Ritu Grover’s TGH Lifestyle Services Pvt. Ltd. ( TGH ) works on the dictum: Just focus on your company’s core business and leave the rest to us. This “rest” includes providing her clients the services and solutions for investment plans, event management, concierge, arranging sessions on motivation/stress management, travel assistance, passport work , mailroom management, booking destination tickets, front-desk management ,corporate gifting (the list is endless); thereby ensuring the corporate employees get the work-life balance. No wonder today TGH boasts of big names like Aditya Birla, Tata Consultancy Services, Dell, Microsoft, Citibank, Deloitte, HSBC ,as its clients.
Started 20 years back, Ms. Grover has bagged many awards as an entrepreneur, which includes appreciation and Valued Partner award by many business forums such as FICCI, CII ,CNBC, AMEX ,Wipro and many others.
In a free-wheeling chat with Bytetrails, Ritu Grover, CEO,TGH gives a sneak peek behind her professional and personal life.
- Ritu you owned an interior design company before you started The Global Helpdesk. What prompted you to make the switch? Could you take the readers through your own journey?
In the interior design industry, we used to work with extremely tight deadlines, sometimes day and night at sites. While doing that, one day it just made me think about how busy working professionals are not having an easy time balancing their work and life. That’s it! That, right there, was my ‘aha moment’.
- Before success, one has to overcome many hurdles. What were the challenges you faced?
It’s not always fun and games in this line of business. Rather, every industry has its own ups and downs. When it comes to our work, there have been times in the past when our vendor backed out in the last moment or our team member took an unexpected leave during a very significant work day. Hurdles are inevitable but the lesson we learn from such hindrances are what make us #1 at the end of the day.
- How would you explain the facility management business in India.
In this fast paced and cut throat business environment, corporate houses prefer to concentrate on their key businesses and processes. Anything that is not a core function, is outsourced to a facility management firm because even though it is not a core yet very essential to ensure smooth and efficient running of the business. Facility management is steadily growing at a healthy 20 percent year on year and companies are gradually shifting towards technology and automation. This high share is due to increasing commercial activities in the metros such as Delhi/NCR, Mumbai, Chennai, and Bengaluru.
- One thing which a successful start-up gives is immense freedom and pride, but another thing which it gives is various experiences about which you talk about among your family, peers and colleagues . Ritu, any funny story from your repertoire which you would like to share with the readers.
There have been many instances but a few unusual ones have been etched in my memory and I would like to share this one instance when we received a request from our Concierge client who wanted to gift his cricket crazy son who was turning 16 an exclusive cricket coaching session with Sachin Tendulkar. Upon receiving the request, our dedicated team got started and to the surprise of the client we arranged 4 leading cricketers for an exclusive lunch and a coaching session with the 16 year old.
- Technology has made our work easier in many ways. Any online tools/apps you use and recommend to the readers to increase the productivity.
If there’s one app that’s underestimated its GoogleDocs. You’ve got Word, PowerPoint, Excel – on your mobile, on the go. It doesn’t get easier than this, does it?
Other than that, we use apps like CamScanner and Productive in office. Productive helps me keep track of my habits and goals. To-Do Reminder App helps me make organised, neat and tidy to-do lists. Back when TGH was started, almost everything was done on paper. I remember my office looking like a post office with thousands of sheets flying all around. Technology just made life easier for all of us, to say the least. In fact, it’s regulated the entire service industry a lot. The process is more transparent and clients can use our online portal to track their requests. Technology has been a blessing!
- Well,we all know it’s difficult being a working woman. How do you maintain the work-life balance?
I would say it’s difficult being a working person in general, not just a woman. I’m certain even men face the same issue of not being able to maintain the ideal work-life balance. While we help others maintain their work-life balance, we need to make sure ours is intact! Personally speaking, I make sure I spend quality time with my family and have fruitful conversations. Every week, my daughter takes it as a ritual to remind me we have to go out to eat. What’s essential to understand is that you need to take time out for yourself, your hobbies, your family and whatever else it is that you want to do. There’s more to life than work and taking conscious steps towards a healthy balance is the need.
- Could you tell us any woman business leader you admire most?
There are many inspirational woman who have created success stories out of sheer hard work but the ones I admire the most are Mother Teresa, Oprah Winfrey and Indira Nooyi.
- You have won many appreciations and accolades as an entrepreneur. Any word of advice for the women entrepreneurs of the country.
Don’t let negative comments get to you. Let’s be honest here – as a women entrepreneur in a patriarchal society like ours, it’s difficult to come up initially. However, is it impossible? It’s not. Take constructive criticism from those who’ve constructed something in their own lives but block out any and all negativity that you receive in the process. Focus on what you are doing and be the best at it!
- Your views on how a disciplined lifestyle and strong upbringing instil leadership qualities in a child since beginning.
As an army brat, I truly believe a disciplined lifestyle is essential. If you’re a parent, understand the importance of a strong upbringing. These are the qualities that shaped who I am today. If you meet my team today, they’ll tell you how many organised sheets I have in my cabin at any given point of time. My office almost resembles a post office with neat pigeon holes. These are small things that show a disciplined lifestyle. Such factors further help bring out the best in you.
- How can we leave the interview without knowing your success mantra. Please share.
Never look back. We’ve all had pasts that haunt us till date but instead of being the victim and blaming the world for our condition, move forward. Take the reins of the horse in your hand and start the journey without looking back. If at all you want to, do it only to see how far you’ve come!