Junuka Jewels to take North East Indian jewellery global - Startup Terminal

Friday, November 25, 2016

Junuka Jewels to take North East Indian jewellery global


"Over the next two years, we would like to take North East Indian jewellery global. Our endeavour is not just to bring the traditional designs and arts into the mainstream, but also revive jewellery forms and designs that have almost faded away. The antique and vintage designs will be given a modern touch and would be taken to international markets."

 Junuka Jewels to take North East Indian jewellery global
(L to R) Olenka Dilip and Krishnazina Thakur, Co-Founders of Junuka Jewels

ST Bureau: When did you decide to take the path of ‘entrepreneurship’? Do you remember any special incident?

Ans: The entrepreneurial bug bit us a couple of years back. Although both of us cherished a dream of being independent and were keen to start something of our own, the decision to come together happened sometime in 2014.

Olenka: I worked as a financial service professional in the areas of investor communications, broker-dealers, mutual funds, securities processing and operations for over 9 years, and some sense of monotony was setting in. I decided to take a break after my daughter was born.

Krishnazina: It wasn’t too different for me either. For over seven years, I had worked in various capacities in the legal and financial services sectors, and had developed core expertise in understanding the business, finance and statutory compliances of companies, especially in the financial services and education sectors.

Living in a nuclear family in a city like Delhi, and having no one to take care of my new born child, it was increasingly becoming a challenge to devote the long hours that a full-time professional set-up demanded. Add to that the time you waste commuting. Then, sitting idle at home was also never an option.

The first spark was triggered one fine evening, when our husbands were returning home from work. They were worried that by staying at home, we (Olenka & I) would simply waste our talent and let our experience and knowledge go in vain. That was how the idea of starting an online jewellery store – Junuka Jewels – was born.

ST Bureau:  Can you briefly tell us more about your startup?

Ans: Junuka Jewels LLP is a limited liability partnership aimed at promoting Indian traditional, ethnic, tribal jewellery with specific interest in the country’s North-Eastern region.
 Junuka Jewels to take North East Indian jewellery globally

Our objective is to facilitate business for exclusive handmade jewellery in the Indian market, as well as markets across the globe. We endeavour to develop an organised industry that not just gives direction to skilled craftsmen, but also impart requisite skills to the locals and create employment in the rural Indian markets.

 Junuka Jewels to take North East Indian jewellery global

Junuka Jewels is committed to creating a self-sustaining community of artisans and craftsmen with expertise in traditional, ethnic and tribal jewellery.

ST Bureau:  Did you get any funding for your startup? Are you planning to attract funding in the near future?

Ans: No, we haven’t sought external funding yet. Since its inception, Junuka Jewels is being self-financed. However, going by the growth we’ve experienced, there is a need to expand our market reach. To scale-up our business operations, we’d need funds from potential investors.

ST Bureau: What challenges do you face in your daily professional life?

Ans: The biggest challenge that we face every day is that of procuring our products from the artisans based in the rural and interior parts of North East India. The most difficult part is making them understand the design and spacing of the products for on-time deliveries. Secondly, transportation is a big issue. Some of the places fall under insurgency areas so curfews, Road blocks etc. are common. Timely acquiring of products and making the artisans work to earn their own bread and butter is a tough job which is also one of our objectives.

ST Bureau: How do you see yourself in next 2 years from now?

Ans: Over the next two years, we would like to take North East Indian jewellery global. Our endeavour is not just to bring the traditional designs and arts into the mainstream, but also revive jewellery forms and designs that have almost faded away. The antique and vintage designs will be given a modern touch and would be taken to international markets.

 Junuka Jewels to take North East Indian jewellery global

ST Bureau:  What are your hobbies in your personal life?

Ans: Apart from spending quality time with family and friends, we like to travel to various destinations, shopping and watching movies.

 Junuka Jewels to take North East Indian jewellery global

ST Bureau: Which is your favorite holiday destination?

Ans: Goa has always been a favourite holiday destination for us. We certainly would like to add to that list; hopefully international fashion hubs and other platforms, where we would get a chance to showcase our jewellery designs. Fingers crossed!

Interviewed by Startup Terminal Bureau