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Babita Jain-Founder and CEO of The House of Prana-website-featured-image-amazing-workplaces

INTERVIEW: Babita Jain-Founder and CEO of The House of Prana

    1. What kind of a leader are you? What personality traits make a good leader?

    I am a leader who believes in growing myself continuously. I am ago-getter who believes in going an extra mile to execute my responsibilities. It is a leader’s insight to see things, people and circumstances as they are and take full responsibility to accept them without blaming others. Good leaders know that they won’t have a happy and motivated team unless they themselves exhibit a positive attitude. This can be done by remaining positive when things go wrong and by creating a relaxed and happy atmosphere in the workplace. Effective leadership and effective communication are intertwined. You need to be able to communicate in a variety of ways, from transmitting information to coaching your people. And you must be able to listen to, and communicate with, a wide range of people across roles, social identities, and more.

    Far sighted, compassionate, confident, honest, empathetic, firm, accepting and taking charge of mistakes, healthy criticism and an open discussion are a few traits of a good leaders.

    2. What’s your biggest challenge when it comes to people management? Do you face it in your company?

    The House of Prana is an emerging company, we did face challenges in people management during the pandemic. We are a small team but few people left their jobs for better prospects, closer to their family, hometown etc. In this trying time, I decided to hire freelancers instead of permanent employees to reduce costs. This also enabled new teams to bring in newer fresh ideas, so it was a win win situation for me. When companies give out promotions or invest in their teams’ professional development, they typically don’t consider the freelancers. But this pandemic shifted my mind set, I now truly believe interacting and working with the new generation does help in getting great fresh inputs to the table.

    Challenges & Learnings for Indian Startups During and Post Covid

    While entrepreneurship is certainly challenging, there is also a constant drive to build something bigger and better. The objectives involve building a team and a work culture that focuses on seamless customer experience and that can be a hard and yet fulfilling journey. In my experience, some of the most important learnings for an entrepreneur.

    Today, India roughly has a population of over 1 Billion people. Out of which, more than 40% account to be above the age of 14 and fall under the category of being employable.

    3. What role does HR play in your organization? Do fashion companies need to rethink their HR function?

    In simplest terms, the HR (Human Resources) in my company is responsible for managing the complete employee life cycle (i.e., recruiting, hiring, onboarding, training, and letting go of employees) and administering employee benefits, L&D, upskilling, etc. Traditionally, a number of Indian fashion companies have not given as much thought to investing in HR as a core function of a company or even training or upskilling. I strongly believe that effective talent management and leadership development are crucial to improving employee engagement and output in Indian fashion brands. Both of these HR functions still need some work in fashion brands. We have taken this pretty seriously at The House of Prana as we constantly encourage our employees to upskill and reskill as and when they have the opportunity to.

    4. How do you prefer to communicate with your team to assign responsibilities to them? 

    To communicate your expectations clearly, you must know what you want from people and set realistic, reasonable tasks and deadlines. After this, it all comes down to communication: the ability to lay down exactly what you want and need, and make sure your team can align with it. I prefer communication through emails and WhatsApp messages. Most of the times, only verbal communication is often forgotten, the essence of what was discussed might get lost as things can be forgotten from both the assigner and the team taking responsibility. Regardless of how things are going, I ensure that I communicate my expectations consistently. Having an ongoing process in place ensures my team knows what’s expected of them and keeps me aware of their progress. It also means that my team will have more autonomy over their work, something most modern employees are looking for.

    5. Any suggestion for people venturing into the garment business.

    Starting a garment business is a very personal journey. You’re probably a creative person, with something different to offer in a fast-moving industry. It’s likely that you’ve spotted a gap in the market, or have a unique design in mind for a specific customer group. But bear in mind, the fashion industry is notoriously difficult to predict. There is no space for being impulsive and hence your plan will need to be flexible as there are no guarantees. One will always have to be up for multiple challenge and deal with them as and when they pop up.

    About House of Prana
    House of Prana was launched in 2018. It was born from a simple idea of deep meditation. It is a lifestyle brand for the adventurous customer who wants both; colour and style in their life. The House of Prana stands for styles that our fluid and open to imagination. Our customer is independent, self- assured, has a unique trend-agnostic sense of style that is timeless.
    The House of Prana is a label with international sensibility that has Indian roots, yet contemporary. We believe in providing the Indian comfort with a touch of modern luxury and style in one wrap. Pure Silk, Ahimsa Silk, Georgette and Pashmina are a few fabrics in our library that speak the language of lustrousness. Our scarves are made for people of today with the roots of yesterday. Using Peace silk, as a luxury brand our commitment is to respect the invisible connections and life forms that create our sustainable range of scarves.

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