Be passionate about what you are doing,’ says entrepreneur Nishant Malhotra, Founder of WeaverStory and ASM alumnus
By Harshita Das: Born and brought up in Delhi, Nishant Malhotra feels blessed to be educated in the era of Padma Shree Mr. M. N. Kapoor, who was the Director of his school, Gyan Bharati School, Saket.
He completed his B Com (Honors) from Delhi University and thereafter joined Apeejay School of Management (ASM) to pursue his management education.
Subsequently, the ASM alumnus began his journey in banking, financial services and insurance sector and joined the first international alliance in India, between Royal Sun Alliance and Sundaram Finance, Royal Sundaram General Insurance Co. Ltd. “
During the course of my corporate career, I was part of many firsts, like the first BancAssurance team, the first insurance broker, the first credit life team in a relatively new industry and even the first retirement planner.
This gave me the opportunity to work with the Fortune 500 companies and their key members directly, very early in my career,” he mentioned.
The entrepreneur has also spent quality time working with Indian conglomerates like TATA & Reliance, helping him imbibe their DNA, the force that drives them.
Finally, when he embarked on a journey of WeaverStory.com in 2015, Nishant was driven by the cause, which helped him see beyond the risk of a start-up.
In this interview, Nishant describes how he and his team have been fortunate enough to bring Indian handlooms to people in over 20 countries in the last six years.
What made you choose ASM? Any life lessons which you picked up in college that have helped you in your career?
Nishant Malhotra: ASM was a natural choice as my brother was a part of the first batch and I was known to many of the batchmates so I felt at home already.
Also, we were the first batch to get enrolled in the South Delhi campus and passed out from the new ‘bigger’ Dwarka campus, which had its own learning curve.
Even though we had to cope with the logistics but also had access to much better facilities and larger groups, as all courses ran parallelly instead of in shifts.
With ASM, I had my first brush with the industry being a part of the corporate cell, and that year I was among the only ones to get an internship from campus. This taught me very early on what the corporates expect from us.
When did the entrepreneurial bug bite you? What was the inspiration behind starting your own brand?
Nishant Malhotra: As I mentioned, the entrepreneurial streak was always there even when I was working with the corporate firms.
When I was in Mumbai all by myself, I used to think about how I could make a difference without relying on others.
During this time, we met some weavers who were on the verge of quitting their profession as they could not sell their products.
We started to showcase these through our Facebook page, one thing led to another, and in just a couple of months,
I was into this full time.
Tell us about the journey behind founding WeaverStory? What is unique about your label brand?
We are an artisanal brand based in the heart of Delhi, which brings together the exquisite variety of textiles and handlooms across India.
A unique celebration of weavers, artforms and the handicraft industry, we offer a diverse, premium quality shopping experience for those who are passionate about authentic, handcrafted and sustainable products.
At Weaver Story, every weave is more than apparel. It has the innate potential to be an heirloom. One that honours skills passed down from centuries ago; an intricate work of art that is a fruit of several hands at work for hours and weeks put together; a creation that represents culture, values and emotions that make it a lasting legacy.
The ‘saree’ has a rich heritage, a one of a kind symbol that represents and binds cultures, countries, continents and countless individuals.
This fine piece of garment is a creation of several complex processes such as dyeing, warping, sizing, weft winding, weaving etc., each requiring a specialist skill set honed over thousands of hours.
The beauty of this process is the inspiration that makes these craftsmen and weavers as the seeds and roots of our venture.
One that has ushered in a new growth story and identity of being a brand that represents both the creators and the customers.
The team here at Weaver Story appreciates the sensory impact of touch and vision, of how one aspires to feel on their special occasions.
After all, these moments make everlasting memories and therefore one deserves to be adorned and draped in the finest of attires.
Be it a wedding or a coronation, a gift or an accolade, everyone at Weaver Story strives to create an assortment of weaves that helps everyone identify and express their emotions and individuality. The styling and bespoke services at Weaver Story believe in helping you be the dream you.
Over the years, we have hustled to harness the true potential of our textile and handicraft industry. They have traveled the length and breadth of the country to learn, identify and connect several of these hubs of skills and crafts.
We understood that the heart and soul of this industry is the waning community of weavers, artisans and craftsmen.
With years worth of experience and bucket loads of passion, they charted a course that would not just preserve or revive the dwindling community but also motivate them and plenty of their ilk to tap into the true potential of this industry.
Leveraging the use of social media and deploying a world class ecommerce store was a masterstroke in building bridges between a hyperlocal industry and global markets.
The site has been meticulously developed to showcase the various weave clusters via high-end product photography embedded across an easy to navigate interface.
Thousands of customers appreciate the seamless online shopping experience of product access to the delivery cycle at www.weaverstory.com.
Our core team lays special emphasis on technology as it has been fundamental to the brand’s growth and success and enabled them to deliver to over 20 plus countries.
The brand is driven by a perennial trust cycle. Originating from the source of the weave, the master craftsmen are trusted to weave their magical creations.
They in turn place their trust in our trade practices, presentation and use of technology to showcase and market their products.
This enables the brand to curate an impeccable collection, with a wide variety of the finest products and a passionate and conscientious team of people that works round the clock to deliver an unmatchable experience; To achieve our most important objective – a trustworthy brand for our customers.
Women are always looking to upgrade their traditional look when it comes to sari. How does WeaverStory help to create that difference?
Nishant Malhotra: WeaverStory has not only made an effort to revive the craft but also brought in sensibilities from current market trends.
This equips our weavers to be more contemporary in their approach. We also introduce them to new weaving techniques and improvements that are made in a particular weaving cluster.
From the perspective of the buyer, we have made WeaverStory.com as a one stop shop. Our stylists engage with customers, especially abroad through video calls (this started much before Covid took us virtual) and help them with drapes, styling tips, jewellery, blouse designs, footwear and even matching turbans for bridegrooms.
We ensure nothing is left to chance or imagination. We ensure that our customers do not have to run around in a foreign land to get the true Indian essence.
We have less than 3% returns despite a cash on delivery feature on the website, that vouches for the engagement and trustworthiness we bring forth in our customers
Key things to consider before starting a startup?
Nishant Malhotra: Most important is the core purpose of doing what you intend to do must drive you. It’s better if you have measurable goals that keep you in the game.
If one is starting off, in the later stage of life, like I did, a supportive family and second income have an important role to play.
My wife and parents had a major role in driving and relentlessly supporting the odd hours, frequent travel and efforts I have put in.
Three success tips for young and aspiring entrepreneurs?
- Be passionate about what you are doing
- Don’t self-pity or be too harsh on yourself
- Keep measuring yourself with goals you have set for yourself
|Are you an
Entrepreneur or Startup?
Do you have a Success Story to Share?
SugerMint would like to share your success story.
We cover entrepreneur Stories, Startup News, Women entrepreneur stories, and Startup stories