How Couplepreneurs Manage their Work-Life Relationship

Preeti Karna Preeti Karna
Feb 15, 2022 16 min read
How Couplepreneurs Manage their Work-Life Relationship
This article is contributed by the multiple couple entrepreneurs.

Work life balance harmony in the life of an entrepreneur is one of the big challenges they face. Differentiating between work and life becomes difficult for entrepreneurs. And when we talk about Couple Entrepreneurs, where both of them are building the same startup, it is quite interesting to know their management to get a proper work-life balance. Building and successfully running a business together and maintaining work-life relationships are equally important.

StartupTalky took the initiative to know how couple entrepreneurs manages their work-life relationships. Let's take a look at some of the startups founded by couples and their view on managing personal & business relationship.

Zypp Electric | Founders: Akash Gupta & Rashi Agarwal
Upnourish | Founders: Kuonal Lakhapati & Aayushi Lakhapati
Zymrat | Founders: Ujjawal Asthana & Ankita Riva
The Nestery | Founders: T S Viswanathan & Vaishnavi Rangarajan
Vanity Wagon | Founders: Naina Ruhail & Prateek Ruhail
Avni | Founders: Sujata Pawar & Apurv Agrawal
The Baker’s Dozen | Founders: Aditi Handa & Sneh Jain
Zouk | Founders: Disha Singh & Pradeep Krishnakumar
ESDS | Piyush Somani & Komal Somani
Tarrakki | Founders: Saumya Shah & Shaily Shah
AKS Clothing | Founders: Nidhi Yadav & Satpal Yadav

Zypp Electric | Founders: Akash Gupta & Rashi Agarwal

Zypp Electric Founders | Akash Gupta & Rashi Agarwal
Zypp Electric Founders | Akash Gupta & Rashi Agarwal

Entrepreneur couples are usually busy 24x7 in building their ventures. Most of the time, the work becomes life and personal life goes for a complete toss. However, at the same time, they enjoy and value the time spent together at work and in their personal lives, where they can learn, solve problems, and discuss strategies together.

Rashi and I, we both try to balance our work-life relationship by taking 2-3 days off at least once in 6 months and planning a trip together to a new destination which helps us unwind, recharge and realize that we have a couple life apart from work too. We also try to make sure that we watch movies, TV series together as part of our couple goals.

Upnourish | Founders: Kuonal Lakhapati & Aayushi Lakhapati

Upnourish Founders | Kuonal Lakhapati & Aayushi Lakhapati
Upnourish Founders | Kuonal Lakhapati & Aayushi Lakhapati

We are residing in a scenario where the global corporate community is evolving on the startup culture successfully! Startups are independent and flourish through the actions and efforts put in by the entrepreneurs in constructing them from scratch. While being on a similar note let us address the qualities that couples who start startups share. Studies do present mixed reviews on this one but let us view this in a positive light.

  1. Same workday cycle – startups in their early days have no fixed timings or schedule as one has to put in all their time, effort, heart, and soul into its making. The same workplace and working hours gives the couple an added benefit to be on the same work cycle even while working for longer durations or through vague timings.
  2. Aligned passions – couples who build a startup together are committed to similar elements and are compatible in their thought processes which in turn reinforces their communication, connection and boosts the growth of their startup.
  3. Complimentary relationship – while the couple does not have to acquire the same skills, their creative differences can complement one another and they can work over their respective domains in the startup. They can give their best shot where their specialization lies.
  4. Working the negatives – building a startup from scratch is no joke and it is nearly impossible that two people, even though a couple, would blatantly accept whatever the other one proposes and hence a couple constructs their professional relationship with the same patience and compassion in the way they built their own relationship. Since they are well aware of each other's choices and recognize each other’s differences it becomes easier for them to respect the other one’s judgment and make space for it.
  5. The difficult discussions – when a couple works together towards creating something substantial for themselves they realize the value of putting the other life decisions on hold which can be taken care of later in life.

In the contemporary world, entrepreneur couples are setting newfound goals for all the couples around them. With the hustle and bustle of the entrepreneurial work life and long hours they are managing to balance their professional and personal life with a bang!

