Book review of Millionaire Housewives
We received this book for a review and we are glad Mums and stories has been chosen as one of the platforms to give our view.
Millionaire Housewives –From Homemakers to Wealth Creators by Rinku Paul and Puja Singhal talks in a very Indian context. The challenges faced by the inspiring women featured, many of whom are mums are something many go through their childhood, growing up years, during motherhood and other phases are completely relatable.
Yet what marks them apart from many is the sheer determination to succeed. All the twelve women featured in the book are extraordinary in their willpower and show motherhood and entrepreneurship can be compatible. These are personal narratives spoken in length giving an insight to their personal and successful entrepreneurial journey.
This is their second book by Rinku Paul and Puja. Their first book- ” Dare to be” featured the stories of 14 women who gave up their corporate career to follow their passion.
Talking on writing on this book on Millionaire Housewives, Rinku shares, ” Just how many times have we all heard someone say “I am only a housewife” and wondered what is “only” about managing a household like clockwork, traversing the complex terrain of modern day parenting and so much more that a housewife does in a day’s work?
(Rinku Paul-co-author of Millionaire Housewives)
I think the journey with the book, “Millionaire Housewives”, began somewhere there- in the realization that the word “only” often times has a lot of longing hidden in it.
Many a homemaker has harbored this ambition of reinventing herself beyond her traditional role of a wife and mother alone but doesn’t have anyone to handhold her through this journey. On the one hand she has to contend with her own mental blocks that emanate from the fact that she lacks relevant experience on the other hand she has a whole lot of naysayers telling her that she is unlikely to succeed.
We therefore sought out women who had walked the talk; who had turned to entrepreneurship after being homemakers for myriad reasons and decided to tell their stories.”
The cover page brings the attention to a regular checklist that many mums have in their diaries or the sticky notes on refrigerator door listed like Milk, Electricity bill, Meeting at 2.30, con-call Tuesday – a common feature in many homes.
Among 12 interesting stories of iconic women, the very first story is of Ambika Pillai whom we have too featured earlier on Mums and stories. Ambika shares in length her journey of being in a loveless marriage and her decision to stand up for herself. This was a stance taken by Ambika who was used to growing up with taunts of not doing well academically. In fact her journey before entrepreneurship seems of someone who could not excel in anything, but she does take a stance for herself and for her daughter. With no experience in business or job, Ambika manages to make a mark for herself that seems impossible for others. She is of course today an icon and one of the biggest brand names in hair, styling and make-up in the country.
There are life lessons listed from each of these women who have not had it easy in life. Ambika shares ‘One cannot sit back and look at the creative aspect of business alone. It is important to deal with the financial aspect as well.’ She surely should know it very well having been cheated in business twice, but that didn’t deter her from ensuring she buckles up to march ahead.
What we liked best from her story is when she lists one of the life lessons as ‘No matter how many people claim to support you, it is you who has to stand up for yourself.’
Patricia Narayan’s story is surely inspiring. Dealing with an abusive marriage Patricia chose to walk out from the marriage with two children. She entered the food industry putting up a small stall on Marina beach, Chennai. She took steps to improve her financial situation as that of a parent providing bare basic necessities to luxuries to her children. However she received her biggest jolt in life when she lost her daughter and son-in-law in an accident. The spirit in her was doused until her son pushed her to re-start a new mode of business of opening restaurants in her daughter’s name.
The story of Anasuya Gupta of CICO Technologies threads on the determination of a homemaker who until the death of her husband hadn’t thought of any professional role for herself. She suddenly had to take charge of the company despite many advising her to sell the company due to her lack of any professional work experience. Steering into a complete business sector of construction chemical industry, Anasuya not only leads the specialized chemical company that has garnered over 100 crore revenue, she has been honored as the business leader of substance.
A take away point from Anasuya is ‘While as women, particularly as mothers, it is our first priority to develop our children into responsible adults, who in turn, can go out into the world and contribute, it is equally important that we do something more- for our communities, for ourselves.’
Another story that caught our attention was that of Joyothi Reddy, whom again has been featured earlier on Mums and stories. A story that is fit to become a movie as it is of this individual who is a child bride who under sheer poverty is going through phases of depression to frustration. But having grown up in an orphanage to be married at 16 and becoming a mother of two by the time she is 18 years of age, Jyothi’s story reflects helplessness. Yet due to motherhood and factors like her determination to make it big, she puts her life on track that appears like an unbelievable miracle to others.
The book features other inspiring women as Rakhee Vaswani- TV show host, author, founder of Palate Culinary academy, Veena Kumaravel of Naturals Beauty Salon to other inspiring moms.
Millionaire Housewives is a strong chapter in life lessons that one can imbibe from these stories on our way to deal with micro to major battles of managing multiple roles, importance of financial independence and how entrepreneurship can be a viable mode for women to create an identity for themselves.
Review by Reshma Krishnamurthy, Founder -Mums and Stories.