Excelling Beyond Boundaries

In an exclusive interview with Nisha Shukla, the leading ladies of the Decor & Design industry talk about their successful ventures, challenges and the various initiatives undertaken by them to empower the society

 

Entrepreneurship was once not considered as women’s cup of tea. But, with changing times, education and growing awareness amongst women, have encouraged them to participate in the entrepreneurial activities. With their multitasking capabilities and sharp business acumen, the 21st century women have attained prominent positions and have broken all  barriers and gender stereotypes surrounding them. The women of today have proved themselves in almost every area, including Decor & Design industry, which were once dominated by big players of their respective segments.

Women Entrepreneurship has gained a significant importance in the recent past, especially from the perspective of economic growth of the country. Earlier women were perceived as a homemaker. Only few women took up jobs in order to overcome tragic conditions such as divorce, death of their husband or financial crisis. Very few women pursued their passion. Breaking all the barrier s and gender stereotypes, the 21st- century women are attaining top -notch positions and have also proved their ability in almost every industry segment. With their perseverance, ability to take chances and risks, convincing skills, problem solving attitude, intellectual competence and multi tasking abilities, women have proved that they are no longer a liability, but a valuable asset to the society, who are at par with their men counterparts.

Besides, a lo t of significant factors have also played an influential role in changing women’s perspective towards entrepreneurship including, access to quality education, urge for being financially independent and creating their own identity,  shift  in  mind-set of society, support from family and major support from the government in terms of flexible policies which facilitates them with financial assistance and vocational skill and training, in order to sustain their businesses. While many women are heading and guiding new industries, a large chunk of highly educated women are either not seeking any opportunities or have succumbed to marriage and family pressures. The idea of women undertaking an entrepreneurial activity was termed as introduction of the policy of privatisation, liberalisation and globalisation in 1991, women started responding to the change in the environment and the era witnessed active participation of women in entrepreneurial activities. A recent study con­ ducted by McKinsey points out that increasing the number of working Indian women by another 10 percent by 2025 (68 million more women), from the 23.5 per cent of women in the workforce today, can increase India’s GDP by 16 per cent. The above mentioned study clearly points out there is a dire need to add more women workforce to the system in order to accelerate the economic growth of our country. If the women in the country are empowered and motivated, they can create more employment opportunities for many women, which in turn will result in inclusive growth of the country.

Alike other sectors, Decor & Design industry too was once largely dominated by men, till a number of passionate ladies entered and completely revolutionised the industry with their quality services and product s. In the following feature, we take a look at the inspiring journeys of the leading wom­en entrepreneurs of the decor and design industry, who with their diligence and passion are making this sector more lucrative. They also get candid about their challenges, significant contribution to the society, future plans and other interests.

 

Ananya Birla:-

Ananya Birla is an entrepreneur, singer-song writer and mental health campaigner. Starting out aged 17, Ananya founded Svatantra Microfinance, an organization that offers loans to rural women entrepreneurs. Her second venture Curo Carte is an ecommerce platform which curates, and co-creates global handmade products for the contemporary household. Ananya is the co-founder of Mpower, a mental health initiative that works towards eliminating the stigma associated with mental health illnesses. In November 2016, Ananya launched her music career with Universal Music Group. Her single ‘Meant To Be’ made her the first Indian artist with an English song to go platinum. Her latest single, ‘Hold On’ released in March 2018. Besides, she has received many prestigious laurels like Hello! Hall of Fame’s ‘Corporate Debutante Award’, the Skoch Award for the ‘Best Start-up (2014)’, the ‘Leading Woman in Microfinance Award’, the CNBC Young Business Woman Award, to name a few.

 

Tell us about your firm’s journey and what compelled you start off as part of it?

Growing up, at home, I was surrounded by beautiful handmade product s. My great grandma had a beautiful marble inlay box that I fell in love with. Then one day, she gave t he piece to me as a present and I was in heaven. It was one of the happiest days of my childhood.

Since then, wherever I go in the world, I am obsessed with finding amazing products, Raku pottery from Japan or beadwork from Bali. I am so lucky that my music career allow s me to travel to so many wonderful places where I can continue to explore and find these fantastic objects.

Today, there is so much potential for the meeting of traditional skills with modern design tastes. The plan with CuroCarte was to use the internet to make beautiful hand-made objects available to many more people. I also w anted to provide a platform for artisans around the globe to sell their products and keep their craft and their cultural heritage alive. I truly believe luxury lies in hand made.

 

What were the various challenges you faced while setting up your own firm?

The biggest challenge I have faced over the past few years has been balancing my music career with my businesses. At first, it was really difficult, I was working non-stop, and sometimes sleeping in my office. Now, I have amazing teams helping me to look after each of my organisations, which means I can take more of a strategic role. This allows me to spend a bit less time in the office and more in the studio.

 

Tell us about your marketing strategies?

There is massive untapped potential for handicraft and a renewed appreciation of skills and Makers. We use the internet and modern design approaches to connect our Makers with new markets. In Indi a, there is a new kind of luxury customer who wants only beautiful and rare objects in their homes. These people have travelled a lot, seen a lot. They are curious and clever. They have great taste in food, in clothes and their homes are very important to them too. They don’t necessarily have time to go out searching for these special items, and CuroCart e makes it easier for them to find the unique and inspiring pieces they are looking for.

 

What has been your motivating/driving force all these years that keeps you going?

Each of my ventures is borne of a personal passion. I have alw ays believed that life is too short for people not to follow the thing which sparks a fire in their soul. Whether it be in business or my music, doing the things that I love is what drives me. I’m lucky to be surrounded by supportive colleagues, friends and family, but my motivation is internal, I was born with this curiosity and hunger to be creative.

 

Your viewson feminism and how is it affecting the society?

We still do not live in an equal society. From the gender pay gap, to domestic and sexual violence, to lack of education, across the world females are far more likely to be put at a disadvantage from birth. I think feminism is helping to create a more fair and equal world where women are entitled and empowered to pursue their self-expression and success.

Feminism is helping to spread the message (particularly through the internet) that female empowerment is key  for the growth of the national economy in India – women are central to our on –going growth and success- and our systems need to be more inclusive.

 

What percentage of your workforce involves women employees?

My internal team consists of 70%women.

 

How do you define leadership in today’s market?

