Dr Shabnam Asthana, Founder Director at Empowered Solutions
Great Companies: How did you get your idea or concept for the business?
Dr Shabnam Asthana: I had been working in senior positions in reputed corporates both Internationally and within India in the Public Relations and Communications field. With the immense amount of goodwill coupled with my own talent and expertise which I had amassed during my long and productive tenure, I realised that setting up my own firm where I could tap more corporates instead of being limited to one company would be a good idea. The canvas of Public Relations and communications is very wide and gives room for a lot of experimentation and creativity which can only happen with multiple client companies and the risk of stagnation that one would face by staying restricted or limited to just one company gets considerably diminished if not completely ruled out.
Great Companies: What are the various services provided by Empowered Solutions?
Dr Shabnam Asthana: Empowered Solutions is a dynamic result and growth-oriented company, where we offer a rich and wide bouquet of services. Our services encompass –
Personal grooming and etiquette training,
Soft skills training (with a wide range of topics to choose from)
English and office communication enhancement training
Content Writing (articles, blogs, speeches, website content, office communication content)
Website creation & social media content writing and management
Authoring course content for universities, schools and colleges
Ghost writing of books (fiction and nonfiction) with publishing, Marketing and Public Relations packages for the published book.
We constantly keep innovating and adding services to our existing offerings.
Great Companies: What makes Empowered Solutions different from hundreds of other similar service providers?
Dr Shabnam Asthana: Whereas our core business may be similar to many others, what accounts for our uniqueness is our approach. For us each client is unique and our services are tailor made to suit their requirements. We do not offer standard solutions, but innovate and create a unique value proposition for every client to meet and even surpass their needs. I am a “hands on” leader and accessible 24x7 to any of my clients irrespective of their designation or company size.
We also offer intangible benefits, be it in the client and company relationship aspect, the value additions or goodwill factor but most of our clients are for keeps. We strive very hard to maintain client loyalty in this dynamic and competitive world. I am proud and happy to say that my team and I have been largely successful in this regard.
Great Companies: What are the struggles and challenges you face?
Dr Shabnam Asthana: I count myself lucky when I say that I was blessed and did not face very difficult challenges in my journey so far. It has been more or less smooth sailing, but if I were to go back to my initial days of the company inception, I would say that probably the biggest challenge was to convince potential clients that I could do a good job as a start-up, minus the halo of my previous designation or corporate back up. Several meetings were needed to convince them but eventually things turned out in my favour.
The next challenge was employee recruitment for a start-up during 2005 which came with its’ inherent risks of high attrition rates and high salary expectations, which I too encountered in fair measure. I always had a plan B line of action ready to surmount employee resignations and sudden absences so that my regular and routine activities would not get disrupted. I ensured a transparency of communication, for those who harboured unrealistic salary expectations and they were never recruited and any resulting complications were thus successfully avoided. In the present days I perceive a shift in expectations as start-ups excite new entrants, and this is surely a positive development.
Great Companies: How do you plan to grow in the future? What do 5 years down the line look like for Empowered Solutions?
Dr Shabnam Asthana: Constant Innovation, upgradation of knowledge, sharpening of responses and striving to maintain client loyalty is important for our competitive edge and growth.
Five years down the line should see the spirit of satisfaction and immense goodwill looming larger on Empowered Solutions by continuing to gather more strength day by day, year by year. I also visualise fructification of our hard work and talent towards the expansion of our overseas offices in North America.
Great Companies: If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out, what would it be?
Dr Shabnam Asthana: I would say that if you started with a purpose keep your mind and actions focused on that purpose, through the strength of your conviction by keeping your head and values held high throughout your journey never allowing either your enthusiasm or the start-up spirit to wane!