Weaving tradition and culture with Banarasi silk, Ruchi Agarwal tells timeless stories with Khinkhwab’s beautiful designs.
We love entrepreneurs and small business owners at Honeycombers, which is why we’ve created Launchpad, a comprehensive digital networking platform (with IRL benefits, too) that encourages connection, business support and community. It’s a privilege and pleasure to learn from so many talented and inspiring folks, so we’ve decided to share the love by interviewing some of the lovely Launchpad members. Looking for inspiration? Check out how Ruchi Agarwal, the founder of Khinkhwab, gets it done like a boss.
What is your backstory and why did you decide to launch your business?
My journey is a rollercoaster of surprises and heartwarming twists. Before marriage, I rocked my career at Deutsche Bank. But life had other plans. In 2008, Dubai became my new home, right when the financial crisis hit. Jobs were scarce, so I turned to the CFA program, hoping to use my time wisely.
I conquered the first two levels, but life chuckled as Level 3 and my baby’s due date coincided. Imagine me, with my one-month-old, flying to take the exam! Yet, with my son’s arrival, everything shifted. Years passed, and my determination resurfaced for Level 3. Can you believe my daughter’s due date aligned perfectly with the exam? Fate seemed to say, “Not this time.”
My journey as a mum became the spotlight, but a yearning for something more tugged at me. The solution? Khinkhwab! Rooted in my Varanasi roots, I teamed up with my parents. It wasn’t just a brand; it was a piece of my heart and heritage.
From banking to entrepreneurship, I’ve learned life writes the best stories. Embrace the unexpected, and you might just find yourself creating a masterpiece like Khinkhwab.
What has been your biggest challenge so far and how did you overcome it?
Starting my business was like stepping into a whirlwind, and the challenge that hit me head-on was the never-ending juggle of work and family. Even now, it’s a path I’m still walking, figuring it out as I go. Being a hands-on mom is in my DNA; my kids mean the world to me. There are times when they crave my full attention, wondering why I dive into business.
But there are moments that light up my heart. Seeing them proud of my website, my Insta game, or my exhibitions makes me realise they get it. To them, Khinkhwab is like my baby sibling – demanding love and time. Over time, a rhythm emerged. My biz runs smoother, letting me be a school volunteer, putting smiles on their faces.
This journey is like life’s tide, turning challenges into blessings. As Khinkhwab grows and I rock my mum hat, I’ve found a sweet spot. My kids watch me tackle family and follow my dreams, and that’s a lesson worth showing.
How do you stay motivated and energised?
There are those days when sales plummet or hit rock bottom, and it feels like my motivation is running on empty. But I refuse to let it beat me down. I regroup, conjure up new ideas, and find that spark of hope again. What really gets my heart racing? When we hear from a happy customer. That’s like a shot of adrenaline – it revs me up, pushes me to go the extra mile, and reminds me why I’m in this game.
How do you deal with self-doubt or criticism?
I usually have a pretty positive outlook, but there are days when doubts sneak in. Especially when my kids need me but work’s calling. In those moments, I turn to my husband or my best friend – they’ve got this amazing talent for lifting my spirits. Just spending some time with them can turn things around in the best way.
Favourite places to work?
In my living room, I’ve got my little work nook, where Bollywood tunes keep me company. When I am in Varanasi, [I enjoy] working with my weavers to create new designs.
Favourite business tool?
Canva is my go-to tool!
One thing you can keep talking about for hours?
I’m not a very talkative person.
Your go-to self-care activity?
A leisurely stroll amidst nature’s beauty or a dive into an engaging Netflix thriller.
One piece of advice to your younger self?
Don’t wait around for opportunities – go ahead and make them happen!
Get in touch with Ruchi Agarwal online.
Launchpad is a comprehensive digital networking platform (with IRL benefits, too) that encourages connection, business support and community. It is designed to make the entrepreneurial journey not only easier, and more successful, but also a whole lot more fun. We offer almost daily activities for members to connect, along with weekly masterclasses, member networking roulette, small-business mentoring and media profiles on Honeycombers. Check it out and join us!