Leadership is about using compassion to drive everyone forward, and always listening to others for the good of the wider group. A happy team is essential to success. The ethos of my teams is based much more on cooperation than competition and both honesty and transparency sit at the heart of each of my ventures. I wanted to create an atmosphere where people can tell me where we can do better, and how I can improve personally. I also like to ensure that my team have a shared vision and values. These inspire and motivate them to achieve more by providing the picture of future success.

 

What’s the measure of your success?

Music and business are the two strongest forces in the world to empower, engage and move people. For me, success is using these tools to connect with people on a meaningful level and hope fully to make a positive difference.

 

What are the key traits or factors for becoming a successful women entrepreneur?

Female entrepreneurs do need to be resilient and brave – every entrepreneur regard less of their gender will face challenges and resistance. Part of what leads to success is having the grit and determination to do the work and see it through. I also think it’s important that women know they can retain their personal values and perspectives and still be a success. For example, in order to be relevant and sustainable, I believe businesses should have a heart. They can serve as agent s of positive change in the world and still make money.

 

Are you working on any initiatives for empowering women in the society?

When I was 17, I set up a microfinance business called Svatantra. We provide loans to disadvantaged women in rural India to help them grow their businesses and become self-sufficient. As a female entrepreneur, I wanted to build a platform which encourages other women in India to fulfill their potential.

 

An innovation you strongly propagate?

Dropbox. It is the best way for me to manage my work internationally, and makes my music easily accessible and shareable.

 

How do you ensure quality standards in your organization?

Creating a working community in which people feel comfortable with bringing things to me – I respect my employees and respect their contributions, which in turn makes everyone feel that they have a stake in our success. Fostering an open and transparent atmosphere means that everyone knows what is expected of them and knows they need to pull their weight as an individual – every individual is valuable and their involvement is an important component in the company’s success..

 

What sets your brand apart from other contemporaries?

Authenticity is important in everything that I do, and it’s something that sets us apart as a br and. We prioritize a strong heritage and one-of-a- kind beauty over mindlessly following trends. It’s about telling a unique story through an object and honoring the talent and vision of the person who created it.

 

What has been your greatest achievement so far?

I am so proud of the mental health initiative which I established with my mother. MPower Minds works to stamp out the stigma around mental health in India by campaigning and pro vi ding care. With one in four young people expected to be affected by mental health issues, this is an important challenge everywhere in the world. Stigma, discrimination and neglect prevent people getting the help they need and this needs to change. A key event which was really exciting on a personal level was being the first Indian artist to go platinum with an English single a few months ago. I felt like I had overcome a lot of personal challenges and fear s to pursue my music career, and to see that it was received so we11 was hugely encouraging.

 

You are managing different ventures, please tell us how do you manage your time so beautifully and also tell us how do you strike work- life balance?

Having a good work-life balance is important for you, your close friends and your family. I used to really struggle with this, but now  through thoughtful  delegation,  setting reasonable goals, not over-committing and careful prioritizing, I am much better. For me, spending time with family is the most import ant thing. I am recording between London and LA at the moment, so whenever I am back in Mumbai I try to be with my parents and siblings as much as possible.

 

Any particular artist/architect/innovator whose works you admire the most?

Zaha Hadid was an amazing Iraqi -British architect, her work was ultra-modern and ahead of its time; her buildings felt like works of art. In terms of innovators, I admire Robert E Kahn (the man who came up with the idea of the worldwide web) because the internet has changed everything, and Steve Jobs; Apple has re-shaped the world and he was a key part of that.

 

What are your hobbies?

I love to keep fit. I have always believed that if you take care of your body, it’ll take care of you. I also know the importance of a healthy body to keeping a health y mind. Exercise improves my mental alertness, energy and mood, as well as reducing stress and anxiety.

 

Any motto that keeps you going…

Try your best and leave the rest to God.

 

One important change you would like to bring in the industry?

I want to encourage consumers and the industry to become more mindful. I would like to help consumers be a lot more thoughtful about how they relate to the objects they surround themselves with. In a world where things are increasingly prioritized for their ‘newness’ or disposability (which is causing a consumption and waste issue) we are losing sight of what makes an object valuable. I would like people to respect and develop a connection with their ‘things’. With the story behind them, the hands that made them, the heritage that inspired them.

 

If not an entrepreneur then would have been

I am so lucky that I get to do what I love, both in business and in music. Every morning I wake up and feel like I can conquer the day because I am following my passions and working with people that I love. I wouldn’t change anything

 

Any inspiration mantra or advice for the budding designers and women entrepreneurs?

You need to be super passionate about your business because if you’re not, you won’t be able to put in the extra time and effort that is needed to succeed. Starting a business is a constant learning curve. Over time, you learn from meeting different people and gradually expand your knowledge through your experiences and especially your mistakes. Have patience with yourself and the process.

 

Is any strategic collaboration or expansion on cards? Kindly shed some light about the same?

As I travel the world I am always on the lookout for unique and cool items or crafts people to work with on our platform. I hope to keep adding to and expanding our collection.

 

Tell us about your future plans?

Right now, music is my number one priori ty. I’m working hard and looking forward to releasing my next single at the beginning of March, an EP later in the year, and performing around the world

 

Deepali Shah:-

Deepali Shah is a graduate from Mumbai in Architecture and possesses expert knowledge in the arena of Architecture and Interior Designing modern and contemporary styles).  She was a modern and contemporary styles).  She was a Associated for about seven years and now she works at Classic Marble Company as Creative Head.

 

Tell us about your firms journey and what compelled you to  start off as part of it?

Classic Marble Company (CMC) was established in 1994 and today it is India’s No.1stone company. With over 700 products in its portfolio, it is not only a one­ stop-shop to its ever-rising customer base but is also India’s single largest company in the sector. Its product range has an array of natural stones that include Marble, Onyx, Travertine, Granite and Limestone, besides Composite Marble and Quartz (KalingaStone), and an imported porcelain range- Techlam and Iris.

I joined CMC five years ago prior to which I practiced architecture and interior designing with Talati & Panthaky Associated Pvt. Ltd. Even back then Amit Shah – my husband and Managing Director was really keen on me joining CMC, since he would always ask me for design input s, colour combination and aesthetics. So, I feel since day one, I have been a part of this company.

 

What comes under your purview in CMC?

I look into o the marketing, sales, projects, customer satisfaction and all the interiors centric matters. Also there are other key areas that wiII be soon added to my portfolio.

 

Tell us about your marketing strategies? Are you planning any kind of modification into same?

We are creating a unique digital strategy to reach our current clientele and build new customer base. We have enhanced our standards on marketing and design front.

