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When Hijab failed to cover the ambitions.....

Byline: Divya Singh Shobhawat

Her struggle is realHer story is rareShe stand inspired.

Salma Moosa, 47 years old hero of Start up ecosystem; raised in a conservative family, High School dropped out, married at the tender age of 18 years, suppressed, abused, confined, divorced and a single mother of three children, but nothing ever stopped her from chasing her dreams, the undying spirit, unrivalled aspirations and willingness to win over all the odds made her an exceptional brave soul, as she rightly said "rise from the ashes", just like a phoenix. Today, Salma Moosa is the founder of the Startups Club, a mentor, a working mother and a motivational speaker.

Struggle is real but passion is more persistent

Being raised in a conventional family, she was always in certain restrictions but the little eyes, always had big dreams. Soon to her sudden awful realization, family decided to get her married and she was forced to quit studies, even after many innocent efforts, she could not fight the fate. The successful entrepreneur never went to college.

Wedding bells were not comforting

Married at the age of 18, trapped with a non-supportive husband, had children in early age, had countless restrictions, forced to wear Hijab and asked to follow all the social obligations. Reluctantly she moulded herself, tried her best to be a good mother, wife & daughter-in-law, while still chasing her dreams. She used to wear Hijab to cover her face, but lately it failed to cover her dreams and ambitions. She went to her fathers company to work and learn business, she started with small works like taking Xerox, depositing cheques in banks etc. and all of it facilitated her to gain mastery in business basics and marketing, eventually; she independently expanded the business internationally.

"Stand as a guardian angel above your child, dont cage your child"

To be a parent is as much challenging as it is cheering. Salma Moosa chose to build an equal relationship with her kids; she preferred being a friend to her kids. She says, "I brought up in an orthodox family, middle of all the societal norms and pre-set rules, customized for women; but I never believed in it, so, I chose not to own my kids just because I gave birth to them, I have set them free from the beginning, they are allowed to do whatever they feel right, sometimes they might fail but they will learn, thats how life is. We are not always right, so why not to give liberty to kids to be wrong sometimes. My kids are unrestricted and independent; I just need to know what, where and when thats all. Now, I look at my kids and I am proud of them and I am honoured to raise such amazing humans."

"I am not exaggerating, but I was literally on Streets"

After 18 years of marriage, challenging the conventional philosophy, she collected the courage to step out of her failed marriage along with her three children, it was of course not the safe-bet, but she did it anyways. Around the same time life showed its nasty side, she lost her father, who was a motivation in her life, alongside the company could not survive without her fathers guidance, the company got shut, thats when she was in real distress, she said, "I am not exaggerating but I was literally on streets", but she is a warrior; always have been. After fighting all the battles alone, she made herself; unstoppable, unmatchable and undefeatable.

Dreams are demanding

It was a fresh flinch. She started with small business consultation jobs, plainly struggled for survival, nevertheless a few personalities are not born to do ordinary things, and she was obviously not the one. Soon after that, she met her friend, presently; co-founder of Startups Club, Vivek Srinivasan, over a coffee and they both decided to start coffee shop meet ups for the investors, innovators and entrepreneurs. These meet ups later unveiled Startups club in 2013. The consistent hard work, determined efforts, sleepless nights and strength to overcome every failure, resulted in Startups club; a family for Start-ups and one stop destination for young entrepreneurs. As of today, the Club is recognized for transforming ideas into outrageously successful professions, reaching across India, conducted more than 500 meetings so far and a family to around 20,000 active members.

"The Startups Club made me, its my family"

"I dont truly have any personal-professional divide; Startups Club is a personal affair, my team and members of the club are my family, I work 20 hours a day and I dont feel tired, I love it. Five years back nobody knew who Salma Moosa is; The Startups Club gave me identity. We are a company with heart, we not only give advices and consultation, we believe in inclusive growth, simply we say, U JUMP, I JUMP; we link inventors to investors. Startups club is one of its kinds, where we assist our members throughout their journey to make their struggles smoother."

"I see civilization for Startups Club"

"2018 is the time to expand my family, to reach all the 29 States and all the 7 Union Territories, to dig out every potential talent and extend our support. We might reach internationally soon." Surely, with such a strong willpower, Startups Club is all set to build young pioneers. The investor, Sravan Davuluri, says, "This is the Future". Indeed, Startups Club is the blessed baby of Salma Moosa, the lady who can make everything possible and with the boom in Start-up era, there is no looking back.
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Title Annotation:Submitted Content
Publication:Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)
Date:Nov 29, 2017
Words:929
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