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Exclusive Conversation With Chokhat Home Pvt Ltd Founder Prachi Bhatia

Prachi Bhatia

 

 

Prachi Bhatia
Picture Credit : Prachi Bhatia

 

Prachi’s journey has undoubtedly been fraught with challenges. Building a business from scratch is never easy, especially when faced with financial limitations. Yet, Prachi’s story reminds us that determination can overcome even the most formidable obstacles. She has demonstrated that one can achieve remarkable success with hard work, innovation, and an unyielding spirit.

Today, Prachi Bhatia’s Chokhat is not just a business; it’s a symbol of empowerment and a testament to the power of pursuing one’s dreams. Her story serves as an inspiration for all those who dare to dream, showing that no matter where you come from or what obstacles stand in your way, with determination and perseverance, you can create your path to success.

Prachi Bhatia’s incredible journey from a middle-class background to a successful home décor entrepreneur is a shining example of the human spirit’s ability to triumph over adversity. Her story reminds us that dreams know no bounds, and with passion and hard work, we can turn them into reality.

When Did you start your journey as an entrepreneur? Prachi Bhatia 

I was never an entrepreneur in my mind. I grew up in a regular, middle-class family where everyone was in service.

It’s fascinating to hear about the evolution of your mindset and the journey that led you to become an entrepreneur. The traditional narrative of scoring good marks, attending a prestigious college, and pursuing a stable job for a reliable source of income is deeply ingrained in many societies. It’s a path that is often perceived as secure and commendable.

Your upbringing with this mindset aligns with a common societal expectation. The emphasis on education and a conventional career path is a reflection of the prevailing norms. The notion that a job provides financial stability, especially compared to the perceived financial uncertainties of entrepreneurship, is a perspective many are familiar with.

Your transformation into an entrepreneur, however, took shape after your experiences in the workforce, particularly during your first job in an export house. The demanding work environment, with long hours and dedication that led you to stay in the office for entire nights, seems to have played a crucial role in shaping your entrepreneurial mindset.

Such intense work experiences often become a turning point for individuals. They provide insights into the challenges and rewards of the professional world, and in your case, it appears to have ignited a desire for something more—something beyond the conventional path. The exposure to the demanding work environment may have sparked a realization that your passion and potential could be channeled into creating and managing something of your own.

The transition from the traditional mindset to embracing entrepreneurship often involves a shift in perspectives, risk tolerance, and a deep understanding of personal aspirations. Your journey exemplifies the idea that sometimes it takes firsthand experience to challenge preconceived notions and venture into uncharted territories.

Your willingness to break away from the conventional path and explore entrepreneurship is a testament to your courage, ambition, and a thirst for something beyond the ordinary. It’s a journey that reflects personal growth, resilience, and a pursuit of fulfillment beyond the confines of societal expectations.

As you continue on this entrepreneurial journey, the experiences and lessons learned during your first job will likely continue to shape your approach, decision-making, and resilience in the face of challenges. Your story serves as inspiration for those contemplating similar transitions, highlighting the potential rewards that come with embracing one’s entrepreneurial spirit.

So there I realized that, you know, I have been, they are paying me the same amount. No overtime is paid to us, no matter how long we are there in the office. So that was the time where in my head the journey started and this was in 2017.

But then I knew that the kind of space I was in would require a lot of funds. So, I come from a very basic family. I have seen a lot of financial crises during my childhood.

I used to even think before buying a 10 rupee Frooti. I have faced that kind of crisis in my life. So money was vital for me. I knew that I could only start my business with cash because my expertise is into home decor and furniture business and the thing is, the product is like you need money.

So in 2017 when I was continuing my job, there was something going on in my mind to be an entrepreneur. I thought yes I will start business after 4 to 5 years, but till then, I will gain experience in Industry. I will talk about it after 4 -5 years; let’s start saving and then start.

I was 21 when I started working. So this happened then. I shifted to my second job as a merchandiser. My first job was as an assistant designer in an export house in Gurgaon.

My second job was as a merchandiser in an MNC called Lianfeng which was also in Gurgaon. I took that job because they were paying me a good amount as my salary. And the second thing in my mind was that designing is my thing, and it’s alright, but I must also know merchandising.

I decided to pursue that job and start my own life. So let’s have both experiences. I worked there for around ten months. But yeah, I am a designer by heart. I was not able to do that clerical job. I had to type an email the whole day which was kind of boring for me. That was not me.

