Meet Monika, a woman who turned obstacles into opportunities with her indomitable spirit. This is how her experiences motivated her to fight harder and be stronger.
Shell India brings to us the inspiring story of Monika, as part of their recent campaign #GreatThingsHappenWhenWeMove. Article sponsored by Shell.
At first glance, 33-year-old Monika’s life may seem ordinary. Like hundreds of women, she too wakes up early to finish all her chores, gets her kids ready for school and then trots off to work as the owner of a company. But look closer and you’ll find that Monika has turned every obstacle coming her way into an opportunity to learn and excel. Aside from juggling her work and family life, it’s her enthralling story that makes her the go-getter she is today.
Born into a poor farmer family, in a small town called Hassan in Karnataka, Monika faced several hardships growing up. But these experiences motivated her to fight harder and be stronger. And one way of achieving that was to get a good education and become independent.
After completing her BCom from Hassan, Monika moved to Bengaluru post marriage. She then completed her MCom and landed herself a job in a leading bank. What she wanted was to earn well enough to support her family, especially her husband, who is a mechanic by profession. She wanted to support her husband and to reach a point where he wouldn’t have to work as a mechanic anymore.
“I was not ready to settle for a bank job. I wanted to start my own business and being my own boss has been the best thing,” says Monika, who with the help of her husband started her own automobile shop next to his garage three years ago.
Today, she is one of the few women retailers working with Shell and running an automobile shop in the city. “I did not have much knowledge about automobiles so my husband had to teach me a lot from scratch. Slowly, my interest in the sector grew, which reflected in the business positively. It was not just my husband but also Shell’s support that helped me carve a successful career,” she adds. With Shell’s continued help Monika was able to overcome a number of hurdles, especially financial. Compared to her job at the bank, she saw a 70% growth in her income.
However, despite all the progress she made, her business took a substantial dip due to the pandemic last year. “We had to manage paying off a Rs 25,000 EMI for a home loan, in addition to the rent for the shop worth Rs 16,000.”
But then, a saving grace helped the couple survive through this dark time.
Normally, every week a Shell distributor sales representative visits the retailer for payment collection. But as a token of appreciation and support, Shell decided to pause the collection during the lockdown last year, giving them more time to gain financial stability.
“Shell’s support helped us get back on our feet and restart the business post the lockdown. Things have begun to fall into place and income has improved. Now, I am planning to open another franchise and increase my income and accumulate more savings, so that in future, if my husband decides to quit working as a mechanic, he can do so without any fear,” she concludes.
Shell India recently unveiled the campaign, ‘Great things happen when we move’ in their continued quest to be a trusted partner and to help build the country. Through this campaign, Shell aims to celebrate the indomitable spirit of Indians, their dreams, and aspirations along with their inspiring journeys. The campaign encourages Indian women to keep moving by highlighting the stirring stories of women, the core assertion of their stories is to establish that mobility is a key enabler of people’s progress.