“My real journey as an entrepreneur started after my husband’s demise”
Photo Credit :
Varuna Anand, Sole Proprietor, The Splendour of Kashmir
Shawls from Kashmir are perhaps among the most sought-after textiles from our country. History stands testimony to the fact that these were the robes of the royals and survived on the patronage of royal and the rich and the famous across the globe. “It is this living heritage we want to promote,” says Varuna Anand, the sole proprietor at The Splendor of Kashmir.
Selling a luxury commodity is akin to selling a piece of art, which makes it a niche play. It is Anand’s goal to reach out across the globe to all textile enthusiasts by showcasing the finest craftsmanship from her state. “We do not emphasise on just the quantum of sale, but unmatched quality. From the inception of our company, our module of selling is through exhibitions and online only. We reach out to people through our travels to various cities and through social media,” Anand explains.
Under her leadership, The Splendor of Kashmir was positioned as a company with a mission to promote the age-old art of shawl making from Kashmir.
She says, “It has not been easy. In fact, it requires constant interaction with people across the country and globe, showcasing our product to connoisseurs and the acceptance of our product.”
The Splendor of Kashmir exhibits in cities such as Delhi, Mumbai, Chandigarh, Ludhiana, Chennai, Gurgaon and Udaipur, among others. It now plans inaugural exhibits in Hyderabad and Bangalore in February 2019. There is also global positioning of its product online. “We also have a client base in 20-30 cities across the globe,” Anand informs.
In the last three financial years, the company’s revenues have grown nearly 400 per cent. This growth has come on the back of geographical expansion, with customers in over 22 countries.
Elaborating on her journey as an entrepreneur, Anand reflects, “My real journey as an entrepreneur started after my husband’s demise, when it was me taking all the decisions, right or wrong, for the company. I was 42 then, not so young really, but that’s when I transitioned into an entrepreneur from being a homemaker. I had the experience of being a textile designer for many years but being an entrepreneur was a different ball game all together.”
Anand relied on the likes of social media to build her network and boost the business. “The support and appreciation of my shawls from prominent people across the country was a huge source of inspiration for me. This gave me the faith that every step I was taking was in the right direction towards boosting this ancient art of shawl making from Kashmir and gradually moving towards building my brand,” she states.