Interview with Moonisha, Partner at Soulcraft Solutions, a new-age indoor & outdoor furniture brand

Ms. Moonisha Gupta, Partner, Soulcraft Solutions
Ms. Moonisha Gupta, Partner, Soulcraft Solutions

Having a CRE Industry experience in furniture, Moonisha is currently working as a Partner at Soulcraft Solutions that claims to be the answer to your requirements for tasteful, modern, and stylish indoor and outdoor furniture. She excels in Business Development, Client relationship management. With total 22 years of past experience in Hotels, Pharma and Financial institutions as well as Trading, she is also skilled at Project management, Six sigma, Strategic planning and reporting.

For the team at Soulcraft, furnishing a space is a deeply personal experience, therefore, the company takes customer experience very seriously. From working tirelessly to providing all their clients with top-of-the-line customer service, the team members have made their priorities high, that also makes the company stand out. All the Soulcraft products are thoughtfully curated from the best brands across Europe, and they have a wide range of impeccable, furniture, wall finishes & rugs to choose from. Company’s selection of products comes from renowned brands like Corkbee, Paged, Resol, Concrete, Zano, Trizzano, Leolux and Vescom.

In an exclusive interaction with MotivergeMoonisha, Partner at Soulcraft Solutions shares more insights about the brand, journey so far, motivation and future plans.

Below are the excerpts from the interview:

Kindly brief us about Soulcraft Solutions and introduce us to the founding team.

Soulcraft Solutions offers years of market expertise and product knowledge to consult clients on the solutions that suit their projects. Whether it is for business, personal, or leisure use, Soulcraft has options that fit the needs for tasteful, modern, and elegant bespoke furniture, wall coverings, and handcrafted rugs.

Ms. Babneeta Kochar, one of the partners at Soulcraft, founded Soulcraft India after her return to India from the USA. The initial goal was to provide ancillary products used in corporate interior spaces like wallpapers and rugs. A partnership with Magnum led to dealership agreements with international brands in loose furniture for café and lounge spaces. A new opportunity for “Made in India” furniture became available for budget projects. The new venture evolved into a partnership with Mr. Manhar Khurana and Ms. Moonisha Gupta to expand the portfolio regionally. 

What factors influenced or motivated the founding/leadership team to start the furniture manufacturing business?

The furniture industry in India is still nascent in comparison to the global standards. The clientele however is becoming savvier and design-conscious. There was an opportunity to capitalize on the gap in the market and we decided to develop our furniture manufacturing capability to bridge it.

What were the first few steps during and after the launch of Soulcraft Solutions?

Creating the right product mix, and approaching the right target segment were our first steps. Now, in addition, we are also creating a brand name for our company.

Tell us about your motivation. What keeps you going?

Furnishing a space is a profoundly personal experience, and at Soulcraft, we take customer experience very seriously. We work tirelessly to provide all our clients with top-of-the-line customer service. Every happy client and beautiful delivered project revs our engines again. 

How has your journey been so far?

The journey over the years has ranged from growing experiences, long days, and sleepless nights. The innovation came from defining a fine balance between enabling machinery and skilled artisans and creating a brand with collective skills in design, quality, and product knowledge that can manufacture Made in India products matching global products quality and design standards. 

Since then, given the increased isolation requirements post covid scenario, we have partnered with a UK firm Allsfar which creates acoustic privacy panel-based workstations and lounge seating. We drive the design suggestions to our clients based on ergonomic factors that promote good posture. We are also looking forward to expanding our brand recognition and market. There have been bumps along the way and smooth sailing at other times. Nevertheless, the journey has been exciting. 

How big is your team? How did you manage your team & business during the COVID-19 outbreak?

We have a lean team with multifunctional members. We are a close bonded group of 15. During the lockdown, many productions shut down. We couldn’t get our inventory for months. As for managing team & business, we opted for work from home, listening to our customers, and providing them solutions while shifting to online platforms by offering an enhanced purchasing experience by interpreting new purchasing trends and reallocating resources.  We used the time to ideate and create more designs, train our teams online and clarify our future strategy.

How Soulcraft Solutions is redefining modern furniture and customer experience?

Soulcraft Solutions is redefining modern furniture and customer experience by continuously developing new products as per the client’s requirements and keeping in mind recent design trends in the global market. While the developments in collaborative furniture spaces are more about shapes and colors, we ensure a high level of utility and ergonomics while creating these pieces. 

What is the USP of Soulcraft Solutions? How do you differentiate yourself from your competition?

In our workshop, we balance machinery with skilled artisans. Our furniture is made with premium quality wood and metal frames, and we only use foam and upholstery materials from reputable brands. For this reason, we offer 5-year warranties as well on product purchases. We at Soulcraft prioritize customer expectations and are constantly working towards enhancing them. To address the customer needs, we have combined our personal experiences with the practicality of the situation in diversifying our product line during the pandemic. 

What are the business opportunities in the furniture manufacturing industry especially in the Indian context? 

In recent years, government initiatives like “Atma Nirbhar” and “Vocal for Local” have promoted innovation and created opportunities for more jobs and security within the sector. Furthermore, India is becoming increasingly attractive for corporations looking to set up shop because of its relatively affordable land rates, affordable labour costs, and several recent infrastructural developments.

How do you see growth and market response in a post-COVID world?

With the impact of Covid-19 on consumer behaviour and manufacturing trends, digitalization and automation have become more essential for our industry. CRE companies are revamping their design, products, goals, and asset sustainability following the pandemic to adapt to the changing norms and regulations. 

Customers are expecting high-quality products that are transparently priced and provide helpful service. In the post-Covid environment, customers are looking for an easy, seamless experience between online and in-store shopping.

Where do you see yourself in the upcoming 3 to 5 years?

Partnering with 2- 3 new international brands from Italy and Australia catering to a different market segment than our existing partners will be our main focus for the future, in addition to expanding our brand recognition and market. 

What are your messages or leadership lessons for budding entrepreneurs and the young generation?

For budding entrepreneurs and talents/ aspirants across dimensions, I would like to encourage them to build a mindset of infinite possibilities. The powerful lessons learned through failure will help the generation develop an optimistic, inclusive, resilient, service-oriented personality. It should be the sole mantra to challenge oneself and strive for excellence.

Hope this interview will motivate all the startup enthusiasts and leaders. It is a part of our startup profiling feature story/interview series. We are on a mission to bring forward the inspirational journey of successful entrepreneurs in order to spread some motivation during these tough times.

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