For her, success is about being passionate of the work one does and being committed to it.
“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever,” said Mahatma. Learning and constanly updating oneself with the knowledge is the key to success. Sandhya Volety does not know anything about the subject when she started Wonders, an interior and exterior designing business. Her creativity brought her the first opportunity but passion towards the subject and desire to learn made the business to grow over time. Wonders has grown 30-40 per cent year-on-year in revenues and started serving not only clients in the City but aslo in Mumbai.
About her educational background, she says, “I am a graduate in life sciences. My journey towards professionalism included a variety of jobs from school teacher to a centre head for SSI computer institute. However, it was always my dream to start something on my own. There was also a burning desire to create employment as it is not only a source of living for one person but supports the entire family,”
Sandhya had her first assignment by chance during a coffee with her friend. “I visualised and drew the interior design for my friend’s clinic during our conversation. She liked the idea instantly and hired me,” she says.
However, Sandhya did not get herself satisfied with her creativity and approval of the first project. She has sharpened her creativity by various methods of learning as she did not have theoretical knowledge. “I collected books, purchased magazines, attended seminars and exhibitions all across India that dealt with designing and space enrichment. Interaction with professionals in the same line helped me to understand the challenges and learn techniques,” she explains.
The learning process has been continuing throughout the career. “The first few years of my business were smooth sailing and I experienced natural growth. I have decided to do a management course to take the business to the next level. I was selected by ISB for the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women Program which helped structure my business better and also to increase my networking. Interacting with other women entrepreneurs during the program helped to increase the knowledge base.
“In April 2010, I was selected by the Fortune /US State Department Global Women’s Mentoring Program in USA. This is a high-touch program drawing on the knowledge and expertise of America’s most accomplished leaders to empower aspiring women professionals. This helped to me enhance the exposure and interact with famous personalities like Condoleezza Rice, Cherie Blair and Lloyd Blankfein,” she says.
Sandhya did not limit the knowledge she gained to herself but started an initiative to pass it to the other women, who do not have access to management education. Wonders has initiated Anuva in 2010, a forum for knowledge sharing for women entrepreneurs from fields like beauty shops, boutiques, food courts, tailoring and embroidery. To create interest and awareness on enhanced lifestyle and modern living, Wonders initiated Ativa in 2008. The event is conducted exclusively for women in district towns, where the entrepreneurs can display their products in exhibitions, which act as marketing and sales tool for these businesses.