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The Glamour of being a Luxury Entrepreneur!

What is the first word that comes to your mind when you hear ‘luxury’? Glamour, champagne, sophisticated parties bathed in a golden glow…in short another world altogether.

For me, it is a lot of sun, sweat and hard work.

And no, I don’t travel in long, swanky cars like my industry colleagues. It’s only when I manage to borrow one from my successful entrepreneur father that my feet get some relief. Hell! I can’t even wear smart heels – which are absolutely essential when you are in a luxury business – since I have to use public transport.

It all started when I took up a job in a media group which published print luxury magazines. After lot of work, late nights, unwarranted screaming by the top boss and massive pay cuts for stupid reasons, I decided it’s not worth it anymore. “If I can do it for them, then why not for myself?” I thought.

Realising that there is no online luxury magazine in India, the seeds of creating LuxuryFacts ( were sown into my mind quickly. The idea enveloped my mind through all waking (and sleeping) hours. And then one fight triggered my resignation from the company and refusal to serve any notice period. I was free! Free to do whatever I wanted…

A two month sabbatical to relax my aching bones (yes, it was a taxing job!) helped me outline my plan and business idea further. I spent a considerable amount of time thinking that is it the right time? I am too young. I don’t have enough capital. I just had savings of Rs 50,000. Will people even take me seriously?

I had a quick chat with my parents. They only asked me, “You think there is a market for an online luxury magazine in India?” When I replied in the affirmative, they said, “Then go ahead with it. Don’t think about money, and who will say what, and your age. All those things can be worked out as you go forward. Just start putting things into motion.”

So without a business plan, a future plan or a goal chart, I jumped into it. And what a heady journey it turned out to be! From looking for an affordable good web designer to writing to my old professional acquaintances to going for press conferences and writing articles, I was the CEO and the peon of my new baby company.

The most complex thing about being in the luxury and online sector is that luxury is exclusive while online is considered mass. A lot of brands initially were apprehensive of including online blogs and websites in their PR/marketing campaigns because they felt their brand will get a ‘mass image’. It took a lot of education from my side to convince people that online is not mass. Audience can be filtered in online medium too!

My current hurdle is that though luxury brands now accept that blogs and online magazines are very important for visibility, they are still apprehensive of including them in their advertising budgets. They feel safer with regular print magazines and hardly want to experiment. So the second level of education includes telling brands that how online is much better for them in terms of larger visibility, multimedia avenues of telling their brand stories and larger shelf life.

Initially, I was extra sensitive. People would come, steal ideas, and try to leverage the popularity of LuxuryFacts to fulfill their own purpose. And I would rage and rant for long. Many would discuss ways of collaborations and advertising and then disappear. Once, a popular mall wanted to do an event with us. Promising us commissions, we started working on it as the contract was getting readied side by side. But the contract was never made because, actually, I figured that they didn’t want to pay any money for our hard work! So, well, I pulled out, and sulked for a week…

I soon learnt that having a thick skin is more beneficial than wasting time and energy on every Tom, Dick & Harry. While every email, every call, and every knock on the door may give a tempting opportunity, it is important to weed out the leeches. I am better at dealing with people now.

Today, 2 years and 9 months later, LuxuryFacts is considered a credible force in the Indian luxury industry. Readers come to our site and gulp down all the content we can give them. Even a single line of appreciation from a reader makes our day! I have co-edited my own book called ‘The Luxury Market in India: Maharajas to Masses’ which was published and released by Palgrave Macmillan in September 2012. We are quoted in quite a few media stories about the luxury industry, and people listen to what we say! I get many resumes, off-the-cuff, from young to experienced people, to work with us.

I am still mostly broke, travel in metros and autos, and I still haven’t come to the stage of carrying a luxury bag bought from my own money. But I have got opportunities and recognition which I might not have got in any job. Being an entrepreneur in the nascent Indian luxury industry and the relatively young online media scenario is tough, but wonderful and challenging all the same! I wouldn’t exchange this life for anything else…


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  1. dear soumya,

    my wish for this new year is that every young entrepreneur has an incredible story like yours to share here. not just because it it enriches the content here – but because it is so so INSPIRING!

    when i read your story – i feel so proud of you, of every young person who wants to do something on their own. 

    i loved each word and each part. it’s straight from the heart. i feel like i’ve travelled your amazing journey with you and can see how you’ve grown and matured as an entrepreneur!

    many many congrats on all that you have achieved in such a short while! i applaud you!

    p.s: you possess much more than any luxury bag!!! 

