| Shashhi Chupar
Pretty smells had always been Shashi’s passion. So much so that her mother had threatened to arrange her marriage with a maker of perfumes.
In a quirky twist of fate, she did. At the age of 16, Shashi, the carefree student of Gokhale College, became Shashi Dhupar, bahu of the Monet perfume family.
The young girl, still busy winning beauty pageants, wanted to do something on her own. She launched Shashi’s Creations, a salwar-kameez design outfit. “It was doing very well. I was getting a lot of orders,” reminisces the 40-year-old. “But when I was expecting my first child, my husband suggested that I join his company instead,” says the mother of two. Closing her firm, she joined the family business as director of Dhupar Sales Organisation Pvt Ltd, the marketing house for Monet perfumes.
Though she had no formal training in management, she has learnt the ropes on the job. “My husband has been an excellent coach. Now my son, studying BBA in Australia also gives me tips,” she laughs. Princess Diana, one of the most popular brands (alongside Passport and its first scent, Monet), was Shashi’s brainchild.
“I thought of it when Di was getting married. It was one of the first perfumes we created for the more sophisticated woman,” she recalls. Till then, their brands had concentrated on lower-end markets.
It did not take long for Shashi to spread her wings. “Both my husband and I are very good dancers, and we would participate in a lot of club events. Soon I was asked to join a number of organisations as convenor for various events.”
The woman who has worked for the Punjabee Bradree for 17 years was also the “only woman in the club’s history” to serve as chairperson of both the Bradree and the Calcutta Punjab Club at the same time. She has recently resigned as head of the Mayfair Road cultural organisation, but is still occupying the chair at Punjab Club for the second year running.
Shashi’s core competence lies in organising fundraisers. Monthly Ladies Coffee Meets and other dos generate funds for the club’s social commitments. “I personally organise sponsorships for talented kids who do not have the means to stay in school,” she adds.
If she isn’t at Monet’s Circus Avenue office, she is working on a club event, or is at home with her daughter, a student of Class IX.
“I do all of the work around the house still. It is my way of keeping fit,” grins Shashi. Housewife, mother, businesswoman and social worker — that is how Shashi Dhupar likes to be known. And she is proud of juggling so many hats.