From Home Maker To Chief Financial Officer: Motivational Talk with Babita Chopra

I had the honor to interview Babita Chopra, who had been the 12th pass and got married and went on to be Harvard alumni and Chief Financial officer, in this talk show, she will be sharing her experience on the journey of homemaker to Chief Financial office. Watch as I have an insightful Q&A session with Babita Chopra, touching upon topics such as the top 3 secrets of her life and advice to newly married/engaged girls. Stay tuned till the end, where Babita Chopra and I field some interesting questions for all of you!

 

Gulshan Bafna:

Let’s all raise a toast to this strong lady who was just a 12th pass when she was married but went on to do her certification in accounting from Harvard University. Let’s know more about her. I am glad that I got an opportunity to interview this mastermind – Babita Chopra

Babita Chopra:

Thank you! Gulshan.

Gulshan Bafna:

Let me brief you all about her. There’s one thing to dream big while another to achieve it. She’s not the ace or the queens; she is the joker from a well-shuffled deck of cards who can change the rules to make it her game! 

She was always passionate about studying and decided that she should take it up again but only after completing her primary responsibilities as a wife, a daughter, a mother, and a daughter-in-law. 

She went on to do her BBA and followed by an MBA in LIBA who is now a Harvard Alumni. She is an ardent follower of our beloved Mahathria, who always says, “Lift your passion but don’t carry any regrets in life just go and achieve it”. 

As a motivational speaker, life coach, author, entrepreneur, and managing trustee of Women’s Welfare Charity, Babita Chopra is passionate about uplifting women and firmly believes in the power of living a holistic life.

Welcome to the show. It is an honor and privilege to host you today.

Babita Chopra:

Thank you! Gulshan.

Gulshan Bafna:

So, let’s get into the talk show where we will have four to five, question rounds about your learning and experiences.

Babita Chopra: 

Sure!

Gulshan Bafna:

Coming from a typical Marwari family how did you overcome the traditional myths of being a daughter-in-law and go towards your passion?

Babita Chopra:

So Gulshan, sure that it’s a Marwari family and that with all due respect I am proud of it. But one thing that I do believe in is that no matter what community or culture you belong to, your actions speak louder than your words. 

So anywhere, if it is a restrictive family or so where women are not supposed to go out you can still prove it to them through your actions by showing that you can touch any milestone, they will definitely support you. But initially, though there were a few hurdles, I through my actions showed them that I can balance the home and the workplace together. 

There was not that because I did my office work, I am lethargic at home. Only because I had passion, I was able to balance everywhere. As Mahatria says ‘You should lead a holistic life’, I was very clear that even if I do my office work, parenting, taking care of my family or being an active part in our joint family, I always tried to keep a balance and so I was able to achieve what I wanted.

Gulshan Bafna:

That’s very inspiring. It means that you first do your housework, inspire and satisfy them and then heed to your passion. And so they were convinced and let you do what you wanted to do. And then their hearts strengthened up to live with yours. 

Babita Chopra:

Sure, and that’s why it’s been 27 years now and we’re still a joint family – with my parents, my husband’s parents and family and now even the third generation has moved in and so definitely that balance has to be maintained. 

Gulshan Bafna:

A joint family should inspire younger generations, especially the girls in our society or across all. Because these days living in a joint family is a very big thing and that too to support and inspire like this, is something bigger and better. 

Babita Chopra:

(laughs) yes yes

Gulshan Bafna:

Whom do you look up to in your life?

Babita Chopra:

Surely, my source, my Mahatria is there because whenever we have feelings of doubts in the mind, immediately I feel it can be sorted through his path. There’s so much clarity. I also believe in Bhikshu Swamy. Whenever I feel confused, I think of him and meditate and I find peace.

Gulshan Bafna:

What is your advice for betrothed and married women?

Babita Chopra:

I’d advise them that don’t make your distractions, your attractions. If you are married and you can prove that you can balance your personal life and work life, definitely your family will agree. And there’s a space for everyone. Don’t feel there’s a competition that if you lose two years of your life, then everything will go out of plan. 

No! I got married when I was only 19. And today, I see myself here. So, you should have a passion that will let you breathe. So don’t get distracted by small things and don’t give up. People who give up are those who did not decide between what they like and love. There are three things – like, love and passion.