  2. Hi Asha

    Thank you so much! It really means a lot. 🙂 I will feel I have actually done something in life if my story can get more people to follow their dreams… 🙂 Thanks again for so much support!

  3. Respect is the word for you Soumya !!

    Keep up the good work !! I am planning to buy a luxury item for my wife will consider your site before buying

  4. Thank you Ashish! Really appreciate the encouragement!

    Do let me know if I can guide or help you in buying the luxury item. 🙂

  5. One more added to the list of people who inspired me :)…Keep on doing good work.

  6. Thanks Saurabh! Glad I could make a difference 🙂

  7. One more feather on the cap of rodinhooders… lovely to be among you guys and I pray for success for all you guys… And wish we all be creative creators, risk takers and the game changers 🙂

    And Soumya… keep rocking… keep inspiring…. 🙂

  8. Simply Superb Soumya….

    The Kind of Experience u have been.. Keeps us inspiring . Thanks for Sharing.. Way to Go… All the Best.

  9. It is interesting that you mention having a ‘thick skin’. In my own entrepreneurial journey, I have found that initially every good news used to give me a big high, and every bad news used to give me a huge low.

    After a few months of running my first startup, I started noticing and realising this trend, more than than that I started accepting that this will be a journey with daily highs and lows, unlike a regular job. And this is what makes this such a fun ride.

    Keep up the good work. And enjoy the ride.  

  10. Loved the Blog, Your Determination and the Fight and the unending Quest……. 
    And am amazed and Touched at the same time when I read this and see how we all are Connected!!
    “While every email, every call, and every knock on the door may give a tempting opportunity, it is important to weed out the leeches”

  11.  @ Dear Soumya Jain

    All the very best  keep the good work and focus

  12. Sweet Soumya 🙂 : )

    Great Guts, Superb Inspiring Post…. You shared some of the great lines that i personally follow & use them in my startup endless journey

    • If I can do it for them, then why not for myself?”
    • without a business plan, a future plan or a goal chart, I jumped into it

    You last para confirms “Entrepreneurship is not about any Luxury Naukri “

    Wish you a luxury fortune ahead 🙂 Best of the Best 

  13. I so so so feel good after reading this.. Bravo Soumya.. You have just shared not just your story but left many out there inspired as well as educated who think that entrepreneurship is mostly about hiding facts and presenting yourself in a different light. Clearing off the mess and apprehensions of many young entrepreneurs, you have hit the anvil with such beautiful narration 🙂 Congratulations dear. Lots of good wishes to you!

  14. Superb!!
    Your story is really worth sharing and I am sure its going to inspire lots of people who are still thinking about doing something of their own.

    The best way to learn how to run a business is to run a business and you are proving it.

    All the very best and keep rocking!!

  15. Hi Soumya.. Very inspiring story and experience indeed.. the bare fact that you are still waiting for the day when you buy a luxury bag from the earnings of your blog is enough to showcase the struggle and sheer determination exhibited by you.

    However, besides sponsorships and advertisements (which I couldnt find on your blog) how do you actually plan to monetize the traffic which hitting your blog? Have you tried affiliate marketing or subscription based model (where users pay to read your content) ?

    Additionally, I couldnt locate any email/RSS subscription option in your blog.. Like I visited your blog just now, but how can you ensure that I keep on visiting it? I want to get regular updates as well..!

    I am sure that you need some expert Online Marketing consultations.. Your blog has so much scope for doing so many things! Content is excellent and the ideas are awesome.. 

  16. Amen! Completely second your wish. And thank you for the motivation Khizar! 🙂

  17. Thank you Dinesh! Really appreciate the encouragement 🙂

  18. Hi Abhinav, it is a fun ride indeed. But I realised that the amount of time I ended up wasting on the leeches, I could have spent that on exploring better avenues. But in any case, even a bad incident is an experience. You learn something from everything. And through my bad experiences, I learned how to recognise who is professional and who’s not. 🙂 Thank you for wishes! And hope you have a wonderful journey too! 🙂

  19. Thank you Gurpreet! Really appreciate your support and encouragement 🙂

  20. Thank you Amit! 🙂

  21. Haha! Thank you Vishal! Indeed, it is a story of every entrepreneur I guess. Wish you a wonderful entrepreneurial journey too! 🙂

