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Wonder Woman

by Webmaster Masala

Dedicated mother and businesswoman Nandini Popli Pavaphiphat reveals her secrets to having it all. 

By Deboshree Banerjee 

Nandini Popli Pavaphiphat, more fondly known as Mini, is currently the Alumni and Learning Events Manager at NIST International School, as well as an entrepreneur of two successful brands; clothing company Just DENIM and organic lipstick brand REMIC. She is also a devoted mother of an adorable young girl, Mischa. With so many roles under her belt, how does she manage to do it all? 

Once a naturally shy and ambitious teenager, Mini always knew she wanted to succeed in her career. As she grew up, she stopped hiding her aspirations and passion, and slowly became more self-assured. “I tried very hard to become more confident,” she remembers. “As I grew into myself, I knew that I could do things that were out of the box.” 

Equipped with a Bachelors Degree in International Business Management from Assumption University and a Masters in Education from SUNY Buffalo State University – The Graduate School, she started working at 24. Now she considers herself a people person who thrives and excels at socialising. Her job as the Admission’s Coordinator at NIST International School allowed her to explore her hidden potential. “I have the confidence needed to deal with people from all walks of life,” she says. “When you meet people from all over the world, you get inspired.” 

She was soon blessed with Mischa, who is now eight and half years old. However, while Mini celebrated the joys of motherhood, she didn’t lose her entrepreneurial edge. Just last year, this ambitious go-getter launched two brands; Just DENIM was introduced in May, while REMIC, run by Mini and her business partners Radhika Mirpuri and Ekta Kwatra, was unveiled in September. 

When it comes to finding the right balance between work and personal life, Mini says she has mastered the art of multitasking. “I don’t see anything as a burden,” she says with a smile. “My daughter is and will always be my first priority. I try to work around her, and sometimes I do end up failing, but then I remember that quality time is better than quantity. My second priority would be my full-time job at NIST, while Just DENIM and REMIC were hobbies that turned into business ventures.” So how does she have so much energy to be consistently productive? “I don’t know where it comes from,” she says, laughing.  

There’s no doubt that most working mothers face many challenges. For Mini, it wouldn’t have been worth it if she wasn’t passionate about her many jobs. “It all depends on what you want to do in life,” she shares. “The obstacles won’t be hard to overcome if your heart is in the right place.” 

With time being a major challenge, she advises others not to succumb to the self-reproach that most young mothers feel when they have to leave their children. “I struggle with guilt when I work long hours and I can’t spend enough time with my daughter, or when I come home so tired and I don’t have enough energy for her,” she says. “Once you know how to manage your time and guilt, the rest comes easy. I still make mistakes and I still feel at fault. But I also believe that you need to make yourself happy to make others around you happy, so I keep going and I never take up anything I don’t like.” 

With the number of working mothers on the rise globally, Mini shares her thoughts on the progressiveness of our Indian society. “Times have changed and everyone is balancing a number of things,” she says. “Whether you’re a full-time mom dedicating your entire day to your children, or a working mom who has to do it all, you are celebrating motherhood in your own special way. Nowadays, fathers are also very involved in raising their children. Working at a school, I see dads who are equally as involved as the moms. My husband is also an example of that.”  

So what is her advice to mothers who also want to pursue entrepreneurship? “Sometimes we think too much,” she says candidly. “Just take the plunge when your budget allows. Many people think that when you start, you have to do something big. I say start small and go steady. If you won’t try then you will never know what you are capable of.   

To view Mini’s trendy brands visit them on: 

Facebook: @justDENIM | @officialremic

Instagram: @justdenimbymini | @remic_organic 

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