Pushkar & Akanksha Kanwal Shukla, Co-founders of Beatitude receives the Global Achievers Award 2021 for Manufacturing Quality Sarees of Global standards. Pushkar is an Indian by heart and positively thinks for the growth of the country & society. Through Beatitude, he envisions promoting Indian art & culture globally. Here’s an exclusive interview with Pushkar & Akanksha Kanwal Shukla:
Please tell us a bit about yourself.
I, Pushkar Shukla, am an Indian by heart and soul. After my master’s degree in business management from the world’s best institutes, I worked in various industries across the globe. When it came to settlement I came back to India, got married to Akanksha Kanwal Shukla. Akanksha is my partner in life and business. I am a patron of Indian art and culture. India being culturally supremely rich, I chose to start such a business where I could promote Indian art and rich culture. Handcrafted Indian sarees reflect the real spirit and warmth of the Indian culture, plus promoting it gives livelihood to Indian artisans. I am glad that globally I could promote and grow this business multi-fold and thus serve my country in various ways. Thanks to my brand’s patrons across the globe who admire & love us so much. My brand ‘Beatitude’ is a luxury destination to a few of the world’s best handwoven and handcrafted designer sarees. Beatitude means supreme blessedness – a feeling that all our customers get at every touchpoint with us.
What were the challenges that you faced initially and how did you overcome them?
After working in MNCs when we started Beatitude, the primary challenges were two. E-commerce is dominated by a few brands who are very good at logistics, within 2 days delivery etc. The first challenge was to make the audience understand the fact that handloom/handcrafted products take more time compared to power loom or machine-made products, to manufacture and to get delivered at their doorsteps. To overcome this challenge, we adopted one of the brand’s pillars i.e., Complete Transparency with our customers. The team rather than giving any false commitment used to educate buyers about the detail of work involved in making their masterpieces and the time involved to ship the product at their doorsteps. After receiving the products, 96.2% of clients were more than happy to have waited. The second big challenge was to manage cash flows. To address the issues related to cash flow we adopted 2 strategies, first was to give discounts on prepaid orders, the second was to request raw material vendors to give credit periods. I am still thankful to all my vendors who trusted us in our initial days.
What has been your most significant achievement?
Our most significant achievement is that 95.2% of our customers have given us a 5-star rating and over 80% of our customers are returning customers. I dedicate the achievement of an average growth rate of 2480% in 6 years and achieving this reputed global award to my customers and Beatitude team, in totality we form the ‘Beatitude Family’.
How do you come up with new ideas?
We are an ‘open innovation’ concept company. We do not follow the chain or prism structure. Being a small team of creative people, we are always loaded with new concepts & ideas. We derive ideas from nature, we carefully listen to our customers and derive concepts from their requirements, we observe daily aspects of life and keep converting those into a masterpiece. I have many members in the team who are experts in textile and designing. We brainstorm upon the practical and fiscal viability of these concepts & try to launch fresh, unique concepts every time.
Who is your biggest inspiration?
My biggest inspiration is Mr Ratan Naval Tata, who possesses the global vision, is an Indian by heart, and positively thinks for the growth of the country & society.
What motivates you?
Innovation & originality are the two motivating elements for me. I am most excited while working upon new ideas and concepts.
What does a typical day look like for you?
My typical day starts with worshipping God followed by a 30 minute work-out. Then I note down all the key tasks to be completed, in my diary. After reaching the office I work upon various tasks allocated, priority wise. Then start meetings related to business strategy, numbers, ideas, work progress and launches in various verticals with respective departments. My team is well equipped to handle the business aspects; they help me make the right decision during these meetings. Mostly we leave late from the office. After reaching back home, I and Akanksha go for a walk then spends some quality time together, sometimes over a glass of wine followed by dinner.
Who do you look toward for advice?
It depends on the subject matter, mostly my team or else subject expert consultants.
How do you define success?
For me, success is in happiness. Happiness cannot be quantified but customers giving us positive feedback, admiring us and helping us grow is success for me; I offer happiness to society, weavers, and their families.
What are your growth plans for the next 12 months?
We look forward to a growth rate of 6200% in 2022 by launching a unique & exclusive range of products for saree lovers across the globe.