Following in their Father’s footsteps

Fathers are the anchors in the lives of their daughter. They have a huge influence on the way their daughters’ think, perceive situations and their attitude to life and work. On Father’s Day we bring to you some father-daughter duos who share a close personal and working relationship.

Inheriting the creative genes
At the young age of 24, Gurleen Arora has made a name for herself as a competent costume designer and stylist in the television industry. Gurleen takes pride in the fact that she is the third generation fashion designer in her family. She recounts how her grandmother came to Bombay about 50 years ago as a single parent of three small children. The only possession of value that she had was her sewing machine. Soon she established a small workshop where they all lived and she stitched clothes. In spite of being a mechanical engineer, due to family circumstances, Gurleen’s father had to leave his lucrative job and take over the family tailoring business. This business has expanded and her father now owns two boutiques.

She shares, “As a child, my Dad took me everywhere he went – all the markets in town to pick up fabric. I lost my Mum when I was two years old, so he was my mother and father back then. I learnt everything from him, in terms of the business, designing, fabrics, colours etc.”

Gurleen went on to study fashion design. At the end of her college, she got the opportunity to independently design costumes for a prestigious dance reality show. Her father remains her biggest support and collaborator. Gurleen shares, “I needed a workshop to create clothes, so I approached my dad and asked him if I could use our workshop for all the work. That’s how my dad and I started working together. He handles the execution of all the clothes and I do the designing, the meetings, the shoot and styling.”

Gurleen describes her working relationship with her father, “We’re both very passionate about our work. He is an extremely enthusiastic person to work with. He is always coming up with new ideas, and going to the market to pick up new stuff for my shows. We also have many disagreements because we are both emotional and headstrong.” She ends by saying, “My dad has been extremely supportive of everything I have done in life. I am proud to be his daughter.”

Building her father’s legacy
Isha Sekhri is the daughter of the well-known Chartered Accountant, Ajay Sekhri. She shares how from a young age, she has been inspired by her father and drawn to the field of finance, “I have always looked up to my father; he has always been my hero. I wanted to either pursue an MBA in finance or become a CA, so I ultimately became a CA like my father.”

Isha initially worked with her father, then went on to work for two years at Ernst & Young and now is once again working with her father. She believes that working with one’s dad has its own challenges, “It’s always difficult to prove yourself to your father. When I worked outside it was easier to prove myself to my seniors because they didn’t expect that much from me. My father always expects a higher level of commitment and work, a certain level of understanding of things. I work three times harder with my father.” However, Isha believes that working with her father has many positives as well, “I do better work with my father. He makes sure I do the best work and get the best clients.” Isha is grateful to have such a wonderful and loving father and reveals that she is “100 per cent a Daddy’s girl.”

Taking her father’s vision to new heights
Jasmine Pillai is the daughter and business associate of a successful entrepreneur, Bhupinder Singh Sahney. She shares, “My father doesn’t have any sons and I am the eldest daughter. I always felt responsible that somebody needs to help him and be by his side.” After dabbling in several varied professions, Jasmine finally started working with her father full-time after she got married. She reveals, “My father has several businesses. We have two factories in Hyderabad, a real estate business in the Nilgiris, two hospitals that are run by a trust and a few years back we ventured into the hotel industry.” Jasmine’s family owns the Radisson Blu Plaza hotel in Hyderabad. She shares, “When we got into the hotel business, my dad fell very ill at that time, so I had to take on a larger role than I had anticipated.”

Describing the special bond she shares with her father, Jasmine says, “My relationship with him has been extremely close. He has been a very sensitive and kind father. He always kept us abreast of everything; we were always very involved in his life, in his business. So it was much easier getting involved in the business, it wasn’t alien to me.”

Jasmine has been working with her father for almost 25 years. She says, “My father has very patiently taught me the ropes of the business. He has the utmost trust in me and my capabilities. Our relationship has evolved over the years and now we enjoy a mature mutual understanding.”

At WEBO Power, we believe that fathers and daughters share a very special bond and working with one’s father adds an inspiring and fulfilling dimension to the relationship. We wish all our readers a very happy Father’s Day!

Posted By: Supriya Mathur, Team WEBO Power
Illustration By: Shally Tayal, Team WEBO Power
Posted On: June 06, 2013

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