She turned her dreams into plans –the tough way.
Ratnamala Swain, Director of DN Homes is the first woman Industrialist of Odisha in the field of real-estates. In the last 15 years she has come a long arduous way to where she stands today as an icon for aspirants who look up to her as a role model. She believes that success needs organised planning, iron determination, diligence combined with sincerity and honesty are the major ingredients which ultimately makes a person successful.
She was born 17 years after her parent’s marriage and was the apple of their eye. Her father had a jewellery shop in Ganjam and Ratnamala had a comfortable life with her siblings. She completed her boards from Berhampur and did her engineering in Architecture from Women’s Polytechnic Bhubneswar. During her second year in college her father went through a financial loss and his business took a toss. During that time her friend’s parents Bansidhar and Prativa Mishra stood beside her like angels and helped her complete her education and eventually got her married.
After completing her diploma in 1987 she did her internship in the Bhubaneswar Development Authority (BDA). During those days the government did not have any job facilities for architecture students. In 1988 Ratnamala took the lead and sat for a hunger strike along with other protesting Polytechnic students and was on newspapers for stopping the former Chief Minister J.B.Patnaik’s car. This agitation resulted in 48 architects with diplomas getting government jobs .Ironically Ratnamala had made up her mind that she would never do a government job.
While living in Bhubaneswar as a paying guest she owned a cycle. She loved cycling and while riding one day a word came into her mind – Contractor. Her friends and family were appalled when she decided to apply for a contractor’s license and in 1989, defying all social norms became a woman contractor.
She started small jobs by taking hand loans from friends and successfully completed contracts for the Odisha government like – Works Department, Housing Board, Housing and Urban Development, Agriculture Department, IDCO etc. With the success of small projects she became an inspiration for others and upgraded from a cycle to a Luna for travelling to sites.
In 1991 she got married into a joint family and responsibilities were divided into many segments. She worked hard so that family and profession would not clash. It was a gargantuan task but with the support of family she could maintain a balance. Ratnamala feels that if a career woman can adjust herself with her career then she can do the same in her family life also.
It was a battlefield for this lone woman contractor but whatever the odds she fought tooth and nail and finally in 1993, she launched A.R. Engineers private limited company and bagged architectural projects with friend Banani Jagdeb.
Her meeting Jagdish Nayak the founder of DN Homes in 2003 was a turning point . She joined DN Homes as a Director and it has been an amazing journey of building nine apartments initially to 12 modern residential flats and then a mega construction, joining hands with Vipul group. The partnership of DN homes has come up as Vipul Gardens with 576 modern flats. Her dream project DN OXY park is almost over and will be a state- of -the art project.
Ratnamala firmly believes that teamwork is the most important strength for a company’s growth. She loves reading and writing and whenever she can get some free time she spends attending literary festivals and interacting with writers and poets. Family values and her warm nature has been a big factor for her being highly popular for all who know her.