Digisha Shah from DSPR

Digisha Shah, Founder of DSPR
Digisha Shah, Founder of DSPR

Name of your business:

DSPR – Digisha Shah Public Relations (Website: www.dspr.in )

Tell us about your business…

In the age of brands proliferation, DSPR makes your brand stand out in the crowd by giving it the perfect blend of public relations complemented with relevant services. We offer a plethora of services to do with Public Relations, Social Media, Influencer Marketing, Branding etc, and specialize in the lifestyle and hospitality industry.

What motivated you to start your own business?

An opportunity to explore the potential in me and to create a unique fusion of services not available very easily. I was always inclined towards the lifestyle and hospitality industry and being a complete marketing person, I couldn’t have thought of a better combination.

Which have been the biggest challenges when starting your business?

Major challenges have been – finding the right people to create a team, keeping up with the trends, creating your identity.

How did you overcome these challenges?

Constantly looking for people through different groups, friends of friends, family etc, and realizing the potential in them through informal interviews. It is a hit and miss sometimes with the people we find but training also plays a very important role, so finding the right balance is the key.

Internet and digital marketing plays a very important role in keeping up with the trends, keeping a constant eye for new and unique activities is very important.

In the service industry, your product is associated with your personality, providing impeccable service on all fronts is very important. Another important characteristic is how unique and creative you can be, combination of these different qualities help you stand out in the crowd and create a niche for yourself, which helps you create your identity.

How did you find your first customers?

Through an ex-colleagues recommendation.

What is the most effective way to sell your products/services?

By offering our best services to the current clientele. Being in the service industry, nothing works as much as word of mouth!

What is the most exciting part of running your own business?

Lots of Yummmmy Food! A fun, young and vibrant environment! Working on new and interesting clients constantly!

What is your least favorite part of running your own business?

Finding the right kind of people for a service based industry. Being a start up, you have to look into all aspects of the business, while it is a great experience, it can get very exhausting and distracting from your main line of focus!

How do you stay motivated during difficult times?

Fortunately, I have some great people around me, who are constant reminders of my ability and strength. Also, my vision for DSPR, to keep growing bigger and stronger keeps me motivated as well.

Who inspires you?

I am an avid reader of Humans of Mumbai, and in the past few months nothing has inspired me more than those stories. Each of them has their own struggles, and some of them are over it and some are still getting over it, but they haven’t given up! Being in the same city with the same vibe, nothing inspires me more than these local heroes!

What advice would you give to other female entrepreneurs?

Don’t give up! Sometimes it may feel like it’s almost over, though that is the beginning of something better and more exciting!

Thank you for sharing your story with us, Digisha!

Share the social media love with DSPR via Facebook and Twitter.

Launch: empoWer – India’s 1st Accelerator Program for Women Entrepreneurs

Zone Startups India launches its women focused accelerator program “empoWer” on Friday, 29 April 2016 at 4.30pm.

Entrepreneurs, corporate leaders, investors and media are invited for the grand launch which includes a plenary session and panel discussion. In addition, a walk through of the program benefits and takeaways is planned.

“empoWer” is India’s 1st accelerator program for women entrepreneurs building technology enabled ventures.

The event is supported by the Department of Science & Technology, Google, GIZ, Vodafone, Nishith Desai Associates and State Bank of India. Speakers and Panelists include:

Deena Mehta (Managing Director, Asit C. Mehta Investment Interrmediates Ltd & Independent Director – NPCI), Anuja Shukla (Google Cloud Platform – Venture Capital, Accelerator and Incubator), Naiyya Saggi (Co-Founder Babychakra), Sarin Thamby (Vice President – Strategy, Technology and Architecture Vodafone), Dr. Anita Gupta (Director, Department of Science and Technology, Government of India) and Amit Kumar (Program Manager, Innovation Promotion in MSME, Deutsche Gesellschaft für internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH).

Register for FREE here.

“empoWer” is India’s 1st accelerator program for women entrepreneurs building technology enabled ventures.
“empoWer” is India’s 1st accelerator program for women entrepreneurs building technology enabled ventures.

 

P.S. Our founder and CEO will be present at the event, too. Do come by and say hi if you see her…

Suhani Mohan from Saral Designs

 

Suhani Mohan, Co-Founder of Saral Designs
Suhani Mohan, Co-Founder of Saral Designs

Name of your business:

Saral Design Solutions (Website: www.saraldesigns.in )

Tell us about your business…

Saral Design Solutions is a for-profit Social Enterprise focused on designing products to provide access to affordable and quality menstrual hygiene in India.