  22. Thank you soooo much Anamika! I would be really happy if I do manage to make a difference in the world of entrepreneurship. Luxury, in fact, is a lot about keeping up appearances. It was a little hard to write so openly about my monetary misery ;), but it’s worth it if it inspires people! Hope you are having a great journey too! 🙂

  23. Absolutely! It’s like you won’t know how to swim till you actually jump in the water. Thank you so much for your encouragement! Really appreciate the support 🙂

  24. Hi Mohul, Thank you so much for the motivation! And thank you for going through the website in detail! Actually, sponsorship and ads are little hard to get in the luxury sector (as I mentioned in the post), hence the lack of it on the website. Secondly, most of the brands prefer advertorials (paid articles) rather than blatantly advertising. So we have more of that.

    There is an email subscription link:

    Would be really happy if you want to subscribe to our monthly newsletter!

    Charging subscriptions is on my mind – but maybe in the future when we have more visitors and when readers are more comfortable paying. Online readers, specially Indians, are not too comfortable for paying for content online I think.

    Thank you so much for sharing your ideas and concerns! And for praising the content too. That is our USP in fact. Hope you are having a great entrepreneurial journey too! 🙂

  25. Dear Soumya

    I quickly went through your website . Here are few things which I want to share with you. 

    1. Your Site is not Search Engine Optimized . For instance, the Title Line on an article should be inside<h1> Tage, but it is inside <Span><td> tag. This means that any search Engine wont recognize  the title properly.  You can further enhance the site by associating ‘Keyword’ Tags with each article.  There are lots of things which can be improved and believe me, these can increase your traffic by 10x. I am not any SEO Guy, but there are big SEO Stalwarts on TheRodinhoods who can really help you. 

    2. You have not placed any ads on the Website and I think that’s why you couldnot carry your own Luxury Bag till now 🙂 .  Google Adsense can easily deliver you something around $1500-2000 every month, seeing the quality of content and the niche of your website.

    3.  Smile, You have done a really awesome Job 🙂

  26. Hi Abhishek, Thanks for the tips & ideas!

    I do put the keyword tags myself when I upload an article, but I am not sure about the title. Will point it out to my web guy.

    I purposely didn’t put any Google ads because that immediately makes me ‘look mass’, which will discourage larger advertising deals from big brands. Believe me, luxury brands are very conscious of where they place themselves! So yes, I dont think I’ll be able to afford a luxury bag for quite a while at least.

    And I am smiling everyday, but thanks for putting one more on my face! 🙂 Thank you for all the encouragement.

  27. True, we learn a little from every experience. 

    Also having gone through the website, I must say you have good content. I have subscribed to the website. It will come in handy for some work I am doing these days. 

  28. Thanks Abhinav! Do let me know if I can help you in any way. And you can also join our FB and /or twitter page for faster updates. The newsletter is monthly only actually… 🙂

  29. There are couple of more things you may ask your Web Guy to do. These are the latest requirements of a popular website like yours.

    1. Use a CDN to deliver static files, (Images, Videos). You may use Amazon S3 or go for free Cloudflare services.

    2. Use GZIP Compression to increase site speed,

    3. Leverage Caching to reduce load time (I couldnot check whether your site uses this or not )

    Also, I wonder why commenting is not enabled on articles. If this is not your decision, try incorporating Facebook Comment plugin at least. Besides encouraging 2-way communication, it even helps in viral growth of your website.

  30. Thanks for the tip. Now following both the twitter feed and Fb page. Also sent a friend request to you, in case I need any specific help.  

  31. Hi Soumya…. Its a brilliant write up and I did go through you website after reading this as well. Would you have any data or research on the luxury furniture industry the likes of Fendi, Armani Casa, Hermes etc in India at all? 

    Keep up the good work



  32. Wow! This are some useful pointers! I’ll ask my Web guy about them since I didn’t really understand these 3 points.

    Again, not allowing comments is a conscious decisions. Luxury brands are not very open to hearing criticism yet. So… But yes, people can comment on our FB and twitter page.

