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Roohi Jaikishan: “Take Criticism As An Opportunity To Be Better”

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Businesswoman, fashionista, art purveyor — Roohi Jaikishan wears all of these hats with the ease of a seasoned pro. As the Executive Director of RRO — one of the fastest growing FMCG companies in India — she’s on a mission to make India eat quality food and develop healthy eating habits. Her company manufactures healthy edible oils and nutritious food items, as well as imports and markets fine foodssauces, cereals and cheese from globally-renowned brands. But there’s more to the entrepreneur than her brilliant business acumen. Boasting a Master’s degree in Arts and a Diploma in Art Appreciation from Sotheby’s, the global jetsetter has a keen eye for Indian contemporary art and her entertaining skills are the toast of Mumbai’s high society. What’s more, she regularly features in the Best Dressed Lists of every major fashion publication. So much so, that the international luxury brand Gucci has tapped her as one of its most prominent ambassadors in India.

1. Learn to pick your battles

One of my favourite quotes is the one Mufasa tells his young son Simba in The Lion King: “I am only brave when I have to be. Being brave doesn’t mean you go looking for trouble.” This couldn’t be truer when it comes to making choices — be it in life or at work. Be fearless, but only when there’s a solid reason to do so. There is such a thing as stupidity.

2. Always have a role model

The things we learn from people who are older, wiser, and more experienced is priceless. Identify a woman leader you admire — it could be a teacher, an immediate supervisor, or even your boss — and allow her to mentor you, guide you, advise you. One day, you’ll also be a mentor to someone else. At that time, it’ll be YOU in the driving seat. Do amazing things in this beautiful world, and strive to be a role model for the future.

3. Don’t let people’s opinions bother you

While it’s important to hear out both critics as well as supporters, people’s opinions about you will always change over time. You’ll never be able to please everybody all of the time. Learn not to let it bother or hurt you. Take criticism as an opportunity to be better at everything you do. Haters will hate. Hug them and kill them with kindness!

4. Pay more than just lip service to feminism

I have always been a strong woman. My brother and I were raised in a progressive Muslim home as equals, and I was never made to feel that I couldn’t achieve something because I was a girl. I cannot thank my parents enough. Remember: Feminism begins at home.

5. Be mindful of growing older

When you’re young, eat as much as you can. Tuck in those burgers and pizzas. As you grow older, your metabolism does slow down and you won’t be able to indulge as much as you once used to!

6. Curiosity is a virtue

Be curious, stay curious. Without a little curiosity, life will just be a boring drill where someone else will be telling you what to do, what to eat, how to live, what to wear, etc. Ask why often. And then make informed choices.

7. Don’t underestimate the power of a good night’s rest

Stay in bed and sleep longer. Once you have a job and family, it’s difficult to clock in those rest hours. Trust me.

8. Always protect your heart

Don’t give your heart to someone who doesn’t respect it. You will face the pain of rejection at least once; that’s just part of growing up. But one day, you will just know who will be the worthy keeper of your heart.

9. Sometimes, it’s ok to be lost

It’s ok to have bouts of self-doubt. It’s ok not to know which career path you want to follow. It will all fall into place eventually.

10. It’s all in your head!

And if all else fails, blame your immaturity on the prefrontal cortex of your brain, which only fully develops at the ripe old age of 25!

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