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Of becoming a ScapeGoat and how to avoid becoming one in the big bad world of entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurship

I am angry. and hurt. And I know in this age of social media and trolls, I should remain anonymous. Hence within the comfort of getting on to this platform for women like me, and sharing my views, I dare to write today what is coming straight out of my heart.

A scapegoat is a term we all know, and how it came into being is equally interesting. Legend has it that in old days people would leave one goat out of the herd marked for wolves and other predators while taking them out into the pastures. The lone goat was at no fault, but it was treated as an offering to predators for the sake of the larger herd. Greater Good, whatever you wish to call it.Whatever would become of that one goat of a person, at least it saved the rest of the herd from getting mauled.

So, this time, out of the herd of so many iconic entrepreneurs, its Anjali Mukerjee’s turn. Reams of webpages have been splashed with what and why she did it, people making fun, taking potshots, while loyalists and converts defending her in full force. My take? What has the world come to?

Remember the times when our grandmothers and their knees were creaking under the baggage of excess weight , despite them holding a treasure trove of home remedies and ayurvedic wisdom passed on to them over the generations? What went wrong with them and their agony of getting old with so many lifestyle ailments? And cut to the present, we are facing the similar issues in our early 30s. Creaking bones, infertility, excess fat, body shaming, depression and even suicide in extreme cases, we all read , hear and tsk-tsk over it and move on with our next pizza slices.

I am one of the lot, and I can for sure say there is not a single diet I haven’t tried that suited me. From GM to Keto, and some renowned names in the country, I have tried them all. Even went to a few registered medical practitioners in the country’s most famous hospitals. All I could ever hear was genetics, not being able to work out, sleep, or think positively all the time. The results would be there but only temporary and it will always creep back, like a vicious monster just waiting to come back with double the force in a superhero flick.

I was a reluctant joinee when I went to Anjali Mukerjee’s clinic. My rationale was simple, biased even. I didn’t want to take so many meds and pills that they prescribe and I was 100% sure I would be given some kind of temporary relief like always only to find it creep back all up. I gave them an ultimatum that none of the things and people I have tried have been able to achieve anything but a few inches loss here and there in the initial few weeks. The challenge for them would be to bring it down initially, show me that I could loose weight , and I am theirs to experiment with. I followed it to the T, and lost 4 kgs in the initial phase. Was I hooked? Of course I was? Will I continue with them? Tell me why not?

Just because my grandmother won’t know her pastas from her lasagnas and was barely literate, does’nt make her zero authority and completely incapable of rendering me a dose of gently roasted and crushed carrom seeds each time I had my painful periods? Or my mother-in-law who always has a homemade cure up her sleeve for my child’s chronic cold ?

Okay, she was not allowed to use a certain title while holding the same title aloft in a different state. Is that a crime? What about the dozens of quacks faking degrees , cheating their way into the medical system and practicing everything from foeticides to IVFs?

Yes, the system should be rechecked, the laws should be watertight, and they should be same for everybody. Maybe she was right, maybe she was wrong, and in our country of more wrongs than rights, hers is a mistake that could have happened to any entrepreneur.

Its not a particular person has failed us, many of us may not have known her other than a name that kept popping up in media. But now, thanks to the troll gang, she is a household name, whether she has failed us, or the system and society has failed an entrepreneur, is for anyone to see.

Tweet: Its not a particular person has failed us,many of us may not have known her other than a name that kept popping up in media. Thanks to the troll gang,she is a household name,whether she has failed us,or the system and society has failed an entrepreneur,is

You know what I think, hers is a story of true grit and determination, at a time when diet was considered to be a bastion of celebrities and models, she brought it down to normal people like you and me. She was one of the pioneers in the field and pick up any of her articles in magazines, she would always stress upon healthy eating and exercise. Yes she gives medicines, but I think , and it is entirely my opinion , that popping these pills to cure the root cause of all diseases like diabetes, PCOD, hypertension, cardiac ailments is better than popping pills for these silent killers themselves.Believe me I have full authority to speak about this all because I have gone through all these pill popping ways myself.