    The problem in luxury is that most usual marketing techniques can’t be done due to its exclusive nature. The fact that we are so credible (and appreciated) by the industry is because of these small decisions. This does hamper our best interests…but well, I hope it will pay in the future. 🙂

  33. Thanks Abhinav! 🙂 Really appreciate the support.

  34. Hi Anand, thanks for going through the website! Hope you liked it.

    There is no specific data on the luxury furniture industry yet. But maybe you could browse through this CII report:

    It has a bit on each luxury category (though I don’t see Home/Interior decor). But it may just help. In case I find something, will surely send it to you. And this is not a report, but it might just help in some way:

  35. One more thing, that Wibiya Toolbar sucks. It really irritates the visitor. I wonder how your Luxury brands can bear it 🙂 Try replacing it with something like ‘Addthis’ or individual Social Buttons

  36. Haha! No they dont like it. But I thought this was the best option to keep a clean layout – instead of putting separate buttons below and above the articles… But will surely re-consider the Wibiya bar. 🙂

  37. Your story replicates the fact that Diamonds are always extracted from Coal.. #LuxuryFacts 🙂

  38. A very touching & straight from the heart sharing of your journey Soumya!. Very inspiring & motivating for many folks here.

    And I feel that for you the ‘journey has been the reward’ is very apt till now. Here’s wishing you the very best!!

    Keep marching ahead.!!


  39. Thanks for the motivation Vijay! I am going to mine harder now 🙂

  40. Thank you Shahnawaz! Indeed the journey has given me so much that no amount of money or luxury bags could give. Thank you so much for your wishes! 🙂

  41. Very nice, Soumya!! Wishing you all the best!!

  42. Thank you Daniel! 🙂

  43. Wow Soumya,

    Your are not only a gutsy lady but a good story teller as well – just the perfect recipe for a rockstar entrepreneur.  All the best!

  44. Thank you Kanchan! Really appreciate the wonderful praise! 🙂

  45. Soumya, 

    You are an absolute star, thanks very much for both the links. Appreciate it.

    I did presume there would not be any reports as such on luxury furniture in India as it is in its nascent stage in the region. The AT report was a big relief for me and the article was good to read as well. 

    Your website is good and am glad to see these kind of efforts from people like you arising in India. It is a really good sign. You can pat yourselves in your back. 

    Well, couple of months down the line looks like I will definitely be in touch with you on the same matter. 

    Best Wishes 


  46. Thank you Anand for the commendation! Glad I could help. Please do let me know if I can help in any way. It is a good sign too that more people are planning to enter the luxury sector – will help to get it organised. 🙂

    All the best for your entrepreneurial journey!

  47. Hi Soumya, 

    totally inspiring. As a Rodinhooder, I can understand. I am partner in Aakar Exhibitions, a decade and half old Exhibition Conceptualisers from Ahmedabad, We are organising exhibition on Luxury Products and Services in Month of September, in Ahmedabad.

    If it is possible for us to get associated and work together i will be glad to you can reach me through Contacts on our website

    wishing you the very best in life…journey as an entrepreneur…

  48. Hi Dinesh

    Thank you for your supportive words! Sure we can look at doing something. Will reach you through your contacts page. Thank you again!

  49. Hi

    Super-fantastic – just proves that all it takes is an idea and lots of perseverance…

    I can empathize on the part where when you are new people try to take you for a ride. But the best thing is– being an entrepreneur you learn fast… you adapt .. you move on..

    All the best… 

  50. Hi Jenifer

    Thank you for the support! Yes, I did finally realise that there is just so much you can keep moping about such people. It’s business at the end of the day and you’ll keep meeting such ruthless people. So, yes, you adapt… 🙂

    Thank you! And hope you are having a great journey too.

  51. Simply beautiful Soumya…..So So proud of you and Luxury Facts 🙂

  52. Keep Inspiring & Rocking!!!

  53. Hi Sowmya

    Thanks for sharing the interesting practical experiences and insights. You have come a long way and have some achievements to speak of such as your own business, a book co-edited  by you, etc. These are not easy to achieve in a society which still wants their son/daughter to become another software engineer or doctor or accountant. Some credit goes to your parents for being supportive of your idea/venture. 

  54. Thank you Akshay!! Really appreciate all the help you have been giving me all along! 🙂

  55. Thank you Subbaram! 🙂

  56. Indeed Sridhar! I don’t think I could have come so ahead without their support. In this country, being a girl only is so hard! Being allowed to choose your profession, and that too such an off-beat one, was quite a shocker to the rest of my family. But it was my parents who stood by me and supported me throughout.

