When it comes to family values, Rohit (Shalesh) Mirchandani praises his father for the ethics instilled in him from an early age. He also cites his father as his inspiration, encouraging him to work hard in both business and personal environments.
Kareena Mirchandani recognizes the importance of doing what is right and not worrying about the things she cannot change. When it comes to maintaining a healthy and happy relationship, she believes in showing respect and allowing one another the space to think freely and to grow.
Please tell us about your academic backgrounds:
Rohit: MBA from Abilene Christian University, USA.
Kareena: BBA from Symbiosis College, India.
How and where did the two of you meet?
Rohit: I was working for Petrochemical Industries Company, Kuwait and had taken leave to attend my younger sister’s wedding. Soon after the wedding, my relatives in Mumbai told my parents about a young, beautiful and intellectual girl whose parents were looking for a suitable husband for her. Deep down, I myself wanted to settle down and so agreed to meet the girl and her family at Juhu Ville Parle Club, Mumbai. To be honest, it was love at first sight. We clicked instantly, spoke about our histories, families and the future. We met and got married in a span of 15 days. It’s said that marriages are made in heaven. Well, we were destined to be soul mates.
Kareena: The first meeting was unexpected. I was only 19 and still not sure about marriage. However, when I met Rohit, I was charmed. His attitude, respect for adults and humbleness were all evident. Deep down, I knew I could not say no to this man.
As a professional, what are the qualities you admire in your spouse?
Rohit: She is very humble, organized and critical in her thinking. She always helps me look at things from a different perspective and I really appreciate that about her.
Kareena: He has always been a true entrepreneur. He knows when to take risks, how to take them and does a great job in completing the goals he has set for himself. He is very creative and constantly looks for new business ideas to pursue. For example, whenever we are on family holidays, he will constantly look for new business opportunities. He is a doer and I love that about him.
Where do you concur and where do you differ from each other?
Rohit/Kareena: We concur that we should value life and enjoy it. Every day is a new beginning and has to be lived to the fullest.
It’s difficult to single out any differences. Like all couples there are always differing points of view. We do have them, but we respect each other’s view points. Having a maturity to resolve and move on is the foundation of our love and marriage. These are the vow’s we took during our marriage. This is the secret of our togetherness.
Do you think being friends with your spouse is an important part of marriage?
Kareena: Gone are the days when an Indian bride follows her husband. Today’s educated men respect their women and want them to be equals. Friendship is the only relationship we value as equals and with ease. We have a carefree relationship. We can joke with each other and talk openly. We have differences but still remain the best of friends.
Rohit: I completely agree.
How do you handle a work-life balance and challenges in a dynamic work environment?
Rohit: Born into a business family and seeing my parents bring up four children, I have always witnessed how my father ensured a work-life balance. I have learned that it is important to split your day in such a way that you give time to all aspects of life i.e. work, spouse, children and social causes. It has all been possible because of my supporting wife, wonderful sons and a professional team in my company. I feel it is very important to have a supporting family that understands the work you do and so can help out in any way. Also, a supporting team that appreciates the love and support the company provides, reciprocating by caring for the company even more during our travel/absence.
Kareena: Rohit is more focused on business growth and I support the marketing and creative teams. We have clearly outlined our objectives between our roles. For example, I only go to the office for a few hours a day as I ensure our children do not get neglected.
When do you spend time with each other? How do you unwind?
Rohit: In the evenings, of course. We chat about the day, the family, watch a movie or just listen to music and chill out.
Kareena: We have different groups of friends and make a point to meet up over the weekend and enjoy time together. We also ensure we take regular vacations and travel at least once every couple of months.
What is the best gift you received from each other?
Rohit: Kareena hosted my 50th birthday in Dubai. I couldn’t have asked for more.
Kareena: Of course, a big diamond ring!
Any memorable holidays?
Rohit/Kareena: Goa. We love going to Goa whenever possible. We enjoy the relaxed atmosphere there.
