#inspiringstories @Awfis is an initiative by the Awfis Editorial Team to showcase the brilliant business ideas and the journey of our start-up member community.
Having worked for 10 long years, Divyan Gupta decided it was time to find inspiration elsewhere. In 2008, he took a conscious call to move from his rewarding career at one of the most prestigious Fortune 500 and FTSE 10 companies. An MBA degree from Boston offered him the opportunity for a much-needed time-off from his professional life, after which he went back to working in the U.S. and a little later, in India.
However, in 2012, Divyan was all set to take off on a different route. He had already comprehended the infinite scope for disruption in literally every industry before taking a sabbatical from his blooming career. Brushing shoulders with people from different walks of life like academia, government, professional and business worlds had further fanned his entrepreneurial streak. Thus, his brainchildren – Art and Decors, and Gizmofashion took off.
While both of them are curated e-commerce brands, Art and Decors specialises in India’s first affordable luxury brand for décor items and lifestyle products that cater to the preferences of global citizens.
The brainwave for dealing in paintings and artifacts struck Divyan when finding quality décor for his new home in Delhi turned out to be a task for him quite unexpectedly. He discovered that there were hardly any places from where he could source quality and affordable home décor that met his personal choices. The options tapered down to either purchasing ‘whatever is available’ from the flea markets or settle for the ones from the private art galleries that showcased elitist and premium artworks that were devoid of sufficient information.
Another challenge for him was that “even for the décor products, the only choice was between imported products from Asian countries with really no legacy or pedigree and quality or products made in local markets but being sold as high-end décor products.” Discovering that this problem was definitely not unique only to him, he knew he had experienced his ‘Eureka moment’.
In a separate instance, Divyan faced technical problems with his 3-month old smartphone that he had bought from a popular e-commerce ‘marketplace’. He took it to the service centre only to be told that the warranty had already expired.
He felt cheated, understanding that a refurbished phone had been sold to him repackaged as a “new” unit. Knowing that this cannot be a one-off incident, he decided to address the plight of the Indian masses who are regularly duped by online marketplace sellers. Thus his second venture, Gizmofashion, was born.
What had started as a brand for fashionable accessories like cases and covers for mobile phones, laptop, among other types of gizmos, diversified into manufacturing 100% genuine and manufacturer warranty-backed electronic products as well.
Since the last 5 years, Gizmofashion makes gizmos from global tech giants available to people as is, offering their products directly to customers without being a marketplace. Currently, it has collaborated with companies like Apple, Samsung, Canon, Gitzo, National Geographic, Sony and many more.
Their constant efforts in innovation has earned them prestigious honours and recognition of being an ‘Innovative Startup’ by the Government of India under their flagship Startup India program, Top 100 Companies in Asia by Red Herring, among others.
Divyan strongly believes in maintaining a lean team structure and enhancing efficiencies through automation. He owes a large part of the success of his business endeavour to his brother, Katyayan, for managing a part of the business along with his job. A competent team of engineers and designers further contributes to the success story by improving the products and services through innovation. Last but not the least, their customer service bot, Anya, helps them leverage automation through artificial intelligence to delight customers. This makes them the first e-commerce brand to have a bot. Both human efforts and Artificial Intelligence has set the pace for success and are taking him closer to his dream of building “profitable niche e-commerce brands from India that are within the top 3 global brands.”
Divyan strongly feels that discipline is critical to every sphere, more so for entrepreneurs. Distractions while working from home and at coffee shops are a well-known evil, making co-working spaces score over these options. Besides, it saves them from the hassles of undertaking the non-core activities of managing their own workspace. Besides, he concurs Awfis offers him the opportunity to network with other people and gain inspiration from them. While the community feel and professional yet jovial team at Awfis makes it a fun experience for his team to work here, he would have liked it a bit more greenery around his workspace. We will keep that in mind, Divyan!
We, at Awfis, cannot but agree that Divyan’s journey so far has been an inspiring one, and are proud to foster such inspiring stories in our co-work spaces.