Entrepreneur: Ruchika Beri
Business Name: Jewelove
Welcome to Entrepreneurs of India #startupstories Episode 39.
In every industry, there is an opportunity for success and one tried and tested method that enables a newly started company to grab a slice of the market is – to Niche.
To Niche, simply means to specialise on a sub-sector of your chosen market and serve the customers in your niche better than the competition. You become a specialist in your chosen area. Sometimes to think BIG you gotta start by THINKING SMALL. Once you become known as a specialist in yourchosenn niche – then you can spread your wings. This is how Amazon started.
Today we interview the founder of a company that competes in the Jewelry sector, however, they have chosen to niche on a section of this market and in the process – become the best in their niche.
Jewelove is an eCommerce store focusing on authentic platinum jewelry. They are one of the only ones in India right now focusing on platinum jewelry which is a very niche category. By focusing on Platinum – rather than being a generalist, they are able to serve their customers – who are looking for Platinum – better than the competition. This is great for the customer and great for the retailer.
Sometimes to think BIG you gotta start by THINKING SMALL
Platinum jewelry is now seeing a major shift as it is becoming the preferred metal for young couples and working professionals. Jewelove has a great collection available online
As the co-founder – Ruchika Beri says. “We just absolutely adore the elegance look and feel of platinum jewelry. The same speaks volume about the person wearing it.”
So let’s meet one of the co-founders and Chief Marketing Office – Ruchika Beri –
1) How did you get your idea for this business?
We didn’t want to start another retail outlet as we already have too many. My Founder- Sambhav is a techie (pass out from IIT Kanpur) chose to go the online and unconventional way. Jewelove was started with the objective to carve a niche in platinum jewelry industry. With the changing consumer taste and buying behavior we saw the opportunity.
2) Why is “now” a good time for this idea to exist?
The online buying behavior has seen a sea change in a last couple of years especially for high ticket & lifestyle products. This is one the best and the right time to dive into it. Also, Platinum Jewelry industry is growing at 25% CAGR and the retail sales grew by 24% in 2015, and we are in the right space at the right time. We want to be synonymous with Platinum Jewelry.
3) What was the reaction from your family when you first decided to become an entrepreneur?
I am an entrepreneur by chance and not by choice. I had been Intrapreneur in my previous work spaces but being an Entrepreneur wasn’t something I had dreamt of. I am the only girl in my family who is an Entrepreneur, I was astounded to receive the support and excitement from them. Initially, had a few hiccups specially with the whole scattered routine and the entrepreneurial life but things settled after sometime. Over the course of time their fear lessened when they started seeing traction of Jewelove and our passion towards it.
4) What was your biggest mistake in business and what did you learn from it?
Mistakes are just proof that we are trying. It’s the same with me (should be with entrepreneurs), this entrepreneurial journey so far has been enriching.
During our initial days (a couple of months post we had started) we were looking for collaborations to promote Jewelove. We ended up collaborating without running the test campaign and the same backfired by giving us no hype and return at brand level. It’s very crucial and pivotal to team up with right set of people that can make you grow. The same would help you climb the ladder of success faster.
5) What is your biggest obstacle in the next 12 months and how will you overcome it?
Platinum jewelry market is evolving and we have seen the transition. However, people are still a bit skeptical about buying jewelry online (platinum too) for many reasons like security, authenticity etc. For the same we are working on educating our customers and building the trust factor in general. At Jewelove, our prime importance lie in customer delight and experience.
6) What habits contribute to your success?
Learning and unlearning is a never ending process and one should be always open to it. It’s the same ideology which I have been following that has helped me explore new avenues to grow at an individual and professional level.
Over the course of time I have picked up a few habits like switching off the internet, build relationship with existing partners and express gratitude that help me unwind (and channelise) and take charge of the day.
My morning ritual helps me quiet my mind and help me set the day’s intent. I keep taking mini breaks during the day to meditate and read books along with listening to music. Beside the same, I love to workout, sketch and watch movies. That makes me a Hermit in today’s fast pacing world.
7) If you had the opportunity to start this business again what would you do differently?
We would have started Jewelove much before (3-4 years) in a more structured & organised way. Except this we wouldn’t have started in a different way.
8) What is your favourite inspirational quote?
There are 2 in fact:
Don’t let anybody dim your sparkle, keep dazzling
if you want a happy life, tie it to a goal and not to people or things.
9) Where do you find inspiration?
Being successful often means learning from all those who have achieved their goals already. I find inspiration from reading start-up journey of other entrepreneurs, I keep challenging myself that makes me push the limitations. For anything new I float the idea around to get a third person or customer’s perspective. I keep going back in ‘the Hermit’ mode to gather my thoughts and clear my mind.
10) What is your favourite book?
I am a Bibliophile, have a collection of over 100 books. It’s indeed difficult to pick one but would share my Top 3 personal favourites:
These books have definitely challenged my thought process and have been inspiring.
11) What advice would you give to someone starting out?
Find good people to work with and hire a character that will help you build a great time. Money is a byproduct of following the passion. One needs to have the courage to admit the mistakes. You have to think long term when you choose your investors (it’s like getting married).
We really appreciate the time or EOI startups take to allow us to interview them and share their entreprenrenurial journey with us so as we say every week a really big thank you to Ruchika for taking the time to be interviewed and sharing the story of Jewelove.
We think that the story of Jewelove re-inforces the lesson that if you want to stand out from the competition and serve your customers well, then you really need to consider serving a niche market. Don’t be a generalist – be a specialist. This actually helps you to serve your customers better.
Also check out her recommended book belows these are great reads – highly recommended:
What did you learn from this interview? Comment below…