So I switched to a third job, which was for two days. I was appointed as a senior designer in one of the design houses in GK. I wonder if it was a fake company or what it was.

It was destiny, or I don’t know what. I was sitting there for the second day and the second day was like something there. The washrooms were broken. As I said, there was no male employee. They were all female employees.

There was no female employee who is working more than 6 months. The washrooms were broken. I am asking the ladies, how do you use, where do you go? So someone said that I go to my house in the afternoon and some weird things.

I am opening the microwave to heat the food. Some mosquitoes are coming out. Inside the office, personal phones are not allowed. Something was off. I am still determining what it was. It was just destiny or what, I don’t know. So, on the second day, I was sitting at my desk.

My Director called me to discuss something. This was the Eureka moment. What do you call it? This sounds pretty filmy. But this is how it happened. Because at that point of time, I was wondering if this was the right time.

This was the only line going in my head. If I start something now, I can be an entrepreneur later. I went back home, I cried my heart out to my mother and my elder sister, and explained them what all happened. And I will not be able to go to the office from tomorrow.

It is the right time to start something of my own. And obviously, they were sceptical as there was no money. I have just saved 1 lakh in the last one year. They were worried. What will she do? How will she do it? It started in 2018 on 13th September. Luckily, that day was Ganesh Chaturthi, when I started. That morning, I mailed my Director and said I couldn’t continue as the work environment was not workable and I resigned.

Can you elaborate on a specific instance or experience that inspired the creation of Chokhat, showcasing the pivotal moment that drove you to embark on this venture?

Like I said, I answered first that was one movement that happened in my life that I can do now. It might sound very filmy, but If someone had told me about these situations back then, I would have said, “Come on, this is not a movie. You need to think about 10 other things before you start something like this, given that you belong to a middle-class family.

So I had my doubts because my family depended on my salary. It’s not like I don’t give my salary at home. I spend it on my own. I gave my salary at home. I had my education loan, and EMI was going on. And there were a lot of other things.

So it wasn’t easy. But when God plans it for you, things turn out the way they need to. So God’s plan is the plan I think you need. So today after 5 years, if I hadn’t started, I probably won’t be here. That was the right time to create it.

 So God’s timing was the best timing I needed.

In interior design and home improvement, trends are constantly evolving. How does Chokhat stay ahead of the curve and offer innovative ways for people to experience their homes differently?

Chokhat only works on the trends. Home is the Industry that works on the needs and the wants. So it’s the needs and the desires of the people. Every house has its essence.

And that stays the same with time. That house’s essence is the house itself. It’s different from my house today. Let’s say, for example, it has a rustic look, so after 10 years I might give it floral look. It doesn’t happen that way. It’s different than if I have money, and suddenly say let’s change something.

We change clothes just like the house. That today my dress is black, but the house has its own feeling because it represents you. And you don’t change as a person, as a feeling. So that has always been in the chock -hat that trends don’t follow directions.

I need to look at the trends and websites like WF and GSN. I look at what people want, what people are getting, and what they desire to get. Okay, so while focusing on that, I make it innovative. For example, I must talk to my people and consumers about it. 

So a lot of time we put on polls on the Instagram page and asking people to share their thought processes. What needs to include what they want or what product they are not getting? Or what we should do. So we ask our customers what should we do. We don’t decide that. We have a basic understanding of what people want.

After leaving it to the people, we ask them what they want to do. And that is how we have been able to create those innovative solutions for them. One thing that we keep in mind, the core of Chokhat before I started was two things

One, when I was in an export, you know, designing, when both my initial jobs were in export. When I started working there, I realized that the designs people create and export are very different. They don’t work in India. I wonder why they don’t work in India.

I had a little idea, but those designs were being made here as in designing and manufacturing. This means we have the design ability and means we have the manufacturing ability also. But they have yet to be sold in India. So those products were very different.

If you ever think about it, if we look around our house, a lot of times people say that this is imported. This is imported. If you go to a home decor market, let’s say Delhi or anywhere. So one thing they will say is imported

So when you hear the word imported, it comes to your mind that these are good things. And while all those things are being made in India, they have yet to be sold in India. So that was something in which there was a considerable gap. These things can be sold in India.

People today, the aspirers, the Industry, the age group, let’s say around 25 to 40 years of age, 45 years of age. Where you actually financially, mentally grow in your life, career, family, everything. People get married, they have kids.

