Home Relationship and dating Let’s meet Manisha – Solopreneur Turned Entrepreneur, Catalysing the Human Potential

Let’s meet Manisha – Solopreneur Turned Entrepreneur, Catalysing the Human Potential

by kyngsam

As part of the Morning Lazziness collection about sturdy ladies leaders who attained success with their unimaginable concepts, I had the pleasure of interviewing Manisha Shaikh, operations supervisor turned coach/coach.

Manisha’s profession started with a decade-long stint at a reputed publishing home. Decided to pursue her ardour of honing communication expertise in younger professionals, she embarked upon a solo entrepreneurial enterprise with Catalyst. Pushed by her perception within the energy of human potential, Manisha carried out a one-woman present within the soft-skills coaching realm for 4 years. Realising that her imaginative and prescient was actually reworking lives, she upskilled herself additional, permitting her agency to broaden into the domains of psychometrics, management growth, and organisation behaviour.

From its humble one-woman origin, 18-years therefore, Catalyst is now a boutique enterprise comprising a core workforce of six dynamic professionals with Manisha on the helm. Collectively they accomplice organisations and people within the areas of coaching, teaching, and human assets to drive significant and impactful options. Let’s meet this educated, grounded, a businesswoman whose core endeavour stays fixed – to find, improve and unleash the “hidden” human potential!

What made you give up a luxurious company job to going solo along with your agency?

The trajectory of my profession on the Occasions of India (TOI) soared in tandem with that of my private life. I began out as a single lady and a entrance workplace govt, transitioned right into a married lady, mom of two, and operations team-lead over a 10-year-span. As Scheduling Head (Response), Pune, I managed a 14-member workforce answerable for entrance and back-office operations. This meant 12+ hours working days, and although I thrived within the high-pressure atmosphere. Finally, it felt as if I wasn’t studying a lot. 

Regardless of the day by day adrenaline rush of delivering on a deadline, I couldn’t see myself working like this in the long run. My obligation’s calls for took a toll on the time I spent with my household, notably my little ones. This truth hit dwelling when my youthful daughter turned three, and I realised that I’d have nearly no recollections of her rising up – these lovely, essential milestones (crawling, 1st tooth, step, phrase) …completely nothing! That triggering emotion firmed up my choice to give up, so I might discover different alternatives, imbibe new learnings, and most significantly, attempt in the direction of a wholesome work-life stability. 

Was there a plan earlier than resigning, describe your post-quitting part?

The first purpose for not resigning earlier was monetary – my husband had simply began a enterprise which wanted time to stabilise, and we had a housing mortgage to repay. Our first precedence, due to this fact, was to plan our funds to maintain us by means of a 12 months (if no more) with out my contribution. Parallelly, I continued to guage my expertise/pursuits to transform them right into a potential enterprise. After we achieved the specified monetary aim, I put in my papers.

Put up-quitting, I keep in mind oscillating between euphoric and gloomy durations – days I basked in my freedom from company tasks and the times I grappled with self-doubt. I used to be usually troubled by the notion that I could by no means be gainfully employed once more. One of the painful elements throughout this part was the perceived status-loss, abruptly from ‘Manisha ma’am,’ Scheduling Head (TOI Pune), I felt like a no one.

It was robust to just accept that one’s energy and stature come from the organisation and doesn’t actually belong to you! That essential lesson made my resolve stronger, to carve out an identification rooted in myself as a person, one which couldn’t be taken away from me. This grew to become one of many driving forces in my preliminary years as a ‘solopreneur.’ 

After TOI, I restarted my self-assessment/introspection train, culminating right into a realisation of what actually happy me as knowledgeable. Therefore, I deliberated over methods to unite my love for coaching/mentoring with my English language proficiency. Additional, impressed by my aunt, a longtime coach/coach, it appeared pure to discover prospects on this space. 

What challenges did you face, and the way did you overcome them?

I had a administration diploma and a decade-plus of company publicity however lacked HR/coaching expertise. Firms had been reluctant to supply me coaching assignments. Therefore I discovered myself caught in a vicious circle (no experience-no assignments, no assignments-no expertise). Nonetheless, what I lacked in formal expertise/ data, I compensated with confidence and willingness to go the additional mile. I travelled to distant shopper areas, hopped onto flights/buses/trains, spent days in nondescript motels in C-Zone industrial areas; I grabbed each project viewing it as a chance to ship buyer delight, type a relationship with one other shopper, add yet another model to my portfolio. 

On the time, the web and laptops had been at a nascent stage, so I spent hours in bookstores scouring by means of administration/self-improvement books. I additionally made efforts to develop my insufficient tech expertise to remain related. To upskill, I took up an English language course, concurrently accomplished a train-the-trainer certification, and enrolled for a Diploma in Organisation Research at a reputed native administration faculty. 

