Meet The SHEROES: Jagrati Shringi, Voylla
It all started back when my husband Vishwas (co-founder & CEO of Voylla) and I used to live in America, and our friends back there used to ask us to bring ethnic jewelry as a souvenir for them. We had a difficult time looking for that kind of jewelry as it wasn’t easily available everywhere, and what was available was not skin friendly. We realized there was a clear need to create a high quality, design-centric brand. Moving back to India became a life-altering decision for us and we brought our dream alive by launching Voylla Retail Pvt. Ltd.
I was always a studious kid--I went to NIT for engineering, worked for three years and then went for a masters at the University of Pittsburgh. My first job was with C-DoT; the feverish energy at the company to create cutting edge projects on threadbare budget was the perfect launchpad to my startup journey.
I joined Laurel Networks while I was still working on my MS. Nothing can require better time management than being a full-time student while working at high tech start up, where almost everybody else is much smarter! This is where I learnt the very basics--hard work, determination and the planning to achieve success when resources are scarce.
Childhood in the City of Lakes
I grew up in the peaceful city of lakes, Bhopal. The mere mention of childhood brings a rainbow of memories, of a small house and in there lived people with big hearts. My dad, as I always say, is and will always remain a figure much larger than life.
Coming from a very conservative family, with many more daughters than anyone wanted, my dad ensured my sister and I get the best that he could afford. While money was tight, time was not. No TV or gadget to distract us ensured we had a lot of time for the family. Whatever good there is in me today is because two people worked very hard on their kids many moons ago.
On ‘stand-ups’ and ‘wrestling’
Typically, my day starts at 5 am with meditation and workout. I prepare lunch for my two sons and send them off to school. My workday begins by 9 and the time just flies. Most days start with a stand-up with my various teams; we follow an agile methodology of working and these stand-ups help me understand the progress and solve challenges if any.
I have strategy meetings in the second half of the day. Evening are spent catching up on communication. The beauty of a startup is that no two days are alike! Every day is a new challenge and a new turf to conquer.
I am typically back by 8:30 pm and make the most of the little time with my children. I read stories to them, wrestle with them (huge WWE fans, both of them) or watch my husband make up bedtime stories for them. Watching the three of them bond over pretend fights, a game of football on the street, or a bowl of ice-cream is an absolute delight.
The roadblocks and how we crossed them
Quality was a major concern, as there was no consistency in the local artisans’ jewelry and people had a notion that imitation jewelry would cause allergic reactions on the body.
So, we decided to create a platform for skilled craftsmen and talented designers to showcase their talent in the world of jewelry by emphasizing on high quality and innovative designs.
Another challenge was liquidity of cash. We started with one room and three people and were growing rapidly, but we didn’t have enough money to sustain. All rounds of funding came to us at just the right moment!
Looking forward: All set to create a world-class brand
Voylla is going to be the go-to brand for everything fashion. ‘What is in vogue is at Voylla’ will be the slogan every fashionista will live by.
We are going to launch 100 stores by the end of this financial year. Nearly five million unique visitors come to the site every month; we are all set to create a world class brand!
I cannot imagine a life without Voylla. What if there was? I believe in doing what one is passionate about. Dancing, cooking and working out are some other things I am passionate about; I am sure I would have woven my career around one of those.
On SHEROES and journeys:
I love the name SHEROES. I truly believe there is a hero in every “She”. I have been fortunate to have met and worked with many of them.
Life is too short to not take chances. As it is said, it will not be easy but it will be worth it. You will enjoy the journey so much that the destination would not matter. Go, dive into it and face your fears! Do what you truly believe in. Shine bright and keep making this world a better place!