Interview with Aditya Modak, Entrepreneur, Co-Founder & Director, Gargi by PNGS
Aditya Modak is the Founder and Director of Gargi by PNGS. PNGS is one of the most reputed jewelry brands based in Pune.
He is a Chartered Accountant with over a decade of experience managing various departments of one of the oldest and most reputable Indian companies existing and growing, PN Gadgil & Sons.
Aditya started his role at PNGS in the finance department since finance was my strongest pursuit. Since then, he has spent over 12 years in the jewelry business.
He is now leading the new brand Gargi by PNGS, which was ideated, conceptualized, and executed by me. Aditya is aiming to transform India’s massive fashion jewelry segment through our unique designs and high quality.
Please tell us a little about your entrepreneurial journey
Aditya Modak: My entrepreneurial journey started right when I joined PNGS at 18. I spent 12 years learning the ropes across departments like accounting, marketing, operations, sales, etc.
However, I was keen to create a path-breaking entity that could change its vertical. That’s where I identified the enormous unaddressed demand for high-quality fashion jewelry.
The jewelry items usually available in the market are perceived as cheap and use-and-throw, with hardly any emphasis on design innovation, quality, or durability of the products.
I conceptualized a new brand called Gargi by PNG and received full support for the venture from the parent company.
I have single-handedly run the establishment process by designing the brand elements, setting up raw material supply chains, and finding the right manufacturers to turn the brand’s vision into reality.
We have built a contemporary label guided by 100 years of heritage, expertise, and innovative young spirit to create modern fashion jewelry.
It has been a great first year for the brand. After a year, we successfully listed Exchange and launched its IPO too.
What service(s) or product(s) do you offer?
Aditya Modak: Gargi by PNG offers high-quality fashion jewelry of 92.5% Sterling silver and brass. The range of products includes necklaces, pendants, earrings, finger rings, chains, bracelets, and men’s rings, etc., in brass and silver. Our products offer high quality, value for money, and many options.
What is unique about your label brand?
Aditya Modak: Gargi by PNG is a unique brand in the fashion jewelry segment. Typically, either you have cheap, low-quality jewelry worn a few times and discarded without any distinguishing elements or expensive gold or diamond jewelry that can’t be worn daily.
Gargi by PNG has bridged this gap by creating designer and high-quality pieces which can be worn for years but still give the aspirational and fashionable look for everyday wear.
We use 92.5% sterling silver and brass in our jewelry pieces designed to be unique, each piece having its own story.
What made you choose this type of business?
Aditya Modak: I have been associated with the parent brand since 18, and it was a natural progression for me to identify an unaddressed and scalable market.
Thus, I decided to create a new brand that was modern, aspirational, high quality, and had a legacy of storytelling through jewelry designs. That’s how I got into this segment.
What was your mission at the outset?
Aditya Modak: My mission is to bring about a customer-centric change in fashion jewelry by creating a designer label that offers a diverse range of jewelry products manufactured with high-quality 92.5% Sterling silver and brass combinations.
These are jewelry collections inspired by the rich legacy and contemporary lifestyles. We have started with online retail of our fashion jewelry and will expand to physical branded kiosks in the times to come.
How many employees in your organization?
Aditya Modak: The total team strength is 30 people. This includes our help staff to the managerial team.
What’s your company’s goals?
Aditya Modak: Our goal is to create a world-class fashion jewelry label that offers the right priced, quality, and stylish jewelry items like necklaces, chains, bracelets, finger rings, earrings, etc. We are working towards a pan-India retail network for Gargi’s quality Sterling silver and brass jewelry.
What have been some of your failures, and what have you learned from them?
Aditya Modak: The problem we face is the highly dynamic fashion industry, and everything changes quickly. For this reason, we take data insights and other aspects while predicting style or deciding on designs for upcoming collections.
We have realized that we don’t need to rely on data points entirely; sometimes, we need to rely on instincts too.
What was the inspiration behind turning an entrepreneur
Aditya Modak: Entrepreneurship came to me naturally. I started at PNGS in Finance and became more involved with the business and learning various aspects.
The management, too, was open to letting me explore the brand, and thus when I proposed Gargi, they asked me to lead and execute it end-to-end.
Key things to consider before starting a startup?
Aditya Modak: The most important thing is to identify an unaddressed problem with a large enough addressable audience that can be scaled dynamically.
The other thing is to acquire the right skills, technological know-how, and expertise to convert the vision into reality. This includes robust financial planning and the ability to bootstrap or raise funds to run the operations.
What are some of the biggest mistakes you’ve made?
Aditya Modak: The most significant mistakes we have made are caving to feedback and trying to follow what the competition does.
We have learned the hard way that what may work for another brand does not necessarily need to hold true for us.
Your success tips for young and aspiring entrepreneurs
Aditya Modak: My suggestion to all upcoming entrepreneurs is “Understand your customer, trust your instinct and stay true to your core values and ethos.”
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