Interview with Mansi Gupta, Female CEO in India
Two years ago, Mansi Gupta and her husband Ankit launched Tjori, a designer handmade accessories brand from artisans in India and around the world. They now have a team of 23 people and are growing. As a female CEO in India and founder of the company, Mansi shared some insights into what it it is to be an entrepreneur, start a business with her husband and her goals.
HOW DID TJORI COME INTO BEING?
Mansi: Tjori came about because I was inspired on a trip to Morocco during my studies at the Wharton Business School. I began to understand the value that our Indian handcrafted products have outside the country. This made me want to create an online platform for our handcrafted products and so that we could showcase the talents of our artisans. But, over time my ideas ideas evolved and we started including handcrafted products from around the world – from craftsman, weavers and artisans, at the best possible prices and with the greatest convenience.
WHAT HAS BEEN THE BEST AND HARDEST THING ABOUT BEING AN ENTREPRENEUR?
Mansi: Entrepreneurship in itself is the greatest learning. It completely transforms you as an individual, changes the way you look at life and your ability to manage problems, stress and people. This keeps me going as there is never a situation when you can say that there is no more learning.
The advice that I would like to give to aspiring entrepreneurs is: Know the industry you are entering thoroughly before actually working in it! Be what you are and put in your best in what you do. Have passion in what you do and you will succeed. Nothing can stop you.
How do you blend your work and life to achieve the life you desire?
Mansi: My work is more passion-driven, so honestly when I am working, or even over-working, I don’t feel that I am missing out on life. However, some basic planning is required if you want to maximize time in the day for completing work on time, as well as devoting time to yourself. Planning is a great fix.
Can women have it all? Share your take on this.
Mansi: Well, I believe it is subjective to individual the choices they make, their priorities and objectives in life. I surely believe that women can have it all depending on how they define what matters to them the most. It’s is a question of choice. Having it all will mean different things to different people and it is essentially a question of the priorities in their life. Once defined, they can definitely have all of what they want with appropriate planning and enthusiasm.
What you Think about the state of women in India? How you think it can be better?
Mansi: We have actually seen great changes over the past from being seen as lower than men. Nowadays, in most places, times have changed. Women are getting better opportunities. Not just with men, but also the mindset and attitudes of women are changing. I feel we have the capacity to make it large in life.
WITH SO MANY ONLINE SHOPPING PORTALS, WHAT IS THAT THING WHICH SEPARATES TJORI FROM OTHERS?
Mansi: We believe our unique shopping experience cannot be found anywhere else. Besides our premium handmade products, we believe that the key feature is our sales model is that we only sell items for a limited period of time. For example, an event runs for 15 days – it’s a kind of flash sale. This actually creates urgency in buying something new and unique – people have different product every time to purchase. Also, we work directly with the artists without any involvement of middle men. This means that we can provide original hand made products at cheaper prices, and also in limited numbers making every sale as unique as possible.
HOW HAS IT BEEN STARTING A BUSINESS WITH YOUR HUSBAND?
WHERE WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE TJORI FIVE YEARS FROM NOW?
Mansi: I want Tjori to be number one in the industry, providing our customers and members more offers, growing the ladder of success and winning more and more of their hearts every single day.