Everyone who is on the path of an entrepreneurial journey is always bombarded with all sorts of advice from all over. Many of these pieces of advice can be heart-breaking as well as eye-opening while some can lead you astray and go against your value system and principles. I’ve found that when it comes to good advice its best to look for the ones coming from people who are more experienced, in all aspects. They are the ones that actually bring you the ‘truth’, even if they appear to be brutal in the process.
Thinking back, I think the best advice I have ever received came from Guruji (Shri Rishi Prabhakar). He was the one who once told me, “When you are brave enough and don’t lose your heart or hopes, help will always arrive in some form to you”. From time to time I have found myself falling back on this advice and this has actually helped Baggit become what it is today. The countless opportunities I lost (and found) during my journey made looking for success seem like finding a needle in a haystack. But Guruji and his advice made me see how it was actually a case of how what was coming was better than what had already gones. Not only did this advice help me become more aware, but it also enabled me to accept losses, like when my very first store was not making any profits. But I found when I was able to accept losses gracefully only then was I able to visualize my success and this finally made me go create the success that Baggit sees today.
I have always looked forward to learning from those who are more experienced, from those who have any truths to share about Baggit. From the retail shop owners from my early college internship to my top management today at Baggit, advice has come from all over the place. I even lend a sharp ear to the young consumers who wish to share their thoughts about my brand, my product and even my communication! For example, being an end-to-end Made in India brand, it became difficult to match the online prices offered by Baggit’s contemporaries who typically don’t use their own designs. As a topic of feedback that was recurring among the consumers was competitive pricing, we launched an online exclusive brand – gg by Baggit which is available on discount through the entire year. Hence, the world is an oyster of advice and I’d recommend everyone to be curious and keep learning because you might find a pearl in the most unexpected places!
On the other hand, I once received advice that asked me to against my long-held value systems. We had rented an expensive store at a mall in Delhi NCR (Gurgaon). Just then, the markets crashed and recession hit the country. Thus, we had to start renegotiating the lease on our stores that saw a drastic decline in sales. The Gurgaon store was one of them. The store owner accepted to reduce our lease amount by a tiny amount. This did not help us at all and Baggit saw the least profit of any year yet, primarily due to the high rent on this store. My lawyers advised me to exit the store and challenge the owner in court. They thought this would force the owners to renegotiate further as they would want to avoid litigation. However, my value system and instincts told me that I had to deliver what I promised, i.e. stay with the store owner because we had signed a contract. So I refused to heed my lawyers’ advice, and was happy to have learnt the lesson of always having an exit plan, especially one that benefits all.