Love doesn’t always happen at first sight or even if you have spent years together in friendship. Such is the case with Neeti and Sushant Chopra. Despite studying in the same school and being good friends, they never got romantically involved.
After school, Neeti went on to pursue an MBA from IMT Nagpur while Sushant, after completing his engineering, flew to Dubai to pursue his MBA. However, they stayed in touch and discussed career paths, asked the other’s opinion on various subjects over several years. It was only when they reached a marriageable age they got together realising they understood each other quite well.
After marriage and working in Dubai in their respective jobs, Neeti and Sushant got an opportunity to return to India and start something of their own.
"It was 2014, when we decided to start this business that germinated from the idea of venturing into the beauty and wellness sector. In time, our belief system led us to couple it with an in-house full-service café," says Rohtak-born Neeti to which Delhi-boy Sushant quickly adds, “Both of us are hardcore believers that hospitality in India is incomplete without an element of food and beverage in it.
Hence, we came up with the idea of starting a unisex salon with an in-built café or as it is called Unwind – A Cut & A Coffee at Saket.” Between work and family life, they draw a clear boundary. "Doing this helped us to balance time between setting up Unwind and to unwind ourselves," remarks Neeti.
About dividing responsibilities on the work-front, Neeti says, "From the beginning, our roles and responsibilities have been very clearly defined. Sushant entirely takes care of setting up and running the café, while I concentrate on the salon part."
But they seek the other’s opinion on the respective areas they handle, as and when. When a couple in particular take up a joint project, chances of disagreements are higher. How do the Chopras handle it?
"The advantage in our case is that we handle totally different areas of operations. So, we often agree to disagree. But we value the other’s feedback and decisions," explains Sushant. Their business has taken a hit due to COVID-19, yet the couple is optimistic.
"We have always focussed on personnel hygiene and cleanliness. COVID-19 has, in a way, helped spread the message and we are glad to be a part of the change. Our people have wholeheartedly understood the benefits of this change and have keenly adopted the best practices. We are fortunate to have the support of everyone in ensuring a safe work environment that clients also are comfortable to visit," says Sushant.
Agrees Neeti. "Businesswise, we are facing unprecedented challenges. But, as we are expecting our first child, this pandemic has helped us focus on prenatal care and plan for the new roles life is about to reward us with," she puts in.
While Neeti loves watching movies and reading, Sushant is an avid golfer. Neeti appreciates Sushant’s focus and clarity concerning his work, Sushant loves Neeti for her honesty and eye for detail. "Her keen sense of fashion and accessorising helps compliment my need for support in this regard, amazingly well. There are times when the suggested attire makes me wish for simpler combinations. But over the years since our marriage, I have learnt to go with the flow and ignore my instincts," Sushant signs off.