Women Entrepreneur | Nidhi Seth
The Super Woman
Nidhi, Managing Director of Luxury Solutions, provides consultancy, marketing and other services to luxury brands across industries including banks, automobiles, yachts, retail, real estate, etc in India and internationally. Seth, buckled with her 19 years of rich experience in working with the premium segment and has handled HNI customers and premium partners, is well qualified to talk about luxury consumers and the sector, and indeed works passionately on their behalf.
She is a board advisor to National Luxury Council and has been associated to organize India Luxury Summit. Recently she was conferred “Super Women Achiever Award” at The “World Women Leadership Congress & Awards” wherein women from 66 countries were facilitated for their contribution in different fields. She has been associated with woman-based projects to increase awareness and empower them. She believes in creating value in whatever she does, professional, personal or to the society.
Dipika Chopra caught up with her to learn more about her empowering initiative and much more…
Tell us about your journey so far.
After completing Economic Hons and MBA with dual specialisation in Marketing & Finance, I started working in 1998. I worked for 17years in the corporate world at senior positions, and then started my own work after quitting my role as a CEO. I handled a lot of product launches, marketing, strategizing, etc. Since I had dealt with many premium brands and HNI segment, I had 360degree knowledge of Marketing & Consultancy for brands. I started Luxury Solutions which is into consultancy for luxury and premium brands. Besides marketing initiatives, product launches, brand alliances, we also provide other solutions like training, placements, etc. I am also a board advisor at The National Luxury Council, and I organize The India Luxury Summit every year with ASSOCHAM. I have been felicitated with coveted awards over the years of my work. I have also started an Initiative to Create Awareness Against Domestic Violence called “Empower- Let’s Be The Change”.
Your insight on luxury market in India
Luxury market in India is still nascent and it’s a long way for us to create the right conditions in the market for more luxury brands to come to India. The buyers are there but the infrastructure has to go a long way. India, being a land of the maharajas, has the speel of luxury but not the right environment to sustain at this time. We need to put efforts in the right direction for this to sustain.
How would you define true entrepreneurship?
True entrepreneurship is not giving up in the face of challenges. Ever since I started my own work, there have been challenges. It is different than working in a big corporation. Sometimes clients do not pay or delay payments and many would not keep up to their commitments. People back out on their commitments, and don’t behave ethical at times. At these times, I had thoughts of going back to the corporate world, because of the many challenges faced in starting own work. But Life is all about enduring till you succeed, and so I am here to succeed. Besides the challenges faced, my company has had a successful innings and am sure it’s here to grow further. The key is to be innovative and think ahead. Being an entrepreneur gives a different high of satisfaction, it’s like creating your own baby
What is the greatest learning you have had?
Be grounded, irrespective whatever heights you reach. I deal with many CEO’S/ MD’S of brands, corporates, many influential people in different cities in India and
internationally also. It does not matter what position a person is, being humble is still the key to long term success. Some of the most influential names are most grounded and humble, and that I see is the biggest asset in the long run.
Looking back, can you tell us about your greatest highlights so far?
There were many- I had a campus placement to join American Express wherein I handled Fraud Control on credit cards. I also handled marketing for Amex credit cards and learnt a lot of nuances of product launches and innovation. I was a part of the launch team of Development Bank of Singapore in India, and I received an award in Greece while handling a portfolio of Consumer Banking. I also worked with companies like GE and was the CEO of Luxury Council of India and had a lot of international exposure of handling brands. I received the “Super Women Achiever Award” at ‘World Women Leadership Awards’ wherein women from 66 countries were facilitated.
What does it require to start a business from zero as a woman entrepreneur?
Lot of patience and grit to deal with few hawks in this society we live in. They feel that a woman entrepreneur will not take any action to any wrong doing so the arm can be twisted anyway. If I share a story with you that how a well known brand tried to harm me just because they wanted some money, and backed out on their own commitments, you will be shocked. But if you keep your focus, ethics, hard work and endurance, every woman can succeed. Don’t fear the negative elements and success will be yours if you work with commitment and integrity
What do you think are the keys to professional and business success for women in India?
Integrity, hard work, patience and endurance. Don’t stop till you succeed even if there are road blocks. Those are just
blocks building up for your overall success. When you love, accept and believe in yourself, even the most complicated obstacles can be handled with grace.
But coming back to skills, do you think a woman entrepreneur in general needs to have certain set of skills to start and run her business successfully?
Not necessary, a woman entrepreneur just needs to have perseverance to make anything successful even if there is no particular skill set.
What is the greatest obstacle you have faced in achieving success?
People lack honesty and integrity and keep changing their commitments, and I am a person who believes in working with integrity. Coming from a banking background, where commitments were a way of regular work, I could not understand how could people lie to make a quick buck, by backtracking commitments
What are the things that are totally different than you imagined?
Having good experience in the corporate world, having worked at senior levels, I thought it would not be that difficult to succeed in one’s own business. But with the ‘big fish then tries to eat the small fish’ thinking one will not have enough resources in terms of legal, people and others, so they try to backtrack commitments. But again with endurance and hard work, I have been able to turn around a successful venture.
Have there been challenging times of doubts about your profession?
Yes there have been few times when things have been challenging, but perseverance has kept me going, and have turned around things. Entrepreneurship gives me a greater sense of satisfaction.
Advice would you give young women who want to follow a similar path as you?
Work with integrity and perseverance, and you can achieve anything
What is the biggest way in which you see women helping women reach empowerment?
Women power can create anything. We should support each other emotionally and encourage each other to achieve the unimaginable.
Your plans for the future?
Our company is a niche in the market and we have experience to innovatively bring solutions. We are in talks with some international luxury brands to help expand their base. The future is exciting.