A leading woman entrepreneur in the male-dominated construction industry, Ritu Singal’s never-giving-up attitude has served as a true inspiration for many women across the country. Presently serving as the Managing Director of Raglan Infrastructure Ltd. & Winner Nippon Leatherette Pvt. Ltd,Singal came across an array of challenges in her life, but she never gave up and eventually reached high on the ladder of success.
So, on the advent of International Women’s Day, we celebrate Ritu Singal’s zeal to excel, which proves the fact that nothing can stop an unconquerable woman who is on her mission to succeed.
How would you define your journey as a woman entrepreneur?
My crazy journey as a woman entrepreneur in the male-dominated construction industry was never easy. I inherited 60 crores of debts and hundreds of court cases after my husband took the extreme step of taking his life. Staff leaving their jobs with huge insecurity about the future of the Raglan Group and two young daughters, I had a lot to handle. But I decided not to give up and fight back.
My never-giving-up attitude made everyone speechless. I worked hard day-in and day-out. Each struggle polished me and helped me to empathize and eventually transform 20,000 lives. My mentor, Dr Daisaku Ikeda helped me take our business to new heights. Digging deep into the epic incidents of my life, I am now writing a brave new story, Unstoppable Me, my autobiography.
What were some major challenges that you had to face in your life? How did you overcome them?
There were many challenges that I had to face in my journey of entrepreneurship. First, the untimely demise of my husband completely changed my life. I was a homemaker back then and stepping out of the home to face the business world was an enormous challenge for me. Banks were constantly asking for the repayment of loans, and I had to fight hundreds of court cases while taking care of my daughters.
Second, when I took over our family business, I did not know this industry. I had completed my post-graduation in Law, but the construction or textile industry or business as such was an untouched arena for me. However, I never used it as an excuse. In fact, I went on many overseas trips to learn production techniques. I never hesitated from learning. I used to ask many questions and understand the industry in depth.
Another major challenge that I encountered was making people believe in me. When I handled the business, no one was ready to put their trust in me. Neither my family nor the company workers were ready to accept my work. I decided to play my role well in this drama called ‘Life’, where I had to stand with dignity despite little belief in my worth or ability, and surely be a role model for my daughters.
Despite all the ups and downs, what kept you going?
I have a simple philosophy in life that I never-give-up immediately. I believe in giving my best to every situation. The results might come in my favour, or they might not. However, I cannot say “no” before trying. I believe if a person decides in their heart that they cannot achieve something, then probably they won’t achieve it. So, I never say no to any task. It was definitely my grit, determination, confidence, and positive attitude that kept me going. I faced all the ups and downs with a smile on my face.
What is your success mantra?
One success mantra that I follow is saying, “I can” in every situation. Most people mentally say to themselves they can’t do something, and so they are not able to do it. I always ask people to try and give their best in every situation. The results are not in your hands, but efforts are always in one’s hand. If in 2007 I would have desperately thrown my hands in the air saying, “I can’t handle this situation,” I wouldn’t be what I am today. So, I strive to give my best in challenging situations.
How do you like to rejuvenate?
I am a deeply spiritual person. Other than my professional life, I involve myself in various social events and community programs. I am a trained life coach and I love to help people. It brings me immense satisfaction when I help people find their happiness.
I spend quality time with my daughters. I also love learning new skills. So, I involve myself in learning about technology or reading books.
One piece of advice for all the women out there?
Women today have broken all barriers. They have achieved all milestones and are proving their potential with each passing day. My only advice to all the women out there is to stay strong and never think small of yourself. Even if life throws many challenges at your face, don’t forget to smile against all the odds.
Women should choose a field of study that interests them, regardless if it is a male-dominated one. If you work hard and stay confident, you can make a name in any industry.
“You are the chosen ones who can help shape the world by inspiring others to become bold and fearless by embracing risk, dealing with failures, and yet being your most authentic self.”