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EDII Alumni Speak-up Series 6#: Sparkling all the way by Priti Bhatia (Awesome Sparklers)

Priti Bhatia (PGDBEM 2003-2004)

Awesome Sparklers

True to her name Priti, she spreads ‘love’ and ‘joy’ through her aesthetically-designed jewellery. A designer par excellence, she is a renowned name in the jewellery industry. Priti had a protected childhood in a joint family in Surat. A national champion in skating, she grew up with the learning that nothing comes easy; hard work begets success.

With her mind set on becoming an ‘achiever’ in life, she scanned the educational circuit to find a direction and came to know about EDII’s PGDM-BE course. To become an entrepreneur did tickle her creative instincts and she decided to give it a shot by undergoing the course. Doing business was not new for Priti as her family was into the business of chemicals and she had grown up seeing them discuss business. However, she had never thought of entrepreneurship as a career for herself. Priti had the desire to achieve but was clueless about the trajectory that she wanted to adopt. Priti recalls: “Having completed graduation, I was seeking alternatives for further studies. I was interested in business venturing but wasn’t sure if I wanted to pursue it. But, I believe somewhere that an inkling impressed upon me and I decided to join EDII to learn how to become an entrepreneur. It was an apt decision, I must say. Quality sessions, knowledge and guidance of faculty and industry interactions proved to be helpful.”

A go-getter all the way, at EDII Priti bagged the Bharti Student of the Year Award for Best All-rounder of the PG Programmes 2003-04 and Silver Medal for Scholastic Performance in Family Business Management 2003-04.An emotional Priti says, “That day proved to be my turning point. I knew I had it in me to make it big.”

At EDII, Priti had specialised in Family Business Management and so, she joined her family business and started supervising the import-export department where she handled import of dyes from China. Even after her marriage, two years post managing her family business, she continued her association with entrepreneurship by taking charge of a part of her husband’s business. Her husband was into pharmaceutical and hotel businesses. They also managed ‘Lifespring’, a health and beauty store. Priti was assigned the responsibility of managing operations of Lifespring. She stated: “I was responsible for the overall stock management at the store. But by this time, despite all the satisfaction that I derived from running a business, I had begun to feel the need to have something of my own.” This was, however, a difficult period for Priti who also had to go through a strained marital relationship. Despite all efforts, she could not save her marriage and returned to Surat. She was at an all-time low. Life seemed to have given her a mean defeat.

Priti remarks: “It was the toughest phase of my life but my family, especially my parents, stood by me. My mother was aware of my knack for business and motivated me to think on those lines. I had a passion for jewellery and had made some keen observations. I had noticed that people were being cheated in the name of diamond jewellery. So, I had made a mental note that someday I would venture into diamond jewellery making on account of huge market potential and because I believed people deserved better. I had shared this idea in the past with my mother who now encouraged me to start a business in diamond jewellery-making. My mother thoroughly convinced me.”

Love, support and encouragement slowly helped Priti overcome the tough times. She started thinking on the lines of setting up her dream venture.

Priti attended a one-week diamond grading course, followed by one-month jewellery-designing programme at International Gemological Institute (IGI) in Mumbai. Both the programmes proved to be helpful. While the diamond-grading course offered knowledge in the key area of diamond business, the designing programme imparted insights into creating artistic pieces of jewellery.

In March 2010, with personal finance of ₹ 60 lakh, Priti launched her enterprise – Awesome Sparklers – specialising in designer diamond jewellery, targeting women above 30. Exclusively designed by Priti, the jewellery brand was created from 18-carat gold and embellished with diamonds and gem stones. The raw material is sourced from Surat and Mumbai. Elegant, ready-to-wear jewellery pieces are made by job contractors based in Surat and Mumbai, and is the forte of Awesome Sparklers. The jewellery-makers were informal workers and labourers, compensated through the piece-wage system. The products of Awesome Sparklers range from rings, pendants, chains, earrings to complete sets, both in the light and heavy ranges. In addition to retailing these products, Priti also got into small-scale distribution of loose diamonds. Priti sticks to the policy of ensuring 50% payment in advance, that is, at the time of receiving orders and the remaining payment on delivery of the product.

Awesome Sparklers has earned the reputation of selling unique jewellery with awesome craftsmanship. As Priti puts it, “I want people to wear my jewellery and not keep it locked in the cupboard. And, that they will do only when the designs are subtle yet appealing. All my designs depict a distinct subtlety except the bridal and the special-occasion jewellery, which are heavy.”

No wonder, Priti won the best jewellery design award in 2013, 2015, JJS-IJ Award in 2016 and a special award in 2016 from the Hon’ble Governor of Gujarat for good work, growth and development in gems and jewellery industry.

Priti has put up exhibitions at Delhi, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Ludhiana, Surat and Chandigarh. Her brand was promoted through Cosmo, Femina, Times of India, radio stations Mumbai and Delhi 93.5 FM. Recently she started her own all-equipped, technically innovative jewellery factory where emphasis is solely on quality and workmanship. Priti believes, “India has it all in this domain, so the primary goal behind my endeavours, at this stage, is to popularize the finesse that Indian jewellery must be known for. The ‘Made in India’ tag must reflect reliability and quality.”

Priti’s enterprise today basks in the glory of having crossed a turnover of ₹ 80 crore. With a wide customer base in the national and international markets, Priti’s start-up is among the top five nationally.

She concludes, “In every adversity, there lies an opportunity. Who could have proved this better than I. I was fortunate to have got trained in entrepreneurship and to have received guidance from my father, whom I consider my role model.”

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