Leather & Footwear
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Ms. Prerna Verma

Director

Creative India

 Face-to-face with Ms. Prerna Verma, Head of CREATIVE INDIA

Description- Ms. Prerna Verma, founder and CEO of Creative India, the known brand as an exporter of leather cords and related items to several countries of the world, shares with us her success story and lets us about her company.

Q.1. Tell us something about yourself

I hail from Kanpur city of UP, CEO of Creative India Company engaged in manufacturing and export of leather cords along with cotton cords, leather bags. Etc. My upbringing was in a middle class family imbibing all good values that were given to me and my younger brother by my parents. I lost my father at a very early age, hence bought up single-handedly by my mother. Due to poor financial situation of family, I started my first job with an importer after completion of intermediate education.

Q.2. What inspired you to start your own company?

My first service gave me the required knowledge of the working environment and the system. Here was a specific incident of me cheated by a person whom I was helping, he challenged me for work. This was the turning point in my life, I took up the challenge on face and turned it into an opportunity. Hence I quit my job and at the same time got my first client in Kanpur itself.

In 2004 I started my own business with mere Rs. 3000/- which I had at that time by making leather cords, leather crafted items, etc

Q.3. What were the challenges that you faced initially?

Being a lady, it was quite hard to enter as an entrepreneur in raw leather market. Bargaining for prices, dealing with craftsmen, getting clients, etc. seemed to be tougher than I thought. The craftsmen too took me lightly thinking that a lady would not have much knowledge about this business. But I had a strong will and dream in my eyes to do something remarkable and make my position intact in this field. I used to purchase best quality of raw material after several considerations. The market is full of cheaters, hence I had to be very cautious at every step.

Q.4. How did you cope up with them?

Many people may get disappointed and depressed by the types of challenges and hurdles I faced during setting my business. 100% dedication towards my work, self-confidence and my strong will to succeed kept me going and never step back. I kept on fighting with adverse circumstances to move ahead.

Q.5. When was Creative India founded?

In December 2006 Creative India was established. After first few initial shocks and waves I was ready to build my own brand during the year 2005-2006. At starting I got premises on rent and commissioned my own unit for making leather cords and other items with my own machines and dying plants.

Q.6. When did Creative India ventured into exports?

At the starting I used to sell my company’s products through exporters in New Delhi, Mumbai, Varanasi, Agra, Kolkata and Punjab. As told you earlier, I had always dreamt to do something big, hence decided to export my products myself. For marketing my products and brand, I got the website www.creative-leathers.com built for my international and domestic clients. I got my first international export contract in 2007 which was from United Kingdom. By 2008 we started exporting to other European countries, and by 2009 American clients joined our list of clients. Presently we export leather cords, craft items, leather bags, etc. to more than 25 countries worldwide.

Q.7. What were your major achievements as a business woman?

 As result of my efforts and hard work, in 2010, I was awarded for ‘Product Quality Excellence Award’ for Outstanding Performance by the Government. I have also been honored for ‘Women Entrepreneur’ by Uttar Pradeshiya Mahila Munch, Meerut.

The year 2015 saw my organization achieve with highest award for ‘Outstanding National Export Performance for the year 2012-13’ for achieving Outstanding Export Performance in Handicrafts made from leather. I received this award from Mr. Santosh Gangawar, Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Ministry of Textile on behalf of EPCH, Government of India.

In the year 2016, I have been awarded for ‘National Productivity & Innovation Award 2015’, ‘2nd prize in Leather category’ by Honorable Union Minister, MSME Mr. Kalraj Mishra through National Productivity council.

In 2017, it was another big accomplishment when my organization has been awarded for’ Outstanding National Export Performance for the year 2013-14’ for achieving Outstanding Export Performance in Handicrafts of Leather by Mrs. Smriti Zubin Irani, Union Minister of Textile on behalf of EPCH, Government of India.

Q.8. Which work policies do you swear by?

