A journey from corporate to entrepreneurship of an IIM Ahmedabad graduate
Recently I had a chance to interact with one of my alumni,Rashmi Daga, from IIM Ahmedabad.
After brief conversation she broke the news about a recent startup - Afday.com. Rashmi started Bangalore based firm which offers Indian art & craft, handmade, ecofriendly products across a wide range of categories like home decor, jewellery, personal accessories, bags & purses, lamps, paintings,
pottery, kids toys, games, craft based educational kits and much more.
Rashmi Daga was earlier the VP Operations at Tutorvista, following is brief session with the founder on her inspiration, plans for future and advise to professionals.You can reach out to her at firstname.lastname@example.org
for any questions.
IImNet team and our members wish all the best for her new venture!
Question and Answer Session:
Q) Please tell us about yourself and brief background on your career.
Ans ) I completed my Electrical Engineering from Delhi College of Engineering in 2001 and PGDM from IIMA in 2003. I did sales and marketing role in IBM and J&J Medical for about five years in Delhi before shifting to Bangalore. I joined TutorVista which is an education company in 2008. I worked closely with the management team to scale up online tutoring operations and sales. I was managing tutor recruitment, training, real time operations and customer service as Vice President Operations when I decided to move on and start afday.com
Q)What inspired the idea for Afday?
I was always interested in Indian art and craft. We would collect local art and craft on our trips. My extensive travel with J&J to Rajasthan, Punjab, UP and J&K gave me a lot of insights in local crafts. I always found a gap when we were looking for genuine crafts in stores nearby. That seeded the idea of starting Afday – Art for Everyday. We want to bring functional as well as decorative Indian art and craft closer to Indian and International consumers with the convenience of online shopping and guarantee of genuine works.
Q)How long did you work on the site before you launched it?
We did background work of about three months before launching the first version of afday.com
Q)How do you promote the site? What are the channels you utilize? and how is your experience with SEOs etc as of now?
We have been promoting the site through our network of friends and have been actively using facebook, twitter. We have also started SEO efforts and would start SEM in coming few weeks.
Q)Who are your competitors ?How do you plan to differentiate your portal from crowded e-commerce space?
Our competitors are physical home decor, lifestyle stores, gift shops, art and craft stores, art galleries, emporiums etc. Online there are players in handicraft sales, art galleries etc. We plan to offer a unique collection of art work and products which are priced attractively and are not available in a store near you. All our products are sourced directly from artists and craftsmen. Our portal will offer a huge variety of products for a consumer to chose from in categories like home decor, pottery, accessories, jewellery, craft based toys and games and much more will be added in coming months.
Q)What are your plans for the future? Do you have any revenue projections?
We believe that our target market is very big. We will work on establishing ourselves as a platform which brings genuine and original works and offers great value for money.
Q)What advice would you give to professionals who want to have start-up on their own?
My advice is to follow your passion and start as soon as you are convinced about your idea. There is no perfect time and perfect team for a startup. Everything will fall in place when you go all out to follow your conviction. Its a great learning experience and a lot of fun to work on your own.