Dr Indira Fonseca is a homeopathic physician turned entrepreneur
By ANNA FERNANDES
What started out as a fun little hobby has turned into a full blown entrepreneurial venture for the very creative doctor, Indira Fonseca. The only raw materials? Passion, perseverance and paper. Straddling the fields of medicine and entrepreneurship with equal zeal, Dr Indira Fonseca is proof that when opportunity knocks, never say never!
A practising homoeopath, Dr Indira runs Dr Fonseca’s Laboratory with her husband Dr Rohan Fonseca, a reputed pathologist in the state. Well established in her field, Dr Indira spells out the origin of her venture Kaushal Paper Wonders. For Dr Indira, it all started a decade ago. In her own words, “I always had a knack for making things out of waste. When I first started out as a doctor, whenever I had free time on my hands between patients, I would be creating crafts out of whatever waste paper I could find.” As Dr Indira narrates, it was her husband who encouraged her to pursue her passion and turn it into a full-fledged business.
Kaushal Paper Wonders initially began as an initiative to generate employment for women. “At the outset, we had a lot of women working with us, from school drop-outs and unemployed women who would come in and work with us.” Starting off small in 2008, Kaushal Paper Wonders took off by initially working with a few companies, hotels and corporates, and supplying a variety of paper products such as paper bags, pen stands, photo frames and posters. On being asked, “Why Kaushal?” Dr Indira says, “In Sanskrit, the word “Kaushal” translates to art, craft, and skill. While this craft looks simple, there is a lot of precision and skill involved. The brand name “Kaushal” thus seemed apt.” Moreover, through its exciting product line, the brand stays true to its name in creating wonder out of paper.
Over the years, the brand has evolved. From once relying solely on labour, the company now makes use of self-automated machinery. Today, Kaushal Paper Wonders is engaged in the manufacture and supply of an exquisite range of eco-friendly and innovative paper products. The material used by Dr Indira has been extensively researched and imported from mills from all over the country and emphasises quality and durability. The same is then used to manufacture a host of utility products. The product range consists of different kinds of paper bags made from recycled paper, embossed paper, printed paper or craft paper according to the clients’ requirements, food pouches made out of special food-grade material, posters, wine bags, gift tags, notebooks, folders, bags, and more. Each product that is manufactured at Kaushal Paper Wonders bears the exclusive mark of the finesse of the brand’s workmanship and stands as a true testament of the creativity, heart and energy poured into it.
Launching a business and getting it off the ground was understandably accompanied by numerous challenges, in the form of sourcing capital, labour and figuring out how to run operations. The initial days of Kaushal Paper Wonders witnessed time and energy being consumed in addressing these issues. Dr Indira says, “Coming from a medical background, I had absolutely no idea how to run a business. Figuring out the know-how when it came to starting a business proved to be one of the biggest hurdles. There’s a lot of research that needs to be done – processes, documentation, what financial institutions you need to approach… Somehow, though, you find your way around,” she says, adding that she has always been surrounded by people who have guided her along the way. Dr Indira credits her success as an entrepreneur to her valuable support system: her family who’ve indeed made the hectic task of managing her practice and her business a breeze. Dr Indira stresses on the importance of having a strong support system in place, saying, “My in-laws are both doctors, and well established in their professions. My parents, on the other hand, are reputed in the educational field. I’ve had a strong support system in them, right from the time I started out, through all the hurdles. My siblings, too, are always helping me out by researching the latest trends in the business; I try to implement them here in Goa. And, of course, there’s my husband – my own personal “Google”, whose valuable inputs have helped me every step of the way. He advises me on the finances and strategy, while I handle the creative aspect of the business.” Dr Indira is living proof that you can do it all.
“My husband has been my own personal “Google”, his valuable inputs have helped me every step of the way. He advises me on the finances and strategy, while I handle the creative aspect of the business” ~Dr Indira Fonseca
“With all the backing I get from my family, I never felt that I should be limited only to my profession. My mother has instilled in me the principle of ‘never give up’. So, I’ve always believed that whenever an opportunity arises, you owe it to yourself to see it through. That is what has led us to where we are today,” she says. She continues, “Back in 2008, I was just starting out as a doctor and an entrepreneur. I was trying to pursue my passion and my practice as well. With regard to the business, I had no clue about anything! So, I had to improvise a lot! Back then, because of the limited information available, I was only able to start off on a small scale. Now, of course, when we look at expansion, the possibilities seem endless, and the scope seems tangible.” Today, Kaushal Paper Wonders is at the pinnacle of its success, and Dr Indira is more than content with the current state of business. However, she continues to evaluate opportunities for growth.
With her keen spirit and determination, we’re sure that where her brand’s potential for expansion is concerned, the sky is the limit