Inspired by India's age-old art of beaded hand embroidery, Deepa Lakhani created her luxury accessories company Deepa Gurnani with the goal of bringing the traditional Indian art to the rest of the world. The company delivers unique accessories, each handmade by one of the more than 300 artisans in its employ. "For me, it's about preserving history just as much as it is about helping people," she said. To find out more about Lakhani's company and mission, Business News Daily went Behind the Business Plan with her.
Business News Daily: In a nutshell, what service does your business provide?
Deepa Lakhani: We design unique and distinctive hand-embroidered accessories.
BND: How long have you been in business?
Lakhani: Since 2006. Almost 10 years! This year marks our 10-year anniversary!
BND: Did you start with a formal business plan? If not, how did you lay the groundwork for your business?
Lakhani: Necessity is the mother of invention. We knew we had to support all our embroiderers that had supported us over the years. The universe planned the rest.
BND: How did you finance your endeavors, both initially and as your business grew?
Lakhani: We got a credit card loan for $11,000 at zero percent interest, for 12 months. The loan was paid off at the end of 12 months. The business has sustained itself since then.
BND: How much did you invest personally?
Lakhani: We did not need to, as we reinvested the earnings from the business.
BND: Is your business today what you originally envisioned at the outset, or has it changed significantly over time?
Lakhani: Our business has changed significantly since its inception.
BND: What are some lessons you've learned? Is there anything you would've done differently?
Lakhani: We have learned that change is the only constant in life and it is imperative to evolve constantly to cater to the current, ever-growing demands of your industry. We would not do anything differently.
BND: What were the most important factors that contributed to your success?
Lakhani: Loving what we do and making our customers our topmost priority. We remember where we started and ensure that we give back.
BND: What are the next steps you want to take as a business owner? How do you see yourself achieving those goals?
Lakhani: We want to continue on our journey toward a more sustainable and ethical fashion industry. We are working on educating our embroiderers so that they invest their earnings wisely and safeguard their futures.
BND: What is your best advice to someone with a great business idea who is ready to give it a shot?
Lakhani: Believe in yourself and give it your best shot. Success will definitely be yours.