I always believed and worked on 3 policies:


-  Never compromise with the quality, as quality always returns.
(Result I got: - Many of exporters have closed down during the recession period but my turnover was growing because of quality only)

- Always be creative and be different from others.
(Many of our items like Reptile cords, stitching cords etc. cannot be found with any other manufactures in India)

- Customer is always right.

Q.9. What advice would you give to other women entrepreneurs?

Never ever give up if you believe in your dreams and yourself. During my initial years of business I was mocked by people surrounding m, but now the same people hold respect for me in their eyes. I have taken people’s negative and discouraging comments to strengthen my will power and work harder towards achieving my goals. Moreover, I am indebted to all my clients in India and aboard, staff of Creative India and over my Mom and my entire family.

Some of her greatest achievements and timeline of her success journey are:

Timeline

2004 - October, Started dealing in Leather Cords by Ms. Prerna Verma a long journey with small step with small amount of INR 3000.00.
2006 - December, She establishes CREATIVE INDIA.
2007 - Creative India began to export to United Kingdom
2008 - Creative India began to export to European Countries
2009 - Creative India began to export to American Countries
2010 - May, With the support of Team - Creative India under leadership of Ms. Prerna Verma, its Buyers & its Supplier, CREATIVE INDIA got an Award for Product Quality Excellence Award for Outstanding Performance by Government.
2010 - Installs imported machine for Leather.
2011 - Installs Production Plant for producing Cotton Cords.
2011 - June got an Honour for Women Entrepreneur by Uttar Pradeshiya Mahila Munch, Meerut.
2012 - Begins business association with Asian Countries
2012 - Begins producing Purses and Bags.
2013 - Customize Leather Jewellery and other Leather Articles have become the part of its production

2015 – March 18, 2015, got Award Outstanding National Export Performance for 2012-13 for achieving Outstanding Export Performance in Handicrafts of Leather by EPCH Government of India

2015 – July 16, 2015, awarded with a trophy by State Government organized by Hindustan (leading newspaper) for doing the remarkable work in business and setting up the example for women.

2016 – February 22, 2016, awarded with 300 gram Silver Momentum of Make in India along with certificate for National Productivity & Innovation Award 2015 by National Productivity Council, Government of India.

2016 – March 8, 2016, awarded by Sakhi Kendra, Kanpur (NGO) for setting up the example for women.

2016 – July 22, 2016, awarded by State Government & Hindustan (Newspaper) with the Award name “Main Bhi Malala” for setting up the example for women.

2017 – January 9, 2017, got Award Outstanding National Export Performance for 2013-14 for achieving Outstanding Export Performance in Handicrafts of Leather by EPCH Government of India

2017 – January 27, 2017, awarded for Shubhanjali Award by All India Women Development & Training Society, Kanpur (NGO) for setting up the example for women.

2017 – March 14- 16, selected for Top Management Forum for Knowledge Management in Korea by Indian & Japanese Government.

 

Awards and Achievements

Award Name

Awarding institution

Year

Purpose/domain

Monetary value (if any)

State Award for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises

Small Scale Industries and Export Promotion, Government of UP, Lucknow

2009-10

Product Quality Excellence Award in Leather

Rs. 15000.00

National Export Performance Award

Export Promotion Council for Handicrafts, New Delhi

2012-13

Handicrafts of Leather

NA

Productivity and Innovation Award

National Productivity Council, New Delhi (Government of India)

2014-15

Leather Product Sector – Micro

NA

National Export Performance Award

Export Promotion Council for Handicrafts, New Delhi

2013-14

Handicrafts of Leather

NA

Hind Prabha 2011

Uttar Pradeshiya Mahila Munch, Meerut (NGO)

2011-12

Contribution in the Society for Development & Setting up the example for Women

NA

Sakhi Award

Sakhi Kendra, Kanpur (NGO)

2015-16

Outstanding Contribution in Leather Industry for the development in the Society & Setting up the example for Women

NA

Main Bhi Malala

State Government & Hindustan

2015-16

Contribution in the Society for Development & Setting up the example for Women

NA

 


 

 

Interview