Some significant factors that lead to this work-life balance:

  1. Set boundaries in the boardroom and the bedroom – when the couple is working, even if at different offices, it is necessary to set boundaries when it comes to professional talks and personal talks. One must keep the two separate in order to maintain a healthy relationship and respect for their personal space.
  2. Time management – the right management of time is the key to success in life whether it is in personal life or in professional life. Couples must discuss and divide their time as per the requirements of their home, partner and their official needs. You must plan your week beforehand and fit in some personal time exclusively for each other.
  3. Clarity on finances – with the busy schedule of one's life, couples often forget to discuss the crucial matters that affect their personal lives. One such matter is the finance. A detailed discussion and agreement on the expenditure, budget and vacations is a must to avoid any disagreements in the future.
  4. Keep the spark alive – while being busy with work do not forget the small things that laid the foundation of your partnership. It is not about fetching the stars, all about the little gestures. Surprise each other with each other's favorite things, make time for movie dates or watch a season together, run small errands for one another and just keep the love alive in the best possible ways!
  5. Be supportive – any relationship progresses on the love, respect, and support, that the partners give one another. While a million things go wrong on the professional front, at least the partners should be sure of having each other's support through their darkest days.
  6. Patience is the key – in the midst of the heavy days, practice to remain patient and calm with your partner. Not every day the sky shines bright and you must remember that as a couple. Do not lose your temper together on each other, it is not you vs. the other, it is always you both vs. the problem. Try to find solutions to disagreements rather than fueling them with ego and harsh words.

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Zymrat | Founders: Ujjawal Asthana & Ankita Riva

Zymrat Founders | Ujjawal Asthana & Ankita Riva
Zymrat Founders | Ujjawal Asthana & Ankita Riva

Zymrat is an Innovation-led D2C Performance Wear Brand dedicated to creating world-class athleisure wear products for the Indian audience.

Ujjawal Asthana, Co-Founder & CEO, Zymrat:

I started Zymrat with Ankita while we were dating and got married while taking this journey together. The decision was very simple for us, if we can trust each other with our lives, we can trust each other with our dream. To be honest, I am at a point where I cannot imagine anyone else as my co-founder. Through all the highs and lows, doing a startup together is nothing less than bringing up a baby together. I consider myself lucky to have met my co-founder and wife through the common interest of fitness and building a brand. Zymrat is not only allowing us to live our dream of building a world-leading performance wear brand out of India, but it is also allowing us as a couple to spend the maximum amount of time together doing what we love and cherish. From getting the first order to spending sleepless nights shipping 1000s out of our 2bhk flat, to raising funds, to building a dream team, we have done it all and we continue to do it. If both partners share a common goal and are equally passionate about the journey, the joy and the depth of the relationship reaches unprecedented levels. I wouldn't do it any other way.

Ankita Riva, Co-Founder & COO, Zymrat:

Ujjawal and I are married, and we are also building Zymrat together. Zymrat is an innovation-led D2C performance wear brand, and we make world-beating products for everyday athletes. Our vision for Zymrat is audacious and I am actually glad that we are doing it together. Entrepreneurship is a long road, an emotional roller coaster I'd say, and co-founders play a crucial role in each other's lives, and if they are related to each other then the role becomes even more critical. The journey of entrepreneurship is so demanding, deep, enriching and satisfying that eventually, the line between work and life starts blurring out. If you are into it together as a couple, then you care more about each others' physical and mental health than merely thinking about work-life balance, while still having eyes set on the vision. Turning off the laptop for a couple of hours every day, ensuring that you are having dinner together every day, going out on a date night every now and then are a few great ways to keep life balanced. If you have a common interest outside of work then that interest automatically takes care of the balance. In our case, hitting the gym together whenever we can keep doing wonders.


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The Nestery | Founders: T S Viswanathan & Vaishnavi Rangarajan

The Nestery Founders | T S Viswanathan & Vaishnavi Rangarajan
The Nestery Founders | T S Viswanathan & Vaishnavi Rangarajan

The Nestery is a Context-led Vertical Marketplace focused on Helping Modern Indian Parents to discover and pick up the right products just when they need them.

We actually almost don’t manage. Pandemic however has been somewhat of a blessing in disguise because we're able to sort of work from home and as a result, you know, at least we are physically present at home while you know our six-year-old attends school and lives her life. In terms of as a couple, it's actually good for us because we know each other for over 12 years and we've been married for a good 10 And it's been a good experience because when it comes to work, we have very different roles and responsibilities. So there is no stepping over each others’ toes. But sometimes, yes, living and working in the same space for 24 hours by 365 can get overwhelming. I know, for example, TSV goes for playing poker. He has a set of friends with whom he goes out and meets every weekend. I am on the other hand, like 100% homebody if you just let me be I will be home alone. And so that's really helpful manage work in life.

