BENGALURU : Everyone comes across their own share of challenges and struggles at various points in their life. But it is those who know how to hold their heads up high during hard times who are truly beautiful. Salma Moosa is one such woman, who has risen against all odds, and today, has a successful career, family and life. She is an inspiration to many.Salma is the founder of Startups Club, a city-based company that mentors and offers support to start-ups for their growth and development during the early stages. Apart from heading the company, she is also a mentor and motivational speaker who has knowingly and unknowingly touched many lives and inspired people to succeed. 47-year- old Salma is a mother of three, who single-handedly pushed her way through hardships and struggles and life offered her and rose above them all.
Better to be looked over than overlooked
Salma was born in a conservative family where she was expected to follow various norms and guidelines. Various restrictions and obligations often proved as hurdles. Life gave her a cruel blow when she was forced to quit her studies in high school to get married. She still wasn’t over this when motherhood came knocking at her door.
She joined her father’s company to understand the various skills needed in the business sector. During her initial days with the company, she would be made to run errands such as making photocopies, depositing cheques and so on. Gradually, all this helped her gain a command over basics in business and marketing. However, things took an ugly turn when a bad marriage was destroying her personal life. One day, she gathered the courage to walk out of her failed marriage with her three little children. Things got tough again when her father passed away and his company had to be shut down. She recalls those tough days, when she was literally on the streets. But yet again, she remained strong to get over this phase.
Having a dream keeps you alive
Salma decided to take up small consultation jobs to provide for her children, but she kept aiming higher. One day, she met Vivek Srinivasan (co-founder of Startups Club) over a cup of coffee, and both decided to start a consultation firm for SMEs, which is now called Startups Club, and has now become a family today for startups and young entrepreneurs. At present, the firm is recognised for playing a significant role in connecting entrepreneurs all across the country. “Each time I was pulled down by challenges, I chose to see the brighter side of things and rise from the ashes.” “I don’t have a personal-professional divide - my team is my family. I work 20 hours a day, and I don’t feel tired. Five years back, nobody knew who Salma Moosa was, Startups Club gave me an identity,” she adds.
Don’t chain your kids, you don’t own them
Being a parent is not always easy. Salma prefers being a friend to her children rather than the strict, stereotypical mother. She believes in giving freedom and space to her children instead of caging them. “I chose not to own my children just because I gave birth to them. I have set them free from the beginning. They are allowed to do whatever they feel is right. Sometimes, they may fail, but they will learn that way. We are not always right, so why not give liberty to children to be wrong?” Salma says. “Being overly protective and policing does not help kids. As a single, working mother, keeping a balance on my work and family time has enabled me to build a successful business. It is easier said than done, but keep persisting. There will be slips, but we are human. We just need to correct ourselves and move on,” Salma says.