Ladies Who Chai : What it takes to launch a business online


By Yashy Murphy @yashyanthi & online at:


Last week  a very eager and enthusiastic group of women gathered at the beautiful Hilton Garden Inn Marquis Lounge & Bistro in Toronto for the second Ladies Who Chai event. Guests were greeted on arrival with a fine array of nibbles, compliments of the Hilton Garden Inn and a Chai Bar hosted by Tea India as they set out to network with fellow Masalamommas.

They also indulged in a mini shopping excursion by Satya Paul and Dagmar Jewellery before making their way for some beauty tips by Masalamommas’ Beauty Editor, Kavita Suri. The lively group of ladies were not only mingling but also engaging in lively discussions as they geared up for the fine panel of speakers on feature that evening.

The panel comprised Reetu Guptu (Vice President Sales & Marketing Strategic Development at Easton Hotels Group), Kathryn Buczko (Social Media Account Executive at Twitter Canada), Salima Jivraj (Founder of and HalalFoodfestTO) and Chitra Anand (Head of Public Relations, Microsoft Canada). Under the guidance of moderator Sonia Prashar (Founder & Principal spPR Inc.)

The ladies dished out the politics of the business world, how to navigate the digital and social media sphere and how to mentally and physically prepare for the entrepreneurial journey.



Sudduf Wyne “As soon as I walked into the venue and I saw all the bright smiling faces, the food options and vendors, I was really really excited and was impressed on how well it was put together.”


Ladies Who Chai is a series of educational networking events for Masalamommas who are (or contemplating the journey to being) small business owners, bloggers or entrepreneurs.

The evening’s discussions were focused on what it takes to launch a business online using marketing, PR and the online space.

Reetu started the evening off by providing a backdrop on how passions in one area can easily translate to other areas in one’s professional life. Salima provided Masalamommas with practical tips and tricks on how to launch and promote an online business while Kathryn shared Twitter insights to not only get the word out but also on how to build a strong following. Some of the things she mentioned were promoted trends.

Just some of the tweets during the event:


Sample #LadiesWhoChai Twitter feedback

Sample #LadiesWhoChai Twitter feedback

“Promoted trends are for those big announcements, so if you ever are thinking of going big or going home, this is really our version of a roadblock on twitter,” said Buczko.

Chitra got the ladies thinking about entrepreneurial skills and advised on trusting one’s intuition and being the change they want to see.

“In Canada we get a year of mat leave. So if you’re going to leave for a year. People say you’re out of the game. A year is a long time. The marketplace is fast and moving at a rapid fire pace. I believe because so much changes in a year, it’s an opportunity  for us,” said Anand.  “The opportunity is why don’t we use our mat leave for personal development. We’re only the best wives, mothers and daughters when we are at our best. Take that year, it’s a gift of time. Write your business plan, or take a course, or write that book you want to write.”



“The speakers were inspiring! I’ve actually made a to-do list of what I’m going to do now to improve my branding and I felt very comfortable coming into this event because of the South Asian flare. It took away some of the butterflies I get at other events. So congratulations for awesome event and I can’t wait for the next one!” said Wyne.

The service at the Hilton Garden Inn, was spectacular. Staff thought of each and every detail including incredible set up for the panel, with lighting and audio. The Chef’s incredibly diverse menu offered a little bit of everything for the perfect ‘tea’ event including nutella wontons, arancini, Indian style potato patties and more! If you’re looking for a place to hold an event, the Hilton Garden Inn Toronto staff set the standard for event management from start to finish.

As with the very first Ladies Who Chai event, everyone in attendance left having developed new friendships, nourished their business building desires and with a new sense of excitement for the challenges that lay ahead.

“Right now I’m juggling having a one-year-old, doing a full-time job and trying to get my wedding and event business my actual dream. It ended up that when I saw this event listing of ladies who chai, I just had to go. I think that this event was actually the push I needed to make my business idea a go,”said Faze.

Masalamommas left with a renewed sense of power and a swag bag filled with treats for all. A big thank you to our supporters Chevrolet Canada, Tilda Rice, Satya Paul, Dagmar, Easton’s Group of HotelsTea India, Kavita Suri and Twitter Canada.


Stay tuned for the next Ladies Who Chai event in the fall!









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