“To be very honest, my professional journey was never tough because of being a woman. It was as challenging as it can be, for any other entrepreneur!”
The spirit of independence is key for charting your own life. This is something that Dr Neha Mittal, Consultant Physiotherapist learnt early in life. And thinking out-of-the-box came naturally to her. Don’t we know that thinking out-of-the-box disrupts the present thought pattern to arrive at new ideas? This was the driving force that led her in her journey of setting up her own business. Accolades have come her way in her career that spans 18 years, which were for sure, feathers in her cap! Like she was awarded Best Physiotherapist in Delhi & NCR thrice, consecutively, and she had also bagged the Nari gaurav samman award in 2018; and earlier in 2007 she was felicitated by former CM Delhi, Shiela Dikshit – for contribution to health care.
Today being World Physiotherapy Day, it couldn’t be more relevant!
In this conversation, she talks to Shree Lahiri about her early inspiration, the support from family and friends, mentoring her juniors, achieving a work-life balance and more…
Q. When did you get the Big Idea to become independent?
Being independent is within me since childhood. When I was 6-7 years old, girls used to think of dolls and dresses, but I used to say that after growing up I want to be a doctor and have my clinic having board of my name outside. I literally used to visualize that I have to become a doctor, who can heal everyone.
Q. Where did the inspiration for setting up your own business come from?
During my degree course I used to join any clinic or hospital for voluntary work during vacations – to learn and gain experience. At that time, I observed that one can incorporate new treatment ideas and can plan treatment protocol only when one has his or her own clinic; otherwise, being an employee one has to follow the dictated treatment only. From the start of my professional education, I always used to think out-of- box and that’s not written in books. So, in my clinical practice I really believe in giving quick & effective results to patients, so have to apply customized treatment techniques to each patient, as with each passing year new concepts come & needs to be applied and, for that, my own set up is required.
Q. How easy or tough has it been for you, as a woman entrepreneur, to set up and promote your business?
To be very honest, my professional journey was never tough because of being a woman. It was as challenging as it can be, for any other entrepreneur! I believe if one is good at one’s work and have a command over one‘s communication, it doesn’t matter whether you are a man or woman. Further, it’s very important to draw a line between professional and personal life. If one is confident, qualified and have the expertise in professional skills, then one can be successful even as a women entrepreneur.
Q. Do you think women entrepreneurs support other women across the value chain of business? How have you impacted/ supported/ mentored the careers of other women?
That’s still an aspect that needs to be changed. Frankly, I also experienced that and have seen that that women don’t support other women too much. I am not saying that all are same, but still jealousy and competitive spirit does spring up between two women in a professional relationship.
I myself, have mentored and impacted my junior female colleagues and other women by emphasizing that firstly, there is no short-cut to success and secondly, honesty & hard work is indispensable for name and fame.
Q. How has the support of friends and family played a role in your being a successful entrepreneur?
My family has always supported me in my profession – by always trusting my decisions and motivating me to move forward. Even my friends have always referred their network to me with high credibility & trust in me, as I have never done any marketing for my work. It’s my work & word-of-mouth from my friends & patients.
Q. How do you bring about a work-life balance?
For work-life balance it’s very important that one should take out time from profession for your fitness, family & socializing. So, I always make sure that I do exercises at least 5 times a week. I give my appointments accordingly, so that I can meet my friends at least once or twice a week and can spend time with my family. I think there is enough time in 24 hours – it just needs time management.
Q. What is the road ahead in 2020/2021?
In the coming times (as of 2020/2021) I really want to do more of educative workshops in schools, corporates & sports, as due to present sedentary lifestyle, joint & back pains will be next epidemic if people don’t take timely care of their bodies! I believe that an ounce of ‘prevention is better than cure’, so I want to educate people on ergonomic care & preventive exercises they can do in their daily routine. Further, I have a plan to open one more centre in Gurugram, so that I can reach out to more people.