes that yes, I’ve done something good.
What is your day’s routine?
I’m the person who’s behind everything. From training to checking daily-to-daily mails, from supervising everything to communication with parents, I’m everywhere.
What do you think the important reasons behind your success?
Self-motivation, hard work and quality-my three mantras. When you start something you cannot leave it. You have to be on your toes every time.
The school you started with so much care, what’s its future?
We’re definitely growing. We started this school with 6 people including me. Now those kids who passed from here leading a great life. We’re planning to open a night care center too.
Self-motivation, hard work and quality-my three mantras.
Did you reach your goal or yet to come?
It’s a journey, not a goal. There’s no limit to it trust me. You just have to be calm and keep on going.
What you do in your free time?
I do reading most of the time and love travelling.