Liking or loving something will fade away with time. But when you have passion for something, even if time goes away, you can again stand up for yourself and prove what you are. Have patience till that. Don’t be in a hurry to complete things. There’s ample time and I have faith in that. 

Faith helps you to go a long way.

Gulshan Bafna:

So age is just a number. If you have a passion at any age – passion with patience, will let you achieve all that you want in life. 

Babita Chopra:

100% (laughs)

Gulshan Bafna:

So we have a living example here with us who was only 12th pass out when she got married at the age of 19 and now being an alumnus of Harvard is a very big thing.

 I’d say this one thing should inspire many others to just not look at it the way that since I got married, I am to lose everything. I think this will inspire them to do many things.

Gulshan Bafna:

What are the three pieces of advice you wish to give young girls? How and what do you say that they should think about?

Babita Chopra:

Firstly, dream big. So much of life is left. You cannot have meager goals. Dream big, create a niche in society. You’ve come to prove yourself. You cannot be another statistical entity in the whole group. When you think and dream big, defining existence paves the way for the resilience of the soul. 

Secondly, by consistently doing things, you will get a hold of them easily. For me I follow one thing very strongly – if I say I’ll do it if I think about it, I will make sure to achieve it. As young girls, you should have that thought. Time is always there. If you do things patiently, you can conquer everything with that sort of passion.

Third, I believe you need grace. This one thing, I very strongly believe in is that even though you do all of your parts, you need to have grace. For this, you need to be clean-minded, good by heart and things will follow. Be intelligent enough; not asking you to be a doormat. But definitely you’re supposed to rise up when things are said to be done.

Gulshan Bafna:

So if your intentions are clear and you have that good passion and big dreams, it can lead to your goals. 

So dream big and you will achieve what you desire. 

My next question is, how did you find your passion?

Babita Chopra:

You’d laugh at me if I share it with you. When I was 17, and when people asked me what my goal was, I said I wanted to be a good housewife and that is what I felt for around ten years of my marriage. I was a good homemaker, tending to my family’s needs, my kids, and my husband and cook and that were all about it.

It was then that infinitheism came into my life. There was a particular session where Mahatria gave a talk in which he said education makes all the difference. As I was taking the class, I felt I wasn’t working at all and I believe I believe in ‘work your talk’. Then I thought, why don’t I give exams through distance education. Then I did my BBA and cleared the exams. So I had a belief that I could at least study reasonably.

And as always through Mahatria’s preachings, I have been practicing memory exercises and meditation. This made my thoughts stronger that I can achieve. Then I gave a religious exam of Jainism and I turned out to be a topper all India. 

Then I remembered what Mahatria said – Never carry any regrets in life. I have a very supportive husband and family. So I told my husband that I want to go to college and do my studies. So the age when my son was doing Solar Engineering, I went to Loyola, LIBA. I joined the course there and did my studies. So this is how my journey of studies went on.

Gulshan Bafna:

So my next question is, tell us something about ABC college and how does it inspire young women?

Babita Chopra:

So ABC ladies college is Anita Babitha Chopra’s Ladies college. We felt that after marriage women usually take a break. Their world is confined to the house and the requirements. 

We wanted them to feel young at heart, we wanted to help them think better and beyond just the household chores. We want to make them realize that there’s so much to learn.

We started off with seven ladies before twelve years and now consistently for the past twelve years, I and my sister Anita have been taking classes. We take classes on the first Friday of every month and now even the third generation has joined. 

We’ve seen women change and that gives us soul-satisfaction. We get very very happy.

Gulshan Bafna:

Could you give us examples as to how it transformed women who come to your college?

Babita Chopra:

Well, there are many examples. But one of them that is close to our heart is about a Marwari lady who was born and raised in Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu. She had the native slang in her language that made her feel very inferior while she interacted with the ladies of the Marwari community. 

So she came up to me and told me that she feels intimidated and why to talk to other women in the community because of her language. So I asked her if she has a stronghold over Tamil language and she said yes. 

So I advised her to start taking tuitions and eventually she did her BA in Tamil and is now a professor teaching in a college and is earning pretty well for herself. She still takes tutorials while teaching in universities in the mornings. 

