This is the story of pure perseverance, hard work and smart decisions. This is the story of Senorita Jewellery company private limited. Started by a couple about 25 years ago, Senorita is one of the rare examples of first generation businessman who not only established the business, but also expanded it.
Many feel that the idea of becoming an entrepreneur was inspired by his wife Prachi, who is Gujarati – a community known for their acumen in business. However, it was the opportunity that Pushan Vaidya grabbed when he was working as a marketing manager in Bentex that led to Senorita’s. “At Bentex, we used to manufacture gold plated watch straps and were doing well until we started facing all kinds of odds. It was then that I gathered courage to tell the management a plan to come out of the muddle. This opportunity sowed seeds of entrepreneurship,” shared Pushan Vaidya.
One day, one of the strap distributors came to the office saying that the straps didn’t sell anymore, whereas the bangles were in great demand. Only condition that he laid was that it should come with a guarantee. “This stuck me like a flash of lightening and I jumped in the then unknown ocean of imitation market,” shares Vaidya. Accordingly, five designs were launched at a minimal price of Rs 35 per set. However, not one jewellery shop was ready to buy it.He then kept an aquarium at every dealer’s shop and kept all the Bentex jewellery in it. This helped to wipe out the belief that imitation jewellery loses its quality after it comes in contact with water.
Gaining further confidence from the Bentex episode, Pushan Vaidya decided to start up his own imitation jewellery brand. With the experience that he had now gathered in selling the imitation jewellery, he was bound to be successful. In those times, there were hardly any people who did that kind of plating. With only five thousand rupees in hand, Pushan Vaidya went to the market and brought some mangalsutras and got them plated on credit. With the help of his contacts, he was able to sell them.
Within a week, his company got to know about his new venture and Pushan Vaidya was summoned by the higher authorities. He resigned and today, when he looks back and thinks that it was the best decision ever made. “Had I not quit that job, I would not have been able shift my entire focus on my business. Quitting that job was the best thing that ever happened,” thinks Pushan Vaidya. The business started to grow and he rented out a small shop at Tembhi Naka. That month profit in this new shop was Rs 17 thousand. By then, he had started approaching dealers.
Every business has some setback. Those who overcome itbecome successful. It so happened that one of the business associates of Vaidya started his own venture in the imitation market. To thwart the competition, Vaidya started his own plating unit. It took him four months of practice to get a saleable product again. However, this led to huge debts and a heap of pending orders as he was unable to achieve the desired results. The same person proposed Vaidya to work for him as his marketing manager. “He said we are making products, but are not able to sell it, and you failed when you tried making it. Why not join hands,” recalled Vaidya. He gave Vaidya a lucrative salary and attractive perks. Vaidya readily accepted the offer to repay his debts.
He came home and informed his wife, Prachi about his decision. “I felt that this wasn’t fair. Pushan had invested time, energy and hard work in this project (Senorita’s) and setting up Senorita’s as a brand was his dream. I asked him to continue focusing on his dream.I assured him to take care on the domestic front in a shoe-string budget,” shares Prachi Vaidya. After getting this encouragement from his wife, Pushan Vaidya decided to pursue his dream.
Vaidya lent out franchises in Thane and Dombivali followed by outlets in Big Bazaar across the country.However, the credit system didn’t go well and he was looking out for something better. Very soon, they earned fame for their expertise in Marathi jewellery.They had Senorita’s outlets in Thane, Pune, Dombivali, Kalyan, Ambernath, etc. Gradually, more outlets were added in surrounding cities.
“We identified that our customers would be – ones who cannot afford real gold, or one who wish wear jewellery but cannot as they travel or those who are fashion conscious,” shared Vaidya.Using latest technology helps them in giving the best. The products are hand-crafted and they can resemble their golden counterparts. The products are completely washable and perfect for everyday wear.
Senorita’s jewellery,today, has a vast range from mangalsutra to various types of necklaces, bangles, bracelets, sets, etc. All the jewellery is made either in brass on in copper and are plated with gold thereafter. Senorita’s has team that decides on new designs that would fit in the ‘Senorita’s’ theme.
Pushan Vaidya looks after expansion, franchisee development and product development while Prachi Vaidya takes care of accounts and administration. They also have their own website. Pushan Vaidya’s son Sharva Vaidya also joined the company three years ago after doing his degree in Family Managed Business. Senorita’s is also diversifying in semi-precious and precious stones. Very soon, they are also coming up with a state of the art website to give more enriching shopping experience for their customers.