Means once you start earning after college, you begin a new life. You start paying attention to things like I need a better table or a good coffee mug. So that age group is looking for fresh products but is still waiting for them.

So, there are two types of products in India. One is a very cheap, affordable product. But if you look at it aesthetically, it will be very simple, basic. If you look at it, it will be a little appreciated.  

If you want an appreciable stuff, it is expensive. So I have heard this thing since my childhood. Most of the middle class people have listened to this, that you should never go to buy clothes or anything

Go to buy cushions, go to buy a sofa, go to buy a table, go to buy shoes. You can take anything. So if it is a designer, it will be expensive. So this tagline that designer is costly has been there with me because it’s instilled inside me because I have grown up with that thing

Whenever we have to buy something my mom always used to say that designer is expensive. So this thought that you don’t even ask the price of the middle-class Industry, middle-class families, the chunk of India, doesn’t ask the price of the item. As they have the assumptions of high costs, but to some extent it is true. And Secondly, people in India are very superstitious, they consider each and everything superstitious. But outside India, people celebrate nature, whereas Indians don’t

The process of turning a house into a dream home can involve a multitude of factors. Could you discuss some of the challenges that homeowners commonly face, and how Chokhat aims to address these challenges effectively?

Entrepreneurship often involves adapting to unforeseen circumstances. Can you share an example of a significant unexpected challenge Chokhat encountered and the strategies you employed to overcome it while keeping your vision intact?

Entrepreneurship may be a significant example, but it wasn’t elementary because I was just 23 when I started.

I expected a few things, but the financial issue I knew about was that finding manufacturers would be demanding. I doubted it as well. But that one thing I didn’t realize was my age would affect me that much, or being a girl would cost me that much. I had a small clue that this is the Industry that focuses more on Manpower; men are getting more attention. I have not met a single woman, and I have not yet dealt with her in these five years. It’s a men-focused Industry. The main thing I had no clue about was that my age would be an issue. I was young, and people did

 

 

 

Facing challenges and skepticism, especially at a young age, is undoubtedly a tough part of the entrepreneurial journey. It’s unfortunate that people often underestimate the capabilities of young professionals, assuming that age correlates directly with experience and competence. Your experience of being in a field where others had 20-23 years of experience while you were just 23 reflects the biases and preconceptions that exist in the professional world.

Wearing formal suits and attempting to present yourself in a way that aligns with the expectations of age and experience is a common strategy that many young professionals adopt to be taken more seriously. It’s a reflection of the unfair judgments that can come based on appearance rather than merit. Unfortunately, as you mentioned, it didn’t bring the desired change, and you had to navigate through the challenges as they came.

The struggle you faced is not unique to gender; age bias is a prevalent issue as well. The assumption that someone younger may not have valuable insights or capabilities is a stereotype that can hinder personal and professional growth. Dismissing ideas based on age rather than evaluating them on their merits is a barrier that many young entrepreneurs encounter.

Your resilience and the decision to go with the flow despite these challenges are commendable. Instead of being deterred by the biases, you focused on your work and let your actions speak for themselves. As you rightly pointed out, age shouldn’t limit one’s ability to grow and succeed. While strategies may evolve with time, the core principles of hard work, dedication, and innovation are age-agnostic.

It’s essential to challenge these stereotypes and biases, advocating for a more inclusive and merit-based approach in the professional world. Your journey serves as an inspiration for others facing similar challenges, reminding them that competence and potential are not determined by age or gender.

As you continue to navigate your entrepreneurial path, remember that breaking stereotypes and proving your capabilities through your work can gradually shift perceptions. Your determination and commitment will play a pivotal role in breaking down age-related barriers and paving the way for more young professionals to be recognized for their contributions. Keep challenging the status quo, and your success will be a testament to the power of talent and dedication, regardless of age or gender.

Sometimes, as a client, I also faced this; I gave them a sample, and they provided some other examples.

I still remember this one conversation that happened with one of my manufacturers. Shahidji, we were on call, and they were shouting at me. So, those were the things, bonlyidn’t let them afterefore my vision.

Because I knew that I had to make something, I knew it from inside. I think God gives you that ability to be inside yourself, and you somehow know it from the inside.

So, I knew that I could make it big. I have the ability. So, for me, these were like a storm. I went through it. You can’t avoid this. There’s no way you can prevent it or minimize it.

