Kuldeep Kaur – the owner of the Serendipity store in Mehrauli, Delhi
Talk to us about your self-belief mindset
I think it all starts from recognising and knowing yourself a bit.
I knew from the beginning that I was not cut out for a regular corporate job working 9-5, five to six days a week. It was very clear that the joy and satisfaction I derived from doing what I did should be the riding factor and not what I earn at the end of every month. I wanted to always do my ” own thing” even while being part of an organisation and I’ve never had goals of climbing up a corporate ladder.
In effect staying true to my beliefs was more important than anything else.
How did you start?
To some extent, because I had done a master’s in foreign languages and then majored in M.B.A. marketing, I was clear that my area of work should be something that combines these two. So yes, it had to be in the international trade area as this is where I could combine my two qualifications to start with.
I had spent 3-4 years in the garment industry and as I was reaching a certain level of lethargy, I started developing an interest in home textiles. I felt that the “home” excited me more than anything else and I also realised that this industry was at a relatively nascent stage in India and there was immense potential and less competition. If I had to start somewhere, I knew it had to be in this industry. So when I quit my job, I started my outfit catering to the bedding industry initially.
A certain bit of reading, industry knowledge and most importantly my gut lead me to begin with making silk quilts. At that point in time, very few companies were doing it. Strategically, we stayed away from doing cotton bedding. I remember making the first collection at home with my Mom. I had no production knowledge in terms of cutting and sewing, but since I had jumped into the ocean, I had to learn to swim. I spent time with tailors, sewers, embroidery guys, finishing and packing guys, dyers, weavers etc. and learnt everything at my cost and I am still learning every day.
So the germination and execution of the so-called ” business idea” happened like that.
How did you continue despite the odds you faced?
When you start something, especially a venture, it’s very tough. You have a lot of self-doubts, wondering what you have landed yourself into. Sometimes it seems much easier to do a regular job, but then I think about the strength of character, being answerable to yourself and most importantly not wishing to be unsuccessful, all these factors make you stick it out.
The deeper you are in any relationship and the longer, the harder it is to get out of it.
I have seen many highs and a few hard lows in all these years. The realisation that there is so much at stake for everyone involved including employees, family, customers, investments in terms of time and money, all just make me carry on.
Nothing drives belief and trust more than delivering results. To be able to jump in and solve problems, find a solution, meet targets despite all kinds of odds, all these speak for you. So you continue and your team continues to support you. Very simply put, you just have to train yourself to be a ” lambi race ka ghoda” (a horse that runs a long race).
Interview by Arunanjali Maria