Entrepreneur Ritika Jain Ahuja always dreamt about getting into the National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) but was unable to. Now, the Chief Operating Officer of Big Boy Toyz hires talent from India’s top institutes, including NIFT.
Despite saving several setbacks, such as her college shutting down before she graduated, with her family’s support and her own hard work and determination, Ahuja restarted her education and began her career at the age of 36.
In conversation with SheThePeople, Ritika Jain Ahuja reflected on her journey from struggling to continue her education to her small job to becoming the COO of a leading player in the pre-owned luxury car segment of India.
Ritika Jain Ahuja’s Journey
“I was always confused about my career choice and I was an average kid. Being the only daughter in our country is quite a thing as society is always up for judgements. All my parents ever asked of me was to become an independent woman who never had to look back. So, I never took my career casually. I wanted to get into NIFT but could not make it. The college I got into shut down so I could not get a degree! I was lost. I had no clue what to do.
Dad came to my rescue and helped me restart everything. After wasting 3 years I went abroad to study design. Finally, I got a degree after 7 years. Honestly, it was a sigh of relief. I got a small job later but I wasn’t satisfied. All along, I had my best friend, Jatin. One day, we were just chatting about some ideas on the phone and he said, ‘You are really good with everything, come join me’. Something lit up inside me as I too wanted to leave my job to stay close to my parents. In a blink, I quit!
Back home, I started helping Jatin with his work, designing his new office and marketing for his new project. I started a small side hustle too, which was my own event management company for people who seek luxury party services. Pitched my ideas to friends and family and did events for them and things started falling into place. Whoopie! I was happy. I was my own boss and was helping Jatin. I was also satisfied as I did not have to take a penny from my parents.
After a few years, somehow I saw a downfall. I was lucky though, my work at Jatin’s company was becoming demanding with every passing day. I had made a mark and become an asset. Amidst this, Jatin proposed and we got married in no time. My husband has been my biggest support since I have known him. I have got the coolest in-laws ever. They take care of my kids in a way I could never do.
People judge me and say, ‘Lucky, your husband has given you everything in life.’ But, it does not bother me. As our desi girl PC says, ‘Potatoes are gonna potate, rotis are gonna rotate’. I am working hard towards my career. Today, I am hiring people from the best colleges including NIFT.”
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