Meet the SHEROES - Priyanka Padode
“I'm here to build real value - offer great content, and build a community where people help each other make home and decor related decisions”, says the 25 year old founder of "Dezign Genie" , Priyanka Padode.
Dezign Genie is a platform that offers users to browse through professional home designs. Priyanka shares her thoughts about the venture with us today and what she hopes to achieve as an entrepreneur.
Tell us about yourself
I am from Bombay though I moved to New York in 2008 to pursue my graduation in Journalism and Media Studies from New York University. After that, I worked at a digital marketing agency in NYC where I worked on digital strategy for brands like Lay’s, Pepsi and MasterCard. I moved back to Mumbai in August 2014 and have been working on different aspects of DezignGenie ever since. I also have a health food blog. I’m super passionate about food and fitness.
How did the idea of "Dezign Genie" come about?
I was pursuing an undergraduate degree in Journalism and Media at New York University and went on to work at a leading digital marketing agency in New York where I handled social media presence and strategy for global brands like Lays, Pepsi and MasterCard.
After moving back to Mumbai, I delved head on into my family’s B2B publishing business with magazines in construction, interiors, infrastructure and related sectors. Work brought me face-to-face with India’s top architects and Interior designers and they all had one thing to say about the industry—there was no organized place where users could browse through real designs done by professionals, connect with them and source products all at the same place. And thus, DezignGenie was born.
How long has it been since you started your venture and what has the journey till now been like?
I jumped into the idea of DezignGenie last September. After a few failed models and events, I started re-conceptualizing it in February and launched a new interface in June. The response was really good for the first two months, now we're undergoing some changes to bring a lot more features out on the table - we're launching a few really exciting things up until December/Jan, so stay tuned!
Regardless, it's been a roller coaster ride in the best sense - lots of ups and downs, frankly more downs in the beginning that teach you some amazing lifelong lessons - I wouldn't trade this journey for anything.
What is a typical day at work like for you?
I reach office around 10am, go through news articles, social media sites and stay up to date along with my morning cup of coffee. I then outline my to-dos for the day. I touch base with my team at different points and what their main deliverables for the day are, then I jump into just about everything - marketing, tech, HR troubles, admin, Business development, pitches, planning team outings, hiring new people - you name it! Depending on my priorities at hand for the week, I knock things off one at a time. My work day in the office ends anywhere between 7pm and 8pm.
Depending on whether I have things left, I complete them post dinner at home. As a rule though, I try not to work too late as it becomes really hard to switch off and unwind (which is really necessary especially in entrepreneurship). I need to make sure to get in my sleep or else I'm in for an unproductive work day the next morning!
What differentiates your venture from other Design companies?
I'm not looking for DezignGenie to become a marketplace. I don't want to compete with an e-commerce seller who will offer deep discounts for loyalty. In fact there is a reason the burn rate is so high in such sectors - you need to spend money to offer them the deepest discounts, often offered by the company and not the manufacturer, so that you can retain customers.
I'm here to build real value - offer great content, and build a community where people help each other make home and decor related decisions. The platform I aim to create will be the starting point for anyone looking to do up their homes or make any change associated with it. That kind of loyalty can only be gained by a brand and community people can trust and rely on, and that's a kind if community that has no shelf life.
Where do you hope to see yourself and the company in the next five years?
I see DezignGenie being the point of contact for everyone who wants to make home related decisions. I want it to be the richest content provider, solutions provider for the home sector. Millions of people will be logging onto my site everyday to get inspired, to purchase from vendors directly and hire professional services. Not only will we be adding value to the users, but we will also be generating high quality leads for the professional and vendor.
What thoughts would you like to sign off with?
We're backed by a 17 year old publication house in the construction and interiors sector (CW Interiors Magazine, Construction World etc.) so we know the space we're venturing into. We're not just entrepreneurs because it is the IT thing to do, we are here to really fulfill a need, organize a huge unorganized segment, and we come from a place of experience. In this cutthroat market, we hope to create a user friendly, loyal consumer base that will benefit from our platform every single day! We're here to make their dream homes a reality. Your Home. Your Way.