Shagufta Hanapie is a living example for those who fight every battle of their life with vigour and determination only to emerge as winner every time. Spare a few minutes to know about her life journey…
Hardships from the beginning
It would not be an exaggeration to say that severe ailments and her life are closely entwined with each other and yet she faced them bravely without allowing the thoughts of failure enter her mind.
Born in an upper middle class family in Kolkata, Shagufta admits of being a pampered child in the family. She had all the comforts of life yet her parents always ensured that she led a disciplined life, “I was blessed to have wonderful parents who took care of all my needs. We lived in a joint family with 16-17 members living under one roof. But I was sick since childhood and suffered from various health-related complications. I was quite timid and sick child,” she says while taking a trip down the memory lane.
Surgery in childhood
She still remembers of undergoing gall bladder surgery in 1993 when she was just eleven-years-old., “Doctors had removed 72 stones from my gall bladder when I was just a child. I had to undergo also appendix surgery at the same time. Life was never a smooth ride for me since childhood.”
Shagufta might have thought that the surgery could be the end of her miseries. But destiny had cruel plans for her, “When I was studying in Class VII another unfortunate incident happened. My cousin fell on me. It hurt me badly. I sustained severe injuries in neck. The left side of my body become completely paralyzed and had to spend more than a months in the hospital. The doctors had apprehended that I might not be able to live a normal life. But thanks to a treatment of my father’s friend, I recovered within a year,” she says.
She still remembers of carrying medicine boxes to schools when children of her age brought chocolate boxes, “I was also an obese child and suffered with breathlessness. Moreover, i had to take medicines for my previous health issues. It was tough to live everyday and doesn’t give up.”
Decided to help people
After finishing her school, she went to Ranchi for pursuing graduation and took admission in Gossner College, Ranchi, “I studied there but couldn’t complete my graduation and left in the final year as I was again having some health complications. I came back in 2002 and was sitting idle at home and was just fiddling time. But I always used to help people in whatever I can as I was inspired by my father who was also an avid social worker,”
But once back, she began to face pressure of getting ‘settled’ in life. The girl who always wanted to do something of her and had fought all ailments with bravery was not eager to get ‘settled’ so early.
Personality development course changed life
She began to look for ways to divert her family attention, “Finally, I got a sigh of relief when one of my friends arranged a job for me in Kolkata which was related to personality development. I also did a workshop on personality development in 2002 that changed my life forever. I realized that people can literally enter your mind and read your thoughts. It was just fantastic,” she says as her excitement is clearly audible in her tone.
She took over the job at a salary of Rs 3200, “I used to pay much higher fare for my travel expenses to office every day. Still, I managed as it saved me to some extent from the marital pressure of my parents. I was happy with it,” she chuckles.
But she left a job after a few months as she realized it was not her cup of tea. Shagufta wanted to be an entrepreneur. She also tried her luck with finishing schools briefly but it didn’t work out as she felt the concept was quite futuristic for the Kolkata market.
Started PR Company in 2003
In 2003, she started her Public Relations Company, Launcherz, in Kolkata along with a business partner Rajiv Lodha, “We were four in all but two moved out. Earlier, it was a grooming school but later changed to public relation company. We didn’t even have an office space and used to sit in a restaurant whose the employees were quite generous to allow us work from there for longer hours. Our meetings also used to be held there. We used to stand in front of the restaurant every morning even before it opened. The restaurant employees were quite impressed with our dedication,” she says.
Slowly, she started getting big clients for her company and the business began to grow. They shifted to a bigger office and were working with quite a number of clients, “We shifted to a bigger office which was around 800 sq ft. We become one of the most popular public relation companies for life style work.”
Life was cruising well and she was running a successful business. But Shagufta was not content as life was nothing for her without challenges. She decided to venture into something new. In 2018, she eventually handed over the responsibility of the company to her business partner, Rajiv and moved to something else.
Started SHE in 2020
In 2020, Shagufta started SHE, which is an event company, “The pandemic induced lockdown proved blessing for me. It helped me to start a new business and finally I started SHE last year. I wanted to focus on women entrepreneurs and the problems faced by them. It inspired me to form SHE. My company also reflects my name and my entire life is now focussed on my company. We are doing events for companies and it has been running quite well. We hope to make it better this year as the second wave continues to subside.”
What is SHE?
SHE is a PR & Event boutique publicity agency based in Kolkata City .We have a rich mix of experienced as well as young talent, which gives us the necessary diversity to craft communication and design for a hybrid media landscape.
Since its inception in 2020, Kolkata as Events PR & Branding company, SHE has worked with widely known and emerging brands. Our practice areas include Branding and Marketing, Public Relations, Social Media Management, Events, Awards and Exhibitions. We have a 360-degree approach that delivers game-changing results to our clients.
What we do –
We innovate how to REACH, NETWORK and ENGAGE people. We create experiences that drive change and create value for companies, organisations, brands, and individuals. Involving people the right way creates relations and builds loyalty. Therefore, we always have our clients’ in mind when we develop projects.
SHE’s various platforms are
She TV, SheTimes.in , SheTalks and She Family
Her advice to budding entrepreneurs, “Never give up in life. Stay focussed. Stay strong and work hard to achieve your goals. If I can do it, anybody can do it.”
Well said, Indeed!
Chalgenius salutes women entrepreneurs and wishes Shagufta all the best in her future endeavours.
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