I’m from the UK and come from a family of five girls. We all grew up with the support of our parents to venture into any career path of our choice and have enjoyed continuous support from our parents.
This freedom allowed us to follow our hearts as well as our heads and I ended up in India eight years ago (at the time simply as a traveler). For our family, education and travel were equally important as each other. My parents continue to travel the world and now four of us live outside the UK, I truly believe when you eradicate limiting beliefs, are exposed to other cultures and have a great support system, the world becomes your oyster.
I am very much an accidental entrepreneur. SPA.ce was was my first venture and I relied very much on gut instinct. I had no experience in business and very little understanding of the Indian customer.
I am blessed enough to be heading up two successful companies, the first of which I set up 7 years ago ‘SPA.ce The Spa’ is a high-end spa catering to those looking for an authentic professional spa experience in the heart of the city. We focus on three key areas; service, product and technique. Our product is purely organic, our service is integral to the spa experience and our technique centralises on western therapies trained by our in-house training school.
Secondly this year I launched Chamkic-cIndia’s first nail art and polish brand. We retail in Shopperstop, Reliance, Myntra and at our own independent outlets. We offer over 70 original colours of polish designed and curated for the Indian market, as well as an extensive range of nail art accessories. An emotive brand, Chamki hits the hearts of many Indian women, with names such as Nasur, Panna and Taxi Yellow, our nail art is designed to suit festivals and celebrations of India.
Why did you set up the company?
I am very much an accidental entrepreneur. SPA.ce was was my first venture and I relied very much on gut instinct. I had no experience in business and very little understanding of the Indian customer. Over six years we have learnt and sculpted our product to now be one of the industry leaders. We are one of the eldest independent spas in Bangalore with four locations.
Chamki was born from understanding that the massive niche market of nail art had emerged outside of India had yet in this country, even though we have a 2000 year history of nail art, the market was still in its infancy. While researching setting up a nail bar I began to understand that there was opportunity for an Indian cosmetic brand of high quality and value – a brand that connected with Indian women and their love for colour, celebration and all things chamki!
India is my biggest inspiration! The immense talent and drive is so evident.
What has been your biggest challenge in achieving your success?
There are many challenges in being a entrepreneur, the main one being scaling. Talent for a small business can often be hard to find and retain and you are only as good as the people around you. I have had my managers with me over the last six years which helps as they understand how I operate.
There have been many achievements. Being part of Reliance’s product mix a month after Chamki’s launch was an amazing success. Also the way people have received the brand has been heart-warming. Simply seeing someone so excited to receive a gift box or see a beautiful design come to life is fantastic.
We are by nature very bad at asking for help. We rarely tap into our ‘girls network’ to grow our businesses. I feel if we reached out and connected more it would be of absolute benefit!
Who has been your biggest inspiration?
India is my biggest inspiration! The immense talent and drive is so evident. I live in Indira Nagar and you can literally see the landscape changing daily as people set up dreams everywhere (restaurants, schools and businesses). That type of energy is contagious. The local Starbucks and Costa Coffee are full of young minds curating new concepts and ideas.
Also my sisters and my parents inspire me massively. They’re always evolving!
How do you balance your work life and home life?
Living in a large Indian city I achieve balance by living and working locally. If you can cut out commuting life becomes much simpler. I work, live, exercise and socialise in one area. My kids schools are also nearby. I’m very proud that my children see me working and connect that our lifestyle is a privilege they have by mummy and daddy working so hard. My three year-old once told me to go to the office so we could all go on a lovely holiday! That was amazing!
What advice do you have for women starting out on their own?
I’m an avid supporter of any woman who wants to start her own business. For society and culture to change to be equally supportive of women and men, we need more women at the forefront, driving legislation, being present in the board room and being great role models to the girls and women around us. I believe that women, by nature and culture, have the right skills to become business women. We are tremendous multi-taskers. We can surmise things quickly and make swift decisions. We often become business women to become time-rich rather than economically rich. The successful business women I know seem to have the perfect life work balance.
My advice to women is if you’re not sure where to start, get a good mentor or coach, and talk through the steps. Once you break it down the whole concept feels more achievable. We are by nature very bad at asking for help. We rarely tap into our ‘girls network’ to grow our businesses. I feel if we reached out and connected more it would be of absolute benefit!
I’m very proud that my children see me working and connect that our lifestyle is a privilege they have by mummy and daddy working so hard. My three year-old once told me to go to the office so we could all go on a lovely holiday! That was amazing!
Can you recommend any organisations or networking groups that have particularly helped you on your journey?
Bangalore has many great organisations that can help you grow. I go to many events orgnanised by success gyan. I also run coaching for business women and people wanting to set up called, The Start Uppers, We link like-minded business people together so they can excel.
If you could ask for one thing to help propel your business what would it be?
More money 🙂
As with every business person I have a five-year business plan. I am excited to be part of the evolution of Chamki. I’m also keen to spend more time exploring my passion of enabling more business women to start their own businesses in India through coaching, speaking and mentoring.
For more information visit:
- linked in: ninabual
- twitter: maharaniofspas
- [email protected]