 

There is an immense competition growing in the stone and marble segment and a lot of larger players from Delhi are venturing into the Mumbai market. What’s your take on it?

Healthy Competition is always good for business and for the growth of industry as a whole, and we welcome it. Although we’ve been headquartered in Mumbai, our presence and reach not only extends to all the major Indian cities and states but also abroad. We are an established player in the Indian stones market and time and again, we have broken conventional barriers to produce and offer new segments and pro duct s to the global markets. Within Mumbai, our relationships go beyond products and a vast majority of our clients appreciate CMC for the services and know us for our commitment to quality.

 

How do you define the design aesthetic of your brand?

As a brand CMC’s design aesthetic is all about eloquence and opulence. In the natural marble segment, Amit always has had a knack of handpicking the best from the lot. With regards to Kalinga Stone, we continuously research and develop new variations in shades and patterns, and come out with new products as often as every three months. We adapt to the changing market scenario and keep evolving with the industry trends.

 

Your views on feminism and how is it affecting the society?

Feminism is a long due activation of rights of the female gender everywhere. Every society, spanning the most conservative to the most progressive, has in one way or another suppressed the role of the female gender throughout history. Feminism, in my opinion, is not so much about equality with the opposite sex as much as it is about a woman’s unique space in the society. So if feminism as a movement is receiving attention and backing from all corridors of the society, then it makes me happy. It makes me feel optimistic about a world which will be a much better place for future generations of women everywhere to live and thrive.

 

Describe your style of designing and does Feminism play a role in your design?

Yes, feminism does play a role in my design. It adds a touch of finesse to my designs. My design approach is largely influenced with modern – contemporary style for interiors and also it depends on what the clients want.

 

What percentage of your workforce involves women employees?

15 – 20 per cent

 

How do you define leadership in today’s market?

Leader ship is when an entity driven by  conviction  is able to effectively cascade the conviction laterally and vertically across all its unit s. Knowledge is open source and almost everyone is ambitious and enterprising today but for a leader to emerge, it needs a little more than being ambitious. And that little more, in my humble opinion, is having convict ion in their beliefs.

 

What are the key traits or factors for becoming a successful women entrepreneur?

Being oneself is the key trait to be successful whether as an entrepreneur or in  whatever other  role  that she has chosen to play in her life. On a societal level, a woman exudes command as an entrepreneur when she is completely confident about her perception and vision which is backed by knowledge and reason. In this context, a woman entrepreneur is no different than any other.

 

An innovation you strongly propagate?

Digitization is an innovation that I am in awe with. It is the kind of innovation that evolved right in front of our eyes and its potential is yet to be fully realized. There is so much that the world has been able to accomplish with the age of digitization. Even in my line of work, creating the most complex designs that the human mind can comprehend can be plotted and eventually brought to physical being with both ease and accuracy. I am eagerly waiting to witness and be part of for the next big leap that will change our world.

 

What are your hobbies?

Reading, travelling and social service.

 

What sets your brand apart from other contemporaries?

Quality and innovation have been at the heart of CMC’s brand ethos. We’ve been able to reign the stones market for over two decades solely because our unflinching belief in this ideology. Complementing it, is CMC’s top management that  invests prudently  in  R&D  and generously in its people to come out with designs and products that capture the imagination. CMC is today the preferred brand not only in India but across the world.

 

What has been your greatest achievement so far?

This has to be the company’s head office in Bhandup, Mumbai. CMC’s back – lit marble facade is a great example of innovation in Kalinga Stone marble and I am happy that I was a core part of the design team. The office is a one-of-its- kind in the country. It’s a dream come true for us.

 

One important change you would like to bring in the industry?

Ours is largely an unorganized industry with too many small scale players who offer poor quality products at lower costs. Customers, due to lack of knowledge feel cheated at times and this is dangerous for the growth of the premium marble industry in the long run. I would like to be part of the system that helps streamline the industry and turn it to an organized sector which will benefit the industry as well as the customers.

 

Are you currently busy with any in-house Interior projects?

We recently completed CMC’s Bhandup showroom project (ground floor). Currently, we are working on the first floor of CMC’s Marble office, Silvassa’s 9th Avenue showroom, and also recently launched Delhi showroom. We also plan to work on the Silvassa experience centre.

 

How do you strike work- life balance?

I am a very proactive person and I keep everything planned in advance. I spend a good amount of time with my kids also. On the weekends I usually spend time with my children and I work from home as well.

 

What has been your biggest source of inspiration?

My mother has been my biggest inspiration. Amongst the architectural fraternity, I think Zaha Hadid is an inspiration because I like her unusual and free flowing designs.

 

If not an architect or women entrepreneur, then would have been…

I think I would have been a social worker for sure because it gives me immense happiness when I do something to uplift the underprivileged section of the society.

 

Any inspiration mantra or advice for the budding designers and women entrepreneurs

Do what you are passionate about and always be driven

by your instinct…

 

Is any strategic collaboration or expansion on cards for CMC? Kindly shed some light about the same?

In the recent past, CMC has entered the porcelain tiles vertical by collaborating with international major s Techlam and Iris. The strategic tie up allows us to concentrate on our core competency i.e. the stones segment including both natural and engineered while offering our customers the world’s most preferred tile choices. This collaboration ha s again upped the ante in the tiles segment as prior to this, there were no such product offerings in the Indian market. We have recently announced the launch of 9th Avenue at Silvassa which is an exclusive collection of the rarest and most exquisite natural stones found on the earth. The limited edition of high-end, first choice materials will be showcased at CMC’s boutique gallery in Silvassa.

 

Are you working on any initiatives for empowering the underprivileged in the society?

We are running a school in Gujarat which provides free education to children up to their secondary schooling. We have been driving our efforts to make the girl child receive education and ratio of girls to boys in the school is skewed towards the girls. Besides this, we also run a hospital and an IT college in the region.

 

Deepikka Jindal:-

Deepikka Jindal, Creative Director & MD JSL Lifestyle Limited is a multifaceted personality, having contributed significantly in transforming the creative landscape of Stainless Steel under the brand name ‘Arttd’inox: As a part of her commitment to globally increase the appreciation of stainless steel, in its art form, led her to open an art gallery, , ‘The Stainless: in New Delhi. Heading CSR initiatives of Jindal Stainless Foundation, Deepikka Jindal is the chairperson of O.P. Jindal Modern School, Vidya Devi Jindal School, O.P. Jindal Cancer Hospital and N.C. Jindal Institute of Medical Care & Research, in Hissar. In 2008 FICCI FLO in association with IWEC awarded her with a reputed recognition in New York. Besides, she has been also bestowed with many prestigious awards for her brand Arttd’inox.

