“Have the courage to explore and follow your dreams, even on the days when you feel low” says Ketki Tamhane in a recent chat with Storiyaan.
Ketki is a civil engineer turned interior designer, Vastu consultant, Tarot reader and an entrepreneur by profession and a traveller by passion. She is also into blogging on the social media platform in her free time. She started her firm, Bonnnong, in 2015 which happens to be an interior designing and a Vastu consultancy firm. A self-made entrepreneur who has fought all the odds and established her own brand is Ketki Tamhane for you. Hailing from a traditional Maharashtrian family, she did not have her family’s support at the start of her journey or her own business served to her on a silver platter, and she had to build herself from the scratch to become the successful and independent woman she is today.
In her interview with Storiyaan, Ketki talks about Bonnnong and various facets of her profession. She strongly believes that clients are her first priority and it is their satisfaction and happiness that motivates her to do better and this has always been her cornerstone in Bonnnong. Read further to know more about Ketki’s entrepreneurial journey.
Questions and answers
Every entrepreneur has a toilsome start, what is a lesson that you learnt during that phase, that has helped you build and sustain Bonnnong?
The quality of work that I provide to my clients, has kept me going. I always ensure that I perform to the best of my abilities. In this industry, the mouth publicity works the most and many clients in the interior industry being residential clients, the service and quality of work you provide to your clients will take you a long way.
Can you brief us a bit about your designing style, and what is it about Bonnnong that makes it distinct from other firms?
There are many interior companies that have worked in this industry for a long time. Most of the renowned and established companies do not take low budget clients for the “obvious reasons”. I try to maintain a middle ground between my clients’ gratification and budget. We try to see where we can crosscut and understand our profits as well. Our company is welcoming towards each and every potential client who wants to get their homes renovated. People buying a new house have dozens of dreams and emotions attached to it and we believe in helping them attain all of those. We see to it that their aspirations are well kept. This is what makes us unique.
Talk to us about your first project and how did you manage to get clients in the initial stage?
It was a bit difficult to get clients initially. At the start of my journey, I was getting clients through referrals and word of mouth and that is how you get clients initially if you are a small scale business. All you have at the start is your expertise in designing and your hard-work. The quality of your work is what will get you rolling.
I still remember my first ever project which was a consultancy project, I had worked on it for 3 months; I had just earned an amount of Rs. 25k through that project and that’s exactly how my journey as a designer had started in this industry.
However, it is very important to understand that this is a service industry and therefore your behaviour and attitude towards your clients matters a lot; the client’s perspective has always been my top priority since day one and it has helped me grow during my initial stage.
How do you strike a perfect balance between keeping up with your clients' demands and adding your own extensive touch to your designs?
That is just the convincing part of the job. You need to convince your clients in the correct way and they should also have faith in you and your choices at the same time. In terms of technicalities, the designer should be technically well-versed and he/she should convince and think about the best of their clients by imbibing his/her ideas.
Your job requires a lot of creative energy. Are there days when you hit monotony, if so how do you overcome the creative block?
There are a lot of sites/links available on the internet these days. The thing is to keep yourself updated with the latest trend to stimulate ideas inside your mind. The dynamism of your mind and cultivating new ideas will always keep you in the market. Also, your visualization power should be very strong enough.
Lastly, what message would you like to give out to all the aspiring entrepreneurs reading this feature?
I always say, follow your dreams because if your dreams are stronger enough, nothing can stop you from achieving them. Get out of your comfort zone, and take those first perilous steps towards your dream.
At the same time, you have to keep in mind that the risks that you take have to be calculative. A lot of youngsters today take the plunge, without knowing where it will lead them to and that might do a lot of damage. It is very important to have a basic idea or a plan of action before you enter into the business industry.