I had the pleasure of interviewing Sambhav Karnawat, founder & CEO of Jewelove. Sambhav is an IIT Kanpur Alumnus and a 4th generation jeweler. While studying in IIT Kanpur, Sambhav realized the gap in the platinum jewelry market in India & realized that he was uniquely positioned with passion for technology & experience in jewelry, to solve for the problem of lack of authentic, high-quality platinum jewelry in India. & thus was born, Jewelove.
Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
Hi Jason, when I was in my sophomore year, I wanted to go out & do something on my own. So, I made a long list of things that I could do. The list included everything from teaching, social media consultancy all the way to e-commerce. I tried a few of them & quickly realized that my passion for technology & family background in the jewelry business uniquely positioned me to start something in jewelry e-commerce. And, that is how Jewelove came into being.
Can you share your story of Grit and Success? First can you tell us a story about the hard times that you faced when you first started your journey?
Over the last few years, there have been so many ups & downs. One of the biggest challenges is getting your first customer. After launching the website, it was quite some time before I got my first sale. That was one of the toughest times, when I just didn’t know if the idea of selling jewelry online would work or not.
Where did you get the drive to continue even though things were so hard?
Once the first customer bought the first ring, that gave me the drive & the motivation to continue.
So, how are things going today? How did Grit lead to your eventual success?
We have grown remarkably since then. Hanging on back then eventually gave us time to get the word out. Customers started feeling more confident buying jewelry online, they shared their experiences with their friends & family and that has now led us to this stage. If I had quit back then, none of this would have materialized.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?
Our focus on the customer is the one thing that sets us apart from the competition. Whether it be in terms of the customer service, our focus on platinum or understanding customer needs tastes, we try to keep our 100% focus on the customer. There was one customer who was very reluctant to buy online, but after a call, bought a bracelet. This is the experience he shared.
“While my wife planned to gift me a bracelet from online I simply rejected to buy expensive jewel on online but after receiving it we are overwhelmed with joy and felt like Valentine’s Day preponed to today itself!! Thank you Sambhav for your lovely collection, your customer care and everything.. just no words to praise.. please keep it up👍And all the Best !!!”
This is what I am talking about, the focus on the customer is what sets us apart.
Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?
Take a break. Celebrate small successes. Starting & building something new is a long journey. It takes time. To give your startup the time to grow, you need to make sure that you do not burn out. And that can only happen when you enjoy the journey & take a break to relax.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?
My wife & my mother have been an inseparable part of this journey. They have offered me the mental support that is so important to face the challenges and down times. They have cheered me up when things were low, kept me going when I was planning to quit & have been a pillar of strength in my personal as well as my work life. My wife actually also saved the company from almost going bankrupt once!
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
(Choose) What are your “5 things I wish someone told me before I started my company” and why. Please share a story or example for each.
- It is perfectly fine to build a sustainable company without raising money. There is so much hype & glamour associated with fund-raising that a lot of founders forget that it is perfectly okay to build a sustainable business without raising lots of money. I myself have spent a lot of time trying to raise money. In hindsight, that money would have been better spent building the business.
- Solo founders can build great businesses too.
- Positive Unit economics are very important for your business and long term sustainable growth.
- Always work with positive people who are intelligent, ethical & have a sense of integrity.
- Give time for compounding. Everyone wants to get rich NOW. Give it time, it will happen. But compounding takes time.
You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. :-)
Real life education. These days our education system does not prepare students for the challenges faced in the real world. I believe in the power of education & it has to be made available to everyone, and it has to be made real that prepares the learner for the challenges of life.
How can our readers follow you on social media?
You can connect with me & my startup Jewelove at :
Website : www.Jewelove.in
Instagram : www.instagram.com/Jewelove
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/Jewelove/
Twitter : https://twitter.com/JeweloveIndia
Linkedin : https://in.linkedin.com/in/jewelove
This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!