 

Tell us about your firm’s journey and what compelled you start off as part of it?

Jindal Stainless Lifestyle has been into existence for more than 15 years, and since then we have been adorning the home spaces. Our parent company has been into stainless steel and we realized that the stainless steel has been an integral part of our culture, but it was not desirable beyond a certain level. I think, that very realization enabled us to create Arttd’inox, which means an art in stainless steel’, to make our creative expression and also bring about a change in the outlook of people tow ards stainless steel. That’s how Arttd’inox originated in 2003.

 

What were the various challenges you faced while setting up your own firm?

Setting up any new business is always challenging and especially to create brand awareness. I feel the huge unorganized market has been the key challenge. But, I perceive them as key opportunities, in order to keep the brand surge ahead.

 

What is the USP of your brand?

We are ‘Make in India- Made for the World’, that harmonizes form and functionality in stainless steel to tell stories of living spaces. That’s our USP.

 

Tell us about your marketing strategies?

We have a very humane approach to the market. We create products to cater to the desirable  needs of discerning people as the needs vary from regular lifestyle products to bespoke kitchens. The brand aims to reach out to as many people as possible through the Art of Home’. Experiential and Content marketing is our key strategy. Aspects such as retail, digital inter face, unique user journey, service, CRM etc. remain our focus areas.

 

What has been your motivating/driving force all these years that keeps you going?

Faith, passion and commitment towards my work has driven me. Also, it gives me an immense pride to be an Indian company, which has created its own identity and also the fact that our firm has established itself as a platform that provides ample opportunities to the design fraternity in order to create and explore.

 

Your views on feminism and how is it affecting the society?

I think one is not gauged by the gender, but by what one does.

 

What percentage of your workforce involves women employees?

This manufacturing industry has so far been a male dominated one. But it’ s time to encourage and get higher participation from women. The numbers are still not very encouraging. However, we are still working towards having more and more participation of women workforce in various functions of our company.

 

How do you define leadership in today’s market?

Leadership is not preached, but has to be practiced, nurtured and promoted. The very decision to take on the task to make the art in stainless steel and create a brand out of it, was a path breaking decision. I believe leader ship comes from the base level, wherein every individual member performs his/ her responsibilities to the best of their capacities.

 

What’s the measure of your success?

 

The brand is reaching out to more and more people, providing them with unique brand experience. To be a brand of desire and not necessity, marks success.

 

What are the key traits or factors for becoming a successful women entrepreneur?

According to me, patience, eye for detail, ambition, focus, setting newer benchmarks and bringing joy in the lives of people, who create and consume, are the key determinants to be successful. It works on the simplicity, clarity of thoughts and the belief in what you stand for.

 

Are you working on any initiatives for empowering women in the society?

Yes, of course. Being a woman entrepreneur, there is a huge responsibility that I hold towards women. Apart from encouraging participation of women in the work­ place, we have created products that address the very need of women. The compact sanitary solution from the Jindal Stainless Lifestyle is one of key product and social initiative that we have taken to cater to the sanitary needs of women across Indi a. It’s a modular automated sanitary booth designed for women that can be installed anywhere in the country. Apart from this, we have been instrument al in imparting education, health and generating employment opportunities for women.

 

An innovation you strongly propagate?

Our commitment towards reinventing stainless steel is something that we propagate to create relevance and desire for.

 

Any material you would like to experiment with?

Our canvas is the stainless steel, which provides ample opportunities for us t o play with. But, we also try to harmonize with multiple material Iike- ceramic, glass, wood , brass, copper and so on and so forth. Stainless Steel is a great harmonising material, which helps us to create artistic and healthy products- be it Home Lifestyle products or Kitchens. I believe that each material has a unique gift to give and would Iike to see that with whatever I work with.

 

How do you ensure quality standards in your organization?

We have stringent quality checks at every level, right from the concept stage to the final delivery. We make sure what we envisage, curate and deliver, lives up to the expectations of the people.

 

What sets your brand apart from other contemporaries?

We are a storyteller brand that tells the story of the Art of Home’ with focus on making life simpler, easier and a rich experience. That’s why we marry form and functionality; create product s that serve people’s desires and need.

 

What has been your greatest achievement so far?

It ‘s the journey and learning from my surrounding that guides me every day. I think that’s my achievement so far.

 

You are managing different ventures, please tell us how do you manage your time so beautifully and also tell us how do you strike work- life balance?

I play multiple roles- a mother, wife, daughter-in-law and an entrepreneur. Managing alI is definitely a task, but a supportive family at home and at work helps me to strike the life balance. The spiritual learning helps me prioritize my time according to the needs of importance.

 

If not an entrepreneur, then would have been...

Serving in my capacity

 

What are your hobbies?

Reading philosophical books, The Bhagwad Gita and Yoga boosts my inner strength.

 

One important change you would like to bring in the industry?

We need to see people as ‘People’ and not as revenue centres . There is a greater need to show some heart.

 

Any particular artist/architect/innovator whose works you admire the most?

I believe that everyone is blessed with some or the other talent and there is so much to learn from one another. But, I think, my designers, manufacturing team and support functions are my best partners, who keep me motivated and focused.

 

Any inspiration mantra or advice for the buddingdesigners and women entrepreneurs?

Believe in what you do &own it. Never succumb to the failures. Be true to yourself and believe in your own style, don’t be someone else.

 

Is any strategic collaboration or expansion on cards? Kindly shed some light about the same?

This year is going to be the year of brand revival, collaboration with International markets. Besides we are also planning to create experiential spaces for the brand and most importantly to engage wi th people at large.

 

What should we look forward to in 2018?                            

Lots of unique experiences, consolidation of business and a lot more brand visibility

 

Leila Erfan:-

Leila Erfan, founder of ARIA Interior Design, was born and brought up in Tehran, Iran. She was drawn to art since childhood, in particular painting and evolved her skills by exploring other forms of art over the years. With her strong drive and encouragement from her family, Leila started teaching art to children in her studio from the age of 17. Simultaneously she pursued her degree at the Graphic High School followed by a degree from the Art & Architecture University in Tehran, Iran. After working for few years in India, she founded ARIA Interior in the year 2012 in New Delhi. The studio is known for private residences, hotel design and commercial interiors, apart from customised furniture. A variety of these unique pieces and design philosophy can be viewed in ARIA’s boutique in New Delhi.

