Kraftedknots in conversation with Indigo Nation
1. What defines your dream for living?
“As long as there is life, there is hope. – Stephen Hawking”. This is a mantra we wake up to each day. We want to make a difference – not just to our bank balance – but to lives of others as well. The world today is beset by so many problems but in the middle of all that, we find hope in the actions of kind, compassionate, intelligent people. The dream is to be a part of a world community which puts more value on the inherent goodness of people and utilizes that to create inclusive, happy, friendly, non-judgmental spaces for ourselves and our future generations – Spaces where animals, nature and humans are treated with thoughtfulness and empathy and where wealth is not about money but about character.
2. How does it feel to be your own boss?
It feels wonderful. It means you are in charge of making things happen and charting your own course. It comes with a great amount of responsibility as well because being your own boss means there is that much more pressure to perform and achieve the milestones in this journey. Being your own boss means you never really do switch off from work as you are constantly ideating. But when you love what you do, every aspect of work becomes enjoyable.
3. What do you like doing apart from being a full-time entrepreneur?
Travel is a passion for Ekta & I. While travelling for work is always on the agenda, both of us make sure to take time out to travel just for leisure. Ekta is a certified diver and goes on regular diving trips. She enjoys the whole new world that exists underwater. I am very closely involved with animal welfare and animal rescues and I enjoy spending time with rescued animals at the shelters we support.
4. How do you define ‘change’ in your personal and professional life?
We have come to believe that change is the only constant. Stagnation is never an option and we welcome change, both personally and professionally. Change is what gets you thinking and thinking leads to action – that is the way forward for us.
5. What are the coolest trends of startup world, which you’d like to share with your fellow audience?
In the last few years, we have seen numerous startups come up and flourish. One of the coolest things we have noticed is the movement away from what is considered “normal” . Out of the box thinking also leads to out of the box work culture where people are not stifled by strict definitions of behavior/ dress codes etc. Startups are usually filled with younger people full of ideas and open creative spaces to explore outside the normative standards. We like to think of it as disrupting age old norms and dogmas and bringing something completely fresh on the table.
6. Do you effortlessly embrace fashion that comes in or you make your own style statement?
I think I speak for both Ekta and myself when I say that we do not blindly follow fashion. Fashion keeps changing but style is timeless. We like to think of ourselves as stylish without picking on every single “new” trend that erupts on the fashion scene. We prefer to create our own style statements. We dress for the occasion and our style mantra could be defined as chic, understated and subtle.
7. So what is your and your teams’ style statement? Can you capture it in a photo for us?
Our team is full of young people and they all have different styles and statements. We don’t have strict dress codes at work but we do expect people to respect the workplace.
8. What are the top 3 reasons why the fashion will rule the startup culture?
Every single individual has a sense of fashion and style. In regular offices, that gets streamlined into formals and workwear. In the startup world’s culture, people are more free to dress to their comfort and experiment with new styles and looks. Fashion will rule the startup culture because there are very little “do’s and don’t’s” and clients understand that as well. So it is easier to be trendy and on point with your style than in a regular workplace.
9. What differentiates you as person and your team from other startups/ from the competitive startup ecosystem?
We have tried very hard to keep our work environment very informal. Our team hangs out together and we never come across as their boss. We are very friendly and approachable as people and make sure we have casual interactions with our team often. We give a lot of leeway to our team to think, ideate, create and explore and give them the scope to try out new things in the work arena without too much interference from us. We believe in giving great degree of independence to our team and there are no set work timings or work days. Our team understands that and when there is work to be done, we work 24/7 and when it is time to relax, we take time off. We are both very hands on and that is something which we don’t want to change. If our team is working 18 hour days, they know that we are also doing the same and it works as great motivation for them to know that they are not alone.
10. What advice you’d like to give the [other] millennials in launching their startups?
If you start something thinking of all the money you can make, it will not work long term. If you have passion for what you want to do and faith in the idea, money will be a by-product. Honesty will take you places. Being honest with your team, your clients and most of all yourselves will save you a lot of trouble. Good work ethics leads to great working environments. If you have partners, be honest with them and make sure that the end results you want are the same as what they want. Ability to clearly communicate with partners without accusations or blame games is important when there are thorny issues at hand. Patience is the key, as everything takes time to pick up and start working. A good team is an investment that will give you the best returns. Progress will not be yours alone – it will belong to the entire team and making sure you value and respect that will bode well for the future. Hard work has no substitute and it always, always pays.