  57. Happily surprised to see you here. Used to read your blog a few years back. 

    Wish you all the best in your new venture. 


  58. Hi Soumya:

    Good to read your story. You are on the right path dear. Wish you all the best. Would be great if you can figure out a way how you will make money in the future. May be the link to this hour long video from stanford may help you. I watch videos from during my lunch time and makes it great value for me. This video especially helped me structure a business model around our business. Hope it helps you and takes you to new heights.

  59. Thanks Sarabjit! I guess you are talking about the Weebly blog…stopped updating that quite a while back. takes all my energy! Hope you’ll browse through this one too 🙂

  60. Thanks Chetan! I shall definitely go through the video. I am sure it will help me too. Thanks for the link! 🙂

  61. Hey Soumya,

    Your story and the way you have written it is so captivating..I just wanted to have a glance of the site but got engrossed in it completely..

    Feels so good to see that the path i am trying to take has already been walked by amazing people like you 🙂

    Lets keep up the good work 🙂


  62. Hi Neeta

    Thank you so much for the encouragement! Glad you enjoyed the website too. Do keep coming back! And all the best for your journey too 🙂

  63. Hi Soumya,

    Loved your article trust me all the entrepreneur goes through this ups and down….when you talk to client for whole week and at the time of meeting client failed to turn up….it sucks!! but as you said the word “opportunity” and even a small success gives you a sense of high that no job can give



  64. Absolutely Anurag! And I guess it is these extreme emotions which make the entire journey so enjoyable. 🙂 Hope you are having a great entrepreneurship career too!

  65. If I were to describe this post in one word it would be ” AMAZING“.

    It’s really hard work and persistence that keep you up and moving. You’ve tasted the bitter blood and now in a warmth of a little cozy life.You’re story line moved me, its touching and has that HUMANE angle in it, it’s always the bitter experience in life which show you the right path in future. To make the sword mightier you need to rub it hard and that’s what exactly you have done 

    I am into apparel in Ludhiana, do not mind to ping me up for any of fancy woolen requirements. Wondering how can I grab a copy of your book?

    Stay connected to the Rodinhooder’s for inspiring people with your stories..!!!


  66. Hi Pawan

    Thank you so much for the praise! I would be humbled if this post inspires, moves and manages to encourage other entrepreneurs to keep going forward despite all odds!

    Will surely connect with you for any apparel requirements I may have 🙂

    The book is available on Flipkart and Amazon

    Do give me your feedback if you read it! 🙂 And thanks again for the lovely comment.

  67. Hey Soumya!

    I read your article and it is truly amazing and inspirational. I am currently a Masters student of Luxury Brand Management in France and I would love to interview you for my graduation thesis on successful entrepreneurs in the luxury sector in India.

    If possible can you please send me your contact details so that I can get in touch with you!!

    Thank you so much.

  68. Hi Debapriya

    Thank you so much for commending the post! And I would be most glad to help out in your thesis. You can mail me at

  69. Wow Soumya,

    That’s a wonderful story. Kudos to your determination. I am sure that with your zeal and will power to succeed , you will be able to carve a ‘luxurious’ path for yourself. The time wouldn’t be far when you would not only buy luxurious bags and shoes, but also many other bigger things. As Asha pointed, you deserve much more!

    One thing that I observed after reading your story, was that I was smiling and feeling happy in a way as if it’s my own story. Thanks a lot for sharing. Thanks for inspiring!

    All the best and keep the flame burning 🙂

    Best wishes,


  70. Thank you Khushbu! I guess, among other things, this is what entrepreneurship is about – feeling happy and making others happy too! 🙂 Thank you so much for the motivation. I hope you are having a great journey too 🙂

    Warm regards


  71. Hi Soumya,

    I appreciate that you followed your heart. Its very difficult to move out of comfort zone but you did and you will be inspiration to many to do so.


    Aman Jha

  72. Hi Aman, Thanks a lot for the praise & motivation! I’ll be honoured if my story becomes an inspiration!

  73. Very well written and honest article. 


  74. Hi Soumya,

    Really inspiring to read about your story! Wishing you all the best for the future!

    Having started my entrepreneurial journey with Qpeka, aiming to create the Youtube for reading, I can totally understand and correlate to each of the situations you discussed. I would be really interested in discussing how we can collaborate and if I can help you in any way.



    My email:

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