InstaOffice Power Couple
Who said Valentine’s Day needs to be all mushy and lovey dovey?
Keeping in mind the “single” population, Instaoffice decided to hold an event giving people real #CoupleGoals.
The fact that Pallavi came to Mumbai when she first met Rahul sparked an interesting conversation on how Mumbai has been seen as a city. From Pallavi having described it once as “thakela” to Mumbai’s neutrality and freedom being one of the things Vinayak and Archana love, it was fun to see them embrace both sides of the coin.
The Panel Discussion
The panel discussion was moderated by InstaOffice’s co-founder, Vikas Lakhani himself – which allowed the discussion to get really candid and personal. Vinayak and Archana, who run Vertices Partners together, talked about leaving their jobs together for Vertices, after which Archana went on to reveal how Vinayak didn’t want Archana to jump in initially, to hedge their risks. But it was later due to a dear friend that he realised that being two people with complementary skill sets, a promoter like Archana was irreplaceable! Just 11 months down the line, they’re now 4 partners and 22 associates – with 23 transactions in 9 months!
Rahul, being a senior entrepreneur, has come across a lot of couple entrepreneurs (more than everyone at the panel and Vikas combined, as Vikas put it). When asked how it has played out for them, Rahul quoted Vinayak to say,” Entrepreneurship is a test of how strong you are. Otherwise, there isn’t much difference working together. It is a little scary when it’s a startup – you’re taking a leap into the unknown – it’s much more anxiety. To have someone with you is much better. But that would again depend on whether you have a better half or a bitter half!” #Touché!
Rahul had some very interesting advice for those who’re looking to marry someone! According to him, if you want to marry somebody, go on a 100km trail walk with that person. For the first 10 km, everyone is nice. After 10 km, the layers start coming off. After 50 km, some people even go silent! Now that’s compatibility test that just CANNOT go wrong!
Vinayak took it a notch higher to call couple entrepreneurship the “betaal mode!” (You know the Vikram-Betaal stories where Vikram struggles to get hold of a celestial spirit, Betaal) Vinayak says, ”You have to get used to your partner being around. But if you can appreciate it, adjust to it, and further go on to loving it, then you are bound to succeed!”
According to Vinayak, it works out when you finally figure out that there is no on and off kind of a mode – it’s all together. As lovely as the dramatisation can be, it is not that dramatic. It’s all about celebrating each other’s differences.
On whether the effort to celebrate these differences is conscious, both Vinayak and Archana agreed that it’s best to go with the flow – and that’s what they do. So if something needs tending, they would be found doing that.
But let’s face it, life isn’t a bed of roses.
Pallavi’s and Rahul’s life has been full of challenges, with Pallavi having had immense health problems. Yet she fought through every one of them #LikeABoss!
Rahul went on to tell this story by starting off to tell the audience how 2 years back Pallavi wrote 6 beautiful stories just by observing the people around when she was in the ICU. Rahul suggested that Pallavi should come out with a book, and she did! And what’s more, they launched it in the same ICU, on the same bed, on her birthday! (The world couldn’t have got a better return gift than this) And while the doctors thought she would need to be on a ventilator and undergo an operation, she made a speedy recovery soon after that launch! It was indeed very moving to hear Pallavi’s story, and it was nothing short of an inspiration to everyone in the room.
Now, how’s that for some everyday motivation!
Given Rahul is running so many startups with no plans to stop anytime soon, Vikas asked Pallavi whether she gets enough of Rahul – where she agreed he’s very busy, and went on to share how their son Rian told his friends that his father doesn’t live with them!
Travelling indeed takes an entrepreneur away from their family, but when the family is supportive of their passion and ambitions, then it indeed brings them all the more together!
The panel discussion ended with these entrepreneurs discussing how entrepreneurship can be a lonely journey, and how beautiful it is to have someone to share the palpitations you have for your startup. It’s no surprise that there were some interesting questions from the audience that followed! You can watch the whole discussion here.
While the previous discussion gave us real insights into the secret mantra of how these power couples have made it work, it was now time for us to have some fun with them!
We made them fill out a questionnaire in the beginning about themselves, and now it was the turn of the couples to answer for each other! We picked out a few questions from the questionnaire for them to answer.
To quote an example, we asked Rahul what Pallavi carried around in her purse or pocket that was so important to her. While he took a different track with a photo of Sai Baba, the answer turned out to be a lipstick!
Ha Ha, after all, men will be men!
They got a few right, they got a few wrong. But it told us a lot about who they are and how their better half perceives them as a person. Though we received feedback that the questions were not mushy enough, we’re glad that we kept it professional enough so as not to leave the “singles” teary eyed. (We saw the questionnaire. Trust us to be right on this one)
Now Valentine’s Day is never complete without the whole “kid’s” discussion! So towards the end, we invited Rahul’s son to the stage – and what a smart kid! He crowdfunded his football training camp in Barcelona worth Rs.2.15 lakhs. Rian raised more than the required amount and he donated the extra amount to charity before heading to Barcelona! Read more about it here.
Do check out his youtube channel at Rian Narvekar.
Food and Networking
It’s always amazing to get to know people you share your laughs with, because sometimes that’s how long-lasting relationships are made! So after the discussion and all the grilling, the panelists and the audience spread out for networking! And what better than bonding over food. The much appreciated Kathi rolls and bruschetta were sponsored by our very own Mommy’s Kitchen!
With that, the evening came to an end. After listening to our speakers, we learnt that the perfect work-life balance comes with believing in your better half, going with the flow and simply being there for them.
Major takeaway from this event: “Life is calling! Where are you?”
Who said we cannot have it all, from successful singles to building a company together these are the ideal fairytales for budding entrepreneurs. A tale of yes, no, hardships, fights and constant strive for success but in the end it surely is an “…and they lived happily and successfully ever after.”
Watch the whole event here. Happy watching!
We keep hosting high-value networking events to bring our members closer with the startup community. Know more about our events here. Our members range from tech geeks to investment bankers, from freelancers and SMEs to large scale MNCs! Our community also includes influential investors and industry experts.