Meet Ruchika Kakkad a passionate advocate for social justice and a dedicated humanitarian.
Tell us a bit about yourself and your family?
As a dedicated legal expert practicing in the Gujarat High Court, I am driven by a warm-hearted commitment to aid victims in their journey towards becoming survivors.
I firmly believe that our work, in any form or field, contributes to the building of a better society for the future.
Viewing life as a spiritual journey, I am convinced that helping one another grow through challenges is the essence of our humanity, breathing life into the concept of humanity itself.
My gratitude knows no bounds for my family, as a solid foundation in ethical values, based on the principles of the Shri Madh Bhagwat Gita and Shri Madh Bhagawat Maha Purana, instills in me a deep connection with my role as a Karma Yogi. This perspective transforms my earthly experience into a journey where I strive to "Live while Help Live."
Coming from such a strong value system, my parents led by example, providing my sibling and me with a simple and humble life.
Their guidance was straightforward: "Give your 100% in all the work (Karma) that comes your way, for we are but mediums. Within that medium, as you work, you touch the hearts of people and change lives for a few.
That is your success—not in money or fame but in the genuine smiles that come from the heart." I continually remind myself of these values, which serve as a profound source of motivation.
While some might call it a 'struggle story' or a 'success story,' I prefer to view it as a "Human Story of Learning."
Life is more fulfilling when you are a perpetual student, as it refines your humanity—the core of your being.
In professions such as law, you encounter powerful stories that deepen your thirst for knowledge.
Each day, you glean wisdom from others and your own experiences, transforming into a better human being, ultimately learning to love yourself.
In my view, real self-care involves self-learning, self-analysis, and self-correction.
Have you had any formal training or family business?
If I were to respond humorously, I might say I'm a "nepotic child," but let me humbly and gratefully share that the legal profession has been a part of our family for over 70 years.
My grandfather, Popatlal Dahyabhai Kakkad, was a blessed student of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar and a dedicated follower of Gandhian principles.
He chose to pursue law instead of medicine due to financial constraints, but one principle he always adhered to was "Give your all to anything you choose to do."
He not only excelled in his professional career but also served as a guiding light for our family, keeping us together and leading by example in his way of life.
For my father, who was Popatlalbhai's younger brother Devchandbhai's son, Popatlalbhai was like a mentor and father figure, akin to Nandbaba.
My father, Nalinbhai Kakkad, a devoted son and a family-oriented man, eagerly moved to Porbandar at the beginning of his legal career without a second thought.
He started his legal journey under the guidance of Popatlalbhai, considering him a mentor and father, and followed in his footsteps while adding his own brilliance to Popatlalbhai's work.
It's quite a proud moment when you're offered a position as a district court judge just six months shy of meeting the eligibility criteria, and my father has achieved numerous such remarkable feats.
Coming from a family of high achievers, it can be challenging to match their levels, but our family believes that it's not about comparing or competing but about learning and expanding as individuals.
As my father often preaches, "When you have sunshine, why not share it with others?"
He has not only taught this principle but also put it into practice by guiding and assisting two more individuals from our office to become a district judge and a lawyer, and he continues to do so.
I consider myself incredibly blessed to be part of this profession while striving to uphold and carry forward my family's legacy and values.
How did you come up with the idea for your business, and what was the process of turning that idea into a reality?
I always had a calling towards law, for I believed that Justice is something which isn’t in our hands but helping someone come out of a tangledly difficult situation or a violent situation is a little relief which through my profession I can give and that relief and smile is what I have thrived for and captivated me towards this Profession.
How have you grown as a leader since starting your company, and what have been some of the key lessons you've learned along the way?
I feel Leadership starts from Self-Leading, in a profession of law where its always clear 2 sides, a victim & a convict, the mystery is you don’t know who you are fighting for, for when you are from victim’s side you learn how one becomes a prey and how difficult life is when you are a prey and when you are from convict’s side you see 2 dimensions that how sometimes people commit crime due to terrible life situations forcing them like poverty, social control dynamics while sometimes how revenge, ego can consume you to make you do that. When you are exposed to mixed bag like this you constantly have to choose your soul’s calling and listen to your conscience and self-lead yourself towards empathy, righteousness, acceptance, inclusivity and believe in conflict solving for sometimes even convicts are victims of situations.
These dynamics of law always fine you as leader if you are a learner and I am truly a learner as learning is fun, for isn’t it interesting to see a new, better you every birthday!
Can you tell us about a time when you faced a major setback or failure in your business, and how you overcame it?
I believe that failures are opportunities to learn, and setbacks are moments to find your footing as you pursue your passion. In my case, this realization came early in life.
In a society where individuals often encounter more destructive criticism than constructive feedback, particularly women in the field of law, my decision to pursue a career in law made me a topic of discussion.
