Noted Management Expert and Entrepreneur
A management consultant by profession and serial entrepreneur by heart – is how Monika Consul describes herself. Over the last 17 years, Monika has built several successful business ventures in India and Canada, spread across Investment Advisory, Healthcare, and Business Consulting.
“I am very passionate about nurturing business start-ups and promoting trade and investments. I am an honorary member of Rotary International, recipient of The Paul Harris Fellow, and recipient of the highest fund-raising chairperson award,” says Monika. Currently, she is also contributing to the promotion of bilateral trade between India and Canada as the Vice President of Indo-Canada Chamber of Commerce (WICCI).
Academically, Monika holds a master’s degree in business administration besides numerous professional certifications in Investment advisory, Banking and Project Management. She represented Rotary as the youngest member delegate to Canada and represented the club as the fund-raising Chairman. She has received several recognitions as Top 1% achievers by Insurance companies and Wealth advisory firms like MetLife, Reliance, ICICI, and FS for consecutive years. She is also an active host of global events for WICCI on a regular basis, and recently had the honour of hosting Nadira Hamid, CEO, Indo-Canadian Business Chamber, to speak on ‘Post-Pandemic Business Prospects in Canada’.
Speaking about how entrepreneurship is her passion, Monika says, “I’m passionate about new ideas and nurturing them into successful ventures. Once convinced of an idea, there’s no looking back. This self confidence is what makes you look beautiful and wanted. There will be ups and downs in the path you choose but never regret your decisions, learn from your mistakes, make them your strengths, and turn them into the next big opportunity.
Being a ‘boss lady’ across countries is no mean feat. What were the biggest hurdles in Monika’s journey across continents? “Primarily, the challenges were in the form of stereotypes which people in general form about women leaders, and the main reason I was able to overcome them was due to tremendous support from my family and belief in my own abilities. For example, 17 years back, there were not many women who owned their investment advisory firms, but with my knowledge, relationship management, and ability to deliver results, I was able to create a niche for myself and build a very successful company from scratch. This early success instilled loads of self-belief for future ventures,” she reveals.
Monika’s journey also made her realise her biggest strength. She tells us, “I’m at my best when the situation is demanding, and the task is not easily achievable. I think my strengths are my ability to withstand adverse situations and build a winning team which likes to punch much above its weight.”
A go-getter to the T, Monika often dedicates her weekends to work and can most likely be found hosting (post pandemic – virtually) sessions either for business or social cause. “I believe in giving back to the society and regularly find opportunities to contribute towards charitable events either directly or through organisations like Rotary International. Occasionally, I may undertake a surprise short trip with family to unwind,” she says.
With both hands full of work and family, how does Monika strike the perfect balance between both? She accepts there have been times when she’s had to make tough choices: “One such instance was moving my base to Canada, leaving behind several successful businesses in India which I had created from scratch, in order to be with family. However I made a fresh start with more conviction while still supporting my Indian companies. Thankfully my efforts paid off and now my businesses are doing extremely well in both countries.”
An inspiration to many women, Monika herself is inspired by two strong women – her Mother, and Michelle Obama. “My Mom symbolised selfless love, patience and hard work. Giving up her successful career at the peak to raise four kids is an epitome of selfless love. Another favourite is Michelle Obama. Though a successful lawyer herself, she supported her husband completely during his run for the presidency and while in office, she made almost as much positive impact as he did. From her, I’ve learned that no matter how humble your beginnings, what matters is you discover your passion, be true to your own heart, be kind to others, and walk the talk,” says Monika.
Leaving us with a little hope in these troubled times, Monika says, “Stay positive. Given the pandemic situation, it is easy to feel gloomy about the future and drop your guard, but I would like to urge everyone to stay positive and continue to do our part in coming out of this once in a lifetime situation.”