Interview 6- Ms Akansha Goud (Anishuna)

In the sixth episode of our interview series, we feel ecstatic to present Ms. Akanksha Goud before you. She has completed her post graduation in Masters in Marketing (MIM) from University of Technology Sydney(UTS) , Australia.  Having worked as a marketing associate for some of the reputed multinational organizations like P&G, Huawei. She now plans to develop her own business in  India. With a view to promote the creative and talented artists of the country, she started 'Anishuna'. Lets have a look at her insightful journey involving the challenges as an international student, her remarkable shift from marketing to the textile sector and her targeted plans for the business development.  This episode also contains tips for the young aspiring students who wish to study abroad or become entrepreneurs.  So just stay tuned and lets get started.

Tell us about the selection process and your experience of studying at UTS University, Australia.

For studying abroad, you need to prepare and clear at least one exam from IELTS, PTE, GMAT, GRE etc. depending on the requirements of the specific country. For Australia, IELTS is required which tests your English skills Verbally, Writing, Reading and Listening. You apply for the university you want to pursue and after all the formalities, you receive the unconditional letter of acceptance and then you can apply for the student visa. UTS is ranked number 1 among the young universities of Australia. The professors are very supportive and encouraging. I started my internship in my second Tri Semester and worked in the Marketing department. After graduating, I was working for an event company and was asked to be one of the panellists to share my experience and guide students aspiring to start their career in marketing in tourism and industry.

 Check LinkedIn post- Akanksha as panelist

What are the challenges associated with finding employment post-education in Australia? Did you face difficulty in adapting to a new environment?

Finding employment can be tiresome but is not that difficult if you're experienced and skilled. I gave more than 100 interviews in big companies like LandRover/Jaguar, Amway, NSW transport etc. and in a few local companies. Visa is an issue because big companies prefer PR holder or eligible to apply for a permanent residency or a citizen over the visa holder candidate. However, I still landed a job at P&G as a Marketing Assistant. Initially, it does take a while to adopt a new culture but Australians are so warm and welcoming you soon adapt and start loving the country.

Describe your stint as a marketing professional in renowned multinational organizations.

My last job was at P&G before I moved back to India, I was a Marketing Assistant to the brand managers of the brands that fall under P&G. The role included sending samples/sales samples for customer meetings, events, trial activities and keep a tracker for GS1 samples of Supermarkets like - Woolworths, Coles, IGA, Priceline, and independent stores. 

  • Data integrity of Samples on SAP. 
  • Media Auditing and validating the invoices and cost charged. 
  • On-spot audit going to media agency’s office and randomly selecting a sample and reviewing.
  • Managing Warehouse agencies. Ordering POSM (Point of Sale Material), Skinny bins, Gondola, Artworks etc.

Can you tell us the inspiration behind starting your own business in India?

I know that Rural India is very talented in handicraft but is exploited, hence I initially had an idea to start a skill development centre but I had no idea where to start. I got to know about Batik print from my relatives and after I gave a visit to Bherugarh, I had all the answers I needed to start Anishuna.

Give us a brief about your entrepreneurial journey providing insight into the various challenges that you are currently facing?

It's over 2 months now that I officially introduced Anishuna, however, I had been planning since January. Coronavirus definitely gave me a hard time but it was also a blessing in disguise, I now see a lot of people coming together #vocalforlocal and choosing sustainable life and talking about reducing the use of plastic and going eco-friendly and I feel I got a good start. I don't belong to a business family, and it becomes difficult because you are not familiar with a lot of things also being away from the country for 4 years didn't help. Setting up the manufacturing unit is not easy, costing is very high and there's a lot of competition around which is good because at least people will shift to a sustainable lifestyle. Life becomes really stressful and all I think is about Anishuna. I am enjoying this hustle, I have my own business is all I ever wanted. I can't complain, all this stress is so worth it when unknown people appreciate you. It all makes sense when you get orders. All I am doing is my work, being motivated and patience is the key.

Being from the marketing background how did you shift to the textile sector?

I found the opportunity in the textile industry which suited my interest in giving back to the society and being eco friendly.I wish to help the artisans in getting the recognition they deserve. They are extremely talented and India has always been sustainable we just got diverted towards fast fashion.Marketing is the essence of any business it's all about ideas, and finding the right audience. I think Anishuna is taking more responsibilities on my shoulder, not a shift.

According to you, what initiatives can be taken for the development of Indian rural handicraft industry?

Very simple buy local, appreciate your culture and choose Indian brands. This shift will result in more manufacturing of the handcraft and will open more jobs, and more skill development centers. Employment will not be an issue if rural India will grow India will grow. Charity begins at home and the customer is the king - true. Buyers have the power to bring a change.

In the world of rapid digital transformation, what is the importance of social media in your business development?

Awareness - constant awareness about the slow fashion, and sustainability. We all have neglected Indian handcraft textile industry. It's time we show the potential it has, we have to educate people on choosing sustainable fashion and how fast fashion is affecting our environment. Cotton decomposes easily and we can not afford more plastic waste. Apparently, the fashion industry is the 3rd largest polluting industry, the textile industry using plastic in making fast fashion clothes. Fibre fabric can only be used for dyeing techniques and the dyes are organic making it safe for the environment.

What would be your guidelines for the students planning to study abroad?

Be open to the change, keep your mind open and understand their culture adapt the good. You represent your country to be at your best. They're flawed too, don't worry if you make mistakes. Studying abroad is not what you see in movies, you have to work harder to achieve your objectives. Studying abroad teaches you to be self-dependent, being more mature and responsible. You have to strick a balance between your studies and other chores.

Lastly, what would be your advice for our young future entrepreneurs and aspiring professionals?

Learn as much as you can, people around you can teach you a lot. Observe and then act. Do what makes you happy. If you're passionate about something you'd move earth to make it happen, find that passion. Time is the biggest teacher, respect it and don't waste it on unnecessary things/people, value yours and others time. And most importantly 'Believe in yourself'. Only you know what has to be done and how to trust your instincts.

Check more about Anishuna by clicking below link:


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