The Buttercup Journey with Arpita Ganesh

May 29, 2016 4:52 pm | Published by | Leave your thoughts

HEN India Meet, Bangalore, May20 – 4th Hen India meet in 2016, attended by 20 Indian Women Entrepreneur.

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Key Take-always from Arpita’s session by Chanchal:

I was 20 when I made my first business plan. It was to make affordable bras for Indian women keeping in mind their unique anatomies. The idea never took flight due to several reasons. After 12 years I saw the reality of this dream in a company called Buttercups. Buttercups is an exclusive intimate wear brand that works with a philosophy to celebrate a woman’s unique figure, just the way it is.

Last week I had an opportunity to attend a session by the founder of Buttercups, Arpita Ganesh, also famously known as “The Bra Lady of India”. The session captured her experience in setting up Buttercups and I was personally thrilled to be there. Arpita’s journey, like several other small scale businesses has been full of challenges, but what sets her apart is her Passion and Perseverance. In the two hour session, Arpita openly shared her journey so far, challenges faced, highs and lows of business, good and bad decisions ~ all of it and much more that made her what she and her brand are today. Her story made all of us say in unison – ‘Wow’!

So, I thought to share my learnings from the session:

  1. Ask, don’t hesitate– Ask questions, seek help, talk to people! Be open in asking right questions from right people. Never hesitate to seek help – be it your friends, family or professional network.
  2. Do Your Research Well – Have a question, Ask Google! Make sure you understand about every aspect of your business. If you don’t know something, do your research on internet and build an understanding. This is one of the most efficient and effective ways of gathering information on any subject. To further understand the market one can even use market research or a quick survey form (Google Form comes handy here) focused on the target audience.
  3. Make a concrete business plan – Make a number driven business plan which can help you and your stakeholders understand what to expect from the business in next 1-5 years. Processes and frameworks make a solid base for any business to operate.
  4. Know your business– As an entrepreneur you should know the start and end of your business – right from the objective and goals to product, technology, processes and team. If you ever face a question about your business that you can’t answer, don’t be defensive. Think, reason, and take feedback.
  5. Bootstrapped Vs Funding – Every business is different and not every business needs funding. A small business with a potential to be profitable within 3-5 years is best to be bootstrapped or funded by angel investors as opposed to VCs. VCs aim to leverage the potential valuation, which may not be possible with a small business. I personally believed in this, but seeing another business validate it fundamentally really boosted my confidence!
  6. Business Continuity Planning – You and your business – both are separate entities. As an entrepreneur it is your responsibility to transfer knowledge, build your back up and have a business continuity plan which can serve well in long term. It will also help if you plan for a retirement or exit at any given point in time.
  7. Be a responsible entrepreneur – Focus on turning your business into a profitable one without compromising on the core value.
  8. Be open to learn – Every day comes with its learning. Be open to it.
  9. Do not give up – As they say when the going gets tough the tough gets going. If you have a dream follow it. There will be failures but if you put your heart and soul to it there will be success too.

Well, there are no shortcuts to success and an entrepreneur knows it well. Arpita wrapped up her session with an excellent quote “Nothing will work, unless you do”!

 

Chanchal Badsiwal ,                                                                                                                                                                          Owner & Founder                                                                                                                                                                          Chanchal- Bringing Art to Life

 

 

 

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