They have been the perfect foil for each other both at home and at work. From being classmates at IIM to becoming life partners, Meena and K Ganesh have been best friends and partners in business for the longest time. “We met when we were 21 and 19 and got married when we were 23 and 21. So we kind of grew up together,” says Ganesh. While fast-talking Ganesh is the big picture guy raring to go with ideas, the calm and collected Meena gives shape to ideas figuring out the nitty-gritty of the businesses and scaling it up. As co-founders with complementary strengths, Meena and Ganesh have successfully built and scaled up three companies, Customer Asset, Tutor Vista and Portea Medical.
Their complementary strengths have not only brought them great success at work but have also ensured the smooth transitioning of roles at home and when it came to raising their two children. Both Meena and Ganesh started their careers in Delhi right after graduating in 1985. “We got married immediately after graduating and we had our first child Akshita after 5 years. At the time I was working with NIIT and Ganesh was starting up his first company. So I absolutely needed to work to make sure money was there on the table.Since he was building a business, he was putting long hours at work plus there was a lot of travel and no cell phones those days,” says Meena. “Ganesh has always been extraordinarily focused on work. I remember the day my daughter was born, I was rushed to the hospital with labour pains. There were the three of us —his mom, my mom and me with all the crying and drama. Our man walks in says, ‘Oh nice, all of you are here. So let me go to work’ and off he goes. Then at 4.07, the little one arrives and as if on cue, our man walks in at 4.09 saying, ‘how wonderful! We have a baby’,” she recollects with a smile. While this behavior may have led to WW III in some families, what saved Ganesh was the fact that Meena not only understands his crazy drive to excel but also has it in droves within her as well.
Three months after her daughter was born, Meena went back to work full-time which involved extensive travel as well. Thankfully support came from both families. “His mom ha