Successful entrepreneurs have a history of multiple pitfalls. They take a fall and then lift themselves up to build from scratch again, till they make things right. And then there are some other entrepreneurs for whom one venture is not enough. They grow and scale multiple businesses parallelly, each with passion and hunger for success. One such serial entrepreneur is Meeta Gutgutia, the Co-Founder of Ferns N Petals, and Founder of Sipping Thoughts & Women Listed.
The Channel 46 caught up with Meeta Gutgutia, the Co-Founder of Ferns N Petals, and Founder of Sipping Thoughts & Women Listed, to share what prompted her to start her three businesses and offer advice to would-be serial entrepreneurs, and more.
What is your educational and professional background?
My schooling is from Bihar. I studied in a Hindi medium school. During my growing up years, I was always interested in fashion and pursued a degree in fashion design, from Delhi University. I was always armed with a dictionary as I understood that a good vocabulary is an important skill set I needed to master.
Tell us a little bit about your 3 businesses and what prompted you to start them.
In 1994, when Ferns N Petals was laying its foundation, I decided to stand with my husband, Vikas Gutgutia, and support him in his dream of making Ferns N Petals a top flower brand in the country. It has been a long and rewarding journey. For over two and a half decades, Ferns N Petals has been the only name that resonates with our patrons when they think about flowers and gifting solutions.
Once FNP has scaled the heights we envisioned, I decided to start a platform that talks about women’s issues and supports them. Therefore, in 2017, I started Sipping Thoughts to encourage these important conversations related to people of my own gender. Sipping Thoughts now is a flourishing digital media brand that focuses on women-centric content and has a monthly audience of more than 4 million women.
It’s a sad reality in this world that men are recognised more compared to women for their work. There is a huge gender gap in both work opportunities and pay parity. This made me come up with a platform, which will list and give visibility to every professional woman.
I came up with Women Listed in August 2021 to provide working women with a platform that motivates them to redefine success on their own terms. The mission of Women Listed is to help women navigate the future of work. We provide networking, marketing, and upskilling support to women across industries and geographical locations in India.
As a serial entrepreneur, what advice would you like to share with women who are looking to start up their own venture?
As a woman entrepreneur, the advice I would give is to:
- Have a business plan in place
- Invest in a good team, and
- Continue to upskill
- Keep a close hold on finances
- Raise investment, if needed
- Keep a check on POI Vs investments
The learning curve should always be upward and onward for businesses to follow that direction. Patience, perseverance, and punctuality are the three Ps I swear by – something all professionals should follow.
Considering Ferns N Petals is such a roaring success, what’s your take on the future of the gifting market in India?
Flowers are known to bring visual soulful delights, and also appeal to your olfactory senses. We brought standardisation to an unorganised sector. While we had the first movers’ advantage, we also faced many challenges such as poor logistics, an unskilled workforce and also dealt with perishable products, making establishing and unscaling the business tough in the 90s. The meteoric rise of the digital world has given a boost to all gifting businesses. In the coming years, we will see an increase in the number of easy gifting options available on e-commerce sites. Our challenge is not technology or logistics today, it is the competition. As an industry, this trend will encourage growth.
Which networking groups & showcasing events have you found to be most useful as an entrepreneur?
Sipping Thoughts came into being because I saw the need for a platform where women can connect, network and learn from one another. Most of the network groups are speaker-centric and we were driving conversations. Though, there are some great industry bodies such as CII, TIE and FICCI, we need to have more till we eradicate the prejudices and biases that one witnesses at workspaces and homes – when it comes to women taking decisions.
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