I Am A Better Wife And A Better Mother When I Am Working.

By Ms. Khyati Rupani- Chief Nutritionist


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Beautiful Minds - 'wings of Inspiration' 
 
Ms.Khyati Rupani is an accomplished Dietitian, menu designer, blogger and recipe developer. She is 35 years old and lives in Mumbai with her husband Mr. Vishal Rupani and 8 year old daughter Trisha. She is a PG in Clinical Nutrition. 
 
Balance Nutrition.in is an online weight loss & lifestyle management clinic. It is the brain child of Khyati Rupani, a Renowned Dietitian with an experience of 12 years in the field of health, food and nutrition. 
 
Having traveled widely and loves to experiment with food, she is helping people across the globe with their diet related issues with the foods available there locally. 
 
She was the Chief Dietitian at Lilavati Hospital (RKHS), one of the leading hospitals in India. She is one of the pioneers of health kitchens in the corporate sector. She has developed over 500 health recipes that are tasty and yet extremely healthy.  She has authored a book 'Getting rid of Obesity' published by MBD Publication. She is on the panel of ECA 'Early Childhood Association' and Babychakra. 
 
We hope that you enjoy reading her inspiring journey !
 
Take us through the journey that you have traveled so far ? 
 
I wanted to become a doctor. But when my CET scores got me through colleges in remote areas for MBBS – it was a hard no from my family. So, I decided to reappear for the exams the following year and with a year at hand to kill time, I signed up for a BSc in Nutrition. After that, I never looked back. “I liked it so much that I decided to pursue my career in Nutrition and Clinical Dietetics. Having the aptitude for medicine, I found Nutrition very easy and excelled at it. 
 
As is the case for any medical aspirant in Mumbai, I also hoped to work at the Lilavati hospital. At the age of 23, I had not only cracked my dream job but also performed exceedingly well – enough to be appointed as chief dietitian - the youngest in India. I also worked in senior positions at various institutes gaining rich experience in weight loss and clinical dietetic. 
 
“In India, it is mostly women who opt for being nutritionists and dietitians, so, the field is rife with opportunity for you, and you can grow exponentially like me as well if you if you are smart and ambitious.” 
 
However, while my career thrived, I was diagnosed with PCOS and the hormonal imbalances which led me to gain substantial weight. The tables thus turned, and I found myself in the shoes of the many clients I had counseled. While battling my cravings, I understood the practical issues a person goes through during their weight loss journey. I was told to lose weight to be able to conceive naturally too. 
 
Compelled to create a scientifically-sound diet that would also allow me some leeway, I crafted my own cheats, incorporated rules to be able to eat meals at restaurants even, and arrived at a safe proportion of alcohol intake. Following that diet religiously, I successfully lost weight and delivered a healthy baby girl. 
 
As a working professional who was at home for the very first time due to the maternity break, I started getting restless and would spend time on Google and Facebook to read and stay connected to my subject of interest. It was then that I stumbled upon communities of mothers who had weight issues post pregnancy. 
 
I started using Facebook and other social media, joined groups, and spoke to struggling mothers to keep up the momentum and swap notes. All the women who took my advice wrote back to me with positive reviews. 
 
One Indian woman who was based in Singapore, in fact, asked me if I could help her professionally because she was unable to find an Indian nutritionist in her city. I made a basic assessment on a document and sent her a diet plan, what she could eat when out and even sent her a weight tracker online. I started getting many similar requests thereafter and therefore decided to make a website. 
 
In six months, I had more than 150 clients for that diet programme – and that was all the validation I needed to turn it into a full-blown entrepreneurial venture. I made the Balance Nutrition Facebook page in December 2013 and the immense traction on it eventually led to the birth of balancenutrition.in and in August 2014. 
 
While chalking out my offerings, I observed that a lot of the women I consulted with were either geographically separated, or had time constraints due to their professional commitments. Moreover, it was highly unfeasible for executives to follow a textbook diet-chart, and needed a slightly more practical diet plan. Thus, I crafted balancenutrition.in with certain key differences in its model. 
 
For starters, I began emailing the nutritional assessment sheet and diet plans to my clients, rather than calling them in for sessions. "Unlike other clinics, you didn't have to travel, wait in long queues or take prior appointments, our nutritionists are always available to answer all your queries over email and calls," she explains. 
 
Secondly, since no executive could realistically avoid meals outside, I researched the various dishes that were relatively safe to consume at restaurants, spanning roughly 36 cuisines - from chaat to fine dining. These food guides could also be adapted to suit the needs of frequent traveler. 
 
By January 2015, I decided to build a team and took up office space in Mumbai for my team of five, which, today, is 65-strong with departments like diet, care, tech, HR & admin, and social media marketing. Its client base, in turn, spans 10000 plus members across 65 cities all around the world. 
 
In November 2016, I also opened my first retail franchise in Rajkot called Balance Nutrition EX2. 
 
“Luckily, our field is gender specific in India and we, therefore, have only women nutritionists. The only challenges were to burst the myths that people have around the word diet and to build a competent team. We overcame the latter by offering a training programme to all our recruits,” she states.
 
Bootstrapped since inception, it has also been profitable since day one because I already had 150 followers when I decided to turn the page into a business. 
 
“We are looking at raising our first round in 2018 as we intend to invest heavily in developing our web and mobile-based platforms,” she states. 
 
I am rolling out two different products to cater to different needs, namely pregnancy and child nutrition programme. My corporate wellness division will encompass menu planning and cafeteria management consultancy services, and will even be partnering with gyms to provide consultation to their members. 
 
This is has been my beautiful journey so far ! 
 
 
How do you balance your personal and professional life ? 
 
Being an e-commerce business, we have work 24 hours. I am at present concentrating on building the core of the business and improvising the services to a class level. So I am spending more than 8 hours a day thinking or working on the website. 
 
Weekends we tend to take it a bit slow. I spend 1 hour on my health and fitness everyday. Being an active mother of a maid less child takes 4 hours of my day. So when it comes to my child and home, there is a 3 to 4 hour a day slot reserved come what may. Nights are about reading. 
 
 
How do you see your business scale in three years from now? 
 
I am working towards making Balance Nutrition a full fledged company with a solid back end foundation. It shall have a CRM for managing clients and prospects. I wish to expand and have teams for website administration, social media and marketing ,accounts, admin, dietitians handling clients and senior dietitians doing latest research on health and wellness, planning menus and developing recipes. 
 
“We have started Child nutrition program called POSHAN. We plan to launch Maternal Nutrition, Pregnancy Plans and Corporate Nutrition too. So my team of 65 shall be a team of 100.” 
 
 
What advice do you have for aspiring Indian women ? 
 
Do not under estimate yourself and don’t let your domestic duties be an excuse for not being an entrepreneur. They are your strength. 
 
“Being a working woman makes me a much better wife and mom. I am happy and hence my home is happier.” 
 
 
Do you manage your finances on your own ? 
 
As a home maker, I am fully responsible for the entire finances of the house, be it payments or investments but with balancenutrition.in, it is a team of accountants that report to my husband not because of any other reason but the fact that I do not like to and is not my primary role in the company. 
 
 
Should women have financial knowledge and why ? 
 
Ofcourse, women should have basic financial knowledge especially regarding investments, savings, banking operations and policies. This will ensure that they aren't dependent on anyone else and it can be a huge helping hand to the male member. 
 
 
SUCCESS MANTRA 
 
Don't let your domestic responsibilities come in the way of you having a career. I am a better wife and a better mother when I am working.


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