Shaan Khanna is the founder of two startups – Networking Now India and Spicy Sangria events.
I actually started working while I was in school.. I started my own handbag line at 15 and that’s where the entrepreneurial journey began, says Shaan.
We got an opportunity to talk with Shaan, and see what she has to say. I am sure her interview with us will inspire you.
Give a brief info about your startup?
Currently I run two independent companies. Networking Now India and Spicy Sangria events..
Spicy Sangria events a – thoughtfully curated offline platform for known and upcoming designers. Meticulously handpicked, each designer is selected for his/her talent and ability, so as to ensure that customers get a fulfilling, rewarding and distinctive experience. Currently in 6 cities in India and growing!
Networking Now is a leading exclusive online platform for queries and business enhancement. With restrictive and regulated entry, it allows for credible and swift results, besides serving as cost-effective platform for young budding entrepreneurs to market their products, skills and services. Currently at 51,000 members the platform is growing organically and steadily.
What made you start your startup and what problem does it solve?
Networking Now India started from my love of connecting people and helping people grow their businesses.. it’s been my passion to connect people and help them network that’s why I decided to create a platform to help making the connect easier.. Back in the day people would call me to ask questions about any and everything therefore I decided to make it a crowd sourcing platform for information… At our offline events entrepreneurs can exchange ideas, connect to enhance their business growth and learn more about their industry through professionals and panel discussions…
Spicy Sangria started just to share knowledge about fashion and eating in India.. slowly we moved into fashion events only to give new and upcoming as well as established designers a platform to showcase all over India.
Both start ups solve a problem of networking, reach and connect !
Tell us about yourself, your previous jobs/ventures? What were you doing before this startup?
I actually started working while I was in school.. I started my own handbag line at 15 and that’s where the entrepreneurial journey began…
After I graduated from college I started working with my mum (who I had been assisting for a while) who has been in the lifestyle events space for a while..we founded Spicy Sangria events together and haven’t looked back ever since.
While I was in college I worked with L’Officiel magazine too which I loved !
Assisted Rukshana Eisa for an internship at her grooming school too while I was in college.
Where is your startup based out of? Why do you think that is the best place for you?
I’m based between Mumbai and Bangalore and I absolutely love both cities. The cities have a pulse where both startup’s can thrive. Bangalore has some of the best startup’s and so much to learn from too!
Mumbai is all about the buzz and fashion and it’s amazing to see how many fabulous designers there are who work from home too.. The Mix of both cities is what I love the most.
As a startup founder, what are you paranoid about? What keeps you awake at night?
A lot! Haha. I stay awake thinking if I’m doing enough? … if I’m doing the right thing? I think every entrepreneur has had some sleepless nights questioning their game plan. But I think that’s the fun of working on your own startup.
At night I get time to work on my own I love the quietness of the night it’s when I’m the most productive but ofcourse the over thinking begins!
How hard is it to have a work life balance as a startup founder and how do you manage it?
As a startup founder there are no real timings, honestly it’s the hustle that brings success. Our timings are – when we wake up to when we sleep and I honestly love that .. I’ve never been the kind who can do a desk job and I love being on the move.
I definitely have a balance and go out quite a bit but if I’m home I’m mostly working and constantly coming up with new ideas / plans, bouncing ideas of the family, researching different things.. it’s fun! It’s 24/7.
Have you raised funding? If yes, then we would like to know the details. If no then please tell us if you are looking to raise.
We haven’t raised funding yet, but maybe in the near future.
What gets you excited about this company?
The growth I’ve and the fact that I’m helping people. My favourite thing about both startup’s is the ability to help other businesses and brands grow to better heights.
Creating the platforms that aid others to connect, network and meet new people which in turn helps them learn and grow. This makes me really happy! Especially when I hear from people how they benefitted from either startup’s..
Also, I think when it’s your own startup, it’s like your baby – I’m just happy to see it grow Day by day..
Tell us how a day in your life looks like? Your schedule for a day right from the time you get up till you hit the bed at night.
Each day is so different from the other. Since I’m always on the move.
My days start fairly early I wake up around 730am and begin work at 8am which I love because it’s the two most peaceful hours in the Day when there are barely any calls and it’s just me replying to emails and working on my own.
After which I step out for meetings all over the city so there isn’t a particular schedule as such.
I believe in Nicherin Daishonins Buddhism so I chant twice a day and try to catch up with people from my group in the week too.
Followed by a workout during a free hour and coffee with a friend if possible in the week.
If I’m not out at meetings, it’s brainstorming, planning with my team and lots of phone calls. A lot of our work happens over the phone and by the end of the day I just want to watch a fun tv show or movie and hit the bed!
Some days include dinners with friends or hanging out but most weekdays are working from the time I wake up to the time I sleep with few breaks in between!
Tell us about your team and how did you meet each other?
My team is great! It’s an all women team actually and we have great fun working together. My mum and I are co-founders of the events team under which we have 4 people working with us!
I met the girls through a common friend when they were looking for jobs and one via my group – Networking Now..
We’re great friends and all get along well too. I love the fact that they understand the events space and the timings as well. Their passion and drive is something I love! Blessed to have a super team of strong hardworking women.
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