Their mother Pratibha also strives to keep the balance between their academic life and their business.
They say geniuses start young. Meet two of Hyderabad’s youngest entrepreneurs and sisters — 9-year-old Priyanka Reddy and 13-year-old Aishwarya Reddy, who donned their business hats and came up with the idea of a designer stationery line after assessing the lack of choices for kids.
“My parents, sister and I travel a lot. But we noticed that while there are countless designs of products in terms of clothing, toys and accessories, stationery is lacking. We decided to therefore design products and start our own business to help children organise their stationery in a fun and interactive way,” explains Aishwarya, who comes across as a very confident and focussed teenager.
Their stationery line has now flourished not only in the country but is also making a mark in the international market. The vision of the two young sisters, coupled with the support of their entire family has now turned into a full-fledged company along with a team of experts.
But in a country where parents are constantly pressuring kids to focus primarily on academics, how do Priyanka and Aishwarya manage to keep their passion alive? Are their parents, Madhav and Pratibha Reddy open to them choosing business over academics if needed?
“Our parents have always supported our ideas and encouraged us to get more involved in the business. My sister and I like to express our creativity by designing the products. I always balance my education and participation in the business,” says Aishwarya.
Their mother Pratibha also strives to keep the balance between their academic life and their business. She recalls, “We have been in the business field for over 10 years now. Every time they visited their father’s office, they would express a desire to own a business. Eventually one day, they asked us if they could start their own business.”
She adds, “I reminded them that following their passion alone was not a good idea until they had finished their academics. But when they came up with the idea of this stationery line, we didn’t want to squash the spark right then and there. So we took their idea seriously, did a lot of market research, gave importance to their inputs, and here we are!”
But has the pressure of the business taken a toll on her kids? “Initially, Priyanka and Aishwarya took the feedback — both good and bad — too seriously. Some of the comments, though harmless, were hurtful to them at times. But we explained the importance of accepting criticism along with appreciation,” says the mother-of-two.
So do they plan to keep the business alive even after their schooling? “I definitely want to take up business as a long-term career. I want to expand it to various countries and reach as many kids as possible. That is the plan for now!” states Aishwarya.