Vanity Wagon | Founders: Naina Ruhail & Prateek Ruhail

Vanity Wagon Founders | Naina Ruhail & Prateek Ruhail
Vanity Wagon Founders Naina Ruhail & Prateek Ruhail

Naina and Prateek Ruhail, Co-founders of Vanity Wagon - India's first and largest clean beauty marketplace, tied knot in 2012 and have a 2- years old daughter. They being the youngest clean market entrepreneurs in the country, have onboarded mammoth brands like MamaEarth, Juicy Chemistry, Daughter Earth, Blossom Kochhar Aroma Magic to name a few out of their 105 brands client portfolio since the inception of the brand in 2018. With the launching of this platform, they aim to establish an incomparable and yet trending e-commerce platform with a concept of clean beauty.

The couple has grown the brand multifold in these years. The annual turnover of Vanity Wagon for the previous financial year is USD 0.75 Mn and have clocked close to 35k orders, average ticket size of USD 14 till date of a value of USD 0.5 Mn. Since 2019-20, revenue upsurged by 5 times. With an aim to become the largest selling clean beauty portal in the country, they have grown the workforce from 12 (pre-covid) to 22 (post-covid). VW’s monthly users have risen from 30k to over 1lac now and the affiliate network has now reached a remarkable 500-member team from 98 in March 2020.

Working as a couple has a lot of pros, much over the cons. Naina and Prateek understand each other well and that allows them to collaborate well. Also, as a couple they can freely be the devil's advocate at times, allowing themselves to arrive at the right decision together.

Talking about the secret of managing perfect work-life balance, Naina says, “it’s a lot about respecting and caring for each other and while we work together, we make sure we detach from our work for a few hours when we are home, helping us build some amazing memories and enjoying our time together.”


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Avni | Founders: Sujata Pawar & Apurv Agrawal

Avni Founders | Sujata Pawar & Apurv Agrawal
Avni Founders | Sujata Pawar & Apurv Agrawal

For entrepreneurs, perfect work-life balance is a mirage. There is no such thing as a balance when you love your partner and what you do professionally together. It's a full-fledged mental fixation. Giving "time" is significantly less crucial than paying attention. You may spend all of your spare time with someone, but if you're not mentally present or making an effort to improve as a partner and lover for your spouse, you're squandering your time.

While it's unrealistic to expect you to leave work at the office once you get home, you may make an effort to turn off work conversation for a period of time in order to be present for your family. Make it a point to schedule time for yourselves on a regular basis. Both the partners individually need to find out their passion areas and devote time towards it. Outside of the company, and even outside of our marriage, couples have their own lives. Make an effort to keep up with the activities that offer you joy and allow you to escape from the demands of everyday life. Also set aside time to spend together, putting business discussions on hold. It's critical to recognize that your marriage is precious and takes precedence over your business. You'll have a better understanding and relationship with your partner if you both share that mindset.

The line between work and personal life is frequently blurred, and that's fine. The commonality of your core values should allow you to work incredibly well together. Everything boils down to your belief system and if that is aligned, your relationship and business will thrive.


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The Baker’s Dozen | Founders: Aditi Handa & Sneh Jain

The Baker’s Dozen Founders | Aditi Handa & Sneh Jain
The Baker’s Dozen Founders | Aditi Handa & Sneh Jain

Working with your life partner is like an exciting roller coaster ride and luckily we have managed it well so far. In our opinion, for any entrepreneur, work life balance doesn’t really exist, especially at the initial stage of work. The passion for work, the product, the business is so high that moving away from it is like being away from your comfort and happy zone. The same applies for Couple-preneurs. We both are passionate about our work and thus having a supportive family environment helps concentrate on work in a way where the lack of work life balance isn't too much of a problem.

However within a few years couples do tend to want some time away from the business and concentrate on their personal priorities whether as a couple or as individuals. In our case the rule we had placed was that we won’t discuss work on Sundays. Sunday’s were earmarked for personal and family priorities. Apart from that, if we talk about stress levels and how to cope with it, then I think the stress levels are very high for Couple-preneurs. But the trick for this is one’s perspective towards a situation. The same stressful situation can be looked at from a lens that motivates and makes you happy.

