How one woman went from losing the primary breadwinner of her family to running a successful business – Priti Kate

It was May 2021 when Priti Kate received the most devastating news of her life. She was informed that her strong, healthy husband had lost the battle with Covid.

Married at a young age, Priti depended on her husband for almost everything. He was the sole breadwinner of their family, working in a senior position at a production buyer firm. He handled all the finances for the family. Moreover, he was a wonderful father to their two children – helping them with their homework, taking the family out for picnics, and pampering them with clothes and gifts.

Since his was a transferable job, Priti had not had a chance to build a career of her own. However, now that her kids were a little older, she was just starting to think about taking up a teaching job. She had heard about the Abacus training centres and was intrigued by the idea of teaching mathematics to young children. She had recently approached the head of one training centre – she got her kids enrolled there, and taught a few classes herself too. Then this tragedy struck.

Priti and her husband had taken the kids to their grandparents’ house for summer vacations when she tested positive for Covid. Since she was a bit weak, her husband got her admitted to the hospital immediately. He himself was young and strong, so nobody was really worried when he tested positive a few days later. By the time Priti was discharged, they realised her husband needed to be admitted. ‘Since I was now looking after the kids, my husband told me not to risk visiting him. I didn’t even get a chance to say goodbye,’ Priti says, getting teary eyed.

Her husband did not recover from the bout of Covid. But even in his final moments, he had come through for the family. ‘He had noted down all our bank account numbers, investment details and other financial information. He knew I would have no idea of those details otherwise,’ Priti states.

Once she recovered from the shock, Priti realised she needed to step up for her kids and become the breadwinner now. But although she hadn’t had much experience with this, she had an inspirational role model to follow. Priti unfortunately, had lost her father when she was just 1.5 years old. Even though her mother had very limited opportunities, she worked hard to get them through that time and give Priti a good life. Now, she knew it was time to do the same for her kids.

Many people told her to give the B.Ed. exams, but she was sceptical of the high fees and the shortage of permanent teaching opportunities. She went back to the Abacus training centre and approached the head teacher again. Since her kids were enrolled there, the head knew their family. She was shocked to hear about their plight and offered Priti not just a job, but the opportunity to run a franchise.

‘I was completely unprepared for that. I had never stepped out of the house to earn a living, so how could I run a business?’ Priti says. That’s when she joined our #NotAlone community. There she received learning resources, English language classes, sessions on developing business skills and more. ‘I have never missed a single session hosted by the community!’ smiles Priti.

She went back and accepted the opportunity to run an Abacus franchise. She went from school to school, handing out pamphlets to parents waiting outside. She had no contacts of her own, so she dug out her husband’s phone and sent messages about her classes to his acquaintances. She even updated her in-laws’ WhatsApp status to promote her classes. ‘My in-laws are very supportive,’ Priti smiles. ‘They treat me like their own daughter, and are behind me in whatever decision I take.’

Priti has now successfully moved from our #NotAlone community to being an #EntrepreNaari! She started 2022 with several demo classes, for students and parents to come and see if they like what is being taught. She looks forward to receiving lots of registrations, and making a success of her very first business venture. She concludes her story by exclaiming about how helpful being a part of a community has been. ‘I cannot believe the support I received at Aspire For Her. Even your own relatives don’t always support you like that.’