When Archana Bhatnagar started out, with her first venture Bromide Chemicals, she remembers how rudimentary her workspace was. This first-generation entrepreneur had set out to make an X-ray developer and fixer in 1979. She literally mixed the chemicals in tubs, sealed the openings with plastic held tight with clothes pegs and shook them. “The packaging was professionally done, there was no compromise on that,” she says. Today, she is the managing director and co-founder of Haylide Chemicals.
Born into an army family, in Deolali in Nashik, Bhatnagar was always encouraged by her father to do what she likes, just as her two brothers were. Therefore she danced, sang and played sports. “I did everything one could do to build their personality,” she says. After living in and schooling from different parts of the country, she went to a college in Mumbai. She did a short stint with the entertainment and media industry, doing film journalism and modelling.