Devhuti Minocha | Founder & CEO, Dhrohar
Tell us about yourself, your background and what you do currently
I am the Founder and CEO of Dhrohar. Dhrohar creates exquisite home furnishings, garments and accessories inspired by the rich Indian handloom heritage and design legacies. At Dhrohar, we are on a mission to bring forward the high quality and affordable products from the bottom of the rural handloom industry in India.
I was born in a family of royal lineage in a small town Tajpur of District Bijnor in Uttar Pradesh. I did my schooling in the beautiful Doon Valley and then I went on to do my master’s in business management. I was always fearless and focused and knew that I wanted to become an entrepreneur one day. I worked in different capacities with various multinational organizations in India for about 12 years in the Software/IT industry.
After my first born, I took a two-year career break but when my daughter, Dhriti, was born in December 2013 I decided that the right time had come and I had to take the plunge. I had to set an example for my daughter that being married, having children is not a show stopper in your career, rather it is the time when you have to break the stereotype, show your girth and do something that will create not just social but also economic value and this is how Dhrohar was conceptualized. Dhrohar not only means the beautiful Indian legacies that our store aims to promote, but is also the initials of my children. “Dhr” from Dhriti and “Har” from Harshit with an “O” in between that symbolize the infinity.
I firmly believe that if children have working mothers, they treat women very differently, with a lot of respect. So when they marry, they will treat their wives differently. They will give their daughters a chance to succeed.
Tell us about any current projects?
www.Dhrohar.com is on a mission to bring forward the high quality and affordable products from the bottom of the pyramid from rural handloom industry in India. Our range of products are durable, strong, lightweight, absorbent and yet very stylish and fashionable. The products are widely appreciated for unmatched quality and durability.
We initially started with home furnishings but now our collection includes men’s ethnic apparel, women apparel, fashion accessories, scarves and stoles. We plan to add a lot more categories and products to our pallet in future.
Dhrohar was registered to do business in November 2014 and we launched our online store in January 2015. Our products are now available across all the leading ecommerce marketplaces.
We are witnessing a very steep growth in business and the positive and encouraging customer feedback is an indicator that we are moving in the right track. When we launched we were processing around 1000 units in a quarter, now we are doing that every 15 days.
What has been your biggest challenge in achieving your success?
For a first time entrepreneur, life is full of challenges. You eat, breath and sleep thinking about your next strategic move. Moreover, being bootstrapped adds a lot more financial challenges. I have to juggle a lot of odd jobs from being a designer, quality checker, marketer, accountant and what not. We constantly have to keep a strict check on our expenses as we cannot afford to spend wastefully. Every expense has to make business sense.
Also, unlike a brick and mortar store that will at least get organic foot falls just by being there, a major challenge with an online-only business is that no one knows that you exist till you reach out to them. That again means money for marketing.
Understanding what the customer is looking for and providing over and above is the key to success.
What has been your greatest achievement personally?
Since the day I started, I have learnt so much — the importance of an idea and its execution, of taking people with you and of focus and hard work, of getting outside the comfort zone and of learning from one’s and others’ mistakes.
We have been successful in being unit economic positive since the beginning and over the coming years we aim to scale up be more profitable and be able to generate more employment for our weavers. The greatest achievement so far and will always be is the month on month growth that we witness and the positive customer feedback. Repeat buyers make our day and thankfully we have plenty.
Who has been your biggest inspiration?
My biggest inspiration has been my Grandmother – Late Rani Kank Biharni Devi. She was a pillar of strength, a lady of girth and courage. It is from her that I learnt the early lessons of life. From her, I learnt that one should fearlessly chase dreams and that with determination and efforts in the correct directions no dream is too big to achieve. My father was always very supportive and always let me pursue my passion and now my husband is the wind beneath my wings. God has been very kind.
As a working mother, what does it take to balance the home front / life?
Hard work, commitment, sincerity and a lot of patience! It is the zeal to excel that keeps me going. My husband is very supportive and my pillar of strength. It is with is unconditional support, advice and motivation that I can easily juggle work and kids smoothly.
I believe that prioritizing work is the key to success. A lot of focus and determination is required to keep your self-motivated to achieve your dream. Our main topic of discussion at home is also always about “Dhrohar” and how we can grow the business and make it more profitable. It really amazes and inspires me how the entire family is so helpful and excited to see Dhrohar do well.
What does the future hold for you?
We are planning to build an offline presence to showcase the best of Dhrohar, in our own unique style. Presently we are only catering to the domestic market but we soon will start shipping internationally. We intend to establish Dhrohar as a global brand.
About Devhuti Minocha:
Devhuti works under her brand name ‘Dhrohar’ and creates exquisite home furnishings, garments and accessories inspired by the rich Indian handloom heritage and design legacies. She tweaks traditional patterns to present creative contemporary artefacts.
Devhuti completed her master’s in business management and then went on to work in different capacities with various multinational organizations in India. With an experience ranging beyond 12 years in the Software/IT industry and having made her first entrepreneurial bootstrapped venture “www.Dhrohar.com” a successful e-commerce business, it is only fair to consider her the best in the business.
It is through her hard work, commitment and sincerity, that she laid the founding stone of Dhrohar. Devhuti is an entrepreneur who juggles work and kids smoothly and believes that prioritizing work is the key to success. She is a mother of two beautiful kids Harshit seven and Dhriti, two years.
She is on a mission to bring forward the high quality and affordable products from the bottom of the pyramid from rural handloom industry in India. Through Dhrohar she not only nourishes and nurtures the local craft of India but also links craft based rural producers to modern urban markets, thereby creating a base for skilled, sustainable rural employment, and preserving India’s traditional handicrafts in the process. Devhuti devotes her time working towards women empowerment and helping the local artisans promote and revive their unique craftsmanship.
Aside from Dhrohar, Devhuti loves to travel, paint, watch movies and read.