Any talk of women entrepreneurs in Kerala invariably brings one name to mind – that of Roopa George. Born in a business oriented family settled in Palakkad, Kerala, Roopa is a renowned humanitarian, classical dancer, television anchor, veena artiste, and a reputed environmentalist. This power packed lady also helms the Director post of Baby Marine International, which was started in 1988, and Asian Kitchen at Tokobay, Cochin. Roopa is also the winner of several accolades like Kairali TV Jwala Young Women Entrepreneur Award, the Conclave Award for the ‘Best Innovative Women Entrepreneur’, and winner at the Kerala Women Economic Forum held at IIM Calicut. In a candid chat with HerMoneyTalks, Roopa bares her soul.

“Being an entrepreneur makes me the happiest woman because this motivated me to climb heights by igniting my passion within.” Roopa George opens up with a disarming smile.

Her confident words reveal her strong vision on business and entrepreneurship, and on life in general. Her entrepreneurial skills are partly genetic as she is the daughter of the promoter of the Mayilvahanam Group. The group has operated the first and still omnipresent bus service in Kerala, with its services dating back to 1932.

Blending determination and diplomacy for business success

Roopa is an asset to their family and is the binding force behind their every success story. Her exuberant style and management of her family business make her a notable mention among women entrepreneurs in Kerala. “My dedication to my job and efficient marketing strategies, along with active cooperation of our workers has really helped me in conquering great heights,” says Roopa, as a warm smile crosses her face.

“Our restaurant business involves the participation of all our family members. I am into managing and coordinating its requirements adeptly. Our happy customers are our greatest inspiration. So I try my best to create a better experience for them every day. We are not ready to compromise on the quality of food served in our restaurant and in the sea food we export.”

Our happy customers are our greatest inspiration. So I try my best to create a better experience for them every day. We are not ready to compromise on the quality of food served in our restaurant and in the sea food we export.

If a woman is determined, she becomes unstoppable. Roopa strikes you as a seasoned example of this category of accomplished women. Her philosophy of doing business is simple. A woman’s success lies in her ability to coordinate the workers under her and in influencing customers with quality products. For all aspiring women entrepreneurs in Kerala, and across India, she shares her secret sauce: being diplomatic and tactical in the arena of business.

A refined life with financial independence

“My financial security is my motivating force. I am well aware about making investments for my safe and comfortable future years. I have seen a lot many women struggling and choking to death when it comes to financial management. They are equally talented and goal oriented, but unnecessary subjugation to others leads to vulnerability,” rues Roopa.

The second generation restaurateur believes that financial independence is the greatest achievement for a woman. “It is our life and we should be the only decision maker of our money. If we can earn our money by our own skill and hard work, who else can manage it better than ourselves?” Roopa comes to a pause with this socially relevant question.

I have seen a lot many women struggling and choking to death when it comes to financial management. They are equally talented and goal oriented, but unnecessary subjugation to others leads to vulnerability.

According to Roopa, financial independence is her success secret and her money management capabilities have made her a woman of conviction. In her view, every woman must be composed enough to tackle their periodic mood swings and other internal struggles.

This would serve them well in two ways: in making precise and needful decisions, and in overcoming obstacles.

Team work and hard work as just desserts

Roopa is of the firm belief that hard work and collaboration are mandatory in any business venture. She dedicates all her achievements to her well oiled team of workers. Proper communication and team work amongst members has been the trademark of their success.

Associated with the organization ‘Women Entrepreneurs Network’ (WEN), she plays a key role in influencing and training aspiring women.

Roopa ends the chat on a thought provoking note. “It would be truly fantastic if money management became a subject in every school syllabus as a first step towards empowering women. Let us make the children dream a debt free life full of independence and joy!”