A Self-made Diamond

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The auditorium was bustling; about an hour remained for the most-awaited business conclave of the year to begin. With the who’s who of the business world gathered under one roof, the charge and superiority in the ambience were palpable. But this year it was not the same as the rest; this year, instead of being on the veterans of the business world, most eyes were (be it directly or indirectly) on one woman who, four years ago, was a nobody in the world of business.

The moment Vitaasta entered the auditorium, she could feel eyes follow her as she made her way to her assigned table. She had barely drawn her seat to sit down when one, then two, then four, and so on, people started coming to her to get acquainted with her. It was only when the host announced that the event was about to commence that she got the chance to take a breather and finally be seated.

It wasn’t a surprise that Vitaasta was the topic of conversation of the hour. She was the first female CEO to be nominated for the top three awards at the conclave––Entrepreneur of the Year, Startup of the Year, and the coveted CEO of the Year award. And her chances of winning them seemed quite high, given the heights to which she had taken her startup in a surprisingly short span of time.

The conclave began with the customary speeches by the host, the organizers of the conclave, and the sponsors; everybody was praising the star performers of the year that had gone by, and no address missed recognizing Vitaasta. But nobody knew about or had seen the struggles that she had to endure to reach the summit.

Though an exceptionally bright woman since the beginning, Vitaasta had been a “prisoner of society” for years. Despite showing the potential and having the prowess to make it big, her parents, like any of a woman belonging to a conservative, lower-middle-class family, married her off immediately after she completed her education. Her in-laws, too, were as conservative if not more. All her attempts to build a career were ruthlessly thwarted. When she turned to her husband, who had, before marriage, promised her to support her, went back on his word. There was a period in her marriage where she was subjected to regular domestic violence, even sexual abuse when she made attempts to try to make a name for herself.

After seven years of torment, she finally managed to get out of the misery and start afresh. She decided to start her own business. But, it wasn’t easy; a new set of unprecedented hardships were ready for her at every step of the way in different forms. She hardly received any support from her family or the majority of her “friends”. But this time, she didn’t let anything or anybody pull her down or stop her from fulfilling her dreams.

Step by step, she started working on building her own enterprise––from developing a business plan, arranging for finances, and setting up, to building her team, forming partnerships, and establishing a foothold in an already cutthroat world––she managed every single aspect on her own; her business had become her life.

Vitaasta was pulled back from her reverie when the host announced her name as the winner of the CEO of the Year award; she had just become the first female to win the most coveted award in the industry. As she walked toward the podium to receive the award, every corner of the auditorium thundered with claps; she had finally made a name for herself in a male-dominated world all by herself.

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