There’s nothing; everything was just me being childish at the end of 23. So, yeah, I just went through it.

Could you elaborate on some specific strategies or innovative methods that Chokhat employs to maintain the quality and affordability of its products, which often seems challenging in the design world?

We have assumptions that stuff by designers is expensive. But being a designer, your pieces of stuff should be relatively inexpensive. Why? Your motto should be to reach the people so they can afford to buy things cheaply. There, designers go wrong, but in my opinion, in Chokhat, I kept things affordable and accessible so customers could buy as much as possible.

My target audience was obvious: the middle-class people. People had various wishes, such as curtains, tables, and cutlery sets. For Indian people, respect is a huge thing, so care comes from these things. For them, if guests come and compliment their table or curtains, that makes Indians happy.

We have two products, one very affordable but very basic in design. The second product is very luxurious, and nice platting which is very expensive. But we needed something in between as there must be average products I designed, which will last longer. We’ll put the best skills, and I know the designing part. Manufacturers will be simple, with an affordable budget for simple things. Coating is important.

So, you need to choose your coating carefully. If you go for a gold plating, it will charge you more.

 This is something that is a simple coating that is affordable and accessible.

The balance between cost and quality can sometimes be delicate. How does Chokhat decide where to prioritize, ensuring the final product remains accessible without compromising its durability or aesthetic appeal?

It is difficult to balance cost, quality, and aesthetics in our case because the product categories such as aesthetics, price and quality need to be balanced to succeed.

We issue that, at times, design makes it look gorgeous, but either it is not able to cost, it is permanently closed, but it cannot be affordable, or its quality will maintain a very high price. It took a lot of work to let go of the design you created and believe will do well in the market.

But then that is how you have to you have to you cannot be emotionally attached to your ideas. I know it is a human thing you get connected to your thoughts that you have made; it is a 3D design. So I still remember this like we were working on a pineapple theme to expand the existing range.

So, we were working on a condiment set where you can put pickles and so on. So, that was the type of product we had, and we had a fantastic idea. I was working with one of my interns, and we had this fantastic idea. But achieving it was so challenging that we discussed it for 2 and a half, 3 hours.

So, we did not want to let it go because it looked so good, but then we had to choose a point. We are discarding this idea. And then, we start working on the sketching board. So, we will begin from scratch because there has to be a balance between quality, cost and aesthetics; there is no point in launching the product only because we cannot compromise on these three aspects.

Can you share an example of a product where Chokhat’s commitment to simple production methods significantly contributed to a profitable outcome regarding cost-effectiveness and customer satisfaction?

 I can! Okay, so there is this product, which is a Bulbul Fruit Basket. Okay, so I’ll tell you the story. So this was the first product, the very first product that I designed for Chokhat when I started Chokhat five years back.

 I still have the sketch file where I sketched this. The idea is pretty simple, but when you look at the product’s beauty, the product serves many purposes, even if the basket is kept empty. It will still fulfil a sense of being a beautiful showpiece. You can store anything, you can store fruits, you can store accessories, you can store notebooks, anything. That was one product I made, and I had such a mind that it must be elementary.

We don’t have to put any more complications in it. The product is simple in terms of manufacturing. There is no such shape or size in it that you have to make in the market. This was the first product which has immensely done good.

I got so much success from this product that people in Muradabad have started copying and selling it online. It’s all over the place. But I was the one; Chokhat was the one who started that product. I mistakenly shared it on Facebook groups when I launched that product.

Because at that time, I had no idea it would be copied and affect us so much. So that product was so successful that I will tell you that the name is Chokhat Bulbul Shoot Basket. When you go on Amazon, you type Chokhat, so when you go to Amazon’s search bar and write a tray there, for example, you write a tray.

 

 

It’s a tremendous achievement for Chokhat to have become one of the top searches in the whole of India, especially in the tray-related category. The fact that when people search for trays, Chokhat, and specifically the Chokhat Bulbul Shoot Basket, appears prominently in the suggestion box on various platforms, including Amazon, is a significant milestone.

This recognition and visibility indicate that Chokhat has not only established itself as a go-to brand in the tray and decor segment but has also become synonymous with quality and innovation. The appearance of your product suggestions on major e-commerce platforms like Amazon is a testament to the popularity and demand for your products.

