Seldom are there people who dare to live their dreams to their fullest extents.
In today’s day and age when information is available for free, provided one found the right resource for it, a lack of awareness is no longer a valid excuse that one can console himself or herself with, when faced with the confrontation of not being able to live their lives according to their wishes, many reasons, though there may be for not being able to do so.
Self-motivation is increasingly being acknowledged as a vital trait to possess in the twenty-first century economy, so replete as we are with choices of consumption surrounding us from every direction, both online and offline. In this scenario, one cannot help but wonder about matters like privacy and security. After all, technology is a double-edged sword. Just like how the dawn of the printing press led to the proliferation of scientific-oriented literature, it also led to the proliferation of not-so-great and sometimes downright evil ideas. Just like how social networks bought the world together initially and still do, it also amplified all our unique differences leading to polarisation based on beliefs, thoughts, values and ideas because humans respond to emotions differently.
Today, we at Bangalore Insider had the pleasure of interacting with the founder of Venus Detective Agency. A person who started up her own detective agency who’s keen to understand the role that technology could play in her business, she told us about her personal journey, which was nothing short of being a heroic tale of perseverance, determination and a fierce independence.
Give a brief info about your startup?
I began my own detective agency i.e. Venus Detective when I knew I wanted to start something of my own and by myself. I simply wanted to stand out in this male dominated profession. When I began telling people that I am a young woman working as a detective more people began coming to me with their queries. That is when I realized I needed to hire a few people in order to help me with the cases, I knew how difficult it was for females to get jobs in this field so I thought why not I hire a team of females and provide them with a safe and secure environment to be in. 70% of my team are females and let’s just say they are a bunch of good people who I am proud of.
Our firm provides all types of personal and corporate Investigation services. We work with the aim of providing the best service to our clients as per their requirements. We have solved over 8000+ cases and have provided a smile to the faces of many disciples. We are one of the top, leading Detective Agencies in India. We have been in this vocation for the last 12 years with the trust of our customers and their satisfaction.
What made you start your startup and what problem does it solve?
When I began my career in the detective field it was a male dominant space, I had to face a lot of troubles on a daily basis in order to move up the ladder and I understood after some time that it would not be possible for me to continue working in such an environment, so I left and began working from the grass root level with ‘Venus Detective’. Though it was not easy at the start by, I felt accomplished to be in the position that I am today and there is a long way forward. We offer various professional services for corporate, personal, legal and specialized services with utmost confidentiality. We have more than 10 years of experience.
Tell us about yourself, your previous jobs/ventures? What were you doing before this startup?
My journey has been full of ups and downs. It’s not an easy journey in any profession and especially when you are in the detective field. Everything is only good when you solve a case. I began my career after seeing an ad in a newspaper that said an agency was looking for a detective. When I went into the interview, there was hesitancy on both sides. I didn’t know what I was getting myself into and the man interviewing me kept asking if I was sure I wanted to apply for this position. I was surprised when I was offered the job but I immediately accepted. I was the only female field agent in the entire company, and couldn’t understand why.
But I was not yet sure whether being a private detective would be a good career option. So, I picked a distance learning program to do an MBA that I completed in 2008. Soon after, I began work as a marketing manager. But I quit the job after a year and a half because of a pushy and ill-tempered boss. Besides, I realized I loved spying more than marketing and went back to the agency where I first worked as a detective. After that, I started my own detective agency. I knew what I wanted to do and I also knew it would not be well accepted by my family or society. But this is where I stood up for myself and I am very proud of it now. I have come a long way since then and whenever I look back I feel happy for the choices that I made and the decisions that I took.
Where is your startup based out of? Why do you think that is the best place for you?
My startup is based out in Delhi. We’ve expanded in various parts of the country such as- Mumbai, Pune, Kolkata, Bangalore and Jaipur. I was born and brought up in Delhi and till date am residing here only. As my first job as a Detective was in Delhi, I have many contacts here. All this inspired me to start my Company in the city.
As a startup founder, what are you paranoid about? What keeps you awake at night?
“Salary Date and Dates”. My first priority is to pay people on time. Expenses of my operation team along with other payment and expenses. As a startup, positive feelings are accompanied by many negative feelings of failure keeping me awake at night. A fight with the people surrounding you, and the courage to prove them wrong is also a factor which awakens you at night. When you think about starting your own company, things change and you need to manage many things. Need to prepare a priority list and ignore unnecessary expenses. This is the fight of yourself with your dreams. Your dream awakens you in the Night.
Another point which keeps me up at night is what innovative idea we can create to expand our business. What will be more elegant for my business? How I can improve my Detective work with this world of technology? Expansion of my business in different parts of India. I always try to be available with every person who is in need of our services in any part of the country.
Who are your competitors and how are you better than them?
I am my biggest competitor. Every time I want to improve myself and think about how to do better in my profession. Thinking of innovative ideas which can help my business to be different from others. New creative things which can be done to give competition to others. Expanding my ideas which can improve my business and give the business a new height in the market. What will be more elegant for me and my business.
