A dream becomes a goal when action is taken towards its achievement. It’s my conviction that checkboxes are made, so that they can be ticked,
says Ankita Shroff, Founder of SAV Chemicals Private Limited in Pune. “I believe diversity plays a big role in making our lives fulfilling,” says this 26-year-old entrepreneur.
In a scenario where women entrepreneurs are not too visible, Ankita started her entrepreneurship journey exactly a year ago in Pune. SAV Chemicals Pvt Ltd is a Professional Manufacturer of Cyanoacrylate Adhesive (instant adhesive) Mxbon branded products for consumer and industrial market. It is a Joint venture with Taiwan based Cartell Chemicals, an adhesive expert. To supply the increasing demand of instant adhesives in India, SAV Chemicals offers a range of different grades and packaging.
The first year was indeed a different learning experience altogether as Ankita was not familiar with most of the business aspects. It was time to translate her learning from books into action.
Getting the right space, team, imports, law and taxation, FDI etc were really big challenges for this young entrepreneur. It was through asking people around and continuous follow-ups that most of her queries got answered.
“What I learnt was never to be scared to ask and subsequently execute decisions at the right time,” she says. Being a first timer and a woman in the manufacturing sector, consistency, patience and support worked to Ankita’s advantage and although a little delayed, her dream did take flight.
Born in Mumbai, Ankita studied at St. Joseph’s High school-Pashan. The proliferation of information technology and science in everyday life motivated her to study Computer Science in junior college at Fergusson College, Pune. In her Higher Secondary examination, she secured the 15th position in the Maharashtra State Board. This proved to be her first milestone of achieving excellence in academics.
However, she soon realized that it is not always about academics but an overall personality, which helps break barriers. “It’s about exploring different opportunities and moving out of one’s comfort zone that challenges the individual,” says Ankita.
She soon went on to graduate as a Computer Engineer from Maharashtra Institute of Technology, Pune. These four years of her life at Engineering was an eclectic mix in academics and extra-curricular activities. She was awarded with ‘Best All Rounder of MIT, Pune’ award.
In her was growing an urge to get an international exposure and learn business. So after intense interviews, she was admitted at London’s Imperial College for an MSc in Management. This one year at London, not only helped in developing her business acumen but also helped her interact with people from different cultures, backgrounds and perspectives.
An eye-opening experience
It was during her Masters at Imperial Business School that she did an internship with Rolls Royce in London and Germany on a consulting project, ‘how to prioritise manufacturing site investments in global companies?’ This project gave an entirely different dimension on how international companies work, joint ventures strategies, production etc.“London transformed me from an introvert to an extrovert to an inquisitive person. Networking with people, developing relations helps us in some way or the other. Human Resource Management is the strength of any business,” says Ankita.
By that time, she had started handling her dad’s real estate marketing department for Pune- based residential projects. The most interesting assignment given to her was completion of four show flats in their projects by importing furniture from China. It started with a 10-day business trip to China where they selected furniture for about 25 rooms. She worked mostly on the import and business co-ordination between the countries’ accounts teams.
“Working on a global platform is yet another experience, where one gets to learn about their working styles and culture. The furniture sector there majorly had young girls employed in sales, documenting and even cracking the final deal. Hardwork, patience, consistency and efficiency were takeaways from this experience,” says a responsible Ankita.
From exploration to execution
As an entrepreneur, Ankita started working on a small venture to get Taiwanese Bubble tea to India, with a Taiwanese Imperial classmate. When the idea was mooted out by her family and friends, the same classmate put forth a business proposal for her to take forward in India.
After intense discussions, meetings, studying of projections, future market scope, product portfolios, pricing, investments and Taiwan visits, SAV Chemicals was born on April 9, 2014.
Team and support
The team at SAV is a mix of young and dynamic personnel (around 20) in the 26-year age group. The management team comprises people from different sectors and expertise. Their team believes in in multi-tasking. As a startup, they train themselves to be aware of the different departments and integrate for maximum efficiency.
Interestingly, the production team has only women workers. As we are pro-women employment, we wish to engage 90% women in the factory.
“My family is my strongest source of strength including my dad, granddad, mom and sister. Their support to allow me to do something on my own has been tremendous,” she says.
In future Ankita plans to expand in the hardware, stationary sector, Flex and Industrial sector in Rajasthan , Gujarat and Maharashtra. At the personal front she plans to keep exploring and travelling, and climb the Everest Base camp by 2016.
Ankita has always been passionate about traveling, trekking, badminton, yoga, playing the piano and painting. Blessed with a family that shares her passion, she has already traveled to 25 different countries and gathered amazing experiences and moments.
“Every journey of mine makes me realise that we are just a drop in the ocean and is truly a humbling experience,” she says.