However, the journey to this achievement wasn’t without its challenges, as you mentioned the presence of fake sellers using your company’s name. It’s not uncommon for successful brands to face imitation and attempts to capitalize on their reputation. The fact that there were at least 13 sellers selling fake baskets with your name is both a testament to your brand’s success and a challenge that many successful brands encounter.

Your pride in seeing your company’s name associated with the product on Amazon, despite the challenges of fake sellers, reflects your resilience and determination. It’s a validation of the impact and recognition Chokhat has garnered in the market.

The mention of the Chokhat Bulbul Shoot Basket in the top searches further solidifies its place as a sought-after and distinctive product in the market. The fact that customers are actively searching for this specific item is a clear indication that your innovative solutions, like the net fruit basket you mentioned earlier, are resonating with consumers.

As you continue to navigate the challenges of maintaining brand integrity in the face of imitations, remember that this recognition on top searches is a reflection of your hard work, creativity, and commitment to delivering quality products. It’s not just a search result; it’s a symbol of your brand’s impact and the trust you’ve built with your customers. Congratulations on this vast achievement, and may Chokhat continue to shine as a leader in the tray and decor industry.

So my company is selling it. It is such a successful product that people want it because of XYZ reasons that they cannot buy it from women. Because of the pricing, obviously, I am giving a good quality product, and we sell it at 1799, and now, just like any brand, you take Adidas whatever, you get all the fake copies, you get them at half the price. The same is the case with us as well. The product is getting at a lower price, but its quality could be better. Or the photos we are using, but if you go and see the review section below, you will get actual images.

It could be better. That was one achievement for me when I saw it selling by my name. I created it. Okay, and you know, some people in this industry exist, this industry is like this, take the copyright, trademarks, and other things.

You cannot stop these things from getting copied. Look at designers like Sabyasachi, Zara, Nike, and Adidas. They are also copying, So there is nothing like Chokhat Chokhat does not exist in the chart only; it is not on the map. There are many copies of the brand: First copies, lowest copies, and middle copies. So what do I do?

It’s truly commendable how you’ve faced the challenge of product copying in the initial years of Chokhat and turned it into a source of pride and motivation. It’s natural to feel disheartened when others replicate your creations, especially when they start benefiting more from it. However, your perspective on this matter is inspiring.

Your initial reaction of being upset and demotivated is completely understandable. It’s a common emotional response when you put your heart and soul into creating something unique, only to see others imitate it. The fact that these copies were manufactured by older clients who were earning more than you must have added to the frustration.

Despite the challenges, you chose to see the positive side of the situation. The copies, in a way, became a testament to the success and demand for your product. It’s a proud moment to have created something that not only resonates with people but is also in high demand. The fact that people wanted the product so much that they were willing to replicate it speaks volumes about its effectiveness and popularity.

Your innovation in addressing a specific issue, such as the introduction of net fruit baskets to combat the issue of mosquitoes in India, is truly remarkable. The uniqueness of your product, addressing a problem that had been overlooked by bigger companies, sets Chokhat apart. Your ability to identify a need in the market and create a solution demonstrates a keen entrepreneurial spirit.

It’s clear that you take pride in the fact that Chokhat was the pioneer in launching net fruit baskets, addressing a significant issue in the industry. This accomplishment not only sets you apart from others but also highlights the social responsibility of your business in providing solutions to common problems.

Overall, your journey reflects resilience, innovation, and a positive mindset. Instead of dwelling on the challenges, you’ve chosen to focus on the pride of creating impactful and effective products. It’s a testament to your strength as an entrepreneur and your commitment to making a positive difference in your industry. Keep embracing the challenges, and continue being a trailblazer in your field.

The process of naming and birthing a company is indeed a fascinating journey. Could you elaborate on the significance behind the name “Chokhat” and the reasoning that led you to choose it out of all the options you had shortlisted? Additionally, how do you feel this name encapsulates the essence and vision of your company’s mission?

That is a very, very interesting question. So yes, I had a huge list. So, while working, I was in two jobs in the industry. So, I used to do a lot of name shots in the diary. So, I always wanted to have an Indian name.

It’s a very quirky and very Indian kind of name. So, I had shortlisted many names. I remember that list was Laltein, Charpai, Baksa, and Chokhat. But then, there was this series, The Girl in the City. So I had shown that too, The Girl in the City.

