For most people, the logical end to studying finance at the University of Wharton, is a job with a six figure salary at Wall Street. The idea of a really great job, a steady paycheck can be a motivating factor for most of us, if not all. But not so much for Mansi Gupta, who left a well paying career to dive into the world of entrepreneurship with Tjori.
Tjori is a global e-commerce website that aims to showcase Indian handicraft and art to the entire world. While the idea itself has been explored before, the way Tjori is doing it what sets them apart from the rest. As Mansi points out, Tjori wants to provide these amazing handicrafts to an international audience in an international standard.
Further in the interview with Bangalore Insider, Mansi talks about the different challenges she has faced, the hard work that goes into creating a startup and the feeling of satisfaction that makes it all worth. Here are the excerpts of the interview.
Give a brief info about your startup?
Tjori is an e-commerce website that is a global platform for Indian handicraft and art with a contemporary tangent. The products we create are inspired by the diligent work of the Indian crafts. We strive to provide authenticity with International standards in terms of quality.
What made you start your startup and what problem does it solve?
We decided to start Tjori, during my Wharton days. It all started on a small whiteboard with a huge foresight. We explored this venture because we saw an opportunity which was unexplored due to the lack of knowledge on the traditional and heritage handicrafts of India. We decided to not just revive them in India but to also take it on a global platform. The passion for the authentic Indian arts and crafts has motivated me to pursue this dream with great persistence.
Tell us about yourself, your previous jobs/ventures? What were you doing before this startup?
After my MBA from the Cardiff business school, I worked at IMB for a few years and decided to pursue a specialization in Finance from the University of Wharton. Right after that the idea of Tjori was conceived and we came back to India and started out with this venture.
Where is your startup based out of? Why do you think that is the best place for you?
Tjori is based out of Delhi, and this place being the capital of India is actually an extremely ideal location to be based out of.
As a startup founder, what are you paranoid about? What keeps you awake at night?
Paranoid will be the wrong word here, but yes, the idea of making Tjori live up to the standards and expectations of our customers is my biggest worry, but I do sleep in some peace because I know I have an excellent team to help me execute this herculean task.
Who are your competitions and how are you better than them?
Our biggest competitor is Fab India and we try to be better than them in terms of quality and pricing, but they are a true inspiration as well.
How hard is it to have a work-life balance as a startup founder and how do you manage it?
The aspect of work life balance is different for different people. For me my work is my life and I treasure every minute of it and the idea of a balance is automatically maintained. Although, I do like to take some time off to relax and re-energize myself and come back to work with a higher sense of dedication.
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.
Yes, we have had some close friends and senior colleagues who have been able to fund us through the initial days, but to achieve the concept to a full notion we are always looking forward to funding that could help us achieve it.
What’s the biggest misconception people have about you? Why do they have that? What’s the reality?
The biggest misconception people have about me is the notion that when I’m silent I have given in. But the stark reality to that is that I’m running my brain to come back with a better answer or a better result than what they are pitching.
What gets you excited about this company?
Tjori is my place where I have given my all and to take this company to soaring heights is my life goal. Every morning I wake-up thinking how could I make this goal a reality and this notion just keeps me going.
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.
I wake-up in the morning at around 8:30 am and start my day with some quality time with my son. I get ready post that. Once in office, I work for a good 9-10 hours of the day. After work I do an hour of yoga which helps me relax and stay fit. Some more family time in the evening and then I hit the bed. I like to live a simple life.
Tell us about your team and how did you meet each other?
The team is a culmination of Marketing & PR i.e Marketing head, PR Lead and Digital team. We have in place a social media manager, SEO and a content writer who all happened to be a part of Tjori with time and now have become very important members. All of them play some remarkable roles in our organization.
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