It was a bright, balmy morning the first time I met Ragini Jain. As I parked my car, Ragini stepped out of hers and on spotting the Delhi number plate walked up to me. With her characteristic ease of manner, she asked me ‘Yaar, dilliwalli number plate dekh ke dil khush ho gaya. Pukka fauji hoge?’
The situation was remarkable for two things. One, we both had recently moved to, a small hamlet in West Bengal and it is as rare to enjoy a sunny day in June there as it is to spot Mount Everest from Mumbai. Secondly, the particular building was a hole in the wall kinds and housed a dance academy which was a revelation to most locals, let alone someone who came on posting for just a couple of years. But both of us are big believers in karma, and it must have been our Karmic connection that brought us face to face.
Ragini is the founder of the online resume writing company, Transformurcv. She is also a wife of an army officer, a mother of two kids, a voracious reader, a practicing Buddhist since last 16 years and a wonderful human at heart. Her story is that of grit, determination and a bit of humour. From Delhi, Ragini comes across as a fiercely independent woman. ‘From childhood, I learned to look out for myself. I used to attend vocal music classes when I was in class 5th and would take the local transport to reach the classes. My father died when I was 15 years old. Post that I had been managing things on my own. My Nanaji and my mother of course helped but my two sisters and I learnt to be independent from then on.’
One wonders how and why she developed an entrepreneurial streak. A grounded person, Ragini explains, “I studied IT Engineering and then MBA. I worked for about five years before I got married. I wanted to balance marriage and work. The work-from-home options are very limited. I was working hard and getting peanuts. When I started out, I would get paid as low as Rs. 150 per resume. Then I began working for Headhonchos, a pioneer resume writing company but still, the pay wasn’t much. The decision to start out on my own was in retaliation to a Canadian fellow who was offering me very less for outsourcing his work. I questioned myself, ‘Am I not worth this much also?’ I knew I was worth much more. So in 2012, I started ‘Transformurcv’. Now I charge anywhere between Rs. 3000 to Rs. 8000 per resume. My turnover clocked in six figures last year.”
It mustn’t have been all roses starting out on your own, I ask her. Ragini agrees, “I worked backwards. I first bought a domain name, then hired a bunch of writers and then approached the clients. In the beginning, it was really tough. My husband was very supportive. When I took client calls, he would babysit the kids. There have been times that I have spoken to the clients from my car to provide myself a sound-proof environment without the background cacophony of wailing kids, ringing doorbells and barking dogs.”
Ragini continues, “Frankly, after four years of sabbatical and raising a family during this time, I was desperate for a job. I was even ready to do data entry! The challenges of running your own show are numerous. Managing the team and the funds, ensuring quality and promoting the business are my headaches. Through Linkedin, business started coming in. There are months when I am overloaded and then some days when there is nothing at all. I have written resumes for people across India, USA, UAE, Singapore, and Australia. I am now a certified writer for an Australian company, Melbourne Resumes.”
Speaking about her work ethic, Ragini says, “I do not run after money. And I never say no to work. The emphasis is always on earning a good name, having a good professional relationship and providing quality work. The money will come.”
In Army, the wife too has to shoulder any responsibilities, unlike in a civilian setup. Ragini says, “Grass is greener on the other side is the old version. The new version is grass is green on the side which you water. To be part of the army setup is a privilege. It is never too late to begin anything new. I have worked in the corporate for about half a decade but I can tell you the satisfaction I have now is unmatched. I can take care of the house, kids, family, other commitments and still work. Flexibility gets a thumbs-up in working from home. And the best part is that there is hardly any investment! I can work even in my pajamas!”
Ragini alludes, “Without my husband’s support, I would have had it tougher. We were batch mates in college and it was love at first sight for me. He started talking to me because someone had laid a bet with him. His family was against our match but eventually, they came around and we got married. He is a very supportive person and has always encouraged me. I don’t believe in planning way ahead. Fauji life has taught me that the more you plan, the lesser it will follow the route you charted for yourself. Just live each day as it comes.”
There is a lot to learn from Ragini. Brimming with positivity, she believes that you can attract anything you want provided you set your mind to it. For three years, before she flagged her own firm, she was consumed with the idea of being independent. Her story teaches us that life will always show us the way, only we need to have enough gumption to walk it.