The Weekend Chief – Poonam Gupta

Hailing from a conservative household in Delhi, the place women got in marriage across the ages of 18-20, Poonam Gupta managed to stave off her wedding ceremony till she accomplished her BA Honours in Economics and an MBA in Worldwide Enterprise and Advertising and marketing from Fore Faculty of Administration, Delhi.

With a strong schooling underneath her belt and a burning zeal to succeed, she finally tied the knot with Scotland-based company govt Puneet Gupta at age 26 in 2002 and gave wings to her goals in a international land, the place she arrange a paper buying and selling firm with a authorities grant of £1000 (about Rs 1 lakh).

Poonam Gupta began PG Paper Firm in 2003 from her residence workplace in Greenock, Scotland (Photographs: Particular Association)

At present, PG Paper Firm Ltd that she arrange as a single individual from her residence workplace in Greenock in 2003 with only a desk, chair, pc, and phone line, has grown right into a Rs 650 crore (£65 million) turnover firm with about 200 staff. Within the present monetary yr, the turnover has already touched Rs 800 crore.

The corporate has worldwide operations and presently exports 1100 kinds of paper to over 60 international locations throughout six continents.

Poonam was born right into a enterprise household in Delhi, the place her father traded in non-ferrous steel and her mom was a housewife. She is the eldest of 4 siblings and the one woman amongst them.

She completed her Class 12 from DPS, Mathura Street, in 1994, as the college toper. She then pursued her BA Honours in Economics from Shri Ram Faculty of Commerce, Delhi, in 1997 and later accomplished her MBA in Worldwide Enterprise and Advertising and marketing from Fore Faculty of Administration, Delhi.

“I had a cheerful childhood and good schooling, however I needed to wrestle to finish my schooling earlier than marriage. There was a social stress on my dad and mom to marry me off, all of the extra as a result of I used to be the one woman baby within the household,” says Poonam, reminiscing her rising up years in Delhi.

“I needed to persuade them that marriage just isn’t what I needed, and that schooling and profession have been my priorities. In my technology, if a lady was born right into a privileged household, dad and mom have been of the opinion that she needn’t go to work. They needed to get her married into a very good household. And if she needed to work, she might assist her husband in his enterprise.

Poonam agreed to get married solely after doing her MBA 

“Ladies weren’t inspired to be bold. It was seen in a foul approach, however I’d say that I used to be shamelessly bold.”

Poonam needed to work after ending her MBA. The household allowed her to work for a leasing firm. However she stop her job after six months.

“I used to be not having fun with the work and hardly realized something there. It was a really small firm, and once I left, my coworkers knowledgeable me that the homeowners deliberate to advertise me as vice chairman,” says Poonam, about her transient working expertise earlier than her marriage.

“I did extra part-time day jobs after this by hiding it from my dad and mom, and by typically fooling them that I used to be going out for a film. However in 2002, I lastly succumbed to the needs of my dad and mom and consented for marriage.”

In 2002, she obtained married to Puneet Gupta, whose household had been dwelling in Scotland for a very long time. Puneet was holding a very good managerial submit in a hospital there.

Sadly, inside a brief span of reaching Scotland, Poonam misplaced her mother to a sudden sickness and her surprising demise on the age of 49 got here as a shock to her.

“It was fairly lonely once I returned to Scotland a month after her demise. I used to be in search of a job and wasn’t in a very good way of thinking. I used to be determined to get a job, however nothing went in my favour as a result of I lacked the work expertise to go together with my levels,” recollects Poonam, about her early days in Scotland.

Not the one to surrender simply, she lastly settled for an unpaid job at a chartered accountancy agency for 2 months simply to achieve some work expertise. It gave her priceless publicity to how enterprise is finished within the UK.

She determined to begin a placement company, which she operated for about six months earlier than shutting it down. Although the enterprise did nicely, she discovered speaking with the native folks difficult, due to the distinct Scottish English accent and dialect.

PG Paper provides paper to shoppers situated in over 60 international locations

“Whereas dealing with the position company, I got here to know in regards to the paper trade and researched about the marketplace for about 10 months earlier than launching PG Paper Firm in 2003,” says Poonam

“My firm is a B2B firm. We purchase paper from one place and promote it to shoppers all over the world as per their requirement. We don’t do any retail gross sales, and solely deal in large volumes.

“I closed my first contract within the very first yr we began the enterprise by convincing an Italian firm to supply paper for us, which we then offered to India.”

PG Paper sells paper for newspapers, magazines, notebooks, packaging, for packed masala packing containers in India, chocolate packing containers, pizza packing containers, and label paper for pharmacy firms.

The most costly paper is the one used as a receipt in eating places or the one that’s utilized in bank card machines. Paper with watermark on it is usually a premium product.

Poonam labored alone for the primary two years. After two years, a buddy joined her on a part-time foundation, and slowly she began including extra folks because the enterprise expanded. Later, her husband too joined the enterprise. 

Poonam with PG Paper workforce members and husband and co-owner Puneet Gupta


“I had no historical past or credit standing in Scotland once I tried to open a checking account for my enterprise. My husband needed to step in as my guarantor, and inform the financial institution officers so as to add me to his account,” says Poonam, in regards to the challenges of establishing a enterprise in another country.

“It was troublesome to understand the native tradition, and to work together with the native folks, join with them, and relate to them, in addition to preserve monitor of funds.

“Fortunately, I had the advantage of good communication abilities. I made my household proud by being a profitable enterprise lady and likewise being counted among the many high three girls within the male dominated paper trade globally.”

Poonam lives together with her household in a lovely Scottish countryside referred to as Kilmacolm. The company workplace of PG Paper is at Greenock, situated inside a 200-year-old historic construction. She additionally has places of work in China, Dubai, Turkey, Belgium, Egypt, Sweden and the US.

Apart from proudly owning golf programs in Scotland, Poonam has made investments throughout industries, together with in a fintech firm in India and likewise in hospitality, F&B and actual property ventures in Turkey, Dubai, India, and the UK. Sooner or later, she plans to spend money on sustainable and setting pleasant companies.

In 2016, Poonam was conferred the OBE (Order of the British Empire) title by the Queen of England for her contribution to enterprise and charity.

Poonam likes to encourage girls entrepreneurs and helps woman schooling and orphanages 

Poonam is a philanthropist at coronary heart. She helps woman schooling and orphanages in India and the UK, other than serving to girls’s enterprise organisations.

When she just isn’t at work, she likes to spend time together with her household, particularly together with her two daughters, Saanvi, 17 and Aanya, 15, and likewise likes to learn and observe information.

Her recommendation to aspiring entrepreneurs is to make a begin: “Solely considering of doing a enterprise will not suffice; take motion. Do your analysis, begin someplace, and persist with attainable goals. And remember to place your revenue again into the corporate.” – ©TWL

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