Excerpts from the “Entrepreneurs Speakers Summit – NMIMS Mumbai 2015″ where Navin Sadrangani was the principal speaker talking of his journey as an entrepreneur.
At the outset, Navin Sadarangani disarms with a self-deprecating humor connecting warmly with his audience and egging them to involve in the talk he is about to kick off. Beneath that easy facade is an exceptionally sharp mind that has caught on to and made good opportunities much ahead of the curve. Navin comes with all the makings and trappings of a blue blooded entrepreneur, gaining expertise in his field, creating a network, spotting the vulnerability and an unmet need in the industry, making it his niche and going all out to ensure he then becomes the “go to guy” for the industry wooing his clientele and rolling out the razzmatazz. He is the owner of NYUZ that aims to be the preferred service partner for jewelry retailers.
Navin reveals his early life and he endearingly makes a point that his upbringing is not privileged. What also is evident is his boundless energy even in his school days where he did summer jobs, a concept unheard of back then in the Country. Post his graduation, Navin additionally armed himself doing several courses ranging from languages to jewelry. He then went on to work with established jeweller Intergold, helping set up stores across the country, managing marketing budgets, accountable for sales and managing operations with large teams. This was to become his training ground where he picked up the nuances of retailing jewelry. He learnt that his marketing budgets are more effectively spent in PR than in newspaper ads, he learnt about merchandising which he defines as right timing inventory display. And here is where his real eureka moment came by, that the doing and undoing of the final sale is really in the hands of the customer touch point, the frontline staff. By then Navin had become friends with his employers, and was clear he didn’t want to compete with them by setting up another shop but decided he’d be able to add value for them by providing them guidance and coaching to frontline staff on improving the customer experience at the retail store.
Today this is a common theme across all forms of retailing and every retailing organization spends time and energy on dialing up their staff. It is well recognized that the staff that the customer interacts with really is the brand experience for the client and either promotes loyalty or does not. But back in the late 90s and the turn of the 21st century this was a blind spot for many large business houses. Navin launched NYUZ to provide what he calls the 4Cs of retailing coaching, consulting, creative retail and concepts. Navin works closely with the family jeweler, helping identify the brand USP, providing consulting advice on the nuances of operations and merchandise. In short he helps professionalize a traditional family business identifying the key differentiator, building a vision statement and equipping the business to compete in a market that is today very competitive involving the big boys viz., Tanishq.
NYUZ importantly provides training for the frontline staff, embedding grooming nuances, providing them with product knowledge and social skills to converse with the customer to help convert the sale. All of this is in painstaking detail, including shift timings to accommodate uniform change, discouraging looking at mobile phones since that displays lack of interest to customer, grooming tips such as pinned back hair, clipped nails and neutral nail polish to quote just a few examples.
Google NYUZ and Navin and what comes up are pictures of celebrities and a cricket competition for jewelers called NYUZ Cricket Challenge. In combining the nations love for the game and for Bollywood, Navin not only creates a gaming entity that possibly has a valuation attached to it, but also builds a credible network that the jewelry retailers would want to belong to and in getting the celebrity ensures he gets the necessary footfalls and grabs the eyeballs in the media space. Instinctively what seems like a frivolous spectacle is in reality the building of a brand, etching it in the minds of everyone who matters and creating scale around the concept not so much of the game but of the brand that is NYUZ. Bear in mind that the sponsors were jewelry retailers and not NYUZ. NYUZ was the event organiser that aimed to put together the cricketing event to break the monotony of jewelry retailing involving long hours and helping motivate and re-energise with an exercise akin to team building in much grander scale.
Dr. Sandeep Hegde, Associate Professor, HRM and Strategy organised the Entrepreneur’s summit at NMIMS. Much gratitude to Dr. Sandeep Hegde and Harshvardhan Shah for inviting liveslessordinary to the event. Navin is a dear friend of Krishma, co-founder of “Liveslessordinary”. Krishma was also instrumental in inviting Navin to speak at the Entrepreneur’s forum. She recorded the session and was so enthused, she wanted to capture the same here for our readers to get a glimpse of Navin the person and to dissect the DNA of an entrepreneur. Navin incidentally is the face of “passions and vocations” for Lives less ordinary and embodies the idea of making a vocation of a passion. His passion seems to be his love for interacting with people and his expertise has been in the field of jewelry and the two he combines to make a successful career of.
Get in touch with Navin @ Nyuz – http://www.nyuz.com/