So this happened, and in the end, when I had to finalize my third job, I had to do two nameshot lists, Chokhat and Baksa. I’ll be frank: I was not too fond of Chokhat. I wanted to keep Baksa. I was drawn towards Baksa. So I consulted with my family friends, and I talked to them.

Which names sound more interesting? Which sounds like a hook type? So everybody said Chokhat. So I said, okay, I’ll keep it Chokhat because the name is more for the customers to like. So that’s how we started with Chokhat.

And now, after I launched Chokhat, people have appraised it. They have appraised this name so much. So when they say that you are being praised, you like it. So, that’s how I started picking the title a few months after our launch.

And now Chokhat was the correct name. Because if you look at the meaning of Chokhat, it means the entrance of any house. And the vision of how I see Chokhat is that one day, ten years later, Chokhat will have everything you require inside the house.

Be it a cushion, be it a mat, be it any furniture, be it any kitchenware, be it curtains, anything, anything and everything inside a Chokhat that you need. You will have it at Chokhat. So now the name resonates with what I wanted to do.

And I think it’s all just, and I feel it’s all God’s plan. I mean, God is helping me to play this. So when you join the dots after a couple of years, you realize that this was why this was happening in this series. So that’s how Chokhat is there.

Building a solid brand presence requires consistent effort. Can you share some key strategies or initiatives that Chokhat is undertaking to ensure that the brand becomes synonymous with home decor, gifting, and possibly furniture in the future?

We are, we are, interestingly, I’ll tell you one thing which I have noticed is that all the home decor brands existing in the market, hometown or home itinerary, there are a lot of brands, they are ancient brands also, and they are very upcoming brands also.

To create a strong brand presence, you have to become a brand and not just a seller, you know. So, there’s a massive difference between a seller and a brand, but a brand sells more than just the product. It is selling an experience, selling, educating you about the industry, and creating Content.

Exciting Content is something which existing brands are not creating. You will see they are just putting pictures of their products; why would I like a social media page just for its product? To build a strong brand presence, you need to have specific values set, certain brand strategies and guidelines set. I usually have two or three fonts set, so ultimately, because of the consistency they are following, because of the colours or whatever.

So, brand consistency, I’ve followed as much as I can, and also creating good Content is what I feel that, as I said, you will see a lot of animals there. So, in essence, the core of your theme, the nature of your company, is how you build a strong brand presence.

It is not just social media, and it should be everywhere. It should be in your packaging; the product should show it the product, the packaging should show it, social media should show it, the logo should show it, everything.

 

 

It sounds like you’re strategically expanding your business beyond just being a home decor company by focusing on content creation. By weaving a narrative around your niche in home decor, gifting, and furniture, you’re aiming to establish your brand as an authority and a go-to choice in these areas.

Drawing inspiration from other successful brands like Zudio, which has effectively associated itself with affordability under the Tata umbrella, you recognize the power of brand perception. Your goal is to evoke a similar response when people think about affordable home decor, gifting, and furniture—Chokhat should be the first name that comes to mind.

Building a strong brand presence through content creation is a smart move. By consistently producing high-quality content that showcases your expertise, highlights your products, and engages your audience, you’re not just selling items; you’re creating an experience. This approach helps in building trust and a positive brand image.

When people start associating your brand with top-notch, affordable solutions in home decor and gifting, you’re not just selling products; you’re selling a lifestyle. Your brand becomes synonymous with quality, affordability, and a keen understanding of your niche.

It’s a holistic strategy that goes beyond the transactional aspect of business. By creating a narrative around your brand, you’re fostering a connection with your audience. This emotional connection is what transforms a company into a recognizable, trustworthy, and preferred choice.

So, keep focusing on creating compelling content, telling your brand story, and showcasing your products in a way that resonates with your audience. As you continue down this path, you’re likely to see your brand become the first choice in the minds of those seeking affordable, stylish, and quality home decor and gifting options.

Prachi Bhatia Its an Hard work

It’s not overnight. It’s your hard work of years and years. It’s not even a few months. It’s years. The kind of trust, the daily job that you want to resonate with your customers.

It takes time for people to do that. So we have been consistent in that. We are constantly aware of animals. We did one campaign in which we wrote, Don’t stop adopting. This packaging also collaborated with four cities: Bangalore, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Delhi with the N GO’S. There were strong messages sent along with cards regarding animals. To adopt and contact the NGO. This was done to educate the customers and people in today’s world, where Flipkart and Amazon have damaged audiences where people buy and send it back, which is not a good thing. This is taking the economy in some places. This is how you create Content

In an era of rapidly changing trends, how does Chokhat stay adaptable while keeping a consistent brand identity, ensuring that you remain relevant and appealing to a large range of customers?

