Naughty school girl (Timpany) at 12, compère at 13, cricket commentator at 16, wife at 20, mother at 23, PhD at 27, successful business women at 18. No, that wasn't a typo; anyone seeing the boundless energy, enthusiasm and the 'can do' spirit of Meenakshi Anantram (nee Murugesh) the dynamic CEO of the event management firm Razzmatazz will testify that she is growing younger.
While most youngsters tend to leave Vizag after their formal education for seemingly greener pastures, Meenakshi has stayed on and made a success story of her venture. Starting with compèring herself, she started her own Event Management Company, Razzmatazz, in 1995. 'Light a candle instead of cursing the darkness' seems to be her approach to life - truly an inspiration to upcoming entrepreneurs in Vizag. Meenakshi sees a bright future for Visakhapatnam and claims that there is no dearth of fresh talent in this city. Unfortunately, Vizag does not have an equivalent of the Ladies Wing of the Indian Merchants Chamber as other women can learn valuable lessons from her. Having captured the market in Vizag, Razzmattaz, with its 36 strong team, is using its expertise to host events in other cities such as Cochin, Madras, Calcutta and Hyderabad.
Meenakshi wears several hats: businesswoman, compère, author, poet, academic, devoted wife, loving mother. In an informal chat with VizagCityOnline.com, Meenakshi let us into a few of the 'secrets' behind her success. So, how does she do it? Juggle home and career successfully? Succeed in a city where 7 out of 10 businesses fail for various reasons? Host major events despite stiff competition from 'big city' guys? The desire to blaze new trails might have been innate - when she started off 7 years ago, not many in Vizag knew about Event Management. Genes (her father was the Ranji Trophy player M.K. Murugesh ), might explain some of it. Having a co-operative spouse was imperative. The rest must have been hard work, she acknowledges.
Family consists of Husband Anantram, sons Rahul and Rohan and mother-in-law.
Meenakshi seems to draw inspiration from the slogan for Razzmatazz coined by herself: 'if you have the inclination we have the ideas'. Her work style consists of meticulous planning and attention to detail. This sometimes leads to problems with laggards. "I wish I wasn't such a perfectionist" she sighs.
Apart from Razzmatazz, Meenakshi also has other social and business pursuits. She headed the Waltair Club Ladies Committee, was Secretary of the Lioness Movement, helped in the YMCA Street Children Project. Her most recent achievement has been the successful conducting of the National Games at Vizag, which won praise from all including the Chief Minister.
Any regrets in life? 'None!' she says emphatically. All the best Meenakshi!