 

Tell us about your firms journey and what compelled you start off as part of it?

After working in India for few years, I eventually decided to settle in New Delhi, in order to start my own practice. As a result, in the year of 2012, we established Aria Interior Design as a boutique firm specializing in bespoke interior designing and exclusive product design. So far the journey has been incredible and indeed India is a conducive ground for designers. This culturally rich country has gifted me with the valuable art of ‘Craft.

 

What were the various challenges you faced while setting up your own firm?

After having formed my studio, the major challenge for me was to set up our in-house manufacturing unit for our designer product line. The idea was to create a collaborative set up where I can work with my team and craftsmen at our manufacturing unit very closely on design innovations and techniques, in order to achieve quality product

 

Tell us about your marketing strategies?

We basically follow a mix of strategies in order to reach out to our customers. Usually, we prefer print, digital mediums and exhibitions to showcase our line of work. Besides, I also like to have one-to­ one interactions with clients in order to gauge their life style and needs.

 

What has been your motivating/driving force all these years that keeps you going?

I thin k the diverse cultures of Persia and India. The rich art, design and architecture of both these countries fascinate and tempt me to practice more and more.

 

What are the key traits or factors for becoming a successful women entrepreneur?

Confidence, humility, risk taking ability, clear goals and visions, challenge yourself each single day.

 

How do you ensure quality standards in your organization?

ARIA is scaling height s only because of the quality standards which we have set for our studio. Right from choosing of materials to product realization, I and my team of designers inspect the entire manufacturing process. Also, we constantly keep a tab on new crafts, design innovations and techniques, in order to improve the quality of the product and keep up with ever changing decor trends.

 

Are you working on any initiatives for empowering women in the society?

I am very keen on working on such initiatives, where I can be helpful for a change towards the betterment of women society.

 

What sets your brand apart from other contemporaries?

I think the way our in-house team of craftsmen and designers merge cultures and crafts, while customizing decor products with remarkable quality.

 

What has been your greatest achievement so far?

In a short span of 5 years, ARIA has established itself as a bespoke interior designing and product design firm. With a talented team of designers and craftsmen, we have completed a number of luxurious residential and hospitality projects and still counting many more. It’s just the beginning of our journey and we look forward to achieve many such milestone and recognitions ahead too.

 

Tell us about your future plans?

We are trying to create a new collection which is highly influenced from Persian culture and looking forward to showcase them in international exhibition s.

 

Any inspiration mantra or advice for the budding designers and women entrepreneurs?

Be happy and believe in yourself, follow your plans, keep challenging yourself, learn from your mistakes and stay focused.

 

 

If not an entrepreneur then would have been...

Undoubtedly I would be a designer for sure or may be a traveler.

 

Any anecdotes that keeps you going?

I believe “Tomorrow is beautiful, let’s do more”.

 

You are managing different ventures, please tell us how do you manage your time so beautifully and also tell us how do you strike work- life balance?

Believe me; I don’t have any boundary between my work and life. From morning to evening, I am enjoying whatever I am doing.

 

Any particular artist/architect/innovator whose works you admire the most?

I admire a lot of people, but amongst all I simply like the works of Zaha Hadid, Roberto Palomba, Ludovica Palomba, Cristina Celestino… and many more.

 

What are your hobbies?

Traveling, photography and reading and researching about art and design

 

Mana Shetty:-

Mana Shetty is the Creative director of R House Furnishing Solutions Pvt. Ltd. and the Director of S2 Realty Developers. Born into a family of architects, she effortlessly brings together her natural inclination towards architecture and her love for interior design. Her eye for detail and all­ things-beautiful is reflected in her collections that she personally curates at R House, which recently celebrated its 5th Anniversary. A woman with a mission, she serves as Vice President at Save The Children India, an organization founded by her late mother, which serves less-privileged women and children by giving them access to quality education, livelihood development and health care. Her passion for these causes and her love for fashion and luxury  come  together  with  Araaish, a fundraising event that she founded to serve the beneficiaries of Save The Children India.The event celebrates the spirit of giving and till date has had over 60 plus successful shows across India and abroad, enriching the lives of thousands of less­ privileged women and children.

 

Tell us about your firm’s journey and what compelled you start off as a part of it?

Starting R House was just a move of creativity. After having worked as a Textile designer for 25 years, I felt very saturated and was contemplating to start something new. I had just finished the Interior Styling of our Khandala house. The decor of the house garnered a lot of appreciation from our family and friends. That’s when my husband, Suniel spot ted the hidden Interior Stylist in me and encouraged me to further my passion for designing and creativity through interiors. Initially, I realized that it is all about the innate quality of design and creativity which can be expressed in any form. So that’s how I stepped into Interior Styling. Since we had the space readily available for the store, we got the entire set up ready in a short span of six months. The interiors have been fabulously adorned in industrial theme, which can be easily converted into any style. Also at the same time, we got a great team on board and finally on 12th January 2013, we took off.

 

What were the various challenges you faced while setting up your own firm?

The major challenge, for us, was to find our brand’s USP and carve our own niche in the emerging decor market. Our whole vision was to be distinctive in terms of our products and services, whilst being commercial.

 

Tell us about your Brands USP?

My whole intent behind R House was to develop it as a on e-stop-shop for design essentials and decor accessories. We specialise in sty ling of upcoming residences, second homes and makeover project s. In terms of our approach we are tot ally hands on. Every single product in our store has been chosen and handpicked by me and my team. The display of our store has been adorned with products and accessories which are sourced from all across the globe. Most of our client s appreciate us  for our attention to detail, quality consciousness and effective pricing. In terms of our design approach, we prefer styling spaces with eclectic elements which are in sync with client’s requirements and personality.

 

What has been your motivating/driving force all these years that keeps you going?

There are lot of influences that keep you going in this journey of life. I think the immense belief and confidence of my parent s, Suniel, my kids and of course my lovely team have kept me going.

 

Your source of inspiration…

I am more of an explorer, so I think; it’s all derived from Travel. During my travels, I have searched long and hard for universal home requirement s, which cater to rustic as we ll as opulent needs.

 

Tell us about your marketing strategies?

Keeping in mind our product line and target audience profile, we basically prefer marketing our merchandise through a mix of mediums such as print, digital and exhibitions. Besides, we also organise small in-house events for unveiling our new collections. In terms of digital marketing, we usually showcase our products in a very special and exclusive manner. Basically, the whole strategy is to create a fair amount of mystery for the product which should make people curious about our new offering and also in a way it should induce them to check it directly in our sto re. Apar t from this, we also send a lot of personal messages and beautiful pictures in order to connect with our clients.

