“It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light.”
Millionaire- a title every person wishes to achieve. Don’t we all dream of having luxurious bungalows with spacious rooms, several big ticket and latest models of Mercedes Benz and private jets to explore the whole world? If you are a lady, you might be thinking of grabbing timeless and voguish diamonds complemented with trendy clothes that make you the epitome of Panache.
However, despite of being a millionaire, Patricia Narayan, receiver of Best Woman Entrepreneur Award by FICCI has a distinct opinion. She still leads her life in a simplistic yet peaceful way, probably because of the insights she encountered while enduring heart rendering hardships.
Patricia, a Catholic got married to a Hindu Brahmin when she was 17 years old. The fact that he was 13 years older than her didn’t seem to create a hurdle on her path of love. But little did she know that she was getting married to adversity. Her husband turned out to be an alcoholic and drug addict and regardless of trying very hard she couldn’t get him out of his addiction. Ultimately she was thrown out of the house with her two little naive kids. Although her father didn’t forgive her for marrying a Hindu, he allowed her to stay with him. From that moment, she decided to fight her battle of survival alone.
In order to be economically independent, she started making Jams, Pickles and Squashes at home and considered even a meager income of ten rupees a blessing. Her father’s friend ran a school for handicapped children and offered her a mobile cart if she would employ at least two handicapped people. She agreed and sold items like Samosas, Cutlets, Fresh Juice along with Tea and Coffee on Marina Beach. This wasn’t a facile task since she had to take several rounds of the office for a year with her two year old boy in her arms to get permission. One day she managed to sell only one cup of coffee for 50 paise and now the daily total sales from her chain of restaurants are around 2 lakh rupees.
Patricia was willing to work persistently round the clock. She had a fire within her to become a somebody from nobody. She believed she could be successful without anybody’s help or favors. Her dedication offered her an opportunity to work in an office canteen. She took up the job but didn’t abandon her cart business at the beach. After that moment she kept climbing the ladder of unwavering success and even worked for a government training school.
In 1998, she partnered with Sangeetha restaurant group. She was content with the way things were working out. But in 2004, grief struck her again. She lost her daughter in a car accident. Patricia says her newly married daughter had called her just a few minutes before the accident. In her daughter’s memory, her son opened the first restaurant named Sandeepha. It was certainly a difficult time for her, but she resigned to god’s will and once again decided to rise up against all odds.
Today, Sandeepha restaurant has around 19 outlets in Chennai. Her aim is to enhance the brand Sandeepha and take it to greater heights. She advices budding entrepreneurs to never compromise on quality and lose self-confidence in any circumstances.
Patricia had every reason to quit and succumb to her difficulties. But she chose the other way around. People are even afraid to think big and the biggest obstacle to victory is Fear. If you have an urge to prove yourself and move ahead, nothing can stop you. If Patricia can, why can’t you?