LEADERS

Savita Jinna & Nilambari Asher Dang: Think Gifts! Think Us!

Savita Jinna & Nilambari Asher Dang
Co-Founders

The Excellence of a gift lies in its Creativity and Appropriateness, rather than its value. At The Gifts Garage, we aim to redefine the art of giving in India. Our endeavor is to make each gift significant to the receiver as they are specially designed to resonate with the receiver's personality.

Conceptualized in 2019 in the Indian Silicon Valley, the young firm is an end to end gifting solution provider. Ideated by Savita Jinna and Nilambari Asher Dang, The Gifts Garage creates and curates gifts that appeal to a wide range of customers. With a collective experience of 30 years in the IT industry, the duo was brought together by a desire to express their creativity in a constraint-free environment. Consequently they started out as an experimental design studio. The products that were created in the garage cum studio became quite popular and that's when The Gifts Garage was born.

In an exclusive interview with Savita and Nilambari, we speak to the duo about their entrepreneurial journey while also getting to know the individuals beyond their work.

Introduce Us To The Gifts Garage. What Are The Various Products That You Provide To Consumers?

The Gifts Garage is a Bangalore based firm and part of the Infinitus Wisdom partnership. A completely women owned business, we understand how tricky it can be to find unique gifts and we pride ourselves in offering original gift ideas, many of which are exclusively designed and manufactured in-house by our fantastic team.

We're a one stop shop for our customers - right from doing custom design and consultancy to gift wrapping & delivery; we do it all. Appealing to a wide customer base, we have 100s of products that one can browse on our website thegiftsgarage.com. These products can be made to order in every genre - quirky to simple, corporate to individual, luxury to budget friendly, handcrafted to standard out of the box. We are involved with NGOs and rural women for vocational training and helping them create a livelihood for better life opportunities.

Each one of us has an obligation to protect our Earth for our children; hence we have a range of eco-friendly exclusive products. Our internal process have evolved as we strive to minimize waste and add use of recyclable natural materials.

TAKE US THROUGH YOUR PROFESSIONAL JOURNEYS BEFORE FOUNDING THE GIFTS GARAGE. WHAT LED TO THE FOUNDATION OF THE COMPANY?

Between both of us, we have over 30 years in the software industry. We decided to take the leap at the peak of our careers where we were working for large MNCs. Software taught us how to always think from an end user perspective and use agile methodologies to curate the right solution. These two skills have been invaluable to us in our startup journey.

The initial sparks of creative thinking started off at various occasions both at home and in the office. Planning, designing and organizing events - personal and in office as well, and creating our own artifacts for gifts was always satisfying. When colleagues, parents and children started speaking highly of their experience at our events, it was a major confidence booster. The idea of doing something that we truly love and doing it every day of our lives was so intriguing. What was needed was "the leap of faith". The confidence to let go and move into unchartered waters.

What Have Been Some Of The Most Significant Milestones Achieved By The Company So Far?

There have been several memorable milestones along the journey. The most satisfying one was when we got our first really big order and we delivered it! We had been regularly getting orders to deliver 200-300 gifts from the customers and had become quite used to it. And then we won an order to deliver 10,000 gift boxes. We had never done it, heck we didn't even have a team in place to deliver this large order. With only a month to deliver, we quickly scrambled a team, revamped our entire production and supply chain processes and worked day and night to meet the customer needs. That one month of craziness taught us so many lessons that we would otherwise have taken years to learn. Most importantly it helped us to scale up. Now we're looking forward to the day when we win the order to deliver over 50,000 gifts for one customer!

“Entrepreneurial journey is a long winding road that will take you through all sorts of terrain. If you're looking to reach the mountain peak in a short time, it doesn't happen like that”

In Your Opinion What Are Some Facets Of Your Personality And Leadership Style That Have Helped You Become Successful Entrepreneurs In The Creative Field?

We believe that there is no right way of leadership. Every leader has their own style. What is important in leadership are a few fundamental principles. Both of us have very different style of working, Savita is more organized and is meticulous, while I (Nilambari) work with organized chaos.

In our experience, those 3 fundamental principles are:

Be truly passionate. It is your passion that keeps you going especially doing the toughest of times along the journey. And most importantly, in our creative field customers are not just buying the gift. It is the passion that they experience working with us that matters the most.

Be authentic. If you can't deliver by a certain date, don't commit. If you've never done something before, don't just bluff. If things are not going as per plan, call it out openly. If you're not comfortable, surface your dis-comfort. People know when you're authentic and when you're not.

Keep reinventing. What was a novel idea last year, might not sell this year. What your customer bought from you last time, they may not want a repeat design again. So keep your eyes and ears open. Have a good sense of where the market is headed and continuously reinvent. Creativity has no boundary.

What Would Your Advice Be For Women Aspiring To Take The Entrepreneurial Route?

Entrepreneurial journey is a long winding road that will take you through all sorts of terrain. If you're looking to reach the mountain peak in a short time, it doesn't happen like that. Even the best of mountaineers practice hard and prepare themselves for years. Once they start the journey, persistence and sheer will is what really matters. Unpredictable situations will occur and you need to keep going and never give up. Another import-ant thing is to be clear about how high you want to climb. Not everyone wants to climb Everest. So knowing how far you're willing to push your limits, matters.

Savita Jinna & Nilambari Asher Dang, Co-Founders, The Gifts Garage

With a collective experience of 30 years in the software industry, this entrepreneur duo was brought together by a desire to express their creativity in a constraint-free environment. Together they have created a completely women owned business that helps consumers find unique gifts.

ON THE DECK

The Gifts Garage