 

Your views on feminism and how is it affecting the society?

Well, I am not that aggressive about Feminism. I think it is a very subjective concept. However, I strongly reject any kind of discrimination on the grounds of gender. Also, I have never experienced any kind of bias all my life. Even at home, we consider each other as equal. However, I feel that one should be confident and independent as a person; be it at their home or workplace. I always keep telling my girls who work with me, my staff at home and the women working with me at my NGO that be independent, confident and always demand respect and never command it.

 

What percentage of your workforce involves women employees?

About 80% of the workforce.

 

How do you define leadership in today’s market?

Leadership to me means up lift ing someone, being very appro achable, being confident, appreciati ng and encouraging collective effort and not being authoritative.

 

What’s the measure of your success?

I started off my design journey as a Textile designer with Garden and now as an Interior Stylist, I am working with some of the finest Interior Designer s and Architects. Today I have my own set of projects. So my progression from Textile Designer to an Entrepreneur & Interior Stylist is how I measure my success.

 

 

An aspect you surely include in your design…

In order to bring warmth in a home, I usually prefer working with a combination of styles. It can’t just be only one particular sty le. I surely include greens and drama pieces i.e. art pieces to uplift the décor.

 

What are the key traits or factors for becoming a successful women entrepreneur?

It is very essential that one must have confidence, know your craft, convincing skills and eye for details.

 

Are you working on any initiatives for empowering women in the society?

Yes we do that all the time with Araaish, which is one of the fund raising arm of ‘Save The Children India’ which was founded by my mother late Vipula Kadri, 25 years ago. It is a one day fundraiser shopping festival held at NSCI, Mumbai. This year the event was held on 1st February. The major contributor s of this event are women who don’t have stores and big platforms to showcase their talents. We take them on board and give them maximum exposure through Araaish. This fund raiser event deals with everything related to W omen and Fashion. So we have women who do clothes, home accessories, jewelry, shoes etc. On the whole it is a women centric show. Last year we had about 9 2-97 women designers on board and one male designer .i.e. Vikram Phadnis.

 

How do you strike work-life balance?

You can easily strike a balance between work and personal life, if you are motivated and have a positive outlook toward s life. Also, I think if you are good with your ti me management, then everything else falls into place.

 

What sets your brand apart from other contemporaries?

Uniqueness of design, reasonable pricing and hands on approach.

 

Any particular artist/architect/innovator whose works you admire the most?

There are lot of people who have left a lasting impression on my mind with their stellar works. With reference to architect s, undoubtedly, I love my dad’s firm – 1. M. Kadri Architects. Amongst artists, I like M.F Husain, Sujata Bajaj, Padwal, Bendre from Old School, B. Prabha and many more.

 

What are your hobbies?

I simply love Travelling, Gyming, Swimming and Watching movies

 

If not an entrepreneur, then would have been…

A Master chef

 

One design mistake you avoid…

Over doing things and too much use of colour

 

Any inspiration mantra or advice for the budding designers and women entrepreneurs?

Just be yourself. Study your clients and be respectful of them, always give your hundred per cent and remain focused to your goals.

 

Is any strategic collaboration or expansion on cards?

We have recently tied up with lot of Italian brands, designers and young designers from alI over the worId.

 

Tell us about your future plans?

We are coming up with lot of new stuff in the form of innovative products and furnishings. Also we are planning to get Art pieces in the store – not the master s but corporate art.

 

Natasha Jain:-

Co-founded by Natasha Jain along with her father, Bent Chair is a furniture retailer that manufactures quirky, modern and contemporary furniture pieces and home decor products. Natasha Jain has been an active advocate for women entrepreneurs speaking to several groups in India and creating employment for women. She holds a Master’s Degree in Management Science Engineering from Stanford University. Her diversified portfolio also includes her leadership and expertise in supply chain management of five manufacturing plants of her family business. Besides, Natasha founded the Start-Up Ruplee, a payment system which enhances the consumer’s dining experience and lets them pay in a secure and fast manner.

 

Tell us about your firm’s journey and what compelled you start off as part of it?

It’s been 2 years since Bent Chair came into existence but I began working on it since a year before it launched. I am meticulous when it comes to my living space- the aesthetics and comfort. I’ve always been interested in design and technology.

 

What would be better than having my passion as a career?

Having lived in the US for years and witnessing the design around me, in furniture, I got inspired to bring something to India. It made sense, as there lies a deficiency of brands with high design, affordable price and catering to people between the age group of 25-45 years. This is when the vision for Bent Chair struck, to create ago-to home decor and furnishing brand, manufactured in India with a global presence.

At present, the customer has either boutique home decor brands or online aggregators, there is no in­ between.

 

What were the various challenges you faced while setting up your own firm?

Every day has its own ups and downs (just like our ads). As we launched Bent Chair in August 2016, there was some negative impact that was created due to demonetization and GST implementation, as much as it was a temporary bump but can’t call it a downfalI. Finger s-crossed for the future!

 

Tell us about your marketing strategies?

We are a young brand that believes in innovation and devising unique retail strategies in order to reach out to the customers. We have collaborated with a celebrity fashion designer Rocky Star and came up with a chic home decor, furniture and dinner ware line. We also recently collaborated with Om Book Shop and came up with Bent Chair Cafe. Bent Chair is launching a cafe in collaboration with First Fiddle Restaurant s called Plum by Bent Chair in order to engage the brand with the customers by offering them a look and feel of the product and making it experience oriented. We want the people to feel the comfort of our product s while dining before making a purchase rather than only coming up with a regular store. With this, we will integrate all the aspects of dining, lounging and retailing all into one.

 

How do you define leadership in today’s market?

Leadership is to be patient, having fait h in what you are doing and never giving up. One should always stay true to their ideas and principles. What has been path breaking for me personally has been realizing that failures are natural and one should never doubt themselves or their potential and leadership skills. Self-pity is the cause for most failures that rarely turn into successes.

 

What has been your motivating/driving force all these years that keeps you going?

My motivating /driving force is when I see my product Bent Chair grow and become bigger.

 

Your views on feminism and how is it affecting the society?

It is really up to us to bring the change in the society. Be it Bent Chair or any other start up that I have founded, I have been the single founder. In the workplace I actively try to keep a balance of male and female ratio constant. I feel that it is important for everyone in the organization to feel responsible for their individual role.

