Iyanla Vanzant says,
“The way to achieve your own success is to be willing to help somebody else get it first.”
In our #FridayFeature focusing on the #WonderWomen segment, today we’re proud to present a woman who helps others realize their potential and reach their dreams. Meet, Manisha Bhati, a Keynote Speaker, Trainer and Owner of Dreamhunt India. Dreamhunt is a counselling and development enterprise with a difference, offering courses ranging from career counselling to girl empowerment. How did she get into this business and what motivated her to give up her job to start this unique undertaking? Let’s hear it in her own words.
“I come from a conventional Indian family where women are treated as mere instruments for taking care of the household and children; in short mostly destined to stay within the four walls of their homes. So, it came as no shock to anyone around me when I was married off at the age of 18 as per the prescribed norms of my family. However, just five months within the marriage, and surviving through inexplicable strains, made me realize I couldn’t go on living like this. So, I gathered some courage and with my parent’s support, left that life behind.
Post that episode, I worked as a teacher for some time and then had a satisfying and respectable job in one of the world’s topmost leading investment bank, Deutsche Bank. But I always felt a part of me was missing or that I wasn’t doing what I am supposed to do. I also have a long-standing teaching experience of 7 years. Coupled with my banking and teaching experience, I had observed that most people I came across or interacted with, were lacking confidence or soft skills.
Alongside this observation, I could also sense the need for a platform where these issues could be addressed, in a professional way, but with a personal touch. Thus, was born, Dreamhunt India.
The biggest struggle with the fruition of this idea was getting the initial finance to start the business. Despite so many years of professional experience, my financial standing wasn’t strong enough for investing my earnings or to get a loan for the business from any bank. Asking for money from my father seemed inappropriate on so many levels. However, my dream did need funding. Hence, I did what I thought was the best way to gather the initial funds; I sold off my gold jewellery which my parents had lovingly gifted me during my marriage, and managed to amass 4 lakh, which I immediately put into starting and developing Dreamhunt India.
I knew this wasn’t going to be easy and that it’s definitely not a one-person job. Luckily, I found the perfect business partner in the form of Shridhar Waghmare. He was a colleague at Deutsche Bank and our shared ambition of boosting the personal and professional skills of individuals, was enough for me to believe in him. So, with our joint efforts, Dreamhunt India came to be in 2017.
It has been a slow and steady growth curve, however one that has been immensely gratifying. From getting recognition from the likes of Mr. Giriraj Singh (Union Minister of State) to winning Brands of India Awards in the Education category and even the ‘Best Training Institute’ award from WOW (Winners of Worthiness) publications, I believe we must be doing the right thing to have bagged such prestigious accolades.
Currently, our clients range from 15 to over 40 years old, because our aim is to bring out the best in people of all ages and gender. How are we different though? We ‘focus on one’ rather than ‘focusing on all’, where our one-on-one counselling and development sessions with clients don’t just consist of theoretical and inspirational speeches, but we also take them out for movies, walks, and other fun activities.
We have expanded our reach beyond just corporates to even schools and colleges. Schools like St Patricks, Rims International, St. Helena’s, colleges like DY Patil Engineering College, Bharti Vidya College, and Vidya Bhavan College of Commerce and corporate clients includes B2B inDemand, Dreamhouse Entertainment, Yatri Tours and Travels and Mantra Group, are just a few I’m able to recall off the top of my head from our clientele and work portfolio.
Through the personal and professional ups and downs, my biggest motivators have been my parents. Their support has made it possible for me to trudge on unknown paths and have the energy to move on despite facing several roadblocks. Besides them, my partner Shridhar has also been a great facilitator, in and outside of Dreamhunt. His ideas and inputs have lent an edge to the business for sure. But besides his professional acumen, his support as a friend and beyond as a business partner, has helped me grow as a person.
Through it all, my learning has been
“Give as much back as you can without worrying about the income, and you’re sure to get rewarded for it sooner or later”
Being a woman, one must always remember that.
“True women empowerment comes from being emotionally, mentally, physically and financially independent”.
“Realizing your purpose may take time, but don’t settle for something that doesn’t bring you mental as well as physical happiness.”
To drop in a message to Manisha and have a look at Dreamhunt India’s varied services as well as to get inspired or motivated by Manisha’s counselling, please follow the links below:
- DreamHunt India website
- Dreamhunt India YouTube channel
- Dreamhunt India Facebook Page
- Manisha’s Instagram Handle