Organisations like Ms India and Ms World and many others do their thorough vetting and put checks. The women participating in these events , from Sushmita Sen, Aishwarya Rai to Lara Dutta and Diya Mirza are all well educated, learned ladies who wouldn’t sit down and take nonsense from anyone in the name of losing weight. Then why single out one woman entrepreneur who showed way to millions?

Calling her a cheat is simply pan calling kettle black; completely discounting her valuable contribution to developing healthy eating habits with years of research, and inspiring 100s of women to take up the entrepreneurial route in the field of nutrition.

Tweet: Calling her a cheat is simply pan calling kettle black; completely discounting her valuable contribution to developing healthy eating habits

For all those who are lauding the law makers and catching her “red-handed” I would like to suggest to look back at the reasons they are doing it. Fact is, she has not done anything illegal. She was and is entitled to run her business like so many others, and she employs a batter of an army when it comes to registered medical practitioners to qualified nutritionists. She has more to loose by taking a wrong step then any of her not-so-famous contemporaries. If wrong was at the core of her being, she could have just taken the ultimate step to cover her tracks long back by just paying a bribe and acquiring licence to do so.

Yes, there were probably as many success cases as were failure stories, and those who didn’t get results or were endangered in some way, have all the right to go ahead and approach the lawmakers and consumer courts. Let law takes its own course. We know that there is no one size fits all when it comes to human bodies, and even the most reputed doctors, surgeons in biggest of the branded hospitals are prone to mistakes from time to time.

Most of her contemporary entrepreneurs -from Vandana Luthra, to Shahnaz Hussein , have always come under the wrong kind of limelight from time to time.

It goes on to show how difficult it is to be a woman entrepreneur in our country, and that too a successful one. Whether she did right or wrong is debatable, but all we have done in the process of this debate is tarnish her image, and deny scores of people hoping to get their bodies and good health back a reason to doubt her ways. In the words of Mahatma Gandhi, ” hate the sin, love the sinner” which in turn was taken from Bible. What we should do is take a lesson, laud her efforts in making the country a bit more healthier.

So here is my request to all the medical practitioners, trolls, fun seeking critics and everyone of the arm-chair activists. Before calling her a cheat and asking her to step down from the high pedestals of building a successful enterprise, curing lacs of people and may be making a few enemies on her way, lets take a stringent look at the system in general. Debate on making rules which can not be flouted or broken easily. But in the right spirit of entrepreneurship. One mistake can not negate the years of hard work an enthusiastic trail blazer of a woman puts in to her business.

So instead of robbing paul to pay peters of the country, lets focus on what we do the best, laud the efforts of the women entrepreneurs, help them stand on their very own two feet, and if they stumble, instead of making a mockery out of their fall, help them to get up and keep walking again.

Here are a few ways entrepreneurs can avoid such skirmishes in future-

  1. Be aware of the laws of the land- Hire professionals to help you go through the long winding laws of the land, and keep yourself updated about them from time to time. Take counterviews and crosscheck with multiple experts.
  2. Do not get tempted by short cuts- Sure, someone will share how it will be quicker and easier to make money and fame. But stay away from them if you wish to be in a player in the long run.
  3. Create a network and support system- You can claim to be a lone ranger all you want, but in the end , you will need the support of network and a system of like-minded women who know how you have progressed, and can stand up for you if needed.
  4. Invest in building your brand equity- Maintain an image, and stick to it. Live up to what your brand stands for, and make sure your customers, creditors, suppliers and followers know what you stand for . Do not waiver under pressure and make sure your value is not diluted.
  5. Be ready to brace challenges, at all times- If you have done everything right and ethical, there is nothing to be afraid of. And even if you flounder, be ready to bounce back with correct information and right stance. Do not give into fighting, you havent taken the entrepreneurial route for nothing. So be ready to face challenges at all times.

Anonymous is a QWEEN at heart and wants to clarify she is no way associated with any of the people mentioned in the article except for being a paid customer from time to time. The views expressed are entirely personal and QWEEN bears no responsibility for the same.

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