WomeninBusiness.in feels proud to be associated with women who have made a remarkable mark in the world of business. We have with us today Ms. Ekta Maurya – the Managing Director at Mega Motors, Lucknow (Maruti Suzuki dealership) who stands out as a wonderful example in the world of women entrepreneurship. She ventured into the automobile industry, which is primarily male-dominated industry, in the year 2018, and under her leadership, she has taken the company to new heights ever since.
Automobile industry has been facing a downward slope in recent years and despite all the challenges, she has maintained the position of her company and supported all the employees during this COVID-19 lockdown phase. Ms. Ekta strikes the perfect balance between work and family life (she got married very recently) and continues to be a successful role model for a lot of women entrepreneurs of India.
Our team had conducted an interview with her a few days back and we feel proud to present before Ms. Ekta Maurya in our WIB Success Story.
Excerpts of her interview
I completed my schooling from Loreto Convent, Lucknow, and then completed B.Com Honours from Sri Ram College of Commerce, Delhi University. I went on to pursue my postgraduate in Masters degree in Developmental Studies at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai.
Your work experience
I cleared my campus placement after graduation and got selected for Ernst and Young where I executed various research projects involving different sectors like country analysis, executives, and companies. Later, I moved to KPMG where I got the privilege of working with various departments at the Central and State governments.”
How did the idea of starting a business come to you?
Automobile industry was a whole new game in my professional palette. My family has been traditionally into business for years and after working for a few years in the corporate world, I ventured into the business world. Mega Motors, Lucknow is the biggest Maruti Suzuki dealership in Lucknow. The inception of this business started with a dream and with the combined effort and dedication of my family, I was able to establish this venture. I did a lot of research before starting this business and it has been fruitful ever since.”
Which year was it launched?
Mega Motors, Lucknow came into existence in the year 2018 but the preliminary background work had been taking place since 2017.
What is your business profile?
I have undertaken the position of Managing Director with Mega Motors. Mega Motors, Lucknow is a part of the company, AKM MotorsPrivate Limited and is the biggest dealership in Lucknow. It is located in the heart of the city, Gomtinagar.
Why did you choose this business, which is basically a male-dominated domain?
This business came into existence with a vision to do something big and empower people at the same time. Most Indians dream of owning a car and now it has become a basic necessity for every household. Maruti Suzuki, being the most trusted and well-renowned brand in India makes it possible for a lot of people to have a car of their dream. It gives a sense of entitlement for people to be able to purchase a car. This business is challenging in nature and there is a lot to learn each day from this venture.
Automobile industry is male-dominated but that was never an obstacle for me. My family has never distinguished between the genders and has only taught me the value of honesty and hard work and not feels intimidated by the male sector.
I feel that if one has the willingness to work and grow, these things seem rather trivial. It is important to distinguish one’s worth with the work they do and not limit oneself to gender identity.
What were the initial problems in starting your business?
Being new to the automobile industry was a challenge in itself because we did not have a background in this field, and hence, we had to start from scratch. There were many strong players in the market and we had to set a place for ourselves. The automobile industry was undergoing a downward spiral during the year 2018 but I did not get discouraged with the market situation and decided to put in twice the effort required to sustain my business. With the help of Maruti Suzuki team and my family, I got a tremendous amount of support and learning to take this business ahead.
What problems do you face now? Any problem related to you being a woman?
In March 2020, India was hit with COVID-19, which was a big hiccup for the economy. We faced many challenges during these times that we could have never anticipated. With the complete lockdown of the nation, we had no revenue generation, but at the same time, we had to distribute salaries and incur operational expenditures. We ensured that we do not lay off any employee and keep paying them salaries despite all the difficulty as our employees have helped us build this company and it is my duty to help them during their difficult times.
Times have been uncertain since March and no one is exactly able to predict the market demand for cars. This makes it tough for us to set targets and achieve desired goals, as we do not know what the future holds for us. Untimely lockdowns have hampered our effective functioning and we are only working with limited staff at the moment.
Having created a professional work environment at my office, I like to promote more women at my organization and encourage them to take up whatever role they deem fit for their role and responsibility.
Do you at any point of time feel like giving up?
There are ups and downs in everyone’s life but my family has taught me to be a fighter in life. During my difficult times, I consult with my family and my partner for their thoughts and suggestions for the courage to move on with the tough phases in life. I practice yoga and meditation to keep my mind clear from negative thoughts and the mounting work pressure; this helps me strike a balance with my professional life. I like to put in through thoughts before making any decisions.
Heard that you are newly married. What difference do you see in your life now? Managing your business is easier or tough now?
Married life has been a wonderful experience for me. I like to strike a balance between my personal and professional life and keep both of them distinctly separate from each other. This helps me focus on both aspects of my life at the same time with equal dedication and commitment. I get absolute support from my husband to pursue my career.
What type of dealership business do you think women can take up?
I firmly believe that women nowadays are capable of doing any business they wish to pursue. There is a lot of scope for enterprising business opportunities like fashion, beauty, handcraft, food and beverage etc. Women are inherently skilled with a lot of knowledge and talent; it is all about conceiving an idea and putting it into practice with the available resources. There is no limit to what business women can do because in today’s time women are taking up roles and opportunities wherever they want and are successful in their pursuits.
Who inspires you the most?
My father and my husband have been exceptional examples in my life. They have been my source of inspiration and I derive a lot of knowledge and strength from them. I look up to these two pillars of support that have worked very hard in life and grown over time to achieve what they have today.
One should believe in themselves and rest everything follows.
Any words of advice to other women who want to start their home business of any type
Determination and willingness to do something is an empowering and enriching experience of life. Home businesses are a great initiative and give homemakers the window of opportunity to do something beyond their daily chores. I believe it is a great start for women to able to do something of their choice and manage their homes at the same time.
There is no correct time and place to start a business, whenever you feel you are ready to take the plunge just go with it.