A hardcore Marwari by birth, a qualified Chartered Accountant by profession, a sucker for Indian heritage by passion, Monica Gupta, co-founder of a leading e-commerce start-up, Craftsvilla, decided to
A hardcore Marwari by birth, a qualified Chartered Accountant by profession, a sucker for Indian heritage by passion, Monica Gupta, co-founder of a leading e-commerce start-up, Craftsvilla, decided to give it all up and return to India to help artisans sustain their livelihoods. “I am from a Marwari baniya family and business runs in my blood. I have always been passionate about arts and crafts of India and wanted to do something to preserve the vast cultural heritage of our country,” Monica asserts as she begins to take us back in time. “My husband and I wanted to return to India as we felt the need to be around our families. So we took the plunge. After landing here, we decided on exploring our own country and started touring India. By the end of 2010, we went on road trip to Kutch and it was during that trip that we came up with an idea to start Craftsvilla, which, we are planning to go public with a $1-billion IPO in the next 18 months.”
There is no doubt that this beauty has redefined many wardrobes worldwide but her own closet choices distinctively gravitate towards comfort. “Fashion to me means being comfortable in your own skin. Somehow being so far from your home turf, being in the US made me appreciate the value of Indian culture, craft, the colours and the intricacies. We have so much vision in our artisans, our interiors, our tradition, etc. that I find it hard to look anywhere else.”
For a lady who deals in fashion, day-in and day-out, Monica draws inspiration from quite unexpected sources. She avers, “The smallest things leave a creative impression on me.”
The Czarina of online shopping describes herself as someone who is the exact opposite of the stereotypical shopper: “Personally, I can’t be someone who likes to wait around for half hour, try on clothes and then decide on it or move on to see what the next store has to offer. That’s just too exhausting for me. I am more of a window shopper, who sees a product that she likes, pops inside the showroom and buys it instantly. I don’t have patience,” she bursts out laughing. Ask her about her favourites and she shares, “I am an online-addicted-shopper. Hence, I constantly check current trends in the online world.”
The mom of two, who is also a workaholic, loves to unwind by learning something new from her daughters. “My children are my teachers. I even seek life or business-related advise from them. It is really nice to have a child’s perspective about things in your life. Their brains are clear from complexities and world views are quite simple, with their viewpoints that enable/trigger me into looking at things from a totally diverse and encouraging light. Playing with them helps me a lot as well,” avers Monica who loves travelling too. “The different places that I visit inspire my choices. Each culture has unique offerings and I enjoy learning about those aspects. My husband and I love going for long walks. Hence, we are explorers who love travelling by foot. Both of us are food junkies too so we also love to try different cuisines and soak in the sights and scenery of the city we are in,”she adds.
Lastly, Monica shares that when she isn’t working, learning stuff from her daughters or travelling, she enjoys cooking to unwind, “My husband is a great cook. I started enjoying it after my marriage. But now, we indulge in cooking as a family activity. We involve our daughters too sometimes and trick them into helping out with vegetable-based dishes that they don’t usually like to eat. And they end up eating them lovingly because they have made it themselves. I am Marwari and I relish cooking Marwari cuisine but of late, I prefer international dishes, and often end up whipping up elaborate dinners in the kitchen for my family.”