Believing English-language competency to be a game-changer, I started courses from dwelling. Lack of funds shouldn’t restrict these striving to achieve their profession; therefore I ensured, 20% of my individuals had been pro-bono. Inside a 12 months, I moved onto coaching assignments the place I realized from senior trainers, finally progressing to impartial assignments. Over the subsequent 4-5 years interval, I constructed an in depth physique of labor and capitalised upon the immense potential in soft-skills coaching and management growth applications. I consciously invested in buying related credentials to hone my coaching/teaching expertise by means of Hogan, Marshal Goldsmith, Belbin, and ICF (to call a number of). 

When did you resolve to scale up, and the way’s your workforce shaping up? 

In 2007, I used to be approached by a VFX & animation firm that had grown exponentially from 5 to 35 workers inside a 12 months, wishing to construct management capabilities, professionalism, and a bonded workforce. My companies had been nonetheless restricted to communication expertise, however I undertook the problem to analysis/design a program tailor-made to their necessities.

The shopper was so pleased with the top consequence that he requested me to take up an HR challenge – creating insurance policies, organisation construction, efficiency administration course of, and so forth. Regardless of informing me that I used to be inexperienced on this space, he trusted me to search out one of the best individual for the challenge with me main it. I used to be each terrified and humbled, with completely no thought the right way to pull this off!

This challenge acted as a catalyst for me to hunt out and welcome onboard Michelle Fernandes, a proficient, competent HR skilled searching for the liberty/flexibility {that a} profession outdoors the company world provided. Our collaboration was an important success; since then, she has and continues to play an important position in Catalyst’s success story.

Catalyst team

As we speak, together with Michelle, my accomplice, we’re a six-member core workforce with an increasing group of pros whom we impanel on a challenge foundation. Over time, my imaginative and prescient for Catalyst has developed, too, and I’m joyful to say that our workforce has persevered in delivering worth to our purchasers whereas staying anchored to our dream of attaining a work-life stability. 

What precisely are the Catalyst choices? 

Catalyst broadly provides companies falling underneath three verticals – Coaching & Facilitation, Govt & Behavioural Teaching, OD & HR Consulting. Underneath coaching, we curate/design/ship modules on management growth, company etiquette, efficient communication, emotional intelligence, cross-cultural communication, team-building, vision-mission-values creation (to call a number of). Over the past six years, we’ve created/customised studying & growth journeys carried out over 4-12 months focused at particular cohort profiles throughout the organisations. In OD, our choices embody creating – HR coverage manuals, efficiency administration processes, and employee-communication processes from induction to exit.

What’s been your expertise of teaching senior administration members?

One key remark is that many senior leaders endure from a ‘lonely on the high’ syndrome – the relentless burden of expectations and the strain of at all times being seemed to for all of the solutions. But, I’ve by no means coached a senior chief who hasn’t impressed me with their excellent work ethic, introspective potential, and willpower. After every teaching engagement, I stroll away wiser and energised, merely by interacting with these emotionally clever, brave, gifted people.

Give us examples of the way you’re reworking lives?

Catalyst team

It is a difficult one to reply with out sounding presumptuous! The perfect testimonial of our efficiency is that Catalyst doesn’t have a devoted enterprise growth operate, and we make investments subsequent to nothing in sales-related actions. We’re proud to say that our purchasers stay loyal to us with long-lasting relationships. Additionally they go forward and advocate us to others. This reinforces our conviction that we’ve stayed true to our core goal – to be the Catalysts that carry constructive, impactful, and sustainable change for our clientele. 

Few prospects’ post-training suggestions:

“I reached out to Manisha to take Hogan assessments and associated govt teaching periods. My expertise has been enlightening and easy. She blends years of company management expertise and a deep ardour for serving to people. Manisha is nice at studying her viewers and tailoring suggestions to provide robust love when required however can also be empathetic and inspiring to get them to alter. One of many issues that impressed me probably the most is how she dealt with my questions on the various contradictory findings of Hogan assessments and the way she tied them collectively right into a “behavioural entire.” These had been my “a-ha” moments. At no level did I really feel judged or sensed irritation. Have loved our teaching periods, and I’m wanting ahead to persevering with my growth journey along with her” – Monetary Providers Govt & Administration Marketing consultant, USA.

“Our HR consulting mandate was clear from the get-go once we partnered with Catalyst; ‘Construct folks processes that impression productiveness but preserve our inherent people-centric tradition.’ Proper from working with the Administrators to the staff, Michelle & Manisha guided and mentored us to alter our method by wanting inward at our strengths and enchancment alternatives. Some HR & OD-related adjustments concerned rolling out frameworks for our organisation construction, creating job descriptions, efficiency administration, rewards & recognition.The coaching carried out by Manisha had been impactful but enjoyable. The training was immense, and the person teaching periods with Senior Administration workforce had been super-helpful. We as Administrators discovered our strengths, certainly one of our administrators even enthusiastic about discovering her true calling whereas bringing in one other, who turned to be an important success. Michelle was extraordinarily simple and clear throughout one-on-ones efficiency value determinations and in addition aided in mapping market compensation and ability with the worker.

