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Dialogue with the Dynamic : A candid conversation with Savitha Shenoy Ranga

1. Why you chose your respective field?

I am not an artist, but I have always appreciated art. I love what art & sports do, to the society at large. I believe art speaks across boundaries, across languages and makes us empathetic, calmer, more tolerant towards each other, which is so essential today, in a world filled with discrimination & hate.

It was always my dream to be an entrepreneur. I always wanted Mysore, my favorite town in the world to have a place where people young and old, from different phases of life, different regions, could come, find their personal creative space — try a new art form, pursue an old hobby, improve their technique, do fun activities with friends and family or just unwind and de-stress from a hectic work week. The Hobby Place was born as a result. And I am happy that, at the Hobby Place, we try to be as eco-friendly & socially responsible as possible.

2. As an entrepreneur, what was the hardest thing you had to face and how did you overcome it?

I was going to be both, a mom & an entrepreneur, for the first time in my life and the first year was indeed demanding and overwhelming. Nevertheless equally rewarding.

I think this life-altering stage helped me really prioritize, focus, plan and organize better.

Being a mom teaches you to become a master juggler, which is so important to succeed at business. What helped me sail through the challenges was having a great support system at home & work, which makes a world of difference. My husband and my team always backed me up.

I learnt that being an entrepreneur is an ongoing challenge. The passion that drove you to start your own business doesn’t switch off at 6 pm. You eat, live, breathe & sleep this stuff. And I believe, work-life balance means making choices that are right for the time & circumstances of your life. Fortunately for me, the nature & environment of my workplace is very accommodating. I am lucky I can take my toddler along with me everyday and while she plays/explores/paints and meets so many interesting people.

I couldn’t have asked for a more fun & flexible workplace.

3. The most memorable moment of the entrepreneurship journey so far?

There’s a saying “Choose a job that you love and you will never have to work for a day in your life” I am living this quote day in & day out from around 4 years now Almost every now & then, there’s something memorable, small reminders that its all worth it. I have met so many interesting & amazing people, made so many friends at The Hobby Place, which is technically my work place. We look forward to seeing each other, having a conversation and its so rewarding when you hear from them, that The Hobby Place is their getaway, their “me” time. It’s also a very happy & memorable workday for me when you see kids not wanting to get back home and negotiating with their parents for a little more time at The Hobby Place :-)

4. How has Mysuru influenced your growth?

I feel blessed to be living in a beautiful city like Mysore and calling it home. There’s a sense of calm and peace here that helps you with your creativity. We are lucky we don’t have to spend 40-60 minutes on an average commuting to work, school or to pursue a hobby of our choice. I owe a lot to Mysore too, for making me who I am & Mysoreans for the amazing response that the Hobby Place has received over the years. It motivates me & my team to work harder & keep getting better

5. Your advise to aspiring/budding women entrepreneurs?

If women are more supportive of other women in their lives, half the problem is solved right there, isn’t it. I have also been very fortunate to have an incredible support system; my parents, my in laws, my brother, sister & my husband have always believed in me and have my back throughout.

Here’s my advice to my fellow womenfolk, Support each other, be kinder & understanding towards other women, whether its at work or at home. Just take the leap of faith! If you are looking for the right time, there’s never one.

Whatever you do, whether it’s being a full time mom, an employee, entrepreneur, or both, do it out of love. When you do something as a calling, as a passion, you will do great

Most importantly, have a mentor(s), ask/connect with the right people. Go to them when you need directions.

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