Embrace resilience and self-belief: Dishi Somani, Founder, DishiS Designer Jewellery

With a humble investment of Rs 5000, Dishi Somani started her entrepreneurial journey of DishiS Designer Jewellery

   
DIshi Somani of DishiS Designer Jewellery

In celebration of Women’s Day, SME Futures presents an exclusive interview with Dishi Somani, the visionary entrepreneur behind DishiS Designer Jewellery, whose business journey embodies her resilience and self-belief. From her courageous leap from a prestigious banking career to pursuing her passion for jewellery design with just Rs 5,000, Dishi’s story is a testament to the power of determination and creativity.

Dishi shares her remarkable journey of transforming her passion for jewellery design into a thriving business empire. With candid insights and sound observations, she imparts valuable lessons on resilience, creativity, and the power of self-belief. Join us as we delve into the story of a woman who dared to follow her heart and achieve success on her own terms.

Dishi Somani of DishiS Designer Jewellery in car

Edited excerpts:

Tell us about your journey as a self-made entrepreneur. What motivated you to transition from a prestigious job at Axis Bank to founding DishiS Designer Jewellery?

My journey from Axis Bank to founding DishiS Designer Jewellery was a pursuit of my true passion. Despite a successful career and a comfortable life, the absence of art left me unfulfilled. The conventional path of education and a corporate job didn’t allow me to explore my creative side. Dissatisfied with the 9-5 routine, I made the courageous decision to follow my heart. Despite initial reservations from my father, I embraced entrepreneurship to establish my own label. It was a leap of faith, driven by a desire for creative fulfillment. DishiS Designer Jewellery became not just a business but a manifestation of my artistic journey, allowing me to blend my passion with my profession.

We heard that you only started with just Rs 5,000, how did you spend this amount?

With a humble investment of Rs 5,000, DishiS Designer Jewellery embarked on a strategic journey. By using the Just-in-Time model, I focused on pre-bookings, eliminating the need for substantial inventory. A friend, who is a web designer, helped build my website. I also hired a graphic designer to turn my paper sketches into digital formats. I used to upload around 100 designs, reaching a broader audience by expanding to e-commerce platforms like PC Jeweller, Snapdeal, and Flipkart.

So, what is your revenue now? Is your company bootstrapped or funded?

As of now our revenue stands at Rs 1 crore. And we are proud to share that we have achieved this milestone through bootstrapping, demonstrating our commitment to self-sustainability and organic growth. Our focus on delivering value to our customers and optimising our operations has allowed us to thrive without external funding. We remain dedicated to our mission and look forward to continued success in the future.

How has your educational background in jewellery design and finance influenced your approach to entrepreneurship and the growth of your business?

My educational background in both jewellery design and finance has been instrumental in shaping my entrepreneurial approach. The fusion of these diverse skills allows me to steer through both the artistic and business worlds.

My financial expertise ensures a strategic and sustainable business model, contributing to the steady growth of the brand. On the other hand, my grounding in jewellery design empowers me to infuse creativity and unique perspectives into every piece. This dual expertise not only guides the financial aspects but also fuels innovation and quality in our designs. The amalgamation of design and finance has been a cornerstone in driving the success and distinctive identity of DishiS Designer Jewellery in the competitive market.

Could you share a defining moment in your entrepreneurial journey?

A defining moment in my entrepreneurial journey was the transition from a solo operation at home to building a strong team. Recognising the growing demands, within just two to three months, I took a bold step and brought on board a talented team, including a graphic designer, a digital marketing specialist, and more. This shift marked a turning point which pushed us towards exponential growth. Today we are a team of 20, comprising designers, digital marketers, content writers, and sales personnel and this moment has been instrumental in shaping the success and trajectory of DishiS Designer Jewellery.

As an entrepreneur, how do you balance creativity and business acumen in ensuring the success and growth of DishiS Designer Jewellery?

