About the Company
Colour Ur Blank Spaces is an online home styling company based in Pune. We do online home makeovers/staging for the middle and upper middle-class people.
We give design advice to redesign your room with existing furniture and accessories or
a complete home makeover using new furniture and accessories.
WHAT IGNITED THE SPARK IN YOU TO START A BUSINESS?
I have always had a flair for interiors as a child. But never really thought to pursue it as an career option. I always knew someday I would start something that’s related to interiors. After 7-8 years in the pharma industry I realized, this is it…!!. I knew I had to do something. I personally believed “Everyone is entitled to a beautiful home”. There has to be a simpler, accessible and affordable option. That is how Colour Ur Blank Spaces was born.
A more immediate spark was when I tried to do up my own home. I spoke to lot of interior designers and felt their approach was studied and straitjacketed. They were not able to tailor their designs to my tastes and were not able to give me something in my budget and reusing my existing furniture. That made me feel that there has to be a better way.
Which college/university did you choose to complete your studies?
Master in Bioengineering (University of Illinois at Chicago)
B.E Electronics & Communication (Madras University)
And Yes I have no background in Interiors or Architecture!
WHAT ARE THE TOP THREE ADVICE THAT YOU WOULD LIKE TO GIVE TO YOUNG GRADUATES WHO ASPIRE TO BECOME ENTREPRENEURS?
- Believe in yourself and follow your heart
- Take the risk
- Always do what is right for the customer
WHAT IS YOUR CORE PRODUCT OR SERVICE?
Colour Ur Blank Spaces (CUBS) is an online interior design service delivered to your Inbox. It consists of a panel of design experts & brand partners that help to provide personalized home design solutions at the convenience of your home.
WHAT IS THE MOST EXCITING THING RELATED WITH YOUR BUSINESS?
The most exciting thing is able to design and style your own home at the convenience of your home and time.
We are creating a new market – this type of service did not exist in the past. It is a bigger challenge when you are a pioneer and not doing something me-too.
HOW DO YOU DO MARKETING ABOUT YOUR BUSINESS? WHAT HAS BEEN THE SUCCESSFUL FORM OF MARKETING?
Offline marketing has been through events in societies and corporate, local networking groups, word of mouth and direct sales. Brand awareness has been through online marketing. We believe that if we create a product that offers value to the customer, they will come to us, irrespective of the marketing approach.
CHALLENGES ARE BUNDLED UP ALONG ALL VENTURES, WHAT SORT OF CHALLENGES DID YOU FACE? HOW DID YOU MANAGE UPS AND DOWNS IN ROLLER COASTER RIDE?
Getting the right team in place was the first challenge. This took much longer that I expected, but I realized that if you look hard enough and don’t compromise on your requirements, you can assemble a very good team.
Marketing a new concept was the second challenge. I quickly realized that social media is very expensive, and while it appears attractive from outside, it is simply not a viable option for a small business like mine. Using local networking groups, friends, family and a direct sales team is a much more effective marketing medium. The important thing is to be flexible and look for the right sales channel depending on the company size and particular conditions at that point.
WHO IS YOUR MENTOR OR ROLE MODEL?
My mentors are my husband, father and brothers. Although my mother has been a strong support system to get me started on to something I believe. I also admire how Kiran Mazumdar Shaw has gone about creating a successful business all by herself.
WHAT ARE THE FACTORS YOU KEEP IN MIND WHILE HIRING THE RIGHT PEOPLE IN YOUR ORGANIZATION
- Open Mind & Flexible
- Go getter
- Self Starter
- Honest and committed
WHAT IS THE DEFINITION OF SUCCESS FOR YOU? HOW DO YOU SEE YOURSELF?
Success is when you make a difference in someone’s life other than your own. I still have a long way to go for that.
WHAT ARE YOUR VIEWS ON COMPETITORS?
Healthy and pushes you to work harder and think out of the box. We don’t believe there is someone who is doing exactly what we are.
BIGGEST RISK YOU HAVE EVER TAKEN? HOW DID YOU MANAGE THAT RISK FACTOR?
Biggest risk was starting the business. Starting something in a line where I have never had a background or experience. The only thing that drove me was my vision and passion.
Looking back I did not feel it was a risk since this was what I always wanted to do.
WHICH IS THE MOST INSPIRING BOOK FOR YOU? OR EITHER WAY ROUND, WHICH IS YOUR FAVORITE BOOK?
Difficulty of being Good- Gurucharan Das. It brings to life all the conflicts that we face on a day to day basis.
WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT YOUR COMPANY CULTURE?
It’s a startup and the culture is still evolving. So far it’s involved, fun and exciting.
We want everyone to enjoy coming to office and be excited to take up the next new challenge. I am happy that I have a team that is doing just that.
WHAT SACRIFICES YOU HAD TO MAKE TO BE AN SUCCESSFUL ENTREPRENEUR?
Quality time with my kids. You can’t have it all!!
IF YOU HAD GOT THE CHANCE TO START THE CAREER AGAIN, WHAT WOULD YOU DO DIFFERENTLY?
Probably have done a Bachelors in Architecture. I would have also liked to start sooner on my startup journey. But other than that I think I have done exactly what I wanted to.
HOW LONG DO YOU STICK WITH AN IDEA BEFORE GIVING UP?
That answer must come from your heart. As long as you have the passion and energy, you must keep going. If it is a product or service that makes a difference and benefits the customer then it will succeed eventually. Of course having money to tide over the tough times helps!