We had a chance to Interview Mr. Suresh Radhakrishnan Nair, CEO Festivya. Let's see what he has to say...
1. Tell us something about your brand.
Festivya is a one-stop shop for anyone who is looking to buy designer jewellery, specifically handmade designer jewellery. We partner with upcoming designers and artisans across India and give their creations increased visibility and a wider audience. Through Festivya we are creating a responsible shopping platform where the buyer knows the authenticity and hard work of the designer and appreciates handcrafted products.
2. How did you get your idea or concept for the business?
The tale of Festivya starts from one of the rural India travels I did with my co-founders Rahul and Mathew in 2015. In Kerala and Tamil Nadu, we saw some fantastic handmade works by artisans in local markets. As much pretty as they look, we got to know the real story where the artisans make meager wages since most of their products are sold at heavy discounts leaving them with close to nothing. This invoked the thought of creating something that would give the artisans a fair price for their work and bring quality shoppers to buy their products. That’s how Festivya was born.
3. What was your mission at the outset?
Festivya aims at bringing fair pricing to artisanal jewellery, by promoting and recognizing artisans and designers, and increasing the visibility of Indian artisanal jewellery in international markets.
4. What service(s) or product(s) do you offer/manufacture?
We represent the niche segment of handmade designer and artisanal jewellery.
5. How do you advertise your brand?
We started advertising mainly through social media channels, and have also started collaborations with bloggers, and fashion and lifestyle influencers, with good success.
6. What are your company’s goals?
As a company, our main goal is to help upcoming designers and rural artisans support themselves through their craft. By promoting handcrafted Indian jewellery and providing a fair pricing to artisans and designers, we hope to create a responsible shopping experience.
7. What is unique about your brand?
Festivya is unique in many ways. For the artisan or designer, we help them sell their designs by not just providing a platform, but also support them in the form of marketing, shipping, payments management, and much more. For the customer, what we sell at Festivya is an experience - a unique shopping experience of handmade Indian designer and artisanal jewellery. We provide stylists to help customers choose jewellery for their attire, making an almost store-like experience for them. At Festivya, we sell only handmade jewellery and our customers ( patrons) appreciate the creativity and hard work of the artisans.
8. Tell us about an accomplishment you are most proud of.
I think, looking back, it’s been almost a year since we had launched, with a not very good looking website, and only 3 designers. Today, less than a year later, we’ve completely redone our website to make it easy to use and very functional. We have over 20 designers working with us, from all parts of India – Delhi, Udaipur, Kolkata, Bhubaneswar, Bangalore, Trivandrum, Bellary, Erode – spanning urban and rural, from housewives to traditional artisans, we’ve been able to support them and help them sell their designs.
9. Where do you see yourself in next 5 years?
We see Festivya as THE online destination for customers from all over the world to shop for Indian artisanal handmade jewellery, making it an internationally acclaimed platform for Indian artisanal jewellery!
10. What motivates you?
We believe in the Win-Win-Win mantra – if the designers we work with are happy, and our customers are happy, then it’s a win for the company as well. We work closely with all the designers who partner with us, providing feedback and suggestions to help them grow. We (the founding team) also interact directly with many customers, and we do what we can to make sure that they are satisfied, both with the selected designs and with Festivya. So, to answer your question, what motivates us is knowing that if we do our jobs well, we will be able to see our customers delighted, and our designers excited.
11. If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out, what would it be?
Don’t wait for the right time to start. Take the plunge, even if you’re doing it part time, or after your regular job. Believe in the cause and work towards fulfilling your dream.
12. How do you balance Work and Life together?
Being in the epicenter of activity, I personally work on a routine and try to stick by it. I make it a point to spend at least half an hour a day exercising, whether an outdoor run, cycling, the gym, or badminton. I try to stick to a regular work schedule, but for a startup, work-life balance is not on the top of your mind. It however helps that my wife is also part of the company and we work on this together. I am also a big believer in creating stress-free work environments which in turn positively impacts productivity and creates harmony in one's life.
13. What are you planning next?
International presence is something that has been on our mind and we are very close to setting up our US operations. We hope to launch soon and are very excited about it!
14. Future of SALISONLINE.in through your eyes?
Salisonline has a very youth centric aura around it. I am hoping to see it become a fabulous fashion and lifestyle influencing platform for youngsters.