How hard is it to have a work-life balance as a startup founder and how do you manage it?
It is always difficult to manage work-life balance when you are a startup. You need to spend more time at the office, post office as well to maintain the things in a sequence, other things, along with a balance of family. After a long hectic schedule at the office when you are at home, you need to give quality time to your family. Whether it is 1 hour or 10 min you need to pay full attention over there. This is only possible with the family support. Without their support the things would be quite difficult. In this case I am very thankful to my family who always supported me and help me to balance both work and home.
Have you raised funding? If yes, then we would like to know the details. If no then please tell us if you are looking to raise.
Yes. First, I approached banks. Which was not enough for my whole setup. Their procedures were long and time consuming. Second, I made a prospects list from where I would get help for my startup. People and relatives hesitate to raise funds as it was a very surprising startup for them. So the second option also did not work well and I didn’t find interest to raise funds for my startup. Next option was to mortgage my jewelry and collect the funds. I visited a Jewelry shop and got some funds from there. The difficulties were high. But not bigger than my dreams. It never led me to drop my idea and move with the rush. I had to do something which would be difficult for others. At last my family raised funds for me and helped me to begin the startup. I am very thankful to my family who always supported me and helped me. Many difficulties came in the starting, but I never look back.
What’s the biggest misconception people have about you? Why do they have that? What’s the reality?
I honestly don’t pay attention to what people think about me since day one. I am like an elephant. What other people say it never reaches my ear so if nothing reaches my ears I would never respond to them and not react to it. When I watched Dirty Picture one journalist told Vidya Balan that you are not reading the articles about you what you are doing is only checking the pictures if you are looking nice in this picture and then you keep the articles and so the day you start reading about yourself is and that’s where the downfall in your life starts and that’s what happened in the end that she started reading all those articles. So when you start listening to others like ohh what will she say ?? What will he say because of that you can’t do what you want. So this is my fanda of life. I never listen to anyone about what they are saying about me… I just want to do my job. Nothing bothers me what people are saying about me, my company the way things run are very different from the other detective agency .. their fanda their concept everything is very different.
What gets you excited about this company?
I consider Venus Detective as my baby as I gave birth or started with it. That is why I am so excited about this. This profession is my passion. Nobody imposed on me. I chose it because I love the job. I was always very curious about this Detective job. It was my decision to reach height in this profession. I always want to be a Detective. This always keeps me going and motivates me to be innovative in my profession.
Tell us how a day in your life looks like? Your schedule for a day right from the time you get up till you hit the bed at night.
We women are born superwomen!! Just Kidding….. Every female in today’s world has to manage both her personal life and her professional life so whether you are a film actress, and IT professional or the Detective it is your duty to manage both. I try and divide my time wherever its more necessary, so for example if there is some situation at home that needs my attention I know I have to be there and if the same is required at work I would give my 100% there. Venus Detective is my first baby as I gave birth or started with it. My team is credible enough to handle the work on their own. I feel the need to be there in order to keep a check on what’s happening and how we can solve cases more quickly. By god’s grace I am blessed with a family who supports me a lot in all this situation and because of that I am able to manage both my personal and professional life. My formula of life is if I am 2 hrs at home I give that 2 hrs to my family completely.
I get up early in the morning at 6 AM. I used to do Yoga and then prepare breakfast. Then a call starts at 8 to 8:30 AM. With breakfast and other household work I have to manage all the calls. At 10 AM my office opens and the call gets diverted to the office sales team. Then I get ready and come back to the office. The whole day I have to manage my team. Some time with new customers and some time with existing one. Many cases which can’t be controlled by the team I have to manage. Also focus on the team working in the field and their movement. Around 6 to 6:30 PM my office gets closed. After a hectic schedule at the office, I reach home. I have to handle the clients with their queries. Along with it I have dinner with my family watching the broadcast on Television. At 10 to 10:30 PM I go to bed and sleep.
Tell us about your team and how did you meet each other?
My team is credible enough to handle the work on their own. 70% of my team are females and let’s just say they are a bunch of good people who I am proud of. I always believe in teamwork. I can believe them in every situation. They all are well trained and experienced in the Investigation field. In the beginning I had a team of 4 Investigators. They all work in different areas and impulse all types of cases. Till date they are with me. As the work increased the team also increased. In the start it was difficult to find female Detectives. Many were interested in detective work but due to family pressure or other reasons they refuse. This phase was quite difficult. For more than a year I have to just personally counsel many to bring them to work as a Detective. One of the female Investigators took me to her home to convince her parents. It was such an odd situation …Her parents sitting in front of me Asking about my job and their experiences were so weird. Thankfully they gave me some time to prove that their daughter is in the correct field. The thought was difficult and the path was long, but I never gave up. Today I had a team of more than 95 Investigators who are working in different areas. They all are doing a good job and I can trust my team.
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