Rapidly changing trends, but in home decor, there are no rapidly evolving trends. Like I said, every house has its feeling to some extent. The house is also a living thing, so it doesn’t change because it represents the people inside it. So it doesn’t change your taste can change. I agree, but your essence can stay the same, so we don’t work with changing trends. We try as many people as can make their products related to them. So, 99 of the products in Chokhat are in gold because gold is one colour reserved and fits in every household.

Gold is something that very smartly slides everywhere, so that is something that we do not believe in rapidly changing trends. The house never changes. Yes, you can have new things to introduce, but it doesn’t change. It doesn’t change like you need a spoon to eat something, so you need it, so that’s not going to change until and unless a robot is feeding you. That’s something very different, like a tangent, but other than that, there is nothing like changing trends in home decor. It’s always all based on the needs and the desires; it’s always like that.

Long-term success often involves overcoming challenges. Could you share an instance where Chokhat faced a significant obstacle to achieving your goals and how the company managed to navigate it while staying true to its vision?

It does; the major challenge which I faced was, which was a major, major obstacle, was that I wasn’t getting the right people, you know. Because initially, like I said, you don’t take anyone seriously because of your age. Plus, you have so many doubts when you start. Like when I started, I was in so much doubt that even if I was doing the right thing.

This self-doubt is so much that you lack confidence in presenting your ideas. So, at that time, I have only 1 lakh rupees. 1 lakh rupees in the product business is a little. It’s a tiny amount. I lost 1 lakh rupees at that time. I never knew.

So, at that time, I lost 15,000 rupees. At that time, I went to the website. I made some things in the people’s place, and I made some things myself. I went to some areas, but the major was that I had very little money; I had to make a product, manufacture it, and sell it, right?

Let’s design 8 -9 products and make 10- 10 pieces. I will start selling because I had that much money. So, I needed more time to listen to the fact that I made ten pieces of customized products. I designed them myself or made ten pieces of bolded things.

Finding the right manufacturing people has been a significant obstacle; it took me years to figure that out. It took me almost three years to find the right people who I could trust, who would give me reasonable prices, who would work for me, and, you know, who align with what I want or where I want to take the job.

After five years, my team is outsourced, but they are more like my own team. I can talk to them like my own team. That was one of the significant challenges I faced, and it took me three years to figure that out because nobody was ready and prepared even to hear what I was saying.

And, to deliver a product consists of a lot of things. It is not just the product. So it is, one is the raw product, okay. The other thing is the coating, and the other thing is the packaging box. And the other thing is the transport. When all of these four things align, then you can give delivery.

So, I aligned all of them with the struggle that nobody was ready to do because if I find someone for manufacturing, then I cannot find the person for coating. So, it is prepared for my layer. If I see someone for coating, someone must make and provide me with the boxes.

He is saying that our minimum order quantity is 200 bucks. So, to align all these things, this was the primary, major obstacle I faced. It took me a good number of years to finally do it right.

Prachi, your journey is truly remarkable. Your hard work and determination are some of the most prominent examples that will send a strong message to the people of this country. Could you describe one of the most pivotal moments in your journey where you had to overcome a significant challenge and how that experience shaped your perspective on entrepreneurship and business?

The most pivotal moment in my journey is I think there have been a couple of things, but no, there was no challenge, so let me say. So, for the initial four years, I was all working alone; I was the one who was designing the product, I was the one who was handling manufacturing, packaging, coating, loading, unloading, everything, I was doing customer handling, social media handling, everything, shipping, finances, finances, everything, so that’s how I have been there.

So, my major struggle was last year when I realized that I needed to grow my team, but growing your team involves money. Now, I am a person who feels that if I hire someone, I should have the ability to pay them. I would hire someone for a long term.

But it would help if you had it. I am the first-generation entrepreneur in my family with no experience. I always used to question this: How will I grow my team? How will I have the money, because that will cut your profits anyway?

