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DB Entrepreneur of the Month: Kavita Mathur of Red Velvet

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My business is an online home store making exquisite, quality bespoke products available to customers at a click. Red Velvet is a reflection of myself; I am a house-proud person and love everything spectacular in any living space.

In setting up Red Velvet my husband and I had many brainstorming discussions about how best to tap my potential as a creative person and form a good business model that would be sustainable in such a competitive world – we realised being online was the key.

The thing that interests me most about my business are my products. I take keen interest in designing them and finding the right sources to produce them. It is a journey I embark on every day to curate something unique and bring a wide range to my customers.

To succeed in in business, you need to be positive, motivated and confident. It is easy to give up but it takes a lot to move forward knowing the difficulties that lie ahead. You have to be passionate about your work and own it.

To start up my business, I followed my heart but at the same time learnt the importance of supply and demand. There are times when the heart takes over the mind and I had to learn to make choices that were led by logic rather than my creativity.

The greatest challenge I face is that I’m a product-based business which requires me to keep a lot of stock. Skyrocketing Hong Kong rentals and very expensive storage spaces make it difficult for me to manage overheads, while shipping from overseas.

My greatest achievement is the sense of accomplishment I feel when someone says, “Oh you are Red Velvet.” (My heart does a little happy dance!) The credit, of course, goes to my clients who bestow their faith in me and my business – they give me the motivation to keep going – and most importantly to my family and friends who continue to encourage me.

My plan for the future is to set up a website, so I can grow from being a localised business to a regional one that taps into the larger market in Hong Kong and Asia. The potential for an online business is immense, keeping in view the increasing overheads, especially rental, in running a traditional store-based business. Eventually, I hope to be on a par with the big-league home stores.

When hiring staff, I always look for someone with dedication and respect for the work they do.

The entrepreneur I most admire is JK Rowling. I admire her creativity and imagination. She came from
a humble background and rose to success by means of her own capability.

My favourite social media platform is Facebook; my business thrives on it. It is an amazing platform for small businesses to connect with their diverse and dispersed customer base, and it helps increase visibility and marketability.

My personal motto is: Push yourself, no one else is going to do it for you.

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