“Motherhood affected my leadership skills and business philosophy”: Arpita Sarkar, Webskitters Academy

On the occasion of Mother’s Day, SME Futures talks to mompreneur Arpita Sarkar about how she navigates the intricate dance between motherhood and entrepreneurship with finesse and fortitude

   
Arpita Sarkar Webskitters academy mother's day interview

Start-up life is all about hustling, where each day brings its own set of challenges and triumphs. For mompreneurs, the stakes are even higher. One such mompreneur is Arpita Sarkar who runs her own online IT training institute in Kolkata and stands out as a beacon of resilience and determination. As the Director of Webskitters Academy, she embodies the spirit of a modern-day motherpreneur, seamlessly navigating the intricate dance between motherhood and business ownership.

In an exclusive interview with SME Futures, Sarkar shares her insights into managing the rigors of both maternal obligations and the demands of running a successful company. With a blend of pragmatism and passion, she delves into the strategies that have helped her strike a harmonious balance between her family and her career.

From leveraging technology for efficient time management to fostering a supportive work environment, she sheds light on the methods that have proven most effective during her journey as a mother and an entrepreneur. Through her candid reflections and personal anecdotes, she offers valuable advice to fellow working mothers who aspire to excel in their careers while prioritising their family lives.

Join us as we delve into the world of Arpita Sarkar—a woman who wears many hats with grace, determination, and unwavering dedication.

Edited excerpts:

Could you elaborate on how becoming a mother has affected your leadership and business philosophy?

Motherhood has significantly affected my leadership skills and my business philosophy. One great transformation that has occurred in me after having kids is that I have become more responsible.

Motherhood has bestowed upon me the gift of life and I love taking care of my kids. Likewise, I feel I have to take care of my business too, nurture it and work on the loopholes if any.

I strongly believe being around children not only rejuvenates you but also makes you develop patience. I now deep dive into the business, grasp opportunities, listen to new ideas and welcome the views of others.

I have become more empathetic, which has definitely enhanced my business philosophy. Also, I am more invested in building a sustainable business than creating immediate results.

How do you manage the rigours of managing both your motherhood obligations and the challenges of operating a profitable company like Webskitters Academy?

Managing my kids and work are my topmost priorities as I enjoy doing both. Kids and work both boost my energy so managing both becomes fun for me. I plan out my tasks accordingly, so that I can play, take my kids for outdoor activities, and take charge of my business when needed.

I set priorities that help me to accomplish my day-to-day goals. Mornings are always busy for me because I have to prepare my kids for school, so I invest that time on my kids and family. After they have left for school, I get time to shoulder the responsibilities of my business.

Therefore, I plan beforehand and designate work to my team members based on their strengths, and they deliver efficiently. I am a technical person, so I use technology to size up my tasks. Automating work helps me to spend more time with my children and when at home, I don’t think about work. I savour that time as it rejuvenates me and helps me to give my best at work.

Also, I would like to add that I have a strong support system. When I am at my office, my parents take good care of my kids, and at the office my team is there to take up challenges for me, when I am busy pampering my kids at home. Therefore, I feel grateful to have such a strong support system due to which I can work to my full capacity.

What morals or teachings do you, as a mother, hope that your job at Webskitters Academy will impart to your kids?

Kids are a reflection of their parents and I believe that preaching is more important than teaching. Because subconsciously kids learn by seeing what’s happening around them. Since I am always busy managing my dual roles of being a mother and an entrepreneur, at times, I do have to take a break from kids.

However, I keep enlightening my children about my work and about why achieving financial freedom is necessary. Now my children understand that. As they are growing up, I am noticing some positive changes in them. For example, they have become more self-reliant and independent. I hope they will grow up to be as mature, resilient and financially independent as they see me being.

As a mompreneur, have you encountered any unique difficulties or barriers? If so, how have you dealt with them?

There are many unique challenges in a mom’s life who is also managing a business. However, the biggest challenge for any working mom would be the ‘guilt’ associated with not making enough time for your kids. The guilt of not being around your kids all the time can consume you.

I have personally gone through it, even when my parents are taking care of my kids. A time came in my life, when my kids refused to study with me. It was then that I realised that the absence of a mother can make a child reluctant to study. To deal with this situation, I had to take leave from my office to tutor them.

Now whenever I get stressed over their studies and think that other kids who are being taught by their mothers are doing good, I make myself understand that this is a part of life and I have to strike a balance to coordinate things.

Now whenever I get time, I make my kids laugh, play with them and make them study so they enjoy the process of learning. I believe that spending time with your kids should not be done with a feeling of guilt, rather it should be planned properly.

Can you share a success story or achievement of a student or team member at Webskitters Academy that has touched you personally as a mother?

Although there are plenty of students who have excelled, Webskitters Academy specifically empowers women with career gaps to reinvent their careers. One such success story that touches my heart is of Sujata Shaw, who had to take a gap of more than four years because of her baby.

When she enrolled in our academy, she undertook the IOS development course and now she is working in a reputed company as an app developer. She is happy in her life now, acing both roles consummately.

What advice would you give to other working mothers who aspire to excel in their careers while prioritising their family lives?

My advice to other working moms would be that it’s okay to not to be with your kids 24/7. You can’t be there with them every time, especially if you are building your career along with nurturing your kids.

Get the guilt off your shoulders because in the long term it will benefit your kids as they will become more independent and responsible for their actions.

Eventually your kids will grow up and have their own social circle and then you’ll miss having a career. So have patience. With the passage of time, your kids will grow up and you will also grow as a mother.

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