Meet the SHEROES - Pri Shewakramani
Pri Shewakramani co-founded The Beach Company with Harshad Daswani in order to combine her two passions: travel and fashion. Pri also works as a marketing consultant for retail brands including Havaianas, Guess Watches, Gc and ROYCE’ Chocolates.
In another world, Pri was an accountant, she quit her job to follow her job, we catch up with this awesome lady -
Tell us more about yourself.
I studied at Bombay International School and Kodaikanal International School before obtaining a Bachelor of Science in Business with a specialization in accounting and finance and a minor in economics at Indiana University Bloomington, USA.
I began working at Deloitte and Touche and spent two years working in audit in Indianapolis during which time I became a CPA (Certified Public Accountant).
Travel is my biggest passion. I love the thrill of discovering a new place. I also am a certified scuba diver and a beach bum at heart!
After a career in accounting, how did you decide to work with Conde Nast Traveller?
Deloitte, the accounting firm I worked with had a wonderful sabbatical programme for employees. As part of my sabbatical I spent three months at CNT and then never ended up looking back.
During the sabbatical I attended Spanish language school, volunteered on organic farms in Spain, where I had to do jobs like plucking tomatoes, work in the chicken house, live in a room that was not very clean. I was completely out of my comfort zone doing all this was nice. After Spain, I went to South America, where I fell sick and came back to Mumbai.
I still had three months of my sabbatical left, when I stumbled upon Condé Nast Traveller, which was then just getting ready to launch in India. I volunteered to work for free for them and that’s when I wrote my travel story.
(Also Read - Why is Travelling Overrated?)
After completing three months there, I went back to US, but the moment I stepped into my office, I realized I just couldn’t do the accounting job and I decided to leave it behind.
I was part of the original team that launched the Condé Nast Traveller website and also played an integral role in developing the Condé Nast Traveller Luxury Guide to India mobile app.
What was the inspiration for starting-up The Beach Company?
While I was working with Condé, I missed the business part of my work and that’s when my partner Harshad Daswani came up with this idea.
Harshad had a dream of a surf shop in Goa. TheBeachCompany.in transpired from that dream but with a healthy dose of reality! Travel in India is growing at an exponential rate. You can see that every tourism board in the world is investing in India as a market. The mission was to be the number one beach holiday shop in the world where we sell everything but water!
We thought of beginning as an e-commerce company, for the initial 3 months we spent time meeting vendors, doing photo shoots and a conceptualizing. I remember the first photo shoot. We were to do all 20 shots in one day, and I had never done something as challenging as that.
Where do you see the company in five years from now?
Right now, we have offline presence in 12 boutique hotels in Goa, Mumbai and Pondicherry. Five years from now, TBC will have its own standalone stores in Goa, Pondicherry and Bombay. We will also be present in 50 hotel boutiques around India and Asia.
Yours is the first of kind company in India, has the market adapted to fashionable swim wear?
India is definitely nowhere close to where the International market is today but over the 10 years it has evolved a lot. Indians are generally conservative, 10 years back not many people were open to sarongs, bikinis and tankinis. But today if you go to a Leela Goa or someplace like that, you can see a lot of teenagers in bikinis or fashionable swimwear. The number is still very small but will certainly increase.
A message to SHEROES out there
Find your passion and follow it. There is another thing I’d like to add, which nobody told when I began my career – It is perfectly fine to try different things and experiment. You never know what works out, take risks and discover.