RUNNING TOWARDS HER GOALS: NIRUPA SHANKAR
Meet RITZ Magazine’s Frederique Constant women of the month who are not just living their passion, but loving every moment of it and are here to stay…
BY NAMITA GUPTA
Nirupa Shankar, Executive Director, Brigade Group (one of India’s top real estate development companies) is more than what meets the eye. With over a decade overseeing the company’s hotels, offices and malls, besides the Brigade Group’s human resources, public relations and innovation functions, she’s raring to go and is always brimming with creative ideas. Her analytical bent of mind helped her to introduce a data-oriented approach towards decision making in the company. A fitness fanatic, she’s also trained as a six sigma Black Belt. Here’s more of the woman who lives her passion to the fullest, in her own words…
TURNING POINT: My parents drive me to do more and be more. Throughout my life, I have watched them work hard with integrity in all that they do and that has inspired me. My dad founded Brigade Enterprises Limited about 32 years ago. All the values I have learnt from are from him – especially how to have a sense of humour even when things don’t go your way. My mum has been the biggest support for me. She has really adapted to a changing environment and has gone from becoming Bengaluru’s first woman stock broker to advertising, to investing in interior design to running three schools. There have been some key learnings during my career and in every tough situation. I have learnt how to first listen and trust my gut and convince people of the vision and mission I had in mind. I have learnt to stand my ground for the principles I believe in. Especially when setting up new ventures, I have had to dispel all negativity and work on a concept and business model I believe in. One is only as good as one’s team and it is crucial to have the right set of people with you to help implement your dream and vision.
PURE PASSION: Apart than the hard work I put in at my regular day job, it’s the fact that I am a fitness enthusiast that inspires people. My fitness routine includes running, cycling, swimming, yoga and strength training. Within the last few months, I’ve completed a triathlon, half marathon and swimathon. I also ran my fastest 10 Km in 54 minutes and 44 seconds at the most recent Pinkathon held in Bengaluru, where I placed 11th out of more than 1100 women. While I have always enjoyed sports, I had to change my lifestyle drastically post pregnancy for which I gained significant weight! I worked on eating healthy and started exercising almost daily to ensure that I reached my pre-pregnancy weight before her daughter turned one. With a change, I managed to get fitter and leaner than before. Managing to do this alongside a very demanding full-time job with lots of travel was a big challenge.
HIGHPOINTS IN THE JOURNEY: Setting up my own ventures through the support of Brigade has been the highpoint of my journey. There is a great joy in seeing businesses you set up from scratch, flourish. I have an entrepreneurial bug in me and have successfully conceptualised and launched the multi-award winning lounge bar HIGH Ultra Lounge in Bengaluru, the highest point for food and beverage in South India in 2014. I launched South Asia’s first real estate accelerator called Brigade Real Estate Accelerator Program(REAP), an initiative to mentor high-tech start-ups in real estate, including hospitality in 2016 and more recently launched the Art Café which combines a hip, vibrant café with original masterworks by Indian artists.
MESSAGE FOR WOMEN WHO ENCOUNTER ROADBLOCKS: You have one life, start living life on your own terms. Figure out what you want to do. And do it. If it fails, never mind, at least you tried. Look after yourself – be it financially, physically or mentally. Financial independence is important if you want to make your own decisions. Physical and mental well being is key, as I truly believe health is true wealth. I just try to make the best of the opportunities life has given me. I want to be the best version of myself. I want to live a healthy and happy life and for that, I have understood that diet and exercise play a key role. The discipline and self-belief it takes to train for marathons and triathlons influence the other aspects of my life.
THE ROAD AHEAD: I’m now working on my fourth venture that will be announced in the coming months.