Hall of Fame: Kirti Bharadia

Some of the most inspiring women are amongst the fabric of our society. They are not celebrities or have a public profile but are regular women who run their own businesses, bring up their children and still have the time to input into their communities.

This Hall of Fame interview is with Kirti Bharadia, owner of b2Lateral Ltd, an IT systems and services provider. (www.b2lateral.net)

Kirti set up the company with her husband in 1996. The business has grown from their spare bedroom in Ruislip to a multi million pound business boasting clients such as SONY PE, the NHS, and Radley. Her typical day involves the day to day running of the business, parenting and managing two teenage children and supporting the local community school as a Governor.

Interview with Kirti Bharadia

How have you managed being a working mum? This is one of life’s biggest challenges – but in all earnest if you can find a balance then you will see the benefits of it as your children become adults. As parents the best start you can give your child is confidence and security, they get this not from being with the Mum all day, they get it from being with other adults and children their own age in a secure environment.
Both of my children went to a day nursery not only because it was important for me,  but also because it was the right thing to do for them and their development.
My challenges were slightly different to most working mum’s I did not have to go out to work – as I own my own business I had the opportunity to work from home. This was lovely to begin with as there is no commute in the rush hour, there is no need for a work wardrobe and most importantly I can drop and collect my children from school and be around to pick them up if there were poorly. However the down sides soon become apparent – the most challenging for me was when to stop working, because it is always there – beyond the flexibility I found that I was working more hours when working from home whereas, when I did go into our London offices I would come home and not work further. It was almost as though I did not feel that I had done a full day’s work if I worked from home – maybe I felt I had to prove something to others or maybe I was just catching up with myself, I don’t know.
My work life balance was working for me and my family, however there were a few times when I just wanted the world to stop and let me get off for a while! As with most relationships the ones between you and your children can be managed with lots of love and listening. Children are resilient and very understanding as I discovered with my two. There was a period of time when they were both quite small that I did have to go into London everyday, I would leave the house at 7am before they were up and get back at 7pm, just as they were going to bed. During this time we employed a live in au pair, this was a luxury or so it felt at the time, our first one was superb, then it all went down hill, and although we went through 4 others during this period of about 2 years – my children were supportive and understanding. This was mainly because at every step of the way I explained to them what was happening and why, and I have always been very truthful with my children, no matter what the situation maybe.
Now they are much older, and taller, and although I still work from home, I have learnt over the years to be better organised. I make sure that I do not work at weekends unless they are working too, I ensure that after school we spend time together, and I always, every single day ask them how their day was and they always tell me, thankfully.
The key things that I have found whilst trying to find a work life balance are that you must have good communication with your children, you must listen to your children, as sometimes what they are saying and what they mean maybe two very different things. Most importantly work will always be there but your children will leave home at some point – they are only really children for a short while and you should ensure you enjoy the time with them, make memories and share laughs that will last a lifetime.

What’s the most recent film you have seen and did you enjoy it? Recently I watched Public Enemies with Johnny Depp, it is a gripping film, based on a true story, set in the 1930’s Depression about John Dillinger, a notorious gangster, who was hunted down by J Edgar Hoover, I was hooked from the word go! They have depicted the era particularly well, would highly recommend it to any JD fan!

What are your daily challenges? I just throw everything into the air and the challenge is to catch everything in the right order this has applied all through my life and as I have got older I have realised that you cannot catch everything and sometimes things get broken.

What’s your favourite restaurant and why? I don’t really have a favourite restaurant – I enjoy eating at most places as for me the restaurant experience is spending time with special people be it family or friends – so wherever they are will be a good place to be. Having said that there is this one place in Dublin called Fallon & Bryne I could live there!

What keeps you awake at night or are you a peaceful sleeper? The sound of my own heart beating, and every thought in between each beat.

How do you like to relax? Reading helps me relax, as it takes the focus off me and puts it into the book/characters and storylines. I also love watching period costume dramas they are very therapeutic and relaxing, it is nice to see how we managed in a world without even the simplest of technologies.

What would you like to do that you haven’t already done? Spend a serious amount of time in India to learn how to cook, and I would like to write a book too – not quite sure what about yet but I have many ideas mulling around inside my head.

What has been your greatest achievement? My children no doubt about it, and the 12,000 ft parachute jump I did for charity two years ago.

What was the last book you read? Harry Potter …again – I can read them over and over and still find something I missed before or something that clarifies things that happen later.

I normally read about 3 books at the same time – one in bed, one on the train, one at other times – hence I am also half way through Committed by Elizabeth Gilbert, this is the follow up to Eat, Pray, Love it is rather a special book as it is about love and marriage and what it means to different people around the world – it is rather insightful, and The Dead Days by John Rios

What mantra do you live by? Treat others how you would like to be treated, always have a list and a smile!

Who would be present at your fantasy dinner party? (5 guests plus you) Dawn French (inspiring and funny), Stephen Fry (witty, intelligent and gay), Gerard Butler (eye candy), Graham Norton (witty, very funny and gay), Princess Diana (inspiring, relatable and very interesting).

Quote of the day… Walk through life with purpose and poise.

One Comment to “Hall of Fame: Kirti Bharadia”

  1. Hi Kirti,

    Great reading about you. I think there would be good gossip after your dinner party!


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