When Shweta Sastri took over the reins of Canadian International School she faced every possible challenge in the book. From changing the perception of the school, to infrastructure issues, the 2008 recession, and even personal difficulties, she has successfully overcome them all. Today, this young mother of twins manages to juggle being a mom, run a top-notch school and indulge in her hobbies: golf, classical dance and travel. A superwoman indeed!
A particularly distressing problem that Shweta faced in the initial years of running the school was building a student population. She elaborates, “The perception was that an international school is only for expats and not for Indians. To influence and change that perception so that people understand that we are an all-inclusive school was hard. Now though, finally, the strength is 40% Indians and 60% foreign students. It’s very different from when we started out and to come this far was an ordeal.”
The perception was that an international school is only for expats and not for Indians. To influence and change that perception so that people understand that we are an all-inclusive school was hard.”
Shweta credits her husband with her success. Speaking of him, she says, “He is the wind beneath my wings.” While her husband is her pillar of support and strength, there is one woman who Shweta holds in high regard. “Margaret Thatcher is totally inspiring. In a man’s world being a woman and having people listen to you and being voted in three times, she was amazing.”
Hire people who are better than you in your areas of weakness. Recognise your mistakes. The minute you spot them, correct them and move forward.”
One doesn’t just achieve the tag of ‘successful entrepreneur’ without having sharp business acumen. Shweta shares some insightful tips, that every aspiring entrepreneur should pay heed to, “Hire people who are better than you in your areas of weakness. Recognise your mistakes. The minute you spot them, correct them and move forward.”
Finally in a position both professionally and personally to explore opportunities, Shweta is working on opening schools in Mumbai and Delhi within a few years.
A working mother herself, Shweta completely understands the constant dilemma mothers face in balancing their personal life and career. She parts with these words for fellow mothers, “It’s okay if you’re not your 100%. Mothers are full of guilt about ‘if I am giving enough time to the kids or can I balance this out in my profession’, you can’t be perfect all the time. You’re doing the best you can, which is completely fine.”
Managing multiple roles, dealing with pressing problems gracefully, and living a full life, Shweta Sastri is a profile in strength, courage, and poise. Make the most of your time here, in this one life, to do it all! All you need is some faith and willpower.