Ms Benaazir Mukherjee, SCMS Cochin Alumnus’ MoodSwings Jewelry by Benaazir specializes in making one-of-a-kind handmade pieces
The aim of B schools is not only to create corporate bigwigs of tomorrow but also to build the spirit of entrepreneurship amongst students. That’s something SCMS Cochin School of Business seems to have done for Ms Benaazir Mukherjee, who started her jewellery business in 2010, called MoodSwings Jewelry by Benaazir.
But modest Ms. Mukherjee quickly plays it down and gets talking about her entrepreneurial sojourn. “It was my passion to be involved in craft that I could convert into a sustainable business” she explains. That was the birth of the business idea for Benaazir but the road she took towards her goal deserves a special mention.
Benaazir doesn’t come from a business background, nor did she want to rely on anyone to finance her project. So she accumulated the funds for her venture before setting it up; definitely a commendable move for a woman entrepreneur. But she doesn’t see it that way. “I do not find any difference between a man and a woman entrepreneur. What really matters is your risk appetite, confidence and your product,” she says.
You can see her independent and business-oriented mind at work here. Wonder how much of these beliefs and notions were built during Benaazir’s years at SCMS. “The theoretical knowledge learned at the institute was quite helpful. You do get some exposure to marketing when you work on somebody else’s business,” she admits but adds that setting up your business is a different ball game altogether.
Benazir was always inclined towards the idea of being an entrepreneur. The Computer graduate worked for a while after completing her PGDM. But in 2008 she quit her job to pursue her passion of travelling and jewellery. How did she decide that it was the right time for her to turn entrepreneur? “There is no right time, but when you have your finances fairly sorted out and have no pressures on them, it seems like the time to take the plunge,” she says practically.
Jewellery business is quite competitive at the best of times. How does a woman entrepreneur manage to stay motivated and deal with the rough tides that are a part of business? “Every business is competitive. Trying to excel in your chosen field; I do not see that as competition. It’s like running a marathon against your own willpower,” explains Benaazir. You can’t help but notice her refreshing perspective on business that makes her stand out.
The same attitude is probably reflected in the quirky brand name. “It’s fun and has several interpretations; women relate to it, husbands and boyfriends can relate to it. The name suggests jewellery for every mood one might have,” says Benaazir, who seems to be in a winning mood herself.