Name: Ashalatha Rao
Business: Sproutamins Superfoods Private Limited
Location: Bengaluru, India
Industry: Food & Beverage
Reason for starting? I wanted to do something with my life. I didn’t like not working. I came to a point where every second was focused on thinking about what to do with my life — my company was born. I started my company as I didn’t want to idle away for the rest of my life.
How do you define success? Success for me is when I have failed enough times that those failures have stopped bothering me and it all seems more like a step that I have to climb for a better view. Also another measure of success for me has been to reach a point where everyone else on my journey, including employees, customers, investors and others, are satisfied because of their relation with Sproutamins.
Biggest success: When the company won an award for quality excellence from an outside nominated source, it was an encouraging message from the universe saying to us that we are doing a good job. It was a moment of dissolving all of our self doubts. We give high priority to brand awareness to be able to attain the identification of our brand across many geographical locations and not just India — for people to look at our name and know what we do and why we do what we do. We believe that once brand awareness becomes a reality, that is a success.
What is your top challenge and how you have addressed it? Handling finances in our startup has been a perpetual challenge. We have handled it by raising debts, mortgages and supplier credits. We have not been able to scale up because of our finances. Another subtle challenge we have faced since the advent of our company was that we were “ahead of the times,” and it was a challenge for us to convince the world to believe in what we are doing and to open up towards our business. This we consider a positive challenge that we have enjoyed in our journey. Motherhood changed my presence in the company, and I could not dedicate as much time to my work. However, I do not consider this as a big downside because I have managed a team and have delegated work efficiently to my team, so work is smooth sailing even though I may not be present every work day.
Who is your most important role model? Bill and Melinda Gates are really doing their bit in the third world.
Edited by The Story Exchange