Meet the Women

Seema

Delhi, India

Profession
Interior Designer
Business
Ideas Kitchens
Country
India
partner school
Indian School of Business
Break barriers of fear to emerge victorious

Business Overview

I started Ideas Kitchens in 1996 which is now a one-stop shop for modular kitchens. Our services include planning, designing, manufacturing, and installing individualistic designer kitchens.  

Challenges

My family deals in plywood, so I began working in finished cabinetry. I was able to be creative with my products and that is how Ideas Kitchens was born. I knew a lot about products and design, but marketing strategies were foreign to me. Due to social pressure and my own lack of confidence, it was very challenging for me to strategize and make informed decisions. As a woman in a male-dominated industry, it was difficult for me to make my mark and achieve success. My time-management skills were poor and I often found myself struggling to balance my family and my work. 

Results

After completing the 10,000 Women program, I became more confident in decision making and negotiating, and I was able to competitively reposition my business. I split up Ideas Kitchens into two companies, one of which is wholesale. The new branch of the company is called Mars Kitchens and with intense online marketing as well as target marketing, my business grew immensely. I started a manufacturing unit in 2011, and increased the number of employees from 14 to 30 since 2009. Outside of kitchens, we also work in other kinds of specialized cabinetry units like wardrobes. 

Apart from increasing sales, my focus is on training others in this trade so they can become pillars of support for the company. Since graduating from 10,000 Women, Ideas Kitchens has become a well-known brand in my city. We are now being considered experts in our field.

Future Goals

In the short-term, I would like to increase the number and quality of the projects we are working on.  The modular kitchens industry is still in its infancy in India and I want to make Ideas Kitchens one of the top brands.  I would like to train and employ up-and-coming female designers all over the country both to grow the company and also encourage self-reliance and financial independence among women.

Over the next five years, I would like to gradually decrease my day-to-day involvement with the business. I want to reach a point where I am primarily making strategic decisions and participating in problem-solving.  Someday, I hope to start my own non-profit organization to benefit underserved girls and women in India. In the meantime, with classmates from the 10,000 Women program, I founded an organization called "Fragrance" through which we contribute our time and money to  the underprivileged sections of society.  

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