Trustee-Chair cum Founder
This time VictoryTales invited Ms. Rashi Khanna who is Trustee-Chair cum entrepreneur and inspiring the world with her very unique idea of helping the needy women under her Flagship initiative to help the " Women facing a midlife crisis".
A seasoned business professional with over 18 years of experience both in a corporate setup and as an entrepreneur Ms. Rashi Khanna as an assertive marketing expert, she always felt many social issues lacked empathy, sensitivity, and compassion. Ms. Rashi believes in bringing the change that adds many smiles to mankind. She is a rare combination of hyper empathy and deep caring.
Ms. Rashi Khanna of “Ra by Rashi Foundation” is working and committed to reinvigorating the social & economic well being of the ones in need. Foundation has consistently touched and changed the lives of needy people as the foundation worked on many issues related to women and children, in the last 5 years. The foundation has developed strong community bonds between needy and helpless personnel by reinventing the meaning of change.
Ms. Rashi believes that seeing a need for empathy, our job is not to deny the story but we should provide sensible solutions. Our initiatives in our foundation always provide the momentum that helps us affect changes. Using data-driven models, we provide solutions that make a long-lasting difference in the lives of needy women.
On inquiring from Ms. Rashi Khanna about the idea to start “Ra by Rashi Foundation” and her journey as a Womanpreneur, she apprised that;
Ra by Rashi Foundation is about understanding, sharing the feelings, giving vitality and enthusiasm and to strengthen at the broken places with Foundation’s Customized and sustainable solutions. These unique initiatives of the Foundation provide the momentum that enables changing lives and not merely touching the lives. Our team is committed to reinvigorating the social & economic well being to anyone in need. Flagship initiative is" Women facing a midlife crisis" It has been observed that the Middle-aged woman experiences a severing relationship with a long-term partner. In addition to being emotionally wounded, women may experience a substantially reduced household income. Women in midlife tend to experience higher rates of loneliness (distress post-divorce or death of loved ones or kids go away for studies). These midlife women also reported frustrated goal attainment; health is a common issue at this age. We give it a name as "Ra by Rashi Foundation" as our members should know the ability to understand and share the feelings of others. The true empathy of our experts knows how to deal with the imperfections. That is the greatest trademark our Foundation has. Our success stories include:
Meals at orphanages
Initiative Maitrri - Social
Entrepreneurial guidance /skill development/startup
Flagship initiative: Helping women fight the mid-life crisis.
How do you find that the “Ra by Rashi Foundation” is the industry which is the demand of the hour and you can help the needy through your Foundation?
I feel that the Welfare Industry is the need of the hour and has been working day and night for our country especially in times of distress. We at “Ra by Rashi Foundation” have been providing regular amenities to women, children, and old parents in Delhi NCR. Our mental health experts have been hearing and talking to people who have lost jobs. We have partnered with a few HR consultants and life coaches who are helping our members with free training and skill development so that they can restart work. Businessmen have suffered the most so our regular calls to them have been a sigh of relief. Our industry is doing its best but I still feel there is a lack of empathy, hence we are more strong with our ideas of bringing a change to this industry.
On inquiring from Ms. Rashi Khanna about her source of Motivation, She replied that;
My source of motivation is that one smile, I can give to the one who needs it the most. I aim to provide strength in broken places. My inspiration is my Guru who has helped me to evolve me as a person from the age of 15 years. Being a spiritual woman I feel Love is something that always moves across mountains. People speak a lot but I usually watch their actions when it comes to business and work. My vast experience of this painful world and regular spiritual lessons have helped me in my vision and mission. The universe has chosen me to bring the change & I am passionate about it totally.
On inquiring from Ms. Rashi Khanna about the challenges/obstacles she faced in her journey so far, She explains that;
My biggest challenge has been "people playing the victim" This one mistake that a woman can make is wasting years of her life waiting for someone else to give her the growth she deserves. I faced questions from families who never let the woman in need to grow her skills, business, and emotions. They never helped them financially to enhance their social network rather mocked and pushed them. This was painful in the initial years. One more challenge that I faced was raising funds. That restricted me many times from doing good to needy as we had limited resources.
It is always said that pressure & stress always comes in one's life, On inquiring from Ms. Rashi Khanna, how does she handle the pressure and manage stress? She apprised that;
My everyday morning statement "I feel to heal - I have the power over my mind-not outside events. Realize this and you will find strength". My daily regime of meditation(spiritual class), yoga, and talking to my plants are my stress busters. I feel that the more real I am the less pressure I have. I remind myself each moment that I need not fit in the rules to help people, I am meant for that.
