Changing gender stereotypes begins at home. Meet the man behind Gupta & Daughters
For centuries, family businesses have passed down from men to sons or brothers. While most of us looked back at these establishments with a sense of awe over their accomplishments, very few of us actually wondered why these businesses were never passed down to daughters. While we all talk about breaking gender stereotypes, we rarely pick up the baton and begin this journey towards building an equitable society.
One such person is Mr. Manoj Kumar Gupta. A businessman from Ludhiana, India, Mr. Gupta decided that when he was to pass on the business to his heirs, his daughter would also have an equal voice in the matter.
Thus was born the name - Gupta & Daughters.
This Father’s Day, Supriya Puri, from team Basis had the opportunity of catching up with Mr. Gupta and discussing how and why this change was important, and why change always begins at home.
Supriya: It is an honour for us to meet with you today, when did you decide to name your store Gupta & Daughters? Mr. Gupta: “I have always been inspired by the ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padao’ initiative, but what’s important is that after educating the girl child, you must also help her move forward in life as well. I have one company called Gupta & Sons, but when I opened the second business, the pharmacy, I wanted to name it after my daughter. This is important for my family and is my way of encouraging our society as well.”
While discussing this with his family, Mr. Gupta wasn’t too sure in the beginning. They all were a little hesitant at first simply because this was a norm that was non-existent. But Mr. Gupta pursued this because he believed that this was a notion that needed to be changed. “When I was distributing the invitations to the inauguration of my store, I got a lot of calls from well-wishers asking me if this was a misprint.” Mr. Gupta fondly remembers. “Actually, nobody really noticed this for 3 years, it was only after the current situation arose, I think someone must have observed the name, and put it over the internet.” Mr. Gupta is proud of the fact that this change has made some impact around him. “It doesn’t matter whether your thought is different from others, if your thought is good and you want to make a difference for the better, you should always go ahead with doing it. This was the advice I got from my mother and wife, this is when I decided to go ahead with the name.” “Family support is important. Your family is your pillar and no decision in a family should be taken without consulting all members of the family. It’s just that simple. This is when families become independent and everyone, in the family, whether boy or girl, feel empowered to start becoming independent.” Mr. Gupta added.
Mr. Gupta with his daughter. Image source: the internet
Supriya: When you first put out the board, did anyone take notice of this? What was their reaction and how did you feel?
Mr Gupta recalls a funny incident, he says that when he gave the board for printing, the printer himself came back to Mr. Gupta and asked him if this was a mistake. “I have thought about this and I want the name to be Gupta & Daughters”, Mr. Gupta added.
Supriya: Your daughter is studying law right now, what do you want her to do next? How do you support her in fulfilling her dreams?
Mr. Gupta says that everyone should do what makes them feel good. “She wants to study law and become a Supreme Court Judge. If she works hard enough, she will achieve her dream. We are always there to support her, but it is her dream.”
Supriya: While bringing up your daughter, how did you help her learn the importance of becoming financially independent?
Mr. Gupta: “Financial Independence is for everyone. Whether a son, or a daughter, everyone must learn the importance of making decisions about money on their own. I have taught my children that this will help them in their lives, learning about money is important.”
Change indeed begins with all of us. Each and every one of us. This is not just an act of equality, but of the fact that you do not need to be famous or in-power to make a positive impact. All you need is some determination and the intent to make a change. #impact #fathersday #guptaanddaughters #changebeginswithyou #internationalfathersday