Veneer of Quality: How an Engineer Made her Mark in the Interiors Industry
Engineers are known for talking numbers and for their hunger for marks. How about an engineer who, after having worked at a top MNC as HR executive and Employee Engagement Lead, broke free to start her own venture in the interiors industry? HerMoneyTalks presents Kavana Mayur, Founder of DecoTales, who did just just that. This is her story of laser focus and vintage customer-centricity.
Before founding DecoTales, Kavana founded Rainbow Careers India in April 2015 along with Mr. Mayur, in a bid to provide jobs to the unemployed. Armed with an Engineering Diploma from Bangalore, she decided to become a businesswoman in the interiors industry out of intense passion and dedication.
Rainbow Careers India has conducted job fairs in the remotest districts of Karnataka, thereby bubbling up employment opportunities to rural youth, and are on a constant mission to organize job fairs. Apart from these, Kavana is an avid traveler, a passionate photographer, and believes in living every moment of life.
Business growth with a breath-taking finish
Moving from a salaried job to entrepreneurship – first in the job recruitment market and later as a businesswoman in the interiors industry – would leave mere mortals disoriented and defocused. Not so for superwoman Kavana. Her passion for home interiors motivated her to begin her flagship Interior Design company DecoTales.
I started with zero finance. Today, I have an experience center of 2000 sq.ft. in Jayanagar, Bangalore, with 90% female staff in my company.
How Kavana got the idea of starting an interiors firm is itself an interesting story. “Being passionate about the ambience in my own house made me think. How much people would love their homes and want it to be unique and special! That is how DecoTales was born. My goal was to provide interior design services at affordable prices,” says Kavana.
“I started with zero finance. Today, I have an experience center of 2000 sq.ft. in Jayanagar, Bangalore, with 90% female staff in my company. I am looking forward to empowering women through my business,” adds Kavana.
Astoundingly, ever since its inception in 2016 , DecoTales has completed over 100 projects across Bangalore, working with house owners to design their dream houses. Recently, DecoTales was awarded the ‘Most Trusted Interior Design Company’ in a prestigious Award function held in Bangalore.
A satisfied customer is the best strategy
Being a businesswoman in the interiors industry can be bruising, with subjectivity ruling the roost. “Breaking the brand name barrier and getting into the market and convincing people to trust us was the biggest challenge. We overcame this by keeping up the commitments given to customers and delivering projects at top notch quality and finishing,” smiles Kavana fondly.
According to her, the so-called big brands had created too much hype in the market. They were given to spend a lot of money on marketing and making the customers pay for it by charging exorbitant rates. With her unflinching dedication, Kavana overcame these barriers to imprint her own style in the market.
Breaking the brand name barrier and getting into the market and convincing people to trust us was the biggest challenge. We overcame this by keeping up the commitments given to customers.
She reveals that economic turbulence during the initial days made her efficient in managing finances, implementing the carry model, and maintaining the cash flow.
“We put least priority on making money. Instead, we focused on delivering quality homes. We wanted to stand for the commitment given to the client,” declares Kavana with maturity beyond her years.
The men who supported her vision
According to her, it is difficult for a woman to startup her business if she is stepping into a male-dominated industry. “There were many obstacles in my journey and it wasn’t easy visiting the client’s home alone. But I was lucky to meet a lot of nice people who did support women entrepreneurs,” beams Kavana.
I got much support from my husband and family, who took care of the household chores and wanted me to focus on my work.
She met many critics on the way, who wanted her to quit, for being her own boss. But Kavana ignored all negativity by focusing on the goals. “I got much support from my husband and family, who took care of the household chores and wanted me to focus on my work,” smiles Kavana happily.
Initially with no financial backup, Kavana’s uncle educated her well about business loans. This helped her tremendously, as a newbie businesswoman in the interiors industry, in managing and expanding her business.
How can women do better in financial management
Kavana opines that women can manage finance better by not spending unnecessarily. Women are more likely to repay their debts on time and maintain a good credit history, according to her.
How can women do better? Kavana’s two (or five, rather) cents:
(1) Follow cash and carry system for both purchase and sale in your business.
(2) Always plan your working capital for 6 months and be prepared; you can’t expect an instant return on any investment.
(3) Patience is the key to success; the first 3 years in business are always hard, so hold on.
(4) Always approach banks for Overdraft and term loans with less interest rates.
(5) Never compare yourself with others; make a footprint with your own style and strength.
She says, by firmly sticking to one’s passion, any woman can become a successful profit spinner in life. Perhaps, Kavana was speaking from her own experience as a businesswoman in the interiors industry. She was awarded by ACE Business 2020 for the most trusted Interior Design Brand 2020 and felicitated by Karishma Kapoor.
Her closing words of inspiration for all women: “Never give up. Be strong, Be bold, Be you!”
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