 

What percentage of your workforce involves women employees?

50 percent of the workforce at Bent Chair  consists of women employees including women artisans and craftsmen.

 

What’s the measure of your success?

Progress is what defines my success. When you see the brand growing and when you see people from across different sectors have faith in your brand i s re assuring which majorly defines your success.

 

What are the key traits or factors for becoming a successful women entrepreneur?

For any entrepreneur it doesn’t matter a man or a woman it is important to constantly keep working towards your goal. Talking specifically about women entrepreneurs, it is hard to see some of them giving in to social pressures and aim to strike a work-life balance.

 

Are you working on any initiatives for empowering women in the society?

We employ a lot of women artisans and craftsmen in order to enable to earn money and be self-dependent. We aim to bind women  artisans  in  an  organized framework to highlight their skills and give them a better standard of living.

 

An innovation you strongly propagate?

I feel one of the biggest innovations of the century is Google as with internet usage gradually increasing it is giving a lot of people access to tremendous goldmine of know ledge and learning.

 

How do you ensure quality standards in your organization?

There is a very detailed quality control system that is followed at the factory.

A methodological system of checks and balances is followed at every step of the process till the product reaches the customer’s door step. Regular reports are prepared where the quality checks are recorded.

 

What sets your brand apart from other contemporaries?

Bent Chair has carved its own niche in the industry and is known for its modern and contemporary take on furniture and home decor product s. We manufacture our own products with great emphasis on the designing. We also offer customization of our products to the customers that no other brand is offering. Bent Chair is a brand offering premium quality products at an affordable price.

 

What has been your greatest achievement so far?

My greatest achievement so far has been that I survived three start-ups. Perseverance, patience and self-belief kept me going and never give up attitude.

 

You are managing different ventures, please tell us how do you manage your time so beautifully and also tell us how do you strike work- life balance?

From a hectic work schedule, I try to take out time for my family as much as possible. I try to maintain a regular sleep cycle and I like to watch Netflix in my free time.

 

Any particular artist/architect/innovator whose works you admire the most?

Among the artists I admire the works of Salvador Dali, Spanish surrealist, painter, Gio Pontian Italian architect and Philippe Starck are innovator s whose works are absolutely phenomenal. Herman Miller is a brand that I really like.

 

What are your hobbies?

I love listening to music and exploring new food.

 

One important change you would like to bring in the industry?

I would like the industry to be more organized and the artisans and craftsmen to come under an organized framework to preserve the skiIIs of this particular segment.

Artisans and craftsmen in the manufacturing sector deserve adequate recognition and a fair pay.

 

If not an entrepreneur, then would have been

If not an entrepreneur I would have been a Supply Chain Engineer.

 

Any inspiration mantra or advice for the budding designers and women entrepreneurs?

One should be creative and should always give their ideas a shot.

 

Is any strategic collaboration or expansion on cards? Kindly shed some light about the same?

We are devising different retaiI strategies in order to reach customers and connect with the brand. We began with designer collaborations with celebrity fashion designer Rocky Star, a collaboration with Om Book Shop where we launched Bent Chair Cafe for booklovers to come in enjoy their book over a hot cup of coffee and in the comfort of Bent Chair furniture.

We are now looking to enter the hospitality space where we aim to engage the brand with the customers by offering them a look and feel of the product and making it experience oriented.

 

Tell us about your future plans?

2018 for Bent Chair will be an extremely special year as we aim to do more designer collaborations, opening more stores through franchise model, entering the hospitality industry and coming up with new products.

 

Parul Mittal:-

Parul Mittal is a Commerce graduate and possesses expert knowledge in the area of brand management. She was earlier associated with Greenply Industries Limited for more than 5 years and now is a Director with Greenlam Industries Limited. She is engaged in various important functions of Greenlam viz. to promote brand building at national and international level, to develop and execute marketing strategy, to build and maintain relationship with research organizations, advertising agencies and product promotional houses. Under her business acumen and leadership, the company has won numerous awards and recognition.

 

Tell us about your entrepreneurial journey with Greenlam and also shed light about your role in the organization?

Truthfully, I wouldn’t have started my entrepreneurial journey, but a personal tragedy led me into it. I began my journey in Greenlam (formerly Green Ply) in the year 2001 and since the n there was no looking back. I was primarily involved in marketing, brand building, communication and merchandising. Since 2014 I have come on the board of Greenlam Industries and my role has expanded beyond marketing into procurement, administ ration matters and international business. I also drive the CSR initiative of the organisation.

 

Tell us about your marketing strategies?

As you know we are primarily into four product categories, laminates being core, decorative veneers, Mikasa engineered wood floors and engineered door s and frames.

We also have a significant presence in the international market. Our products are shipped to over 100 countries worldwide. Our marketing strategies differ within markets based on the country’s demographics, product to be marketed, target audience profile and network. They are also thought differently for a B2B and B2C customers.

We engage with our consumers through a complete 360 degree marketing approach including all communication mediums, be it digital, TV, print, in shop.

 

What is your biggest source of inspiration?

My husband Saurabh Mittal has been my biggest inspiration because I see him completely dedicated to the company. His perseverance and consistent hard work for the past 20years.

 

What percentage of your workforce involves women employees?

Today it’s quite a bit, about 8 to 9%. In fact Greenlam is amongst the very few companies which has 50% of women as board members.

 

Your views on feminism and how is it affecting the society?

I feel, Women are more sincere and hard working in nature and if they set their priorities right they do anything to accomplish it. It is because of their diligence and dedication ; we are pushing to hire more women employees in Greenlam.

 

How do you define your leadership at Greenlam? My leadership is more participative and inclusive. I like to involve people in decision making and guide them to take decisions and move things forward.

 

What are the key traits or factors for becoming a successful women entrepreneur?

Dedication, confidence and hunger to learn.

 

Are you working on any initiatives for empowering women in the society?

As you are aware the organisation is involved in lot of CSR initiatives, all are around women upliftment. Especially there is this one project which is very close to my heart, ‘The Greenlam Ghar’ based at the border of Delhi. This Ghar focuses on holistic development, mental health welI-being, education learning outcomes and mentorship to 12 orphan girls. Saurabh, I and my children are personally involved in this. We visit them, call them for events. They are just  like an extended family to us. Apart from this at both our plant locations Behror and Nalagarh our focus is on health, welfare and education of girls and women.

 

What projects are you currently busy with?

