As a startup founder in a fiercely competitive fashion industry, I am driven to succeed because my work brings happiness and adds a dash of color to people’s lives.
At India Boulevard, an online boutique for custom Indian menswear and womenswear, we aim to democratize fashion by making designer apparel affordable and accessible to everyone.
The journey is never easy, especially when you are chasing your dream in a foreign land. Nevertheless, the lessons learned are far superior.
Here are five mantras that drive the way I do business — important lessons I’ve learned along the way.
1. Passion drives the plan
Seeds have be sown with passion. Over time, every idea will blossom into a flower when it’s nurtured. The importance of being passionate about what you do, therefore, can never be overlooked. Passion is a driving force — especially during challenging times. The right attitude coupled with passion is a recipe for success in any endeavor.
2. Have a clear vision and goal
It is very important to have a clear vision and goal for your business. It is never just about what you are doing. Instead, it is about why you are doing it. When we understand the purpose behind the existence of an organization, we can clearly communicate it and convince others to invest and believe in it too.
Vision and goals help to define future impact. When you know what you aim to achieve and have a clear vision of how you are going to chase your goals, you are on the path to success.
3. Take risks and adapt
Most success stories have an element of risk woven within their journey. When I launched India Boulevard I took a risk by entering a market that was already crowded with too many players.
I discovered my right to win, with a clear understanding of niche products and exclusive service. I’ve had to adapt to the change in demand on a daily basis. The key to my success so far is based on the risks I’ve taken and my ability to accommodate changes along the way. The key is to survive market changes without compromising your mission.
4. Innovate and stay consistent
For a business to consumer (B2C) company in a creative industry discipline of innovation and consistency will safeguard the road ahead. Sustainable innovation is about marrying profit with core business growth.
For example, before we execute a new plan or develop a new process we identify innovations can be made within our bandwidth with consistency. Long-term impact is the genesis of our innovative thinking. It is a part of our company culture.
5. Be a leader
Being an entrepreneur is not just about running a successful company. It’s essential to create a healthy, creative and proactive work environment. It is critical to understand that you cannot succeed alone. The first step towards leadership is to build a team.
I lead by example. It’s important for me to promote my employees so they have the opportunity to grow as professionals. Their growth becomes our growth and vise versa.
But leadership extends far beyond our offices. It is important to emerge as an industry thought leader as well. Learn how the society you live in functions and operates. Contribute to its future and you will secure your company’s existence and longevity.
This article has been edited.
Akta Adani is the founder of India Boulevard, a San Francisco-based online boutique for Indian menswear and womenswear. Akta is former finance professional turned fashion tech entrepreneur. She is a coffee lover and prefers to take the road less traveled. Connect with @indiaboulevard on Twitter.