Thanks for supporting in bringing position readability among the many Administrators main us with unity in the direction of a standard aim. You each are a blessing to the Legacy household, we by no means felt you had been consultants, extra like certainly one of us, to the extent of treating me as your youthful brother whose success you cared for!” – Naresh Vaswani, CEO & MD (Legacy Life House)

How did Catalyst take care of the pandemic scenario?

When the pandemic started to loom in March 2020, our purchasers placed on maintain all ongoing classroom and training initiatives till additional discover. In the course of the lockdown, realising that the scenario was not short-term, we started asking ourselves how we might evolve to proceed to serve our purchasers in these unsure instances?

Agility and innovativeness had been required to climate this storm; we actioned a number of initiatives to seamlessly transition into the net area. This meant infinite hours on the cellphone with an outdated good friend and IT visionary, Vijayan. We focussed on upgrading our web site/coaching instruments, a essential step in the direction of delivering the identical high quality and impression we had been reputed for. 

Come 1st June 2020; we had been able to roll. We inspired purchasers to strive our digital choices, making certain to not supply something pro-bono, understanding it could be a disservice not solely to the trainers/consultants but additionally to the sphere of coaching/consulting at massive. Our efforts to adapt to the ‘new regular’ proved to be a hit, and we’re grateful to the purchasers who gave us the chance to showcase our potential, but once more. 

Have you ever managed to search out the proper work-life stability you craved for?

For probably the most half, I can say, my colleagues and I are very near attaining the work-life stability we sought. This, nevertheless, shouldn’t be the idyllic scenario one could think about. The most important downside of performing independently is to just accept that we’ll be disadvantaged of the soundness of a gradual month-to-month paycheque and the perks that full-time workers of huge organisations get pleasure from. I admit, there are occasions we’re busier, extra stretched than we’d wish to be, however we collaborate, share the load, and handle. The perfect a part of a close-knit workforce is understanding now we have one another’s again, come what could. 

Inform us in regards to the individual/s who performed a major position in your profession. 

I’m actually blessed to have this set of individuals round me who helped me make this journey a actuality. 

My mom, Iris, is an absolute pillar of energy. All this could have been unimaginable with out her assist in caring for my little ones throughout TOI’s lengthy working hours and subsequently after I started travelling often for coaching periods. My aunt Indu’s recommendation, enabled me to make sound selections and make clever decisions. 

The wind beneath my wings, my husband, Basheer – was a gradual sounding board for my concepts/ambitions. Now, he juggles between the roles of Catalyst’s enterprise advisor and senior English language coach/coach. My daughters, Anisa and Sameera (now of their 20’s), are my greatest cheerleaders; I owe my understanding of this fast-changing world to their insightful inputs.

My sisters Aarti & Sapna continually inspired/pushed me to continue to grow. In reality, my 1st company project pitch was facilitated by Aarti, who launched me to a good friend of hers – MD of a giant Pune-based forging firm. That challenge acted as a stepping stone for future assignments; I’ll at all times be indebted to them for the belief they positioned in a younger, uncooked, trainer-in-the-making. I used to be privileged to go on to do glorious work with this agency for over a decade. 

Catalyst’s future plans?

Catalyst team

Catalyst has and at all times will favour high quality over amount. We aren’t pursuing large work volumes; moderately, we emphasise value-building for our prospects. Our future plans contain delivering sustainable and constructive impression for our shopper companions, steady studying, skill-building, and creating progressive companies and options whereas remaining related on this VUCA (risky, unsure, complicated, and ambiguous) world.

Your recommendation to others who could need to carve their very own path?

That’s tough to say as a result of everybody is exclusive, and their context can also be distinctive. What is likely to be one of the best plan for me may not apply to another person. As a basically risk-averse and inherently cautious individual, I wanted monetary safety earlier than quitting my job. The method I used was to begin small and construct my apply as coach/coach over an 18-year span. Some could discover this tempo gradual and like a steeper, greater, quicker profession observe. 

Nevertheless, I can say this for positive – be self-aware and trustworthy with your self, perceive what you actually worth. Don’t get swayed by ‘shoulds and should-haves, peer strain, and comparisons. Introspect and clearly determine your life’s imaginative and prescient and mission, then make a stable motion plan to realize it. Plan your work and work your plan – day-to-day, week by week, and also you’ll get there. Lastly, by no means cease studying – make investments time, effort, and cash to maintain your self abreast with the most recent developments in your area. 

Manisha Shaikh | LinkedIn Founder, Catalyst


Catalyst Facilitating Change | LinkedIn

Catalyst-Facilitating Change | Facebook

Mail: [email protected]

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