“Some women fear the fire, and some women simply become the fire.” Our NAARI for the month epitomises this statement very well. A businesswoman by profession and an explorer at heart, she is the one with an element found in rarity.
Bold and adventurous are the words that reflect her personality. Be it conducting critical business deals or cycling between Prague and Vienna; she has done it all. This edition of India News features the Managing Director of Sun Tourism International Pvt. Ltd. and Sun Treats Pvt. Ltd. Nishitta Ghaatge.
“I can hear the roar of women’s silence”, Thomas Sankara once said. Women in every part and corner of the world are now making their mark and setting the bar high. In a patriarchal world they are fighting their way to rightful and much-deserved place on the high table challenging stereotypes. They are changing the world for the better and accomplishing herculean undertakings, where others would not dare to tread. INDIA NEWS brings to you inspirational stories of some of the extraordinary women amongst us displaying grit, kindness and leadership of the highest variant. NAARI is a column envisaged by INDIA NEWS Consulting News Editor Ananya Dhyani paying tribute to women leaders amongst us who are changing our world without much salutation that they deserve. It is our humble initiative to thank them!
Nishitta is bringing a positive change to the methods of business, along with inspiring many young women and men. Sun Tourism International and Sun Treats are the two projects she is passionate about. While the former presented itself as an inconvenience during a holiday overseas, the latter is a comeback from the pandemic. A recipient of the “Make in India: Women Entrepreneur of the Year Award”, she is the one to look up to for managing life gracefully while overcoming obstacles. She has several passions, including mountaineering and motorbiking and believes that a healthy body and mind are essential for a positive personal and professional life.
Starting a joy-oriented tourism business
Born in Pune, Nishitta had an early start to her career at 16 years of age. About her life’s philosophy, Nishitta says, “Life is not fair; instead of stressing about it use that energy on working hard.” Her philosophy has undoubtedly done her well and is evident throughout her work.
At the peak of her career in 2007, with sketch studios across Pune and Mumbai, the idea of starting a new business was nowhere in sight. Unpleasant experiences during her trip across Europe spurred her to enter the tourism business. “The idea behind a vacation is therapeutic,” she said. Most of the tourism companies back then were only focused on taking people from point A to B rather than making it an enjoyable and relaxing experience. While taking a stroll in Innsbruck, she decided that she wanted to start her own company.
Thus was launched Sun Tourism on 19 September 2007 and has won over 32 awards ever since. “The moment you have to question your decision, that very moment it becomes wrong, always trust your instincts,” says Nishitta, pointing out that she invests emotions in this company that others lack.
Adapting fast to change
Like everyone else, year 2020 has been very challenging for the tourism industry after being battered by COVID-19. During the lockdown, Nishitta knew that they were in for a long haul and made no secret of how low she felt at the prospects. But it took her 24 hours and a 10 km run to calm her nerves, tame her emotions and come up with a new plan. She decided to switch over to the Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) industry from tourism. She began her research on the FMCG market, something that always enticed her interests.
People questioned her decision to enter the fast-food chain and for starting all over again. But Nishitta was firm that she wanted to paint a new picture on a blank canvas. On 3 August 2020, Sun Treats Pvt. Ltd., a fast-food chain, was launched in Pune. The idea was to introduce hygienic and healthy food options for people of all age categories, keeping in mind the fear associated with COVID. She ensured this by setting up reverse osmosis plants on the premises and affecting safe handling of all raw materials. In a lighter vein she says, “On the first floor I used to sell tours to Dubai and Japan and now on the ground floor I am selling burgers”. Things are looking well for the business, and Nishitta is confident that the Sun will rise again.
Leading a disciplined life
Her discipline in life has been her key asset and a game-changer. Waking up at 3:30 am every day gives an additional 5-hour head start to pursue her passion. When she’d be away from home for months for work, she would plan for the entire month, even to the minutest of details of her family’s meals. Discipline and organisation form her regime on which everything else rests. As a successful entrepreneur one needs to wear multiple hats and multitask, which she embodies.
Success hinges on hard work and right people
Nishitta still feels there is so much yet to achieve and deliver. She emphasises that other than hard work it is essential to have the right people around at the right time, and for which she is thankful to her family and her business partner Ashok Malik, MD, Sun Tourism International.
Patience is critical to succeeding in life, and rather than focusing on failures and restraining oneself, we need to work hard and give the mill another spin. She plans on completing a 21K marathon and cycling across the length and breadth of New Zealand by 2024. Her goal in life is to keep learning new things and to inspire people, especially young women. She maintains there is a spark in every person, and one just needs to ignite it. Indeed, a NAARI that inspires all.