Saral has developed a machine to manufacture high quality sanitary napkins (“Aisha pads”) in decentralized manner. Decentralization helps in lowering costs incurred due to several layers of distribution. Aisha pads are being made available to these girls via various channels like medical shops, door to door sales and installation of vending machines in their schools toilets along with hygiene awareness.

What motivated you to start your own business?

Menstruation is a natural biological phenomenon that every woman undergoes. Due to poor access to and affordability of reliable products, women in India have been adopting unhygienic practices to manage their periods, which has severe health implications.

We feel access to affordable sanitary napkins is a basic right for every woman. While technology is making our lives easier, we believe that technology also needs to be used to address critical challenges that affect a huge segment of the population. This motivated us to build machines that automate processes to lower costs (of production and distribution) while maintaining the product quality and service.

Which have been the biggest challenges when starting your business?

The start is probably the most difficult time when you don’t have funds that you need to build the product. And when you don’t have a product and funds it is difficult to build a team.

How did you overcome these challenges?

The only thing that helped us in our early days was strong conviction in what we were trying to do. It helped us get early supporters and team members who believed in the vision and built the product.

How did you find your first customers?

We packed our bags with a dozen packets of sanitary napkins and entered into a slum locality in Ghatkopar. We started approaching women going door to door telling about the product and why we are doing what we are doing, how we are using technology to get costs down without compromising on quality. Out of the 15 women we met that day, 14 of them purchased our product.

What is the most effective way to sell your products/services?

Sanitary napkin sales are the most effective when it happens at a personal level along with awareness building on hygiene.

What is the most exciting part of running your own business?

Running your own early stage start-up offers continuous accelerated learning in every aspect of the business.

What is your least favorite part of running your own business?

Extensive paper work… India really needs to introduce many more reforms and automation in processes so that there is better ease of doing business in the country.

How do you stay motivated during difficult times?

“Anything that doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger.” – Something that I tell myself in difficult times.

Who inspires you?

My mother. Being brought up in a rural/ semi-urban setting, Hindi medium school educated from UP, from an area where female higher education was extremely rare, she is today a B.Tech, M.Tech from IIT Roorkee, a PhD from IIT Bombay and a Distinguished Scientist in Bhabha Atomic Research Centre. Her struggles despite all odds, motivate me to push my boundaries.

What advice would you give to other female entrepreneurs?

Your success is the best way to empower other women.

Thank you for sharing your story with us, Suhani!

You can support Saral Design and spread awareness about menstrual hygiene and affordable affordable sanitary pads via Facebook and Twitter.

Camille Henning from RIK Babywear

Name of your business:

Camille Henning, Founder of RIK Babywear
Camille Henning, Founder of RIK Babywear

RIK Babywear (Facebook Page)

Tell us about your business…

We design and make kids clothes for children from 6 months to 5 years. The clothes are light 100% casual baby wear to accommodate the hot climate and keep your baby heat rash free. The clothes have funky prints and are super comfortable and practical for your little ones.

What motivated you to start your own business?

My son had bad heat rash and I couldn’t find thin enough clothes so I started making some for him… One thing lead to another and voila 🙂

Which have been the biggest challenges when starting your business?

Figuring it all out… I know nothing about this industry, so where to get fabrics, zippers, good tailors, etc. was a lot of field work and trial and error. And only now, we are shifting to a manufacturer based in Jaipur.

How did you overcome these challenges?

Determination, patience and balls…

How did you find your first customers?

My first customer was a close friend and she is the one who encouraged me to sell the clothes I made for my son. She is my good luck fairy.

What is the most effective way to sell your products/services?

Trunk Shows or Flea Markets -but definitely face to face.

What is the most exciting part of running your own business?

The creativity I can put into it all… I love seeing the clothes all finished and on a happy little baby jumping around having a blast in comfort and style.

What is your least favorite part of running your own business?

All the paperwork… not fun but has to be done.

How do you stay motivated during difficult times?

Keep thinking of the end result and what it will look like and how I will achieve it. Don’t sulk in the now.

Who inspires you?

My Son, India, my friends and the world that surrounds us.

What advice would you give to other female entrepreneurs?

If you have an idea, try it out. Start small, see how it goes and little by little it will develop (or not). But at least you tried! But if you start off thinking too big, it will discourage you to start.

Thank you for sharing your story with us, Camille!

You can check out the Facebook page and Instagram account of RIK Babywear for more details beautiful pictures.