There was another lady who was stuck and decided to take an unfortunate path of ending her life. We spoke to her and made her enroll in our college. Through our talks, we were able to get her out of the problem and is now doing very well for herself. 

Like this, there are so many other examples where women have benefited immensely from ladies’ college. It is like a magic wand for them. They come, listen, study, we give assignments for the month, and follow up to make sure they are in par with us and are consistent.

Gulshan Bafna:

That is tremendous and I believe this is free of cost?

Babita Chopra:

Yes! Definitely. That is what Mahatria has told us, that learning, earning, and returning. I have learned and earned and now I am returning to society.

Gulshan Bafna:

I hope while doing this you do get to learn a lot of new things about others and those who enroll in these sessions. 

Babita Chopra:

Absolutely, that is for sure. In fact, every month when we prepare to take the next session, we tend to learn more while we research the content to teach them. We are the highest beneficiaries in this.

Gulshan Bafna:

To all those who would like to know more about the college and what they do, I have the link mentioned below:

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/Anita-babita-chopra-210207122471457/

YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCMgoAXkXeGqF1maCjcyLx2Q

I am happy to hear such inspiring stories. The world needs more such women who can inspire others.

Babita Chopra:

Honestly, speaking, there’s nothing to do with gender. It is all about passion, motivation, and the love for your career and consistency. When you know you have to do something in life, it keeps you going. Gender can never differentiate that. 

Gulshan Bafna:

So we should all take off the gender bias and only concentrate on our passion with patience and we will be able to achieve what we want irrespective of who you are.

Babita Chopra:

True that.

Gulshan Bafna:

What is that one thing you love about yourself?

Babita Chopra:

About myself, there are a lot of things that I like – but yes one thing is that I love to see happy and smiling faces around me. Whether it’s family or friends. I like giving surprises to them. 

In terms of giving it back to society, we have BAARISH women welfare trust wherein, for one of the women, we supported and helped in setting up a provisional store to earn money as her husband met an untimely death. 

She now set another store for her son through those earnings. For everything and everyone, all I want and think of is what can I give them that will help. The way I can make people smile is something that I like about me.

Gulshan Bafna:

That is really nice and inspiring. My last question to you is, what is your secret to success in life?

Babita Chopra:

Firstly, consistency. Anything you take up, you should stay consistent. I’ve seen people who give up once they come across a couple of hurdles. No, that’s not right. Whether it is exercising or anything. You need to stay consistent. 

I wrote articles for Infinite Thoughts for nine months and it did not pass to publish. But I was consistent and I kept my thoughts firm. Megha Bajaj helped me in some training as to how to pen down better. And since then, it’s been eight to nine years that I am writing for Infinite Thoughts.

Whether it was my college or higher education, I did face hurdles but I kept my will and did things consistently and so CCG is what I believe in.

While first C stands for consistency, the next one is for commitment. If you have committed yourself to something, you have to stay strong to get out of it only after you finish it. Do not leave things midway. 

Finally, all you need in the end is grace. And I believe that it is grace that’s keeping me going and that a lot of things are happening in life. And that is the success mantra for me.

Gulshan Bafna:

That’s a wonderful way of putting it. I can wonder how even if a kid follows this CCG matra, they’d turn out successful in life. 

Babita Chopra:

Another thing that I’d want girls to think about is, who is her fall back option? Who does she share her thoughts with? Who can she trust? I believe that your net worth is your network.

If you are surrounded by people who take life for granted, then you too will have such vibes and eventually turn out to be like that. You will gradually carry that attitude. I am happy that I am blessed to be around positive people and a strong circle of family and friends. So when you have such a circle, even if you fall back, you are pushed back to your game. 

Gulshan Bafna:

So you should have one person that you can trust.

Babita Chopra:

Yes, but that person should be sound enough to help you go in the right direction. Otherwise, things might not be right.

Gulshan Bafna:

Exactly! So I think people should have someone to share things with who can keep it confidential but at the same time help you achieve your goals and guide you rightly.

Babita Chopra:

Yes, that is very important.

Gulshan Bafna:

Sure, thank you so much! For spending time with us and being such an inspiration to the younger generation, especially women even men too by highlighting how important it is to be a strong support system for their family. It was wonderful hosting you.

Babita Chopra:

Thank you, Gulshan.

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