Anjali Gaekwar: Being In The World Of Luxury, Running A Business & Learnings From 2020
Welcome to our section on Real Women—where we bring you stories of and conversations with real women who inspire us, who have changed lives and given back to the community. Today, we have with us Anjali Gaekwar—Country Head (India) of Louboutin, the Co-Founder of Lighthouse (an advisory firm) & Happy Soil (high-performance organics). Watch the insightful discussion on Anjali accidentally stepping into the world of luxury, starting a business with her sister and the one thing she’s stopped doing since last year.
Ayushi: Hi Anjali! Thank you for joining us.
Anjali: Thank you, Ayushi! Very excited to be here. Congratulations on creating such a fabulous workwear brand & a gorgeous store!
Ayushi: Thank you for your kind words, Anjali. I’d like to start our conversation with something that’s been on all our minds—you went from psychology to luxury. How did it happen? What was it like?
Anjali: Honestly, it happened purely by chance. After completing college, I was looking for a job & one day, a friend recommended Château Indulge (hospitality). I had no idea about this industry, but I still interviewed. I got in and worked with them for about 5 years. Post that I joined the Narang Group, which brought Red Bull along with Evian and Perrier mineral water to India. It was a super-fun time to be working with a young and dynamic team!
Ayushi: Fantastic! As they say, life happens. You don’t need to be a businessperson to run a business, right? Speaking of which, you started Lighthouse with your sister Priya. How did the idea come about and how do you don so many hats?
Anjali: The idea to do something together also happened by chance. Both Priya and I have been in retail, and we’d give advice to our friends. One evening at dinner, one of our friends casually asked us, “Why don’t you formulise this and build a company?”. My sister and I thought about it but we weren’t sure because we’re two completely different people! But we did put some thought into it and while speaking to our family, came up with the idea of Lighthouse. We offer 360° luxury and retail consultancy, brand strategy and help brands elevate.
Ayushi: Amazing! Moving on, what are your top wardrobe essentials?
Anjali: A white tee with high-waist boyfriend jeans and ballerina flats, sarees because they are so versatile, jackets as they can elevate any outfit, sneakers and black dresses, which can be styled in multiple ways. I’m also a huge jewellery lover. Anywhere I go, I always make it a point to pick up knick-knacks.
Ayushi: That’s good to hear. As we near the end of our conversation, I’d like to know what learning you’ve carried with you in 2021?
Anjali: One key point would be trusting the people you work with, especially now more than ever. We also need to be more agile in our businesses. Personally, it’s definitely taught me to be a lot more calmer and to accept failures as well as triumphs. I’ve learnt to go with the flow and not overthink, which is something I used to do before.
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