Meet SelfAchiever Mallika Thoppay of BollyBeatz USA
Mallika was in my first batch of dance class when I founded it in 2002. We have performed at various events together and she has been teh most vivacious and energetic dancer in my class. Extremely regular to class and passionate about dance. When I was leaving USA, Mallika took charge of the dance classes and has been continuing to teach since. We have worked together for 20 years now and I love her energy and spirit. Not only is she one of my great friends and a libra partner, but she is a wonderful mother of two boys Saahil and Rishaan and defies ageing!Mallika wear several hats and balances all her passions and professional roles wonderfully. She is a Technology faculty, a real estate broker and a BollyBeatz Dance Instructor partner.
Industry: Real Estate, Technology, Dance
Tell us a bit about yourself and about your current profession. What were you doing before you started out on your own?
We help people realize the American dream of owning a home. We work with several lenders and are able to find a home loan that best suits the needs of our clients. I was working as an IT consultant at a big five consulting firm prior to getting into this business.
When did you start your company? Where? And what motivated you to start it? What was your initial investment?
I got into this business in 2002. The IT economy had taken a hit at that time. I always had an interest in finance and sales and this proved to be a perfect fit. My initial investment was under $400 to secure a real estate license.
What have been your achievements, accolades and upturns in your career?
I generated a business of more than $20M in mortgage loans in the first year that I got into the business. By the second year, I was able to set up a sales team wherein I had a couple of telesales agents work for me. I also implemented the internet strategy for our company, thus giving us a better internet presence.
Any downturns, Unusual circumstances, hardships, you have had to face in your profession/business?
When I first got into the business, I had to work towards building trust with clients. They were sometimes uncomfortable working with a novice, but I kept reassuring them through the process with status updates and with thorough follow up after their loans closed. I also had to build relationships with realtors. There have been times when the real estate market has been unfavourable and I have had to diversify our offerings to ensure that we stayed afloat.
How do you balance your personal and professional life? How many kids do you have? What are your usual activities with them?
Any time I get outside of work, I make it a point to spend it with my kids. We have 2 boys. Our activities together range from reading books and doing craft projects to having pillow fights and having them use me as a climbing wall!
How do you spend your “Alone” time. Any hobbies, activities, groups you are associated with.
I don’t get much alone time and don’t really crave it. We play mini golf as a family. I love Bollywood dancing, shopping and trying out new recipes. I like thinking of ideas that may help people, not just something that I would benefit from, but also ideas that would bring about social change.
Were you working before having children? Have things changed in the way you work today after having children?
Yes. After I had kids, I’ve had to manage time more efficiently since there is much more to do on any given day.
Do you receive understanding from your family as a business woman? If not, how did tackle such situations.
My husband is very supportive and was actually the one who suggested I get into the mortgage business.
What would you recommend to other mothers who want to venture out on their own?
I would say that it is important for mothers and anybody who wants to venture out on their own to firmly believe in themselves and stay positive. It may be difficult to do so especially in the beginning when the results of hard work cannot be seen. But it is important to stick it out despite hearing any negativity. It’s also important to manage time well and work smart.
What do you have in the pipeline for your company's future development?
I would like to assemble a full-fledged sales team. I would like to broaden our offerings by getting into commercial real estate. I would like to broaden my knowledge of foreclosure sales and non-standard mortgage offerings.
Is there any person who has mentored you? Supported you?
A personal friend who is also a broker was a great mentor. The broker and our team at the office were very supportive.
What’s the secret to your being a SuperMomPreneur? And what’s the best compliment you have received about your career or being a self-professional.
I think I’ve revealed the “secret” in the advice I have for people wanting to venture out on their own. A nice compliment I got from a client was:
“Thank you for your constant patience and follow up... you have been a gem to work with.”