It’s been almost two months since all my personal and professional activities had come to a standstill. The symptoms started 6 months back. It was somewhere in February or March (Don’t remember exactly the date, may be my wife should remember it), A shiny bright day, I was getting ready to office and I never wanted to be late for any meetings and I had one on that morning. As usual my wife (Mrs.Lakshmi Vasudevan) came complaining that she is not getting enough of my time. Today, she forced me to listen to her. With no other option left, sat down to listen to her without knowing that it is going to lead to a new venture, new learning, new experience in the months to come.
She opened her hand bag and displayed a glossy, cheeky handmade necklace made of Glass beads. It was looking pretty and cool and I immediately said “You can buy it” and I will pay for it, hoping that she would be happy and that I can move to office. But, she said that she and Nithya Sugumarn (Sister-in-law) did it themself and that they learnt it from one of their friend and that both of them are learning to make jewelry made of semi-precious stones and beads. Immediately, I appreciated and left the place.
Two weeks later, I realized that these two in-law sisters have already completed close to 20 necklace and they have gone ahead and sold to their friends and neighbors. The next day when I came back from office saw Vidya and Nithya with 6 of their friends discussing over the jewelry that they have made. Surprised but left it to their will to see how it is all shaping up. Never encouraged nor subdued their moves and motives. But, deep within my heart I wanted them to convert it as a Start-up opportunity and I needed to wait and watch for a right time to make them do what they love to do.
It’s been 12 years I am married to Vidya and I always felt that she has got something in her that if she focuses it hard then she would create waves. I had been advising her to do something of her own -a Startup and promised to assist and guide her. She always used to close the topic with the reason that “Let the right time come”. I had even tried slowly pushing her to assist me in my start-ups, but in vein. Though she supported me, but it was all not full-fledged, as I could notice that her interests were not aligned with mine. Now I am wondering on how to make her understand that that she should pursue the jewelry making as a serious venture, the one which she does passionately. The reason for the same is that in the past 4 weeks I always saw a fire, thirst and a thrill in her eyes and that she was exhibiting her passion in doing these articles. It has to be channelized correctly. I was waiting for an opportunity.
It so happened that I was planning to go to Vietnam and was participating in an international exhibition cum Trade fair through Assocham where I had double stall at my disposal. Suddenly an Idea struck me. I asked my wife if she can make 50 pieces of these jewelry in a short span of time which I can take it to Vietnam and try and display it in a corner of the stall. An attempt to see the response. Though the sisters were not thrilled about the idea of participating in the exhibition, they were thrilled about making of 50 pieces of jewelry and immediately accepted to do so. The motive was to get them committed and habitual in the task where they have exhibited both their skills and interest, for I was sure that they would be. I also had a feeling that they may not be able to complete 50 pieces and I can always give a reason to avoid taking it with me to Vietnam as I felt little awkward and uncomfortable to sell Imitation Jewelry in a stall where I have my IT solutions and products being displayed and standing with my coat and suit. Couldn’t even Imagine how it would be to handle two different visitors to the stall one for IT solutions and other one for the Jewelry (eeeeek……@#$%^&*).
Guess What!!! Destiny played its part. I was hanging like a Bat!!! No reasons!!! No Excuses!!! Lakshmi ensured that I packed all the jewelry in my travel box 60 pieces altogether. Close to 10 days these ladies completed these articles. They travelled all the way to Chennai in search for quality wholesalers for beads. Bought enough stocks along with adequate accessories.Priced it all. Found way to better packaging. Codified every piece. Took photographs and finally packed it all in my suitcase. They decided to drop out couple of my dresses to accommodate these articles and even forgot to intimate me. This is when we decided to name the venture as “Vaijayanthi Creations” if incase we were lucky to strike any deal at Vietnam. Always be prepared to accept surprises and opportunities that come on your way.
A day’s journey full of thoughts about having IT and Jewelry in the same stall and thinking of all possible scenarios to avoid the so called embarrassing scenarios. Thank God!!! Destiny again played a little favorable for me at the venue.
The bay next to my stall was vacant, a member Assocham informed me that the particular participant has not turned for the exhibition and the stall is empty. I requested him to offer the stall for me to display my 60 pieces of Jewelry which I have already carried to the venue. Immediately without any second thought, he gave the stall absolutely free for me and helped me by displaying the stall name. Immediately with the help of few Vietnam FB friends I could get two school kids to be translators eventually ended up as sales guys for Vaijayanthi Stall.
Guess What??? Sold out 55 pieces. Made a profit and beyond that realised that there is a huge market.
Lakshmi &Nithya were thrilled. They were jumping head on heals.
What happened to Vaijayanthi?
Where they able to startup?
What is it Vaijayanthi Creations doing now?
To be continued next weekend with Part II.