I met Premila on our Super Mums of India Facebook group. She is a woman who stands out for her multitude of talents and her big heart. I have had the pleasure of getting to know her over the years and I have enjoyed learning about her passions and missions. This woman is a shining rainbow and a true force to be reckoned with!
What led you to be a paediatric dentist?
I joined dentistry without any plans and goals but in the 3rd year of graduation we were introduced to all of the specialisations in dentistry and I knew then that I wanted to be a paediatric dentist.
I also knew that working with children is pure joy and combining that with the power to make a difference in their overall health made me fall in love with the subject. I am so grateful for that; knowing I love my work makes waking up early and rushing to the clinic all worth while.
When did you start your company and what inspired you to be an entrepreneur?
We started SmallBites in the year 2007. It has been almost 15 years and what a memorable journey it has been! It is so similar to planting a seed and watching it grow into a tree.
I did not realise that I was becoming an entrepreneur when I decided to start an exclusive dental clinic for children. It was a new idea at that time and the only thing I knew I wanted to do.
I am so happy that over the years we have been able to touch so may lives, see so many kids grow and have also been able to train and provide employment to so many young girls.
What are some valuable lessons you have learned as an entrepreneur?
If it’s a new idea, we have to start with the notion that it will have teething issues. For example when we started SmallBites, the awareness of paediatric dentistry as a speciality was not there. We started school camps, awareness talks and I would not miss a single opportunity to tell everyone that I was a paediatric dentist (a specialisation that involves 3 extra years of studying about children’s teeth and their treatment).
By having these issues it puts us in a position to address them, so that we can help in our own way and become leaders to the next generation.
If you are doing what you love, you will try a little harder to find solutions.
It is important to relish and enjoy every small milestone, celebrate and absorb the moment. It will give you the motivation when the next hurdle comes.
Do you have any other passions?
I love riding bikes – the highways, the thrill of the journey and the joy of new destinations… aha pure bliss! It involves a lot of planning, preparing and coordination but when everything finally comes together the feeling is something words can do no justice.
I love working out too. I enjoy weight training more than cardio and flexibility. I try to get in a workout at least 4 times a week. I try and eat healthy, however this is not always possible. I have learned as far as fitness is concerned that we don’t have to work out for hours and starve ourselves; small changes for a consistent amount of time can take us a long way. Especially for mothers like us, I would say that 15 mins of weight training, combined with keeping our B12, Vit D levels and hormones in normal range, and a good diet is enough to start showing changes.
My ultimate stress-buster is boxing, although I am not able to train as much as I would like to. It’s the best form of cardio and my stress management secret.
Who is your biggest inspiration and why?
It may seem very funny, but the ocean inspires me. The vastness, the strength, the calmness; it makes me feel like everything will fall into place. If things don’t fall into place, it’s just not the right time.
I think sometimes you need to look into nature for inspiration. Trust me, it will never let you down.
How do you balance work and parenting?
Parenting has always been shared with my husband Guru. Since the time Sid was very small we used to plan work so that one of us was always with him. I had started working when Sid was just 10 days old. I would rush to the clinic near by, treat kids for an hour and then rush back to feed. When he was a little older, my husband would stay at home over the weekends and babysit and I would go to hospitals. There were some days when I used to bring him to clinic with me. He is 10 now so things are much easier, and changing his school to an open school (alternative school) has helped us travel together, giving him the opportunity to explore and learn.
What have your parents taught you that is invaluable to you as a mother ?
My mom taught me to be a child’s best friend and dad taught me how important it is to be strong for your children.
What is an important lesson you want to pass onto your child?
To be kind, to explore, to learn, to love and above all – be happy.
How do you intend to keep inspiring our generation and the next?
I am honestly humbled by the thought that I have been able to inspire you and some moms. I lost my mom very early and very suddenly, so I try to be everything I want to be, right NOW.
I feel especially for us women, us moms, we should try to do everything that makes us happy and do everything that we planned to do in life. Don’t wait until “the time is right”, do it now. If you can’t do everything you want, at least try to take small steps, 1 percent path correction is all that is required. Let’s not forget the child inside all of us!
What are your goals for the future ?
I would love to design more child friendly medical centres and child friendly clinics.
I would love to help more women explore weight training and home workouts. I introduced some of my friends and my sisters to weight training and home workouts, and they are surprised by how easy and effective they are.
I would love to be able to reach out to many moms through our video consultation vertical called “TeleBites”.
My Goal now is to educate and spread awareness about early childhood cavities and prevention of dental cavities. I want to reach out to parents and caregivers and encourage them to make small changes so that their children can avoid dental problems.
Goals for the future of India ?
An inclusive country for our children with special needs – awareness, acceptance and opportunities.
I think an inclusive society seems to be the need. We need to not only understand the differences among people, peoples opinion, peoples preferences but we should also be able to respect them.
I want my India to be known as a safe country showing better ratings in the happiness quotient .