Many doubted my choices, some even suggesting that I wouldn't find a partner. However, I persevered, thanks to the unwavering support of my family.
An unexpected source of inspiration appeared when I had the chance to meet Lily Thomas, the first Indian woman lawyer, during a visit to the Supreme Court.
Her remarkable story and her expertise in the field shattered the societal barriers that had been placed on me as a "Woman in Law."
Following that encounter, I embraced the challenges that came my way, transforming failures into valuable learning experiences. I wore my heart on my sleeve and remained true to my values as I navigated through obstacles and setbacks.
How do you stay motivated and focused on your goals, especially during challenging times?
I have a philosophy of life: "Your work speaks of your worth, as your actions serve as your best introduction, and your deeds inscribe your life story, because life is nothing more than an accumulation of stories, isn't it?"
In addition to reading books by esteemed leaders such as Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam and Mr. Robin Sharma and listening to speakers like Gaur Gopal Das and Jaya Kishoriji, I find these sources to be a wellspring of motivation.
However, I firmly believe that the ultimate and timeless leader is none other than Lord Krishna.
Fortunately, my spiritual foundation has been enriched by the teachings I've gleaned from reading the Shri Madh Bhagawat Maha Purana, a sacred text that holds a special place in my heart.
How do you balance your personal life with the demands of running a business?
I firmly believe that growth is best achieved within boundaries.
Assessing one's progress regularly forms the foundation for growth, and these assessments necessitate the presence of boundaries.
Just imagine what would happen if there were no divisions between countries; would growth even be possible?
Maintaining a strong work-life balance is crucial, especially in a fast-paced world.
To achieve this, I establish clear time boundaries and meticulously schedule my days and weeks.
I ensure that I adhere to this schedule at least 80% of the time, acknowledging that unforeseen situations may arise.
Nevertheless, I manage my time wisely, reserving my personal space exclusively for the people who support and provide me with love and strength.
Their support enables me to thrive in my professional life and cope with the stress and pressure it may bring.
What are your plans for the future of your business, and how do you see yourself evolving as a founder and leader?
As I mentioned I am a learner and I feel am still a budding lawyer, there’s a lot I want to do for society, for women, for weaker sections, empowering them by helping them earn their basic human rights and justice through my knowledge and practice while spreading more smiles through my work and making people aware about their rights, laws that protect & empower them through my media appearance as Debater and motivator.
If you could go back in time and give your younger self one piece of advice, what would it be?
I would just say to my younger self that, “Life is a mixed bag not of happiness and tough times but a mixed bag of happiness and learnings, so just keep growing through your hurdles, for this ride is going to be worth it, Trust me”.
What's the most unconventional thing you've done to grow your business, and what was the result?
I believe that my decision to become the first woman lawyer in my entire family is one of the most adventurous choices I've made.
I am grateful for every sacrifice I've made to get to this point because it has been worth it. Success is not a straightforward journey, nor should it be.
It's more like a roller coaster ride, filled with ups and downs that bring both enjoyment and valuable lessons.
What's the most important lesson you've learned from a failure, and how have you applied it to your business?
"Grow through challenges and learn to transform them into valuable learning experiences. This approach will result in significant personal and professional growth, giving you a distinct advantage."
"Embrace adaptability, as no one is concerned about your circumstances, and you should not be either. Successfully navigating challenges requires the ability to flow like water, adapting and adjusting while maintaining persistent forward progress."
What's the most meaningful compliment or feedback you've ever received from a customer, and why did it resonate with you?
My clients often express their thoughts, telling me, "You are warm, honest, and a ray of hope." In response, I humbly remind them that I am merely a vessel, offering the best of my knowledge to assist them, as every outcome is ultimately determined by the hand of fate.
Their kindness and warmth provide me with the strength to persevere.
I believe they contribute to the beauty and radiance of my personal journey.
If you had to choose one thing that makes your company truly unique and sets it apart from the competition, what would it be, and why?
I consider my approach to any legal case I undertake as my unique selling proposition (USP). I always keep in mind that the opposing party is also a human being, with similar emotions, a heart, and a mind like my own.
In dealing with sensitive cases, it's essential to lead with your heart rather than your mind to understand and empathize with your client.
This approach creates a safe and comfortable environment for them to discuss the intricacies of their case, leaving no aspect unaddressed.
To sum up my approach to any case, I believe in "putting yourself in their shoes" and seeing the situation from their perspective.
This provides a clearer picture, as a person's problem requires a solution tailored to their unique viewpoint.
In simple terms, you can't explain the challenges of a sailor to a truck driver; they won't understand each other's experiences.
While I may have the ability to view situations from various angles, I recognize that not everyone can.
Therefore, it's crucial to incorporate a mix of their perspective, the truth, and the fundamental elements of the events in your solutions and arguments for your client.
This approach makes your case arguments self-explanatory and satisfying.
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