Rashmi Jyotiprakash came to the U.S. from India for his master’s degree and a better future. An entrepreneur from a young age, he had already owned his own consulting business in India, so when he came to the U.S. he was already looking for opportunities to open another business. When Rashmi saw the business plan for a new marketing business, it was an answer to his prayers. He was excited about his new business from the beginning.
With a student loan to pay off and a new business to learn, Rashmi was booked around the clock; he worked his 9-to-5 job in the software industry during the day, and built his new business in his free time. His business was beginning to grow steadily when he and Smita met and married. Smita joined him in the business, though with her own advanced degree she had been preparing for a more traditional life climbing the corporate ladder. Smita explains, “As an engineer, I’m very analytical. I believed being a professional was a better, more secure way to make a living than owning a business. We married ‘for better or worse,’ and I fully expected things to get worse before they got better.”
In spite of her doubts about the business potential, however, Smita was happy for the opportunity to work in partnership with Rashmi in all aspects of their lives – something that wouldn’t have been possible pursuing separate careers. Working together, their business grew quickly, and they were able to leave their corporate jobs behind while still in their twenties.
Today Rashmi and Smita live very comfortably in the Chicago suburbs. Because they worked so hard to earn it at a young age, they are most proud to have the flexibility to be full-time parents to their three daughters while at the same time being full-time business partners. Now they can plan their business around their life, instead of the other way around.
As Rashmi and Smita have achieved success in their business, they also give their time and energy to support worthwhile charities in the local area near their Chicago home. They are especially active supporting Easter Seals and the U.S. Dream Academy due to the programs these organizations have developed to meet the needs of children and returning veterans. They truly understand the value of helping others and have made it a priority in their lives.
“Very early on we agreed to put aside all our preconceived ideas about what we could or couldn’t do, and focus on what we wanted to do – for ourselves and our future together,” says Rashmi. “We made a commitment. We set up our goals, a timeline for success, and a plan of action. That’s how we turned our dreams into reality.”