Ornorent is around a year-old venture that deals with renting jewellery so customers can wear their dream jewellery without burning their pocket. Not only this, but the venture also allows people to rent out their own ornaments through the platform. We spoke to its founder Disha Oswal at the Digital Women Awards 2019 about her entrepreneurial journey and the role of technology in her journey. Here is what she says:
How did the idea for your venture come about?
Well, I have been helping my dad in his business since college days. So one thing was sure that I wanted to venture into business. Being fond of jewellery, having a basic background in jewellery, I thought of pursuing my career in this field. Digging deep, I understood the need of my friends/relatives who always complained about wearing the same jewellery. Also, it was a self-realisation that like me, no one would like to invest a bomb and repeat the jewellery. So, that's how I came up with the idea of Ornorent: Jewellery on Rent.
I think digital and social media are the best and one of the cheapest modes for marketing. Right from the day that I have started, digital media has been my partner.
How has tech and digital been an enabler in your entrepreneurial journey?
I think digital and social media are the best and one of the cheapest modes for marketing. Right from the day that I have started, digital media has been my partner. I have an office where I take clients on an appointment basis. And I am glad to tell you that 80 percent of my clients are through my Facebook, Instagram handles and my website.
At any point in your journey were you stuck with self-doubt? How did you deal with it?
Yes! Self-doubt has been a part only when it is not the wedding season. As we barely have clients during those months! So, being my first year, I was quite confused so as to what to do, I can't be idle for 2-3 months! From there I came up with offers for shoots and makeup artists. I never doubted myself whether I would be able to handle the business all alone or no. I am pretty confident about my skills.
What have been your greatest challenges and struggles in your entrepreneurship journey?
I did face some challenges like firstly convincing my parents about the idea, and making them believe that I can do business all alone (PS: Initially it was tough, but now nothing is better than their support and guidance). Secondly, getting clients to know about my brand. And thirdly, finding wholesalers, as my business is exclusively for rentals, it's difficult to get single pieces at reasonable prices.
To upcoming entrepreneurs I would say, do what makes you happy, don't keep your dreams as dreams. Work hard and make sure you achieve them
As a woman entrepreneur would you say you have faced discrimination in your journey?
I am lucky enough not to have faced any discrimination! And all my family members, friends and relatives are very proud of me.
What do you think women entrepreneurs need more of, from venture capitalists, government policymakers, start-up support programmes and others? And Why?
I wouldn't discriminate that women entrepreneurs need anything separately. But yes start-ups do need guidance about how to scale their business, and how to take it to the next level. Also, to learn how to take risks and how to tackle competitors.
What would you say has been your greatest learning on your journey?
Being independent! This journey has made me truly independent. For a girl who always needed company in every small thing she did, now runs her business on her own. It has polished my communication skills, my skills to deal with a different type of people and clients. It has helped me understand the latest trends in fashion and jewellery, as I need to be updated always. Nothing is impossible, you just need to have the dedication and will to do something.
What advice would you share with other women looking to become entrepreneurs?
I am in the learning phase, so giving any advice won't be right. But to upcoming entrepreneurs I would say, do what makes you happy; don't keep your dreams as dreams. Work hard and make sure you achieve them. Never stop learning, every person you meet teaches you something, which will help you in the entrepreneurial journey.