Sarita Mantri, Managing Director, Sunil Mantri GroupCW presents the next in a series of interviews with women who have made their mark in the building sector.Silk and steel can sometimes go hand in hand! Take the case of Sarita Mantri, the elegant wife of Sunil Mantri, Chairman, Mantri Group, who multitasks with consummate ease. Not only does she oversee both the operational aspects and brand management of the Group and independently handle human resource, sales and marketing, project planning, and execution of projects across India; she is also the director of Alliance Finstock Ltd., a division of the Group, where she handles trading, investment, business development, membership of stock exchanges and compliance issues. She is also actively involved in the women's wing of the MCHI and was awarded the Female Real Estate Professional of the Year Award at the Realty Plus Excellence Awards in 2011. A fitness freak whose day is incomplete without meditation or yoga, her recipe for success is: "Be innovative, dynamic and explore every avenue towards success." She shares more about herself and her professional journey in an interview with Group Managing Editor Falguni Padode....When we started this column, we realised what a task it was to find the women working in the construction business and get them to speak. Although many of them play pivotal roles, they are largely unsung.Yes, but the next generation is all set to enter the field, and change that.Tell me about your background... I come from Sangli and completed my graduation from there. I got married when I was very young and moved to Pune after marriage. I lived in Pune for 10 years. My father in law was the president of the Pune Stock Exchange so I joined him. I shifted to Mumbai in 1993 and did not work for a few years because my twins were very young. Then, both of us set up a business in the capital market; my husband was into construction. I worked there for six to seven years. Then, this company started growing rapidly and my husband asked me to get into this business.So how has the journey been? I completed my graduation from a small town and am proud to say so. For 15-16 years, I have been living in Mumbai and have learnt English. Two months ago, I received the Woman Achievers' Award; it's a matter of great pride. If women are motivated, they can do anything.How does the work-life balance work for women? Life has become easier because of technology.Now that you have been in the real-estate business for seven years, what has your experience been in terms of your own role and the industry's evolution? Compared to the capital market, this sector is very different, especially in Mumbai. I have learnt with each passing day. On site, I deal with engineers, and listen to my workers. Technologies are changing everyday.One of your taglines is 'modern lifestyle at affordable prices'. We did this particularly for our 375-acre township in Gwalior. We provide everything there, from a multiplex to shopping arcade. And it's affordable. A 1,000 sq ft villa costs only Rs 15-20 lakh with the latest amenities; just Rs 2,000 per sq ft. Is this your first township? This is the biggest in Madhya Pradesh. We have already sold 600 units before the launch.How do you deal with issues like corruption and red tape? While I do not deal with this aspect directly, I have some suggestions.Right now there are about 52 clearances required for projects. A single-window clearance system by the government would help remove corruption. Everyone suffers when clearances take a long time;material costs also go up.When input price goes up so much, do your deliverable prices remain the same? Then, does quality suffer? People are so particular, if we make the smallest changes, they will take action.What are your green initiatives right now? We believe in green buildings and have implemented it in projects like Royal and Pemino. We have 70 per cent open spaces like gardens. In the city, we have parks around apartments and villas. In Gwalior, the entire township will be eco-friendly. As there is an electricity problem, we will have solar power.Finally, do you have any tips for women in the construction business? I believe they can do very well - if they have the right support.