As an entrepreneur, balancing creativity and business acumen is pivotal. Creativity isn’t just confined to designs but extends to strategic marketing and customer engagement, and I personally believe being a woman entrepreneur adds a unique perspective, blending empathy with astute business decisions. Embracing both the artistic and managerial aspects, I always try to encourage an environment where creativity thrives within a solid business framework. This synthesis has been the driving force behind our success, reflecting the harmonious balance of feminine intuition and business pragmatism.

Dishi Somani of DishiS Designer Jewellery in her office

Operating your brand from a spacious 3000 sq. ft. office in Dwarka, New Delhi is a substantial leap from starting your brand at home. What were the key challenges you faced during this expansion, and how did you overcome them?

Expanding from a home-based operation to a 3000 sq. ft. office in Dwarka was indeed a transformative journey for us. One of the challenges that emerged during this phase was the shift from a less competitive online space to a more saturated market. The initial years witnessed slow website engagement, as customers hesitated to order expensive jewellery without a physical viewing. However, the time during the pandemic worked like a charm for us. It was a time when people shifted more towards online shopping. During the pandemic, our brand saw around a 30 per cent hike in sales. The expansion journey reinforced the importance of customer confidence and an effective online presence, ultimately pushing us to thrive in the evolving market dynamics.

Expanding your presence in international markets is a remarkable feat. What strategies did you employ to establish a global presence and what were the key lessons you learned from this expansion?

Establishing a global presence for DishiS Designer Jewellery involved strategic digital marketing and a direct-to-consumer approach. Our in-house digital marketing team crafted targeted campaigns to reach international audiences, emphasising the uniqueness of our designs. Selling directly from our website ensured a seamless and trustworthy customer experience. Key lessons learned included the importance of understanding diverse market nuances and tailoring our designs and messaging accordingly. Feedback from international customers has become invaluable, shaping our product offerings. The journey reinforced the significance of a nimble and customer-centric approach in successfully navigating and thriving in the global market.

Your brand has been worn by several celebrities. How has this exposure impacted your brand, and what role do you believe such endorsements play in the growth of a business?

Over the years, numerous celebrities have worn our brand including Rubina Dilaik, Ankita Lokhande, Soha Ali Khan, Ishita Dutta, Nikki Tamboli, Raveena Tandon, Minisha Lamba and many more. Such visibility has amplified our brand. It not only attracts a wider audience but also establishes trust in the quality and style of our creations. Celebrity associations serve as powerful testimonials, influencing consumer perception positively. This exposure has played a crucial role in pushing our growth, fostering a sense of desirability and aspirational value. The impact of the visibility garnered by celebrities extends beyond mere publicity, contributing substantially to the overall success and recognition of our brand in the market.

As a successful female entrepreneur, what message would you like to impart to aspiring women entrepreneurs based on your journey and experiences?

Embrace resilience and self-belief, these are and will be your greatest assets. In the face of challenges, remain steadfast in your vision. Surround yourself with a supportive network, be it mentors, colleagues, or friends. And always take every setback as an opportunity to learn and grow. Take risks and trust your instincts; they have been my guiding light. Lastly, always remember that your unique perspective and strengths as a woman bring unparalleled value to the business landscape. Empower yourself with knowledge, stay adaptable, and never underestimate the impact of your passion and hard work.

What’s your roadmap for this year?

Looking ahead, my focus for DishiS Designer Jewellery revolves around strategic growth. I am eager to forge meaningful partnerships and explore potential investments to further elevate the brand. To stay ahead in the competitive market, innovation is imperative. By using digital platforms and collaborating with influencers, our aim is to foster a vibrant community of jewellery enthusiasts who resonate with our craftsmanship. Enhancing customer engagement through novel approaches is a priority. This roadmap reflects our commitment to continuous evolution, ensuring that DishiS Designer Jewellery not only meets but exceeds the expectations of our discerning audience.

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