Dreamer to Entrepreneur

The label BonOrganik, for organic baby wear, was conceived by Niharika Verma, Founder, BonOrganik Apparels, India, in her kitchen! ...and both moms and babies are enamored by it.

The Womenz team had an opportunity to interview Niharika Verma, Founder, BonOrganik Apparels from Bengaluru (India) and here’s what they shared with us


Hello Niharika, please tell us something about you, your education and life before BonOrganik

I grew up in and around Chandigarh and studied in various schools. Both my parents despite being from very mediocre families possessed high values and raised me and my sister with utmost modern values and beliefs. I decided to take up design as a career when it was almost unknown to most of my fellows but my mother always believed that the key to life is not in becoming a doctor or an engineer but following your calling and passions and now I think that it is one of the key learning of life which has helped me reach where I am today.  

I did my graduation from Delhi college of Art and soon started to work with various organisations as a freelancer. I worked with the top notch names in the industry and realised that I need to learn more about design so went ahead and did my masters at National Institute of design, Ahemdabad. I worked for a couple of years post that and then I got married to Puneet which took me to Bangalore. Puneet was working as garment manufacturer and had his own setup. I used to accompany him to work every day and like any creative person. Ideas started to take shape and soon i was running a brand.

What made you to become an entrepreneur?

Well! It was mix of a lot things and circumstances. Boring corporate job and a zeal to do something different in life, annoying opinions about women etc etc lead me to entrepreneurship. Looking back I think I always wanted to do something of my own, even when I landed up with a 9 to 5 well-paying job, all I was doing was discussing ideas with my colleges to do start up something.




What inspired you to start with BonOrganik? How did you coin these interesting names? Please explain the story behind

I started making organic baby wear and hence the name BonOrganik .The Next step was to market the brand as so were the humble beginning of participating in exhibitions all across Bangalore to spread the word. It was going pretty well, but as they say some accidents are fortunate and so were in our case when the stock was sold out just before a major sale event.

Wearing multiple hats as all women do , I was also re-furnishing my house just at the same time and happened to visit a home furnishing shop where they showed me swatches of fabrics for the drapes which they would stitch later on and send. So Practically a no stock sale, that idea truck me and i decided to do a father son matching shirts sale for the event. 

Next day was hectic, getting to cut all the swatches in store to make a swatch book, made one pair of father and son matching shirts, rented two mannequins (they still lying in our office entrance, witnessing their success story may be) and one big : JUST LIKE DAD SHIRTS ON ORDER Banner.

The day after that was a day to remember (Still don’t know the dates though) but a thumbs up from almost every mum who passed by and I booked around 300 sets in a single day. WOAH: We were onto something interesting.

Social media was in and just when the fulfilment of the exhibition orders got over I felt the slow of selling kids wear so I went ahead and posted few pictures on random facebook groups for mums.

That day it was 11.pm and I was sitting in my kitchen with a phone and dairy. BonOrganik was born. 


Niharika & Neev wearing BonOrganik


Tell us more about BonOrganik

Well! To my surprise BonOrganik is doing a job of connecting people what NIKE in a way doing to inspire people to take up fitness. Fashion has evolved as a powerful medium of making masses believe and act towards something and we are focusing on motivating people to Love More in order to live a stress free and fulfilling life. 



Your memories of convincing your very first customer

It’s tough to make people believe and try a brand they don’t know of so I do have my share of making people believe in us just once and give it a try. 

Your journey as an entrepreneur and motivation to scale this far?

Journey has been great, from a dreamer to an entrepreneur, from young woman to a mother. I have evolved in many ways and constant encouragement from loved ones and our customers has been the driving force to excel.



Team BonOrganik


As a women did you face any hurdles in your journey? If yes, how you faced and conquered them?

I would be lying if I say no, I did face many challenges in this journey and continue to face till date. I would not detail but there is a saying that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger and that’s true. Your adversities prepare you to be strong enough and determined enough to overcome any challenge that you face.

Please tell us about your family and their support to your initiatives.

My husband played a very important role initially by believing in me and my ideas. He and me together are running this business now and his acumen in manufacturing clothes and operations has helped has grown this far by providing excellent customer experience and product. I would also thank my parents who have raised me well and capable to take up such responsibilities.

How you manage to balance your family and work life

There is no balance, there are rules and I have strict timings for family and work.

Your biggest achievement so far.

When I hear young girls from my hometown saying that they look up to me and wish they could be like me, there is a sense achievement, responsibility and fulfillment.




RECEIVING ASIA AFRICA RETAIL AWARD FOR MOST INFLUENTIAL RETAILER


Your further growth plans

Miles to go before I sleep, Planning to open our first experience store by the end of this year and also increase our portfolio from clothing to other options like shoes etc

Your views on Gender equality

They are not equal in society for sure but the debate is improving things .So we must continue to talk about it and stress upon it and raise our daughters to feel it if possible.

Any message to aspiring women out there who are struggling to prove themselves?

Just go ahead and do what your gut is saying you can do but you then get stuck in realities of life. It is all fine at the end of the day and if it’s not a success it’s a learning and both are equally important.


Niharika, we at TheWomenz team express our earnest appreciation for sharing your unique story with us. We believe it will surely stimulate fellow women in every country and continent in the world.

 

Niharika can be reached on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin & Instagram 


 

First Published: 09-Sep-2017- 07:48


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