Successful Indian - successfullindian

Name - Deepa Pant

Position - Founder & CEO

Organisation - Amaryn , Svatanya

DOB - 23rd October

Place - Delhi

Deep Bidding adieu to 13 glorious years of Corporate career she took up the challenge of upskilling the women in the slums to manufacture world-class products from upcycled resources

An ordinary Delhi girl who has a distinct philosophy in life

Born and brought up in the capital, Deepa loves to recognize herself as a Delhi girl. While she graduated in Maths (Hons) from Delhi University, she was always inclined towards creativity and arts and hence decided to pursue a post-grad from National Institute of Fashion Technology, Chennai. Deepa feels that every human being comes on this planet with a definite path and hence believes that all her life events at various phases were aligning her towards her ultimate goal. She is glad and feels blessed that her family and husband have always stood by her and been supportive of her dreams and aspirations.

Gradually climbing the success ladder in the corporate

As she recollects, Deepa had no intentions of setting up an organization or running her own business. Post NIFT, she was fortunate to get the experience of playing different roles while working for an export house, a buying office - dealing with domestic & international clients, launching a label, working with IPL teams as merchandise partners to name a few. She was a fast-tracker and with her skills and talents was soon climbing the corporate ladder much faster than any of her peers. In 13 years of her corporate tenure she had already played the role of a COO for two organizations. But there was a constant nagging feeling that life was more than just running after money and schedules so she decided to take a break. Little did she know that she was soon to be bit by the entrepreneurial bug and the desire to do something for the underprivileged!

Your inspirations to take you to your goals are just around you. All you need is a vision to identify it

The way ahead and what she could do or wanted to do was not an instant realization. During the break, she got associated with an NGO where her mother had been teaching underprivileged children for a long time. Deepa often ended up interacting with the mothers of those children and she realized that these women living in slums strive really hard to educate their children. The interactions inspired Deepa to engage and upskill them. She was confident that with a little guidance they could be living a better life while providing her the opportunity to explore her creativity. It was something new, unique and definitely worth exploring

Founding Svatanya

Not going the NGO route, Deepa wanted to start with a model that was sustainable while making a difference in the life of the people. She knew that relying on society for funds will keep her struggling to meet the ends for everyone. In 2013, she started with a team of two women keen on learning the required skills in stitching, weaving, and similar activities. The aim was to offer beautiful products and train the women in the slums to make them. Additionally, the goal was to avoid fresh resources and use maximum recycled materials. This motto of adding value to society and making the most of the recycled materials to create terrific products has kept SVATANYA at the cutting edge of market competition even today. SVATANYA started off with baby booties and then also offered baby apparel. According to the market feedback, they also introduced women's wear and gradually entered the soft toys and home décor market. They also partnered with corporate and other firms for festive products and other wide range of gifting options. Hence apart from B2C, they dynamically engaged in the B2B model of business

An ordinary courageous move that turned into a successful venture

The entire idea since the inception was to make a difference and at the same time grow as an organization.SVATANYA started off with two women and today they have trained 700+ women and are growing. After training they ensure that the engagement is constant so that these women always have an opportunity. Deepa is so proud of the fact that once these women start earning the entire equation with their husbands, in-laws, and their standing in the family changes. Everyone related to them starts looking up to them. They have the desire to work and do their best, but often fail due to lack of opportunities. She is proud that SVATANYA has become the platform for them to enrich their lives. In addition to these women, the benefit to the customers is the option of conscious product choices. Both the B2B and the B2C customers benefited from the kind of quality and design of the products offered and SVATANYA goes the extra mile by creating customized solutions catering to customer’s needs.

Success comes to those who persevere to overcome all hurdles

One of the toughest challenges Deepa has constantly faced was to generate work for these women around the year. While there’s often sufficient work for 8-10 months, but, depending upon the market, the demand always fluctuates. Deepa knew that the money earned by these women is straight away going for either children’s education or for the welfare of their family. Hence, during the lean period, she trained the women to make soft toys. These soft toys are then gifted to underprivileged children in government hospitals fighting cancer or other terminal ailments. These toy gifting drives are usually crowdfunded which ensures that the women learn and earn from their work and the children get Joy and Hope. The real meaning of success for Deepa is the feeling of solace that she has by realizing that her venture is making a difference in the lives of hundreds of women. The team is aiming to grab maximum opportunities in the upcoming days that can boost the revenue further. This will not only help in providing work for the existing batch of SVATANYA women, but also make room for more women to join, learn, and earn. Deepa and her venture have received several awards in various categories by national and international bodies for her exemplary work. She believes awards and recognitions are good as they open up new pathways and help in creating a network for collaborations and partnerships. The whole idea at the end of the day is to empower more and more women and the recognition helps in furthering the cause.

Advice for emerging Women Entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurship anyways comes with challenges but for a Social enterprise where the driving objective is to make a difference in the life of others, there are additional sets of challenges. Hence, it’s essential to understand the ‘WHY’ which becomes possible when one is able to connect with the inner self. The ‘voice from within’ is the guiding light for moving forward in the desired direction. For anyone wanting to start an enterprise, strong belief in their talent and skills is imperative besides a willingness to be guided by instincts. Once you begin the journey and progress with hard work and diligence for it, the universe starts helping you in mysterious ways.

“There is so much more in the world than we can realize. The potential is limitless once you are aware of your actual goal in life.”

Awards & Achievements

  • Social Entrepreneur award for women empowerment at 25th edition of Mystique India awards
  • Runner up in Women Entrepreneur and Social Impact category at the Tie Global conference 2019
  • Manufacturing Excellence award by WIEF under the Indian Women Excellence & Leadership Awards 2019
  • Gold Medal and grant of 5 Lac by DST for WEE fellowship by WEE Foundation at IIT-Delhi 5. Maharashtra State Innovation Awards 2019
  • Digital Women Awards 2018
  • Burgundy Achiever for Social Change 2018
  • ‘WE Promote Women’ Award at the WEConnect ThinkBig 2017 conference
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