TheShareStory.in is an initiative to build a community of Entrepreneurs, Founders, Startups & Industry Stalwarts to celebrate success & to learn from shortfalls, and to Contribute, Inspire & Embellish Entrepreneurship by sharing their exciting Stories!
As a part of our initiative, we invited yet another passionate Professional Ms. Nisary Mahesh for an interview with us to understand more about her corporate journey. She is the founder of HerMoneyTalks and Hubwords. Let’s learn more about her exciting journey, her background and her advice for our growing community! Dynamic, daring and a go-getter—these words are floating around the lady herself.
Please tell us about your entrepreneurial journey so far.
My journey of entrepreneurship dates back to 2009. Before that, I used to work in the banking sector, so I have an experience of 8 years in both Banking as well as the Insurance Sector.
Being a Post Graduate in Literature, writing turned out to be my passion. So, I realized my potential and started content services and an online branding startup named Hubwords in 2011. That’s how my beautiful journey of entrepreneurship began. My second venture is HerMoney Talks, which is a one-stop financial platform exclusively targeting women.
What is your Eureka moment in this journey?
There are many!
Being daddy’s lil girl, I had the chance to get in touch with the world of Finance and Business when I was a 10-year-old kid. Women are great in marketing, products, services but when it comes to money management we do not have many role models in the field. So, women empowerment is just in theories but not a reality.
When I used to work in a Bank, I met several women who wanted to take a loan but due to lack of confidence, knowledge, and awareness they were denied a loan. This was the moment when it dawned on me that I should do something for these women but a concrete idea was built when one of my relatives faced the dire consequences of financial literacy. This made me realize that I have to do something on this line. This was my Eureka Moment.
What qualities of yours make you a Superwoman in your niche?
I have inherited Financial Management Skills as said earlier, which have helped me in managing all sorts of financial crises. Another quality is that I am a people’s person and a good networker. I feel pacified when I am around people. I feel that I have the power to solve their problems. These traits help me in my business by understanding other’s problems and mingling with my womenfolk, getting into networking groups, etc. Being brought up in a business environment, I am a risk-taker. Be it leaving my corporate job or starting my first venture and then the second one I have always looked forward to taking risks and following my passion.
What is the most rewarding part of being an entrepreneur?
It is seeing my company touching new bars. This is because I love it when my clients give positive feedback. Being from Kerala, a state which still has traditional advertising in practice; I used to get my clients through word-of-mouth. These clients were from big corporates and from metro cities. So, I believe that happy customers are the best reward I could ever ask for.
You have been working on Hubwords for almost a decade. How would you describe the shift in the content and creative marketing landscape over the years?
The major shift is that people today tend to like visual content and quick bites unlike before. When I started Hubwords, people preferred to have long-informative texts but now, most of the media sites and other platforms have more interactive content. Apart from that, today people prefer more plain and simple text. Nobody wants to see rhetorics or complicated language. Today, companies prefer to share their content with their customers in a more friendly way.
Unlike earlier, almost every company requires content. Back in the day, we had to explain the need to connect via content to our clients. Today everyone understands the importance of Digital Media and everyone wants to come up with innovative content and techniques to capture readers and new markets.
How did you come across the idea of HerMoney Talks?
I have a great content team in Hubwords. Most of my clients were either from Fin-Tech or Finance backgrounds. So, it was natural for me to start a portal which has blogs on finance in a naive language for women. This was how I came across the idea of HerMoney Talks.
It was started in 2019 and evolved a lot after that as people started to welcome the idea we got – involving various programs like financial literacy programs, workshops, circles, etc. We are now planning to turn it into a one-stop financial planning platform that offers financial products and services.
What services do you provide at HerMoney Talks?
We do a lot of workshops like special-package workshops for housewives, homepreneurs, young working women, retirees.
We are the first ones to launch a prenuptial awareness program. It is necessary to see the financial compatibility and habits of the partner to reduce the risk of after-marriage incompatibilities and risks.
We do offer one-to-one consultation on all the segments whether it is finance, legal, taxation, or business consultation.
We are soon to launch products on the platform which includes investments, loans, and investment products.
Also, we are building women-led circles in the cities. They help each other to improve financial literacy and awareness. They get networking opportunities and get to know about various women role models who are financially savvy. We aim to mentor community members. We are looking forward to spreading the idea of women helping women in their financial empowerment.
Being a women-centered Startup, what is the culture at HerMoneyTalks?
We do not differentiate between men and women in our organization. But for women employees, we support women who want to Work-From-Home or women who want to restart their careers. We also provide them with flexible work hours and part-time jobs.
The message we want to give through HerMoney Talks is that women become equal partners of men and good-money partners in the family.
How does your experience as a banker help you flourish in a Fintech space?
My experience as a banker has helped me a lot because I have worked in loans, insurance, and investments, so I have knowledge about all the three segments. It helped me to understand the patterns of the behaviours of the customers and second is that helped me in the knowledge of the field, products, regulations, nitty-gritty, how things work inside industry, troubles, etc. Since I had the first-hand experience in this it really helped me.
Any future projects or exciting prospects that you would like to share with our readers?
- We are launching financial products on our platforms soon.
- We are also coming up with some exciting membership plans in near future.
- We are launching incubation and mentoring programs for women entrepreneurs.
What effect did COVID-19 leave in your personal as well as work-life?
The impact in my personal life is that I am at my home otherwise I used to travel a lot. This is because we have two offices, one in Kerala and one in Bengaluru. So, every month I used to travel to Bengaluru, where we have a lot of groups and we do a lot of mentoring in colleges and all. So, those things are not happening like before.
As far as the company is concerned, we were doing a lot of offline workshops that got impacted. We are now restarting the Online Workshops, but it is taking time to flourish because earlier we used to have programs from the colleges. So, now when the classes became online, the timetables have changed, and accommodating extra activities has become a mammoth task for them. So, these activities are on hold. While our workshops with the corporates are also on hold because of the pandemic.
Is there an entrepreneur that you look up to?
I do not have anyone but I have been going through the stories of a lot of entrepreneurs. There are a plethora of inspiring stories. I love the stories of the people who are not from a privileged background and have come from Tier-III, Tier-IV, etc. and have really done a great job. Because when you have a supportive family or you are from a well-off place then it is easier for you to do the business. But the people who do not have the advantage of the background or the location they have achieved a lot.
What are the biggest takeaways from your journey over almost two decades of active working across various sectors?
The biggest takeaway is that I am still learning. So it is like, for an entrepreneur, every day, every new client, every new project is new learning. It is like a journey full of journey and I am to say that I am learning. Another thing which I strongly believe is that if you are strongly passionate about something and you work hard for it, you will surely achieve your goals.
As an entrepreneur, we may be passionate about ideas but we may fail to think in the other person’s shoe and think about it. We need to hear other perspectives too. My takeaways are my advice for the readers.