By Shivi Verma
Reading this book is like meeting Nina Lekhi, the CEO of Baggit in person. From every word, sentence and page Nina’s playful, warm, exuberant, highly dynamic and enthusiastic personality pops out.
|Bags with a bang – Add image and insert caption “Bag it all by Suman Chhabria Addepalli, Jaico Books, Paperback, Rs 299, 214 pages|
The book, Bag it all, is based on the entrepreneurial success of Nina Lekhi’s bag manufacturing and retailing company called Baggit, which has gained vast popularity.
Nina is not your clipped, stiff-necked, matter-of-fact CEO in a business suit. On the contrary she is full of life and emotions. Someone who makes you feel that the biggest achievements in the world are simply a matter of wishing, wanting and going after them, just like a wilful child goes after a favourite toy. A young fun-loving girl with high spirits, Nina probably never thought of becoming a business tycoon when she joined the Sophia Polytechnic as a student of Commercial Art and Design in 1983. Straight out of school she spent most of her time bunking college and having a good time with friends. As a result she failed in her foundation course. Stung deeply by the failure, she determined to prove her mettle to the world and began a small bag manufacturing unit from her home at the tender age of 18. Because of her dedication, creativity, and hand on the pulse of the youth, her bags were an instant hit with the customers. Word spread and she began getting orders from big stores as well. In the meantime she met businessman Manoj Lekhi, through her close friend Rita, and fell in love. Both of them tied the knot, and Nina’s business continued to grow because her in-laws were very loving and supportive. After sometime Nina and Manoj happened to meet Guruji Rishi Prabhakar of Siddha Samadhi Yoga. From him they learnt the value of silence, going within and overcoming petty feelings. As Nina grew internally her company grew externally. She used spiritual principles in hiring and handling employees, and started to take them on silent retreats. She never used leather to design bags and roped in the dwellers of village Katarkhadak in the manufacturing process. She also contributed to the building of Rishi Samskruti Vidya Kendra in the village. She now spends her time travelling between the village, and her Baggit Head Office in Mumbai.
The book is written in an informal fashion and you can almost hear Nina speaking in her resonant and cheerful voice. Her enthusiasm is so contagious that you almost wish you were a part of her venture, seeing sales and profits go up with each turn. Perhaps that is what she wants too. To make people realise that life is only as hard or easy as you consider it to be. And for people intent on achieving success, the book is like a guided tour of Nina’s laser-sharp mind, which excels at thinking possibilities, intuiting, envisioning, taking risks and implementing.
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