Zouk | Founders: Disha Singh & Pradeep Krishnakumar

Zouk - Founders | Akash Gupta & Rashi Agarwal
Zouk Founders | Disha Singh & Pradeep Krishnakumar

Inspired by the love of consumers towards local handicrafts as well as the functionality of bags in this active, bohemian, solo, and nomadic lifestyle, Zouk aims to support and encourage good Indian craftsmanship and handicrafts, to keep India's culture alive for future generations and combine them with modern functionality. The dynamic husband-and-wife duo of IIM Ahemdabad graduates - Disha Singh and Pradeep Krishnakumar, founded Zouk in June 2016 and it has been growing ever since. The idea behind Zouk was to promote the local craftsmanship of India so that the upcoming generations are always closer to the Indian roots and also help the majority of Indian women in the workforce who wear traditional ethnic attires to work. The brand is a Proudly Indian, PETA certified, Vegan and Cruelty-free D2C brand. The brand plans to expand overseas by Financial Year '23.

As founders, we are the ever-optimists. While we are typically wired in 24x7 on building Zouk, we have better control over our schedules. We also connect with our teams on a weekly basis to align on their team's priorities and solve any of their blockers. A big part of how we can manage work and life is thanks to our team. They drive most of the execution and hence allow us to think about strategic pieces.

Everyone knows that an amazing team can change the company's growth trajectory. What's not said often is that a great team can do wonders to the health and wellbeing of the founders.

ESDS | Piyush Somani & Komal Somani

ESDS Founders | Piyush Somani & Komal Somani
ESDS Founders | Piyush Somani & Komal Somani

Piyush Somani is the Chairman and MD of ESDS Software Solution Ltd. and Komal Somani is CMO and Whole Time Director at ESDS Software Solution Ltd.

One of the partners has to be a silent observer. What that means is that one of the Entrepreneur doesn't react at all and are committed to watch everything and discuss on everything and decide on things jointly. If there's no consensus between both of you, avoid taking that decision unless the consensus is built. Couple Entrepreneurs cannot force their individual decision on each other, that's the secret to have true partnership with your better half.

Tarrakki | Founders: Saumya Shah & Shaily Shah

Tarrakki Founders | Saumya Shah & Shaily Shah
Tarrakki Founders | Saumya Shah & Shaily Shah 

Building a start-up from scratch is very stressful and sometimes it impacts personal relationships. But it is definitely a good experience to have my partner Shaily Shah, Co-Founder of tarrakki in this journey along with me since the inception of tarrakki. We get to learn new things in the process each day (personally and professionally)while working and it adds alot of value to our work. I personally believe that having clear boundaries between personal and professional life is the key. Another key learning is to know when to switch off from the work and avoid the natural temptation of working 24*7. Also, working together brings up it's own set of challenges, so it's important to find strengths in joint wins along the way. However, it is a good experience to have the life partner also be the business partner and together we are game for any challenges that come our way be it at a personal or professional capacity.

AKS Clothing | Founders: Nidhi Yadav & Satpal Yadav

AKS Clothing Founders | Nidhi Yadav & Satpal Yadav
AKS Clothing Founders | Nidhi Yadav & Satpal Yadav

Apart from operating a business properly and economically, a couple who decides to start and grow a business together must achieve that delicate work-life balance that is important for one's mental health. Many couples operating startups have discovered that setting out 'personal time' for one other and their families have helped build relationships while simultaneously growing the business.

It has become difficult for people to distinguish between personal and professional time. And it's considerably more complicated when the employees are a couple, and it's even more complex when the pair is an entrepreneur.

Maintaining a healthy level of communication with your spouse is essential when working together. Your professional and personal relationships may suffer if you wind up tiptoeing around one other. It is critical to communicate clearly. Clarify which role you're speaking from if you're dissatisfied with something as a coworker but not as a spouse. Failure to do so will result in a great deal of avoidable strife.

A successful professional connection is predicated on a successful personal relationship. You can't have peace at work, and at home, you can't have war, so all you can do is prioritize your connection. Even if you see each other every day during the week, you should schedule a date night for the weekend. This will maintain your personal relationship on top of things while also providing you with a vacation from any business-related stressors.

When you're at work, though, it's essential to maintain a professional relationship. If you don't do so, your emotions will get in the way of making complex business decisions. Treat your spouse as if they were a coworker. Make every significant choice as a team while still acknowledging your particular abilities.

Nidhi Yadav: My spouse Satpal and I always set aside 'personal time' for each other and our family, which has helped us strengthen our relationship while developing our business. Every weekend we plan a dinner or lunch date and go shopping or picnics along with our family. We always prefer having at least one meal of a day together and make sure to spare some time out of our busy schedule for our daughter.

I believe maintaining a healthy level of communication with your partner is essential when working together, and always keep our professional and personal affairs away from each other and communicate whenever we have any issue.


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