One would imagine that both of you probably discuss business issues a lot at home too. Does that happen?
Both: We respect each other’s space and ensure we keep work at work and not at home. Limited discussions always happen, we cannot deny that, however, we know when to switch off from work mode.
How are household responsibilities divided? Who is the boss at home?
Rohit: Kareena is the boss at home. She looks after everything. She makes delicious food, takes care of the dogs and, with help, ensures the house is tidy at all times. When it comes to the kids, she definitely has more say than me.
Has there been any significant event that has changed your marriage? What was the event? How did it change your relationship?
Rohit/Kareena: Definitely the birth of our son, Jay. Kareena was only 20, I was 27 and as we were parents for the first time, we felt this sudden hit of responsibility. It made us closer as we both knew we had a shared responsibility of giving our son a great childhood.
How do you manage your time together? Do you have any time left over for your marriage at all?
Kareena: We are celebrating 25 years of marriage this year. We have both accepted each of our weaknesses and try our best to get the best from each other. We travel often and so get some time away from work which really helps us get closer.
What are the challenges of being two powerful people at the top of your professional game?
Rohit: Seriously, no challenges at all. We have our assigned responsibilities and ensure we complete them on time.
What have been your most challenging moments in life?
Rohit: When I started the safety business on my own 22 years ago with limited funding, I had only my ideas to back me up with a supporting wife and a new born son. Those initial days of struggle when I was on my own were the most challenging in life.
Kareena: Yes, I remember this time. Rohit was courageous and never let these challenges come between of us.
How do you motivate each other during tough times at work?
Kareena: We remind each other of our goals in life and stick with doing what’s right by not worrying about the things we cannot change.
Rohit: Yes we do and we work hard at it.
Who’s your inspiration professionally?
Rohit: My father first, as without him I wouldn’t be here. He was humble and kind with a strong personality. I can never forget the values and business tips he shared with me.
Kareena: My parents. They made the perfect team.
What have you learnt from each other?
Rohit: I have learnt how to be more cautious in my dealings. Women are blessed with a sixth sense.
Kareena: Simplicity and to be courageous in front of adversity.
Some marriages are “passionate,” some are “companionate”: which fits you?
Rohit: Definitely passionate. We do the same at work and home.
Kareena: I second that. Rohit and I always give our best whether at work or home.
What are the keys to a successful relationship?
Rohit: Love, compassion and honesty.
Kareena: Respect for each other and giving each other the space to grow and think freely.
Do you have any common interests or hobbies?
Tell us about your children. How have they changed your life?
Kareena: We have two boys, aged 23 and 18. The best thing we did is have them early. Being young parents makes life more beautiful as it allows us to be friends with them.
Rohit: Having kids is always a blessing, they both have been very lucky for us.
Advice for other couples:
Rohit: A woman should not step on a man’s ego and a man should not step on a woman’s emotions.
Kareena: Enjoy every moment of togetherness, there is no tomorrow.
How do you feel being selected one of the CP Magazine’s Power Couples for this year?
Rohit: We are honored to have been selected and congratulate the other power couples too.
Kareena: For me power comes from being humble, tolerant, compassionate and loving and if those values recognize us to be a Power Couple, we thank CP for the appreciation.
Rohit: Black – Kareena: Red
Rohit: Italian – Kareena: Indian
Tea or Coffee?
Rohit: Coffee – Kareena: Tea
Rohit: G Wagon Mercedes – Kareena: Rolls-Royce
Rohit: Leaders Eat Last by Simon Sinek – Kareena: Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon
Rohit: Hotel California – Kareena: My heart will go on
Rohit: Planes, Trains and Automobiles – Kareena: Ghost
Rohit: Losing my loved ones – Kareena: Spiders
Favourite app on your phone:
Rohit: LinkedIn – Kareena: Instagram
What’s the one thing you can’t live without?
Rohit: My Loved Ones – Kareena: Family