We have heard that the ladder of success is never crowded at the top. However, the success cannot be achieved with ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.
Gems2jewellery (G2J) takes this opportunity to introduce the exemplary success story of Ms. Benaazir Mukherjee who left her lucrative career as an MBA professional at a young age to fulfill her dream in jewellery sector.
An introvert at heart, Benaazir who also holds a degree in Computer Science, travelled to scenic places like Uttarakhand and Meghalaya, which helped recharge her soul during her break. Once Benaazir was back in Bengaluru in 2010, it was with the intention of rejoining work that she went to meet her former boss, but her intuition, kicking in at the right time, told her that wasn’t what she was meant to do with her life.
Let us go through her success story as a self-made Woman Entrepreneur of jewellery industry. The excerpts:
What were your backgrounds, experience and qualifications in jewellery field before you opted to enter this sector?
B.M.: Crafts have always been an integral part of my life. As a young girl, my grandmother taught me weaving. I created trinkets and jewellery out of natural fiber, wool and stones. However, it was only much later I realized that I could carve a career out of this.
I graduated in Computer Science and did Masters in Business Administration. After spending seemingly a lifetime in corporate jobs, I took sabbatical for 2 years to travel and spend time studying jewelry making. I, eventually, never returned to my job and started the brand in September, 2010.
What difficulties did you face in launching and establishing your brand?
B.M.: First one was about educating artisans on our design philosophy and ensuring desired quality is delivered consistently. Imbibing them with the spirit of creativity and making them think out-of-the-box is WIP.
Second challenge was whether we should grow organically through references and word of mouth or execute multi-channel marketing campaign. This was a difficult choice since both had its advantages and challenge areas in our growth vs. brand ethos.
What is so unique about or how different are the collections of Benaazir from other similar brands?
B.M.: Benaazir is Minimal, Timeless, Ubiquitous jewellery. With its soul firmly in India, Benaazir reinterprets old craft forms into narratives that are not only global in its outlook, but also one that will stand the test of time. The jewelry is simplistic by choice, verdant by design and has a mind of its own.
Each piece is carefully handcrafted by skilled artisans using indigenous craft techniques, passing through multiple hands before reaching the customer.
Our customers have found us and will eventually find us in coming days. We intend to keep this discovery as an organic process so that customers are convinced about our value proposition. There needs to be an alignment between our and customer’s thinking & design senses. I believe we are quite different in this aspect.
How do you keep balance between your professional and personal life?
B.M.: Fortunately for me, the work I do is what I enjoy doing the most. In that sense, I do not need to ‘take a break’ from my work to relax. But I do give myself a lot of free time to pursue other interests and spend time with my family.
As a brand, is Benaazir as successful as you had wished on its launch?
B.M.: I think we are a ‘work in progress’ and that is some place we are very happy to be in. We have moved leaps and bounds from where we started. I am thrilled with the growth.
How are you planning to expand its reach in future?
B.M.: We intend to continue our focus on online sales, expand our manufacturing and skill base.
You have become an inspirational icon for aspiring entrepreneurs, how do you feel?
B.M.: More than being an inspiration, my story is relatable to a lot of people and if people take a leaf from my life to help themselves, I am really truly honored.
Who is the motivational force behind you? Whom do you owe your success?
B.M.: My husband Santanu and three of my friends Reena, Shalini and Bhagi.
Your message to the aspiring women entrepreneurs…
B,M,: There is absolutely nothing that would stop you from achieving your goals. Wear blinkers and ride on..
- Describe yourself in a few words…
Moody, sensitive, reticent.
- Do you believe in God and Destiny?
I believe in a force bigger than all of us. I believe in Karma.
- What do you do in your spare time?
Design other products, travel and binge watch crime shows
- Do you wear Benaazir jewellery or some other brand? Why?
Both. But mostly I wear a lot of our samples and prototypes.
- How would you like to be remembered as?
Someone who was alive when she lived.
Posted by Suresh Chotai