Kaviya Raj

Finding one’s True Calling

Turning away from a promising career in the IT industry, Kaviya risked everything when she invested her life savings to indulge in her passion of catering to needs of brides. TBG Bridal Store, her business, caters to more than a thousand brides each year all over India.

I was a happy-go-lucky girl since my childhood, living every day to the fullest. A person without much ambition, I led a typical run-of-the-mill life. I was an above average student in school. I studied engineering following the herd mentality after which I took up a job in IT Bellwether. Though I was industrious and dedicated to my profession, I was not passionate about it.
Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think that I would become an entrepreneur and influence the lives of hundreds of people. After spending a few years in Product Engineering, I found my true calling. I realised I had an uncanny knack of understanding all the worries and anxieties of brides-to-be. I started a blog to help brides with pre-wedding tips. When the blog went viral, I decided to start a venture with this idea and found to my surprise, that I had a prime-mover advantage.

I quit a promising career in the IT industry as I found it difficult to balance my job as a software engineer and my business. I risked everything when I invested my life savings in my passion and started TBG Bridal Store .Starting out as an entrepreneur wasn’t easy. My business concept seemed weak to my family and friends. Moreover, bridal artists weren’t convinced. Even though I offered a good pay, marketing agencies and developers didn’t seem interested in working with me. Recruiting technical support who had a good understanding of bridal services was also quite challenging. Convincing talented artists to join my association and explaining my brand’s potential in the market was a very trying task.

Today, I realize it is more than worth it. Brides were welcoming and showed a great interest in my company and my blogs. Their thank-you messages were my inspiration and their doubts helped me introduce new services.

While some might view my lack of experience in the business world before I started TBG as a disadvantage, I have a different perspective on that. I have no MBA degree or a family business background, but I think that really helped me to think out of the box. Today, my business caters to more than a thousand brides each year all over India, including NRI brides, and it currently does not receive any funding. A few investors approached me but I didn’t show any interest because I am able to sustain my business with my own profits.

The work is very different from what I did in IT. I work harder and it is much more stressful, but at the end of the day, the satisfaction I get from the feedback of the brides is enormous and cannot be compared with any other job. TBG has really helped me to see the world differently. I’ve met some wonderful people, many different personalities, and that has added richness to my life. I have also faced many successes and many failures. I feel that every day is a lesson. It has made me realize the value of time. I’ve come to understand how a business can bring in money as well as provide great opportunities to others. It has been a great learning experience.

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