We were lucky to catch up with Arjita Shrimali recently and have shared our conversation below.
Arjita, appreciate you joining us today. What’s the backstory behind how you came up with the idea for your business?
My husband and I spent 14 months planning our wedding events, which started in Jaipur and ended with a third reception in Dallas. Wedding planning was the most stressful chapter of our lives, from the anxiety of merging two families to a neverending daily task list. Two weeks before our wedding, my husband had an anxiety attack (which he thought was a heart attack), and we dropped everything and rushed to the hospital. We’ve spoken to so many couples who’ve gone through the same stresses. Why can’t wedding planning be easier and more joyous, given that we are celebrating two families and two people coming together? I know it has to be better than what we and other couples have experienced. I want to make it better.
For those who are not as familiar with Indian weddings, they are usually colorful, fun and can easily cost $125-175K or more in Texas. Indian Hindu weddings can easily be 2-3 days of events and pre-pandemic, averaged 350+ people. Indian weddings require vendors who are familiar and comfortable with the nuances (e.g., a venue that allows a ceremonial fire for the Hindu wedding ceremony). I noticed that it was very challenging as a first time bride to know where to find these vendors (apart from word of mouth), know the right questions to ask, and finally select reliable and trustworthy vendors, so I built The Desi Bride to solve all these problems for the South Asian bride.
The Desi Bride is a digital platform for families and couples planning South Asian weddings to find curated vendors. We help match couples and families with their dream vendor team by providing a list of curated vendors, transparent pricing, and honest reviews. We don’t want clients to spend hours emailing and calling vendors, just to find that they’re not a good fit in terms of budget or be surprised day of to find that service wasn’t up to par. We pride ourselves on honest, anonymous reviews, so previous clients can truly leave an unbiased transparent review for other couples to read and use to make their decision. We aim for less stress, more love through the wedding planning process.
Great, appreciate you sharing that with us. Before we ask you to share more of your insights, can you take a moment to introduce yourself and how you got to where you are today to our readers
A little more about me: I am a passionate problem solver with a BA from The University of Texas at Austin and an MBA from Kellogg School of Management. I bring a mix of strategy and e-commerce. I started my career as a management consultant at Deloitte, moved to Amazon to drive the profitability of a $1B brand, and most recently launched the country’s first 5G phone and doubled home appliance online sales at Samsung. Today, I run The Desi Bride (www.thedesibride.com) to help increase transparency and simplify South Asian wedding planning, which is a $10B industry in the US.
The Desi Bride is an online platform that helps luxury brides connect with curated quality vendors and helps vendors find new clients to grow their business. We are the first South Asian player focused on the Dallas, Houston, and Austin markets.
What makes me most proud is that we are actually helping create transparency in an industry that has traditionally been opaque. We are helping brides get more value for their investment and get more information to make educated decisions.
How about pivoting – can you share the story of a time you’ve had to pivot?
One of the most important pieces of feedback my mentors have provided is to focus. Prior to starting The Desi Bride, I worked in somewhat defined roles at Deloitte Consulting, Amazon and Samsung. At The Desi Bride, as the Founder, my role is far from defined. It’s very easy to fill up your day as an entrepreneur and look back at the end of the day and realize that you’ve done nothing to move your business forward.
When I first started The Desi Bride, I wanted to be something for everything. I quickly realized that in trying to be a platform for everything, I was really becoming a platform for no one. Since then, my team and I have pivoted several time to focus on a very specific consumer.
How’d you build such a strong reputation within your market?
The Desi Bride is focused on helping lift other small businesses. From at home henna artists to side hustle photographers, our goal is to create a more inclusive vendor community and provide small businesses with resources and know how on growing their companies. We market businesses who don’t necessarily have the know how to market themselves. We provide a free 7-step onboarding kit to our vendors to help them with SEO basics, optimizing social media, and other knowledge bits that they may never have been exposed to before. We also check in with our vendors on a regular basis to understand their largest frustrations and use technology to solve them. As an example, ghosting is a large issue in the vendor community. Brides will reach out for a quote, and vendors spend time putting together a quote, only to never hear back from the bride. The Desi Bride has implemented a registration process that captures information about the bride and makes sure that as she reaches out to vendors, her criteria lines up with the vendors she’s reached out, helping decrease ghosting and back and forth communication.
Building relationships with our vendor partners and understanding their pain points has helped us develop a product that actually helps them grow their businesses over time while creating more transparency for Indian brides.
- Website: www.thedesibride.com
- Instagram: https://instagram.com/thedesibrideus
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thedesibrideus
- Linkedin: LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/the-desi-bride/
- Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdLny_E_mgT9jG9wgF-ZSTg
- Other: Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/TheDesiBride/ TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@thedesibrideus
Memories Photography – Jaipur