Nikhil Divekar [buddhaloka]
What is the business idea that you are working on right now? How did you come up with it?
Right now i am working on the Business Idea, Buddhaloka Naturals.Thru this i would like to make available quality natural products to consumers at an affordable cost.
I have been exporting and trading in various Indian made products for the past five years,over the years with my extensive travel within india and overseas,i have become aware of the benefit of the use of natural well being products for a holistic lifestyle, seeked by the young and old alike.
People around the world are getting drawn towards living a holistic lifestyle.
That's when i decided on my current project Buddhaloka naturals.
Is there a website, blog or social media link where we can see more about your project and/or yourself?
What is your professional background? What were you doing before?
After i was done with my high school, five years ago ,i decided that the conventional eductaional system is not good for me, so i took up a correspondence course in Business management, and started into business exporting indian Textiles, Handicrafts,Home furnishings,Aroma products and Metalcrafts to Europe.Over the years i have had the opportunity to travel and meet various types of people, from whom i have learnt a lot.Three years ago i started a distribution business wholesaling incense to shops in Goa.in the past two years i have strated our own brands with manufacturing facility in Mysore, where incense making is a tradition.
How did the entrepreneurial spirit rise up in you? Were you exposed to entrepreneurship in your family or your social environment when you were a child?
My dad has always been an entrepreneur, so i grew up with an entrepreneurial spirit, and developed a fondness for the freedom & the challenge of being my own boss and walking my own path.
Even as a child i was always fascinated by the lives of good leaders & pioneers.
Do you have partners working with you on this? How do you split the work with them?
At Buddhaloka Naturals ,i am the boss, and for me the work is fun and more of a hobby.
Describe your business plan as briefly and simply as possible.
At the moment,I am concentrating on selling natural incense, and herbal teas with distinct health benefits.
over the coming year , i would like to add some more health foods, natural resins,Herbs & spices, essential oils and aroma & spa products.My next addition will be himalayan rock salt, which is a much healthier alternative to using regular refined salt.
What have you achieved up to now? What have you yet to achieve?
I have achieved a welcomed acceptance for my products in central europe and scandinavia and soon i will be exporting to australia & new zealand.
Well as i see it, i have learnt a lot thru the experience of being in business from a young age , but its just the start & i have a long way to go ahead.
Are you looking for investors? What are you offering in exchange for what?
So far i have been working with my own money and may be as i grow and feel that i should expand then i will try and get an investor.
I enjoy doing business and whoever invest in me, rest assured will get good returns and be happy.
Do you have employees or people that you outsource tasks to? What do they do?
Yes i do have a few things outsourced like the designs for my products and i also work with some people on a commission basis for the orders they bring in.
Entrepreneurs have a reputation as "control freaks." How do you avoid that?
I look at every person as a human being same as me,so i deal with love with my people,and being a meditator i know that forced control actually destroys people and they dont rise to their highset potential, so love & respect is the way and i have got good results so far.There is a certain amount of trust and love built within the company.
How do you balance work with relaxation?
I actually enjoy my work and i also enjoy travelling and adventure, so i have found a perfect recipe for me.at times i work too much at times i relax too much but i am always aware about what i am doing.
What is your main motivation: being your own boss, adventure and discovery, getting rich, doing good for others, or is there something else?
One thing that really motivates me is the possibility of bringing about a change ,as an entrepreneur one can bring about within himself and his organisation and as he grows there is a possibility to touch more lives in good ways.
Being young i am quite idealistic and hope to see a nicer peaceful world in which there is a possibility for more and more people to live happier lives.
I also enjoy travel & adventure,access to latest technology , Taking time out for myself and meeting new people & the good things that,entrepreneurship brings along.
What do you think of big corporations? Would you work for one?
The big corporations are doing their job, not everyone wants to be an entrepreneur and for them they provide jobs. But pesonally i would never work for big corporations.i don't mind working with them but not as an employee.
Describe two moments of maximum fear and maximum satisfaction that you have lived through in your business adventure.
I have not had moments of feeling fear as there has always been solutions available at times of difficulty,i was very satisfied when i had received a letter informing me on being nominated for a young achievers award for export excellence by the IEDRA.
It feels really good when someone recognizes your work and encourages you to keep it up!
When you need guidance or advice, where do you find it?
I usually look up the Internet most of the time or else i seek help from books and at times from consultants or friends involved in foreign trade and business.
Up to what point is luck is important? How do you attract it?
Luck is important, I consider my self very lucky for even the air that i breathe.So luck is always there one needs to be focused in the moment.Also i like to work with all my heart and am blessed with love luck & happiness.
What do you do to maintain morale and continue persevering in low times?
As i said before i like to take life and business moment to moment and that lets me enjoy every moment, the ups and the downs ,the valleys & the peaks.
Which well known entrepreneurs/enterprises do you admire? Why?
In India i admire TATA group for its continued dedication towards the growth of our country,the company has grown well diversified and yet maintaing its very good & ethical ways of doing business.
I also admire Sir Richard Branson's way of carrying himself and enjoying business & adventure, always challenging limits.
What other types of businesses are you frequently tempted by?
I would like to slowly get totally involved in A Natural health & healing business and grow into a fully diversified in the Natural Health & Alternative Medicine sector.
Are these times of crisis good for beginning a business?
to begin a business , any time is good, one has to concentrate on what he wants to do and not worry about crisis and other negativity.
How important have PR and social media been for you?
Its a good way to network & connect with amazing people around the world.
What would you call success? Where would you like your business to be five years from now?
To me success is enjoying what i do, only time will tell where my business will be in five years, for me i would just like to keep innovating and creating better products and build a strong company.
What skills would you advise a want-to-be-entrepreneur to acquire?
One should have a strong determination and a good will power and an uncompromising faith in oneself.Also one should constantly be open to learn new things and be creative always.One has to blaze his own path.