Making a career out of wedding planning: Sanna Vohra
Indear.in offers end-to-end solutions for Indian weddings and was founded in 2014 and. Sanna Vohra, founder and CEO of indear.in shares why and how she decided to take the plunge into entrepreneurship.
Tell us a little about yourself?
I grew up all over Asia – in India, Singapore, and the Philippines. I then attended Brown University in the US, after which I started my first company and got a taste of entrepreneurship. After graduating in 2012, I joined Morgan Stanley New York’s investment banking franchise, where I focused on equity transactions in the technology sector. However, the entrepreneurial bug never really left me. After two years of working with inspiring technology CEOs on their initial public offerings and selling their stories to investors, I knew I had to go back to my first love.
How and when did the idea of Indear.in come about?
I was working at Morgan Stanley in New York and was in Mumbai for a week in January 2014, while a good friend was planning her sister’s wedding. To give me a sense of the location, her outfits, décor ideas, and the invitations, my friend had to go through multiple email threads, whatsapp groups and a word document with pictures pasted onto it. I remember thinking to myself, this is so inefficient – there had to be a better way to plan a wedding. I went back to my job but continued doing research, and realised that no comprehensive tool existed. A few months later I moved to India and Indear was born: an end-to-end inspiration, planning and shopping portal for Indian weddings.
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Can you tell us what your businesses' core service offering is?
We provide the most extensive image-based search engine for Indian weddings, where users can search just about anything – from floral centrepieces to chiffon sarees. The level of detail users can search by is unparalleled. Once users find what they like, they can save images onto boards and share these boards with family and friends to get their opinions. They can also contact brands and vendors directly to hire them through the brand profiles provided.
On Indear Shop users can purchase wedding fashion, costume jewellery, gifts and favours from the best wedding designers and vendors across the country. In December, we are launching our services marketplace where users will be able to book services like venues, caterers, hair / make-up artists, and mehendi artists directly from us as well. We are an end-to-end platform for planning Indian weddings.
What is a typical day at work like for you?
Like most founders of early stage companies, I really do not have a typical day. I like to tackle my largest or most difficult task first thing in the morning, though – so that is something that stays consistent. The rest of the day is typically spent testing and giving feedback on new products and features being launched, tracking marketing campaigns, speaking to brands and vendors, and planning new initiatives with the team.
What is the one thing that inspired you to turn entrepreneur as opposed to pursuing a job?
I thrive on building businesses, and being able to build a business in a field I love and am passionate about makes it all the more satisfying. Nothing makes me happier than having a customer tell me that Indear made the wedding planning process simpler for them, or that Indear helped them find an idea or an outfit or a piece of jewellery that made their wedding celebrations more special.
In entrepreneurship, what key points are important to work by?
My advice would be to really listen to your future users, make sure you are building a platform that really fits their needs and wants. Pay a lot of attention to cultural fit when building a team. Make sure you have people you can speak to when you are stressed. And build a business you truly love.
In your field of work / sector - what are the major challenge areas?
A major challenge (and something we take very seriously) is ensuring that we are bringing high-quality vendors onto the platform whom couples can trust on their big day. Another challenge is making sure we are building a platform that is easy to use and navigate for our users, and that actually meets their needs.
What is the one thing you would say to a fellow aspiring entrepreneur?
Tackle your hardest problem first thing in the morning.