Women En­tre­pre­neur | Nidhi Seth

The Super Woman

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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.

Nidhi Seth with Am­bass­dor of Brunei & Am­bas­sador of Jor­dan

Nidhi Seth

H.E. Mo­hamed Ma­liki- Am­bas­sador of Morocco with Nidhi Seth

Nidhi Seth with Xavier Ho (Sin­ga­pore Air­lines- North In­dia Head)

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