That was a challenge, but somehow, this plan made me realize that Ashish was one of the people who joined me last year. He handles packaging, so he joined me. Ever since then, I have had that. How did I manage without him for all this time? So, I would pack my things like thermocol, cutting, as far as I have, I would bring big rolls of bubble on my scooty, I would pack my things, so now I feel that how did I manage without him. So those things slide, like now I am also thinking of hiring another person who can handle the accounts and the odd jobs, creating PR and inventory management and all that stuff.

So, it happens, but the first hiring is the most challenging part.

Entrepreneurship often involves identifying and solving problems. Could you share a specific challenge you encountered while building Chokhat and how you creatively addressed it?

One was that everybody in India wants to export quality products, but they are not available in India. In India, only the essential products are available. Basic, cheap, good, expensive things. There was this gap—the development of the beach needed to be included. So we introduced that. One is this, and the other, like I said, which is superstitious.

So, that was a challenge I initially faced because people were not ready to accept it. It was an exciting challenge that, with the manufacturing end, the people who manufacture my products needed to prepare to manufacture animals.

So, that was an exciting and unexpected challenge. So that challenge faced production end, and precisely, that product was accepted in Indian Middle-Earth families as a challenge. This happened when one of my neighbours bought that bird cage basket I was talking about, my first product.

So she bought it, and she liked it. But she returned it after three or four days because her husband said he didn’t have it at home. So it was a challenge. Once you start educating people about it, people understand and accept it.

So that’s how it has been happening. We have educated people through our social media about animals, acceptance, nature, etc. They have slowly started accepting, and now I don’t feel I am because I have my people set at the manufacturing end.

Also, I am not facing those challenges. I have the people who are ready to make things for me. Our design language may have incorporated that.

Innovation is critical to staying competitive. What’s your approach to fostering a culture of innovation within Chokhat regarding product development and business strategies?

That’s how Chokhat is different from the other brands in the market because what other brands do is back in manufacturers using things and then calling them their own. We don’t function like that. We design the product from scratch, so that’s where we have been able to stay innovative to keep that innovation going within the company, and that’s how we are different from the market.

So yes, we understand the customer, talk to them, their problems, the pain points, what they’re expecting out of us as a brand, what they’re missing in their lives, and then we start from scratch. So it’s not like we’re buying from somewhere, because when you do it when you do when you buy it from the others and tweak it a little and call it their own, what happens is at the end, market means that we will take the product and think we have seen somewhere.

Ultimately, every brand sells it, and we will go down and sell it. But we will never see the product of Chokhat because. That’s how we have been keeping up to date with the culture of innovation because that’s the need of Chokhat, the condition of invention Chokhat.

As an entrepreneur, decision-making is crucial. Can you discuss a tough decision you had to make for Chokhat and the thought process that guided you through it?

The most challenging decision is to start Chokhat. This is something I have never done; nobody near me has ever done it. So, that in itself was a massive decision for me.

When I thought I would do it and started this back in September 2018, I took a deadline of two years for myself. I told myself that if I could not earn a good amount, I would close this and get back to the job. So that’s how I decided, and that was the most challenging decision. That was the start. As an entrepreneur, starting is the most challenging decision. The further process can be handled after you start. But one should always take the clarity to leave the decent salary job and start a business from scratch.

So, making that decision is the most crucial thing for any entrepreneur.

Your Inspirational Quote for the day from Prachi Bhatia 

 There is no inspirational quote for the day. One suggestion I can share with the people who are planning or want to start or have this dream of their startup is to begin.

You will never in life be prepared to start. You will be ready if you gather so many funds, take so much experience, make so many networks or collect so many resources contact. You will always feel like you need more time to feel prepared.

I have seen people with such long experiences in life, like in a job, still failing at running a startup. So, running a startup is a game on your own. So, if you enter here in your career, it will be a different type of game altogether. So, if you want to start, go for it. Everything will fall into place while you are on this journey.

 You will have your learning, failures, milestones, successes, and everything while you are on this journey. So, do whatever you want to do on this journey. Learn whatever you want to learn on this journey. If you make contacts, that will take place in your trip itself. Before you start, the more you want to set your goals and set your goals in the field, it doesn’t guarantee success.

 So, it is the same. The more you want to set your goals, resources, and networks, it doesn’t guarantee success. You might have 20 years of work experience. You can still have an equal chance of failing at running a startup.

So, start and see how it goes. Do not have that regret in mind. I wish I could have done it. I wish I could have done that. Just do it. Just start it. Rest. Everything will fall into place. 

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Author: News Shot 24

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