I want to tell you about my first adventure for Elayscollections. I wanted to know more about manufacturing, as I was already in contact with some that were based in New Delhi. I found it really important to go there.
The chance that I was given.
Like most people, I dreamed of having a my own business. Last year around this time, I decided that it was time for me to do something about it. I was walking around with the idea to set up a fashion brand for Muslim professional women. The next six months, I was researching and writing up the business plan. I am very impatient, so you can imagine that this period taught me to slowdown and work every little step out with much care.
I wanted to use organic fabrics, silk to be precise and had already made samples. I had to find out more about the manufacturing process. I decided that I needed to go and visit them. The planning and scheduling was the easiest step. Thankfully, I found the funding for the expedition and was given the chance. It was time for me to pack my bags. Throughout the planning everyone around me were warning me how it could be dangerous for me to go alone. Somehow I convinced my sister to come along (which was pretty easy).
Ten days in New Delhi
It was a long flight from Amsterdam to New Delhi. Thankfully it had one stop in Dubai, where we could stretched the legs (especially, my sister). I had a fully planned week. I would be meeting with manufacturers that already made some samples for me and some new ones. I was excited. On the first day, I had negotiated a deal with a driver, Mr Dev. Who would wait for us during the meetings, so that it would be easier to go from meetings to meetings and go to markets in between. This made me more flexible when meetings started late. It also saved me time. Mr Dev would tell us about neighbourhoods. If some areas were not that save he would walk us to the door.
Like I said before, I came with a schedule and everyone had confirmed. However the first meeting was rescheduled and was now four hour drive outside Delhi. This caused stress because I had to change up the following meetings that were planned afterwards. The first four days I had scheduled meetings. The following five days I made surprise visits. This gave me the opportunity to see how they operated when they were not expecting people. Some let us in and showed us around and some would not let us in without an appointment. This idea was given by my business coach, who said this way you can see what they window dressed and what not. In between the meetings we went to fabric markets and to craft people.
The shock of the amount of people, the food and the weather, made me feel off kilter. However by being polite and appearing calm helped me a long way, to get my message across. Respect is very important. Especially in a different country with different culture. I learned so much in those ten days. A week after I was home. I was still processing all the information. This trip was really needed. I have met the ones that I was already in contact with. Which strengthen our working relationships. This gave me more confidence to go forward.
How was your first business trip for own business?