"My personality development classes at the Institute taught me the most important lesson that I have not forgotten till date and that is ‘First Impression is the Last Impression’. Your handshake, smile, confidence and power dressing does 90% of the work even before you have spoken a word!"
When he joined the family business Dalip Gulati found himself faced with the gigantic task of matching up to his father who is considered a pioneer in the business. But soon his hard work and innovative ideas won him respect and recognition from all. Today his fashion house supplies to brands like Armani, Bebe, French Connection, and celebrities like Oprah Winfrey and Lady Gaga have worn his creations. The journey has not been easy and required long hours of work, but Dalip has no regrets and is already planning how to take his brand to the next level. Hard work and self-discipline are the two key factors that he attributes his success to.
Q. Tell us about you and your business venture ? What inspired you to start this venture ?
A. I did my schooling from GD Goenka Vasant Kunj then I did the Integrated programme in management from IIPM. I have also done fashion designing from Pearl Academy of Fashion.
In 2007 I took over the reins of my family business Satkartar Group of Companies which has been one of the leading export and design houses for the last four decades in the field of ladies evening wear and cocktail dresses.
For four generations, we have been in the clothing line and we are one of the first companies in our industry to start Indian embroidery on western wear dresses and till date we are considered to be the pioneers in our industry.
Q. Tell us a bit about your clientele (celebrities who wear your brand) and the top brands that you supply to.
A. We are developing the product range for more than 200 of the most important brands around the world such as Armani Collection, Emporio Armani, French Connection, BCBG, Bebe, Debenham, Landmark Group,Shop Direct etc.
Some of the world’s top most celebrities have worn our dresses around the world such as Opera Winfrey, Lady Gaga, Zareen Khan, Antonella Rocuzzo (Messi’s wife at FIFA Ballon D’or), Cassandra Lokko (at English Royal wedding ) and many more.
Q. When you started what were the difficulties you faced? How did you overcome them ?
A. In 2007 I joined my family business and was under tremendous pressure to match up to the legacy of and heritage of my father. However with hard work, patience and positive approach to learn and evolve in no time I was able to prove my metal and take charge of my business and take it to new heights where it is today and was able to win everyone’s respect.
Q. What are your plans for the future ?
A. Plans for next 10 years are to increase the company turnover multi-folds and be the industry leader while also venturing into different product lines along with our speciality evening wear. So when a customer comes to Satkartar I want to make sure that he or she leaves with budget closed in all the lines and departments.
Q. What is the best advice you ever got? From whom ?
A. My father has always said that “Motivation is what gets you started and discipline is what keeps you going”. This is the best piece of advice that I have received.
Q. "Great leaders are also great speakers” Do you agree ? How did your personality development classes help you in your business ?
A. I totally agree to this. Great leaders are not just great speakers but they are also great listeners. With their ability to listen and respond they are able to influence and motivate people around them. To be very honest for me the most important and useful part of my bachelor studies at the institute was my personality development classes (EX COM).
As its very rightly said ‘First impression is the last impression’, when you meet some one for the first time the first impact of your personality does 90% of the work (your hand shake, power dressing your confidence and smile) wins over the person you meet. That is one of the things these classes taught me that I have never forgotten.
Q. What are the key elements to running a successful business ?
A. The three most important pillars of our business are:
CULTURE :- We are very strict about the culture and rules of our organisation and if any employee or team player tries to break a rule or change our culture a strict and immediate action is taken to set things right.
BE-DO-HAVE :- I believe in acting like the person I aim to become in the next 10 years today. So I act, dress and work like that person today so that I achieve my vision. I also firmly believe that in order make your dream come true you need to work at it constantly. Do these two things and you can have whatever you desire.
WHAT GETS MEASURED GETS DONE :- The contribution of each employee is measured daily and reported. This helps in identifying the productive and non productive team members. The productive ones are appreciated and the non-productive ones are motivated and pushed to work better. This way everybody benefits.
Q. Marketing is the most important aspect of a business. How do you market your business ?
A. We have always given utmost priority to relationship building and for decades now have been nurturing a fantastic relationship with our clients. A very strong positive word of mouth and referrals are the most powerful marketing tools for any business to thrive. We ensure that are clients are always happy and they in turn with their positive word of mouth and referrals get us more business.
Apart from this we are always participating in trade shows around the globe, which provide us a great platform to network with and meet new customers.
Q. If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out what would it be ?
A. LABOUR OMNIA VINCET - which means ‘Hard work conquers all.’
Q. What motivates you ?
A. My burning desire to always be at the top in my industry motivates me to keep going and giving it my all each day.
Q. What makes you happy ?
A. Being on top of the game and also being able to guide others with my knowledge and experience gives me immense happiness.
Q. What sacrifices have you had to make to become a successful entrepreneur ?
A. I have had to put in long burning hours at work and say no to late night parties. While my competition was partying I was working, while they were spending I was saving. Today the life they dream of is the life I live.
Q. What is the secret to your daily productivity ?
A. Focused efforts. Do one thing at a time and do it to the best of your ability.
Q. Which other company apart from yours do you admire the most ?
A. Orient Craft and Shahi Exports.
Q. Your favourite quote ?
A. You don’t need to be great to start, but you have to start to become great !!!!!
Q. Your favourite vacation spot ?
Q. Your favourite designer ?
A. Mr Armani
Q. Your favourite book ?
A. “Good to Great” by Jim Collins