Organisation of Indian Expat Spouses
Knowledge sharing session
Hobby to Profession Session
On Friday, 26 September 2018, the session started at 11:10 a.m with the patron of
WE-IES, Dr. Saroj Thapa introducing the members of the Executive Committee of WE-IES.
Thereafter, the attendees also introduced themselves.
Diving straight into the session, Dr. Saroj Thapa introduced the guest speaker, Mrs.
Asha Pradeep to the gathering. Mrs. Asha Pradeep is a multi-faceted achiever. With 16 years
of experience in the IT industry in India, she has now moved into the world of freelance IT
consulting. Also, she is an award-winning portrait photographer with a boutique studio in
Utrecht. She specializes family, maternity and baby photo shoots. She conducts photography
workshops and also mentors women entrepreneurs in business and marketing matters.
(Mrs. Asha Pradeep)
The speaker shared her journey from hobby to profession and emphasized on the
importance of passion, persistence and practice in the pursuit to success as an entrepreneur.
Mrs. Asha Pradeep mentioned the importance and ease of registering one’s company before
opening business. Also, equally simple and important is maintaining of records for taxation
purposes. She went on to note the importance of putting on contract every small detail of
information that needs to be communicated to the client. She stressed on a detailed Terms
and Conditions section in the contract. In her opinion, most of the times it’s the lack of clear
communication that leaves a dissatisfied client.
Mrs. Asha believes that there are five things that drive a successful entrepreneur.
First and foremost, the hunger for attaining financial independence, and following close
behind, operational independence. The next aspect is the belief in self-worth, followed by
flexibility as against a 9-5 job. The last yet significant aspect is a pragmatic approach.
Mrs. Asha also underscored the value of learning from others’ successes and failures.
She pointed out that identifying one’s weakness and rectifying the problem would go a long
way in making it a successful enterprise. The speaker highlighted the usefulness of obtaining
training in the field of interest. She herself underwent a three-week long training in New
York in newborn baby photography. She asserted the importance of being in a group in
which one can share ideas, connect, gain perspective and confidence.
Mrs. Asha peppered her talk with anecdotes about how she overcame her handicaps
with confidence by believing in herself and persistence despite initial hitches. She vouches by
taking risk in following her passion, which has brought her appreciation and accolades.
Interestingly, she even touched upon how as a society women aren’t encouraged to take on
responsibilities. She, by following her passion, has challenged this notion and urges many to
do the same.
After an inspiring session from Mrs. Asha Pradeep, an engaging discussion followed
where in all the participants appreciated the session and questions were asked from Den
Haag and other locations. On being asked if she could engage Skype sessions on Basics of
Photography, Mrs. Asha pointed out that she prefers to teach in person. To a question
relating to working together, she was happy to have someone helping her out on her shoots.
Like many present, when a participant pointed out the hesitation of starting with spouse’s
money, Mrs. Asha aptly responded that one should treat it as a funding. She went on to
impress how one ought to be accountable to the funding.
(Members participating in discussion)
To a question if it is necessary to register the business before starting, the speaker
highlighted the need to register with the KVK before starting any business in the
Netherlands. And asserted that, it is essential for taxation purposes. A participant also asked
her for tips on IT freelancing to which Mrs. Asha Pradeep responded that while it gives
independence to work without a manager, it is imperative to be updated.
(Dr. Saroj Thapa presenting the plant to Mrs. Asha Pradeep)
At the end, Dr. Saroj Thapa presented a plant to the speaker on behalf of WE-IES and
thanked her for her inspirational talk. Further, the members proceeded to the general body