On inquiring about what is one strategy that she believes has helped her grow as a person/startup? Ms. Rashi Khanna said that;
One strategy as a brand and marketing expert that I use for myself is" I share my story to sell more". People connect with stories and that too real empathy stories. No one wants to buy bookish Gyan. Each character has a long story of experience in this difficult world. If one can connect they will stay forever. So I brand my story and trust me it works. I am a middle-aged woman facing many crises and yes, I have messed up many times. I just share the real story. This is hyper empathy for me. This makes me a larger person than this life, and also helps me add value to the cause I am working on.
In your opinion what are the keys to success? Ms. Rashi narrates that;
My success mantra is not one but I believe that:
Real women are never perfect and perfect women are never real.
Never leave your childhood friends, they know you the
Integrity and conscience go to the grave, keep it
Sufferings are real so always be
Know the real you like that will get you success: I am born as a giver, less as a taker, so that is my success
Listen to your heart always as brains are selfish. It kills the hyper empathy so best to avoid.
It is learned that you belong from a Business family. Can you please tell something about yourself also;
Maybe I was born to be an empath, Except I realized it later. My failures are my strength. Born in a business family settled in Lucknow, the managing business was in my genes. My parents gave me enough freedom as a child to incubate my own personality. As a trained Bharatnatyam dancer, I finished my 4 levels in classical vocals with many certified art and pottery courses to my forte. As a child, I was always strong-headed and was involved in charity and fundraising initiatives at school & college level. My initial schooling was at La Martiniere girls college, Lucknow, and finished my later years at Army Public school, which gave me a vast culture exposure. As I finished my Post Graduate Diploma in PR from Lucknow University with my thesis in the Terracotta industry, I immediately set up my unit in the village Chinhat, Lucknow. That was the turning point when I realized that I could sell anything due to my humble marketing skills. With Pottery, art as my talents I was able to strategize sales. Exhibited with Lalit Kala Academy regularly to get more exposure. I got married to a businessman in 2000, I was forced to shift my base to Delhi, and had to leave my business back in Lucknow. That is when I realized it wasn't easy to shift business to bigger cities even 20 years back. Things got worse as I got no support and by this time I had my only son in my life. Things looked bleak again as responsibilities grew towards the family. No one understood that I wanted to get back to work. Finally, my business mind started working on lines of setting home-based Chikankari studio at home. It didn't work out though and I decided to take up a job with a wedding planning company. One good thing that I learned early during this phase was that CHANGE is CONSTANT AND ONE HAS TO LEARN TO MAKE THE MOST OF IT! Till 2014, I was constantly in jobs but finally started working as an Incubator with early learning centers in Delhi. Working as an incubator and consultant who helped in Developing a Brand and Generate sales for early learning centers, helped me grow as a person too. Just to make it more difficult, I got ill with palsy and had to leave everything to be at home. Difficulties always taught me to fight them even harder. That was a turning point.
On inquiring from Ms. Rashi Khanna about her selection to become an entrepreneur and not to do the job anymore, She replied that
I have been lucky to experience both but I believe in being an empath more than anything else. It gives me a sense of fulfillment. Being an entrepreneur opens multiple avenues for me to give back to society. The Entrepreneur in me didn’t let me settle for less. Once an entrepreneur, always an entrepreneur. Hence I decided to quit jobs for good and start with my own in 2015. As the founder of "Ra Stores," it clicked for me. Back home in Lucknow, our family welfare trust would help women learn embroidery and stitching. I started selling those precious handmade chikankari apparel and accessories. Time was just right when I started exporting Chikankari apparel all over the world. It just clicked... My focus has always been on doing good work and little did I realize that in this world people will always question your turnovers. That is when I wanted to turn the tables. For me as the Founder-TRUSTEE-CHAIR of RA BY RASHI FOUNDATION, my dream project of helping Women facing mid-life crisis came into being. I believe in hyper empathy and always feel deeply about issues. No one ever heard me except my husband, who is one of the trustees of Ra by Rashi foundation. I always questioned what would happen to women who have insensitive husbands and families. What do they do? That reconfirmed my mission all the more. Along with my Store, I got into charity work with different NGOs in Lucknow, Bengaluru & Delhi NCR. I partnered with many NGOs to learn and see how they would operate. One thing I observed is that donations come in but empathy is missing. Very few are willing to go out of their comfort zone to make a life worth living for the needy. Few don't need money, all they need is to be heard and felt.
On inquiring from Ms. Rashi about What advice would you give to someone starting out as an aspiring entrepreneur? She apprised that;
Education is a must for all aspects. One should be well equipped with all kinds of skills and qualifications to do successful business in 2020. Times have changed and just hiring people to do your job doesn’t work. One needs to be well versed with technology, financial planning PR, strategizing as a package. We at Ra by Rashi Foundation help people develop entrepreneurial skills, mentorship and also help on a sustainable ecosystem. We have special packages for women (mid-life) who want to start their own. We provide Internships to college students who want to learn and experience the role of empaths.