Nokjhok and a little bit of friction are healthy in every relationship. In fact, it strengthens the bond between two partners, making the relationship stronger. This holds true for couples as well. However, the big question is, how does a couple strike a healthy work-life balance when they are a part of an entrepreneurial venture too? Spending that much time together, at work, at play, can feel like a dream for some and a nightmare for others.
This Valentine’s Day, The Channel 46 is connecting with couplepreneurs who have aced the business of love. Husband-wife duo Kunal & Vibha Mehta, co-founders of decor brand Kanchi, share tips and advice on balancing work and personal life with your other half.
1. How and when did you meet each other?
I (Kunal) met Vibha through my sister Kanchi; they both studied together in school at Rachnas’ and were really good friends. The first time I interacted with Vibha was when she was working on a project with Ajit Shilpi for a hotel called Mirador near the airport. Since we both were working in the same industry, I asked her to meet me for work and it was love at first sight.
We fell in love in February 2008 and decided to come together to be business partners as well. We tied the knot in December 2008 and are blessed with two beautiful children.
2. Tell us a little bit about your business and who came up with the idea for it?
As mentioned earlier, we started nurturing the idea of a joint entrepreneurial venture after we decided to meet for business. So it was a collaborative idea, of sorts.
Today, Kanchi has evolved as a front-runner one-stop shop catering to all décor requirements for homes and hospitality, palaces and yachts, architects, and interior designers. We have established the fortitude of our bones and brains over the years with an array of commendable work. The brand was established in 1999 as our pet project and has become a family business renowned in the Indian and overseas markets.
3. What’s the role each of you play in your business?
Kunal actively handles the ideation and generation, and I (Vibha) aid him by improvising and fine-tuning the same. It’s a match made in heaven where Kunal leads, and I, Vibha, follow with knowledge and input.
The Mehtas function under the same umbrella where we don’t cross each other’s paths and stay dedicated to our distinct arenas. We adore and enjoy working together. Kunal is invested in designing and fabric, while I work with the projects. If one is to show up, we dabble in to help each other through a problem.
Designing a tassel or crafting furniture at the office is equivalent to making babies every day. We hold the motto closest to our hearts that staying true to your core and abiding by your roles in different situations can make marriage and business partnerships feel like a breeze. Our mission at Kanchi is to uphold our reliable, efficient, and quality supply chains, which are morals we value in our relationship as well.
4. Do you think it’s harder or easier to work with your partner?
Vibha and I have collectively been a part of this industry for almost 15 years. Along with building a successful empire together, we are also fortunate to have created a lovely family of four. Our relationship has indeed given a new meaning to being “married to your work”.
We have both always been mindful of our work and have fashioned a way for ourselves. Over the years, we have worked in a collaborative manner on numerous projects while respecting each other’s boundaries. We know how to play to our strengths and aim for the sky.
5. How do you resolve conflict at work?
What is important is to maintain a work-life balance by enjoying each other’s company and making the most out of our work trips. Situations can inevitably get intense as we come from a family of designers.
Conflicting thoughts and judgments are bound to arise, but tempers should not. We incessantly adopt a patient attitude and in times where either of us has a very strong opinion, the other calms down and keeps their ideas to themselves. It is crucial to respect your partner’s instincts in a formal workspace. Such matters can be discussed over a cup of coffee at home in a comfortable environment.
I (Vibha) recall a situation where my partner and I had to navigate something similar. The chambers were one of the most significant projects that could lead to a conflict. It was initially Kunal’s project, and I swung by the meeting. I told Kunal how his A1 size mood board was not fascinating and had to be spruced up. What I was unaware of was that the GM of the company was standing behind us, listening to our conversation. Mr Singh then walked ahead and asked for my opinion on the designs. Kunal introduced me to him, and he gave me a week to present my plans to him. My husband supported me as I changed the narrative and respected me through the transition.
Mutual understanding and valuing each other’s mindsets are critical for couplepreneurs. Working together, being on the same team, and striving for the same goals is endearing in itself.
6. What are 3 tips you’d give to couplepreneurs who work together?
- Time is precious, and it should be spent making memories. As Kunal always says, memories are irreplaceable and priceless; our most significant effort is holding onto them. The world around you is persistently changing, and the only constant you have is each other. It may rain, or it may shine, but your partner stays forever.
- It is imperative to respect each other’s skills. Upholding your style and not getting influenced by your significant other should be considered.
- Lines will get blurred, and there is no point in being frustrated because it will eventually affect both spaces. The trick to manage both commitments is to accept it and then work on it to get the best out of both worlds.