Dr. Suhani Mendonsa is the Founder of Yellow Spider Events, Project Director at Mendonsa Foundation, and also a Lifestyle Influencer. The dynamic lady has already been covered by The Print, Midday, Zee 5, IIFL, and more.
Her inspiring journey began at the age of 15 when she was only a teenager, and what she grew up around left an impact on her. During her teenage years, Dr. Mendonsa decided that she needed to have her own money and be financially independent, so she started working and has never looked back.
Dr. Mendonsa decided that she needed to have her own money and be financially independent, so she started working and has never looked back.
Beginning her profession as a Mehendi artist and exploring different career options until the age of 22, she told team Sociobits that when she closes her eyes and imagines her journey, she realizes that it has helped her in more than one way. She has built the confidence to stop anyone on the street and ask them where they bought their outfit from, as well as the confidence to talk to a CEO or a celebrity that stands beside her.
In a conversation with Dr. Suhani Mendonsa, she walks through her interesting and inspiring journey as an entrepreneur, a mother, a social worker, a lifestyle influencer, and all the roles that she has played in her life:
Team Sociobits: After having around 25 years of experience in the event management industry, could you tell us how you got into the industry?
Dr. Suhani Mendonsa: That’s actually a very interesting story! From working as a salesperson to working backstage at a fashion show, I have tried a lot of career options. There was a time in my life when I needed a pause, and I remember that it was very difficult for my father to accept that I was going out and working, as I come from a very orthodox Gujarati household. On the other hand, my mother was my best friend. I could go and tell her anything and everything that has happened in my life. So at the age of 22, I decided to take a break and start doing a “normal” 9-to-5 job at a stock market broker.
This is when I realized that the creativity within me was itching and that I wanted to do something more. I went on to pioneer a game show, Karaoke Antakshri and it took off! From women’s gatherings to wedding parties, the show happened all over, and amidst this process, I got the opportunity to manage my first wedding. Since then, I have had the opportunity to work with amazing people, and I have also witnessed people changing their wedding dates so that I can manage their weddings! People around me built faith and trust in me and my work because I made sure that every person who attended our events was comfortable and should leave with a satisfied smile on their face.
Team Sociobits: As someone from the event management industry, how did the COVID-19 pandemic affect your business?
Dr. Suhani Mendonsa: While everything was going well, all of a sudden we were hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, and everything was shut down. The pandemic affected me a lot, and I also went through depression because it was literally my baby. The events that we had signed up for were not going to happen, and the money that we invested was gone. So, as they say, you need to book your losses and move on in life; that’s what I did. My husband and my two sons motivated me and told me that I could be anything that I wanted in my life, and that’s how I began my journey as a lifestyle influencer!
The pandemic affected me a lot, and I also went through depression because it was literally my baby.
Team Sociobits: Could you tell us more about your life as a lifestyle influencer?
Dr. Suhani Mendonsa: During the lockdown, we certainly had a lot of time, and we were stuck in our houses almost all the time. So, while everyone else was on Zoom and Meet, I started making some videos that my friends started loving. The amazing part is that they used to text me on WhatsApp, telling me that they really liked watching a certain video, and that’s when I started realizing that what I was doing was right.
Although some people did tell me that what I was doing was crazy and also made me aware that my competition is with people who are not only half my age but also half my weight, I am very thankful to them. They showed me a mirror, and that got me thinking about what I could offer or how I could make a difference if I became an influencer. It clicked; I have been an entrepreneur! And connecting entrepreneurs to their target audience is something I could do because of the connections I have built over my entire journey.
Some people did tell me that what I was doing was crazy and also made me aware that my competition is with people who are not only half my age but also half my weight, I am very thankful to them.
Team Sociobits: Could you tell us more about your social work and the Mendonsa Foundation?
Dr. Suhani Mendonsa: I remember when I got my first paycheck and I was traveling back to my house. I thought to myself that I wished to help people with what I earned. During the pandemic, I used to step out from day one for food distribution. So, no matter what happened in life, I made sure that I gave back to society.
Mendonsa Foundation works on various causes, and we collaborate with different NGOs that are doing brilliant work in similar fields that we are present in. Every time we help people, I feel that there is so much learning. I also feel privileged that they give us the opportunity to help them.
Team Sociobits: With around 27 years of experience in entrepreneurship, is there a message that you would like to give to other entrepreneurs?
Dr. Suhani Mendonsa: I would like to give a message to everyone. Whatever you start out with, you must first research what you are getting into. You cannot get into it without any knowledge because you will meet a lot of people on your journey who will be out to get you on the wrong track. You need to understand, find out, learn, and research what you are getting into.
I met a lot of wonderful people, but I also met people who got me off track, and I am thankful to my tech-savvy younger son who helped me. When I started out, I didn’t know how to post a story or a reel on Instagram, but I certainly remember my younger son telling me, “Remember you used to teach when we were young? So, now it’s your turn. Grab a pen and book and start noting everything.” This is how I learned; I learned a lot from various channels about influencing, even at an age when people don’t know what influencing is.
You cannot get into it without any knowledge because you will meet a lot of people on your journey who will be out to get you on the wrong track.
People like Dr. Suhani Mendonsa teach us that learning never stops and you get to learn something new every day! Life can be very uncertain, and that’s the only certainty in life. Looking at the experience that she has garnered throughout her career, starting at a very young age, the key is to never give up and never be afraid.