When Poonam Gupta joined a popular clothing brand as its finance manager, she thought she was cut out for that job.
But the company’s Managing Director spotted the entrepreneurial abilities Poonam had, which she was unaware of. So in 1990, when he launched a high-end silver product line for the international market, he made Poonam the project head. With no experience of silver-smithing, Poonam learned everything about the industry on the job. She connected with an Amsterdam-based professor and started training with silver-smith workers. Three years later, Poonam had created a brand that contributed 70 percent to the company’s revenue. That was the first time Poonam realized her potential as an entrepreneur. So in 2009, she quit her job and formed Alchemy De Luxe.
Starting small, Alchemy De Luxe now produces 5,000 different products ranging from Rs 2,500 to 5 lakh. What sets apart Poonam’s product is the craftsmanship. The silver is tastefully fused with natural materials like wood, bronze, copper, precious and semi-precious stones. Each piece exudes artistic brilliance and her products have found a steady market in many art galleries across Germany and the United States. She also has two retail stores in Delhi and Mumbai.
Although she has 22 years of experience as head of a business center and seven years of running her own enterprises, the Walmart Women Entrepreneurship Development Program seemed like a program she had been waiting for. “In addition to all the classroom sessions, I value the advice I have been getting from Walmart India leaders and buyers from the Merchandising team – from compliance to working on products with a varied price range. Now I am open to creating a product line of competitive price range,” shares Poonam. With this, Poonam is upping the game for all market players in that price bracket because she believes that even at an affordable price, quality of art cannot be compromised.
Poonam has been awarded the Best Handicraft of the Year Award 2015 for her designs for Alchemy De Luxe. Her designs can be viewed on her website www.alchemydeluxe.in.