Owner of The Country Club and an interior designer, Manjula Reddy has won an award at the IWEC – International Women’s Entrepreneurial Challenge held in New York, recently. Her husband, Rajeev Reddy has been running the large Country Club empire for 30 successful years now, and the power couple are proud parents of two sons and a daughter: Siddharth, Varun, and Nikhila. Siddharth is married to Jasmine, while Varun is married to Bhargavi. Nikhila’s husband, Harsha, owns Granules India Ltd. Here Manjula Reddy tells us more about her life, work, and her thoughts on the festival of Ugadi.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I find joy in the simplest of things that I do. But at the same time, if I set my heart on something, I ensure that it is done and achieved. I have easily secured a leadership position in various organisations. While mathematics was never my favourite subject, I challenged myself and went on to do an MBA.
What do you like most about being an entrepreneur?
My passion for interior design has changed the course of my career as an entrepreneur. My line of profession now involves a lot of creativity and experimenting with different materials. I love to travel to different parts of the world to source products. I believe that an entrepreneur should be tech-savvy in order to increase their efficiency.
How do you balance work and home?
Being a perfect mother and a successful businesswoman at the same time IS POSSIBLE! Sometimes, it can become stressful for women entrepreneurs, especially when the children are young. I prioritise depending on the situation – whether I am required the most at home or work. Luckily, I am blessed with seasoned staff at home.
What are some of your daily challenges related to work?
There is no challenge in particular, but finding the right labour force to comprehend and execute my innovative and creative ideas is not easy. That is one challenge that I face.
Ugadi is here! What are some of the traditions that you follow? And what’s in store for Ugadi 2019?
For us, Ugadi is all about new beginnings. When we were in the real estate business, we would always schedule the launch of our new projects on this day. On Ugadi, doorways are decorated with mango leaves and raw mangoes. The house looks festive and the Ugadi pachadi is prepared. One ritual that we follow is that the older daughter in-law of the family is supposed to make bobbatlu, a traditional Ugadi dish. So, my older daughter in-law makes it and it is a favourite among the kids. They call it ‘candy chapatti’! This year is special because my daughter and son-in-law, Nikhila and Harsha, have a new flat and we will be having the traditional Ugadi lunch there!
What are your memories of Ugadi as a child?
As kids, my mother would prompt us to make new changes and set new goals. Like the fall of old leaves and the birth of new leaves and flowers, Ugadi also indicates new beginnings. My mother used to do this with us, I did it with my kids and now I follow the same with my grandchildren. I take the kids to the breakfast table, blindfold them and feed them the Ugadi pachadi. It is believed that the first flavour that one tastes is what their year will be like. So I make the dish extra sweet so that they first taste the sweetness and their year will be filled with happiness.
What do you believe makes a successful businesswoman?
You must always trust your team, but also have a check and accountability of things. Enthusiasm and passion for work, building a strong team and upgrading technology are all very important. Communicating and being open to feedback is critical.
What are your hobbies and interests?
I enjoy pistol shooting and have won a silver medal at the district level. Over the years, I have started doing oil painting and I really enjoy it. CSR activities are also of special importance in my agenda. – as told to Zainab