Jyoti Saxena runs a number of businesses in the State which brings its own trials and tribulations. She spoke to Ajit John about the challenges and her plans for the future
The life of an entrepreneur is filled with stress. The stress of snagging the next order. The stress of paying the bills, the salaries and keeping the staff focussed. In short generally keeping a track of every minute aspect of the business. It is not a life meant for everyone. For Jyoti Saxena the person behind Fashion Labels, the daughter of a now retired naval officer, she moved all along the coast of India on her fathers’ assignments. Such was her life. A resident of Goa since 1999, she moved to Delhi in 2011 after her marriage but returned home around two years ago.
Prior to her being an entrepreneur, she worked in Bengaluru and then in Mumbai with Balaji Tele films in casting. In 2007-08, she went to Bali and did a Spa Director course and returned to Goa because her parents had settled here. The family owned property in Bogmalo which she converted into a spa called Amanya Spa and Salon, her first initiative. She then launched a Spa consultancy which she did for a year and did quite a few assignments.
A year and a half ago she launched 12 AM PM in collaboration with Ankur and Priyanka Modi. At the same time, she also launched a home furnishing store in Arpora. The company she says is not only into retail but they also manufacture, export, interior projects in Arpora the company manufactures cushions, wall arts, baskets. A lot of local input is taken, baskets are made in Goa and a lot of stitching takes place in North India. The company has the services of artisans from all over the country. The company is based in Goa but the country and the world as a whole is their market.
Saxena said “We have done six interior projects in the last six months, furnished villas, hotels, penthouses. We are affordable luxury, we recently completed a project for Rs 6 lakh. The idea is we want to cater to the masses and do quality work.”
Conducting business in the State can be a challenge. She had booked the space at the TAJ Vivanta for the 12 AM PM outlet but to get the registration and the relevant papers in order, it took 8.5 months and the time came to sign the papers yet again for the extension of the lease. Manpower is another problem and then there is the general reluctance to accept change. People in Goa she said took time to absorb. In Mumbai and Delhi, she said if she opened an outlet and if there was enough of hype created people would come. Whereas, in Goa, one had to work very hard to exist. Most of her clients are non-Goan as well as international. She also deals with several architects because they are wholesalers for fabric which is required by them. She said in 2017 after the launch it was consolidation and in 2018 there were several clients who were based in Goa. The company, she said will now sustain comfortably for the next ten years in Goa.
In the next three years she intends to bring in a lot of designs in quilts and upholstery. Work is ongoing and copyright work is being completed. They are also doing something exclusive with mirrors that will beautify the walls by just using them. They intend to use a lot of traditional weaves and this collection will be launched in March this year.
Funding is a vital element in any business and the company is not short of people interested in backing their projects. Profits generated are put back into the business. Interested partners work on equity and that makes them a part of the company. This, she says will ensure the partner will grow as the company grows and he will get his equal and fair share.
And then there are entrepreneurs who don’t just strive for perfection in their professional arenas but also strongly believe in contributing their best to society at large. Jyoti Jahnavi Saxena is one personality who proudly falls into this second category of entrepreneurs. Not resting on the laurels of each successful venture, from the time she stepped into the arena in 2006, her drive for new achievements despite all odds has led Jyoti to proudly enrich the traits defining such an entrepreneur.
Known for her holistic approach towards life personally as well as professionally, Jyoti strives to bring the world to your doorstep. Her interests lie in the rarest of fields and urged by an eagerness to discover new talent and fresher concepts for the society, she is never satiated. As an entrepreneur she believes that ideas should not always be explored solely for their commercial worth, but rather be developed further and put in the market to benefit society at large. She is also a core volunteer for Yes to Life, Maati Ghar and many such NGOs striving for upliftment of the youth. Brought up in a family background steeped in the tradition of the Indian Navy, service and discipline come natural to her. She is driven by a powerful motivation to get her country back into the international radar by reviving India’s dying arts with a touch of modern approach.