Yes, there are a couple of projects I am currently busy with. Revamping the range of laminates for international business. In Oecowood (decorative veneers) it’s an everyday job; we just finished one of our veneer festivals ‘Oecofest’, which is held annually. Also overviewing the trends around the world in the industry and incorporate them efficiently.

 

Any anecdote that keeps you going?

It will be a quote by John A. Shedd. “A ship is safe in the harbour, but that’s not what ships are for:·

 

What are your hobbies?

Cooking Therapeutic.

 

One important change you would like to bring in the building material industry?

I hop e that the industry should become more organised, systematic and quality conscious.

 

If not an entrepreneur, then would have been...

May be a writer or a painter.

 

Any  inspiration  mantra  or  advice  for the budding designers and women entrepreneurs

Follow your dreams.

 

Raseel Gujral:-

Raseel Gujral is the Creative Director of Casa Paradox Luxe and is a force to be reckoned with in India’s ever-growing lifestyle designing sector. For the reigning queen of tasteful elegance, the pillars of her design philosophy are an eclectic combination of refined art, premium quality silhouettes, intricately designed textures and patterns, statement objects, and a sophisticated colour palette. Since the inception of her eponymous firm 30 years ago, the award winning designer’s work and design sensibility has been constantly celebrated. The unique and one of a kind integration of architecture and interior design reflects and stands out in the innumerable projects designed by Casa Paradox Luxe by Raseel Gujral  Ansal, the brand that demonstrates paramount examples of craftsmanship across decorative and luxury furniture. Eschewing any mundaneness in the design vernacular, Raseel Gujral Ansal’s designing journey has traversed from elegant residential properties, to bright and alluring home furnishings and fashion accessories with the young and vibrant brand Raseel at Casa­ POP. Inspired by her International experience and exposure, as well as her deep appreciation for the exquisite design heritage of her native India, Raseel Gujral Ansal relies on innovation and imagination to create elegant and majestic Architecture and Interior spaces that express a client’s personality.

 

Tell us about your firm’s journey and what compelled you start off as part of it?

I completed 30 years in this industry on the 22nd of September, 2017. It’s been a long long journey for us. The first step was the inception of my eponymous consultancy company, Raseel Gujral Ansal, in the year 1986, which focused purely on Interior Architecture and Interior Decor. We further expanded the business to production of furniture and home accent s. It was design driven at the core, and the ideology of luxurious living was translated into spaces and furniture designing. Today, we are not only a fir m that has all the answers to your design services requirements, but we are also taking care of the retail end of the business of design with Casa Paradox Luxe. Exploring the realm of kitschy pret diffusion styles, my parent design company, has also given birth to Casa-POP, where we design fashion accessories and home decor accessories.

 

What were the various challenges you faced while setting up your own firm?

In the year 1986, the market and the nature of the consumers were different and there was a  huge gap in their understanding of the luxury market. The problems were many! But I am a very solution based person. I prefer to focus on the solution in comparison to the challenges and the impediments they bring with it.

 

What has been your motivating/driving force all these years that keeps you going?

My driving force has always been my family. Growing

up in a world infused with art, architecture and design; drawing inspiration from my father, Satish Gujral’s work, I was born with designing in my system. One can say that Design chose me.

 

What percentage of your workforce involves women employees?

When it comes to hiring my employees, I follow the same mantra that I have believed in as a women entrepreneur. I see t heir potential, not their gender. I believe that one should not categorize themselves as women or men to get the work done.

 

How do you define leadership in todays market? Any path breaking decisions taken so far?

There is so much competition in the  market  right now; they are all trying to do the same thing – better than other. I have always believed in doing something distinctive. Every decision in this business has to have an  enduring  impact  to  make  the  project   successful. I think the best decision was to penetrate the Indian market, establish and offer a complete sense of luxury designing. We decided to transition from a retaiI business, to an experiential think tank and furniture design fir m and re- launched as Casa Paradox Luxe recently, which focuses on creating and developing a complete range of highly customisable and intelligent luxury home decor.

 

What’s the measure of your success?

Happiness is the only measure. I am a happy person, a happy wife, mother and daughter when I spent hours creating distinguishable designs in my studio. One of the major reasons why, I do not compromise with quality, is my need to achieve the best possible version of the design. I feel the success when I know I have achieved what I wanted to.

 

What are the key traits or factors for becoming a successful women entrepreneur?

Do not compromise with the quality of your work or your design. Your passion should be at the core of everything you do. Do not let them categorise you as the ‘woman’ entrepreneur. There is nothing that a male entrepreneur can do, that a woman entrepreneur cannot, in today’s generation.

 

How do you ensure quality standards in your organization?

We have stood by our commitment to offer exceptional design and quality for decades now! Every new collection piece is brought into our experiential centre and interlaced with existing studio space for ‘Sneak previews’ and ‘Invite only reveals’ for our elite clientele.

 

What sets your brand apart from other contemporaries?

Owing to the present market scenario, it is very important to establish an accessible brand that stands out with exclusory experiences for the discerning few. I believe that I have managed to find that equation all under one roof.

 

What has been your greatest achievement so far?

Every creation is an achievement for an artist. But I believe your achievements can truly be measured with intangible things. I have seen the market shift drastically from the year 1986 and I have sailed through the wave of change, chaIlenging my work in the past and creating anew for the changing generation. This is what led to the creation of Casa-POP.

 

You are managing different ventures, please tell us how do you manage your time so beautifully and also tell us how do you strike work- life balance?

You need to set your priorities right but what makes my journey easier, is Navin’s encouragement and support. He understands, appreciates and respects my creative instincts and has always stood by me in my decisions.

 

What are your hobbies?

Reading, watching outlander, adding plantations to my house garden and traveling to draw inspiration for new designs.

 

If not an entrepreneu,rthen would have been...

At the end of the day, I am a designer before everything else. There is no question of not being one, it is in my DNA.

 

Any particular artist/architect/ innovator whose works you admire the most?

Since you mentioned ‘the most’ – my father, Satish Gujral. He has inspired me the most in every which way possible. I was born with the perseverance and tenacity in my system because of him and growing up, his drive and ambition shaped me to become this person, I am today.

 

Any inspiration mantra or advice for the budding designers and women entrepreneurs?

Follow your heart. When you have a passion for the work you do, nothing can stop you from achieving great heights.

 

What should we look forward to in 2018?

Mo re and more authentic yet distinctive designs! We are working on some excellent properties right now and I can’t wait to see how these properties stand out! I also have some exciting plans for Casa-POP.

 

 

 

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