“The best way to predict the future is to create it.” – Peter Drucker
Who but an entrepreneur recognizes this better? Entrepreneurs are this strange species that has stars in their eyes, dreams writ large on their faces and a fire in their belly to tread paths unknown. What drives them to give up their cushy jobs and cozy routines to set out and explore the unknown? Passion, yes! A desire to create something unique, sure! A need to make a difference, absolutely!
Today, I share with you the story of an ordinary, extraordinary woman entrepreneur. Ordinary because, she is a woman, daughter, sister, mother, wife, just like countless others and extraordinary in the way she has partnered in creating an enterprise that she harnesses with her blood and sweat and has taken to great success and yet managing a home and staying the humble, unassuming human being that I’ve always known her to be.
Meet Ms. Renu Saksena, Director of Travel Plaza, who heads a successful travel portal. Renu was born in a small town in UP. She lived all over the country. She did her graduation in Chemistry and later MBA in HR Management from Bombay in 1995 when HRD was still a fledgling career option. She was a people’s person and this was just the right career move for her. Fresh out of campus, she worked with Reliance Petroleum in their HR Department in Bombay. She later moved to Reliance Industries in Ahmedabad in 1997.
You don’t choose your passions; your passions choose you.” – Jeff Bezos
As she climbed up the Corporate ladder, she got married and became mother to a lovely baby girl. Her husband and she had always wanted to start a venture of their own – a good travel option that provided high-quality, customized travel solutions for people at affordable cost. Her husband worked in the hospitality industry and had an experience in marketing and she had an invaluable experience with people and a vision. Together, they complemented each other’s skills and decided to make their dream a reality by launching “TravelPlaza” in 2005. The husband-wife team quit their plum jobs and joined the fledgling travel agency full time. Financially and emotionally the family was plunged into a crisis, but their courage and conviction kept them afloat.
“Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice.” – Steve Jobs
She along with her husband has worked painstakingly every step of the way to establish clients and a reputation for her Travel Agency. Today, Travelplaza operates from a large office on upscale C.G Road in Ahmedabad. TravelPlaza also has offices in Delhi and Bengaluru. Senior executives from Premier corporates and PSUs are their clients today along with people like you and me.
As a Director, Renu’s vision has driven the company right from recruitment and training of the workforce to handling packages, accounting and marketing hands on. She works full time 6 days a week and also manages her daughter and home despite her hectic schedule.
”Genius is 1% inspiration, and 99% perspiration.” – Thomas Edison
Travelplaza today is a successful business! Despite severe recession and inflationary pressures, they have done well due to their excellent service and great, cost-effective packages. Each Travelplaza employee under the guidance of its founders endeavors to deliver you the very best travel option available. They specialize in customized packages in India and abroad whether you are a senior citizen looking for a pilgrimage, a family with little children, solo woman traveler or a bunch of men on a pleasure trip. Each can expect individual attention and a trip that they will cherish for the rest of their lives and that does not burn a hole in their pockets. Apart from packages, they also do Air ticketing, visas and passports. They are your one-stop shop for all your travel needs.
As an entrepreneur, I have seen Renu work very hard, putting in long hours almost every single day. She has been the face of technology and innovation in her company. She actively encourages utilization of better technology for generating more business. Her sensitive nature lets her provide a nurturing work environment for her staff. Being a trained HR professional, she emphasizes on employee growth and training. She also started an initiative to encourage homemakers to work from home.
As a person, she is very warm and soft spoken. Her gentle demeanor belies her immense strength. I have known her very closely and she is a woman of inspiration with strong morals and convictions who is also very driven towards excellence and quality.
I have the pleasure of knowing her intimately and of having been inspired by her both as a person and a professional for almost my entire life. I am privileged to have shared the story of my own elder sister with you through this post. Yes, we are spunky women in this family!
“Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.” – Albert Schweitzer