In this episode, Ashutosh Garg engages in a vibrant conversation with Pawan Gadia, CEO, Ferns, and Petals.
Pawan shares his experience starting to work when he was just 16. He shares the inspiring story of the humble beginnings of his journey. He talks about his ironic transition from the steel industry to the flower industry. He analyzes the dynamics of the flower business.
Pawan talks about how he rebuilt his company after a fall. He lists the ingredients that go into building a good team. He emphasizes the role of delegation and empowerment in a team. He examines the changing mindset of Indian consumers toward the floral industry.
Pawan defines ‘perceived value’. He shares his experience operating a country outside India and shares the secret of building a successful company. He tells us how to run a zero-debt company.
Pawan Gadia, CEO, Ferns N Petals
I was born in Kolkata and started working at the age of 16, just finishing my 10th std. in 1986. FNP is my third job in 33 years. I have worked in a steel forging plant which supplied to Railways and my second role was as a factory head in an ancillary of Tata Motors. When I joined FNP 17 years back, we had around 10 flower shops and the mandate was to expand in retail, I took it up with gutso and realized we were loosing money. Within a year the leaks were fixed and expansion was visible. In early 2002 we started our online portal and what a journey it has been. In the initial years we tried everything to increase our domain presence without spending money mostly in terms of alliances and riding on rev shares instead of paying upfront which we dint have. By 2007 the business had grown big and was being professionally run by business head who quit taking the entire existing team and database and started this own similar business.Read More
I had to start again from scratch. My faith in delegating and empowering the team is intact and coz of this we have today grown to be the biggest online gifting portal and a chain of flower shops, 260 and counting, this is besides “ FNP Cakes n More “ which we launched 2 years back a chain of cake shops which is 55 shops and we believe will surpass the flower business. Weddings is our 3 rd vertical wherein we provide 5 star venues and also execute weddings across India and Middle east. We sensed an opportunity overseas and are a 4 year old online business in Dubai which contributes to 10% of our topline and have now expanded to Singapore this year. The
mantra is stay lean while we hit breakeven. We have always been agile, pivoting to newer ideas quickly adopting to customer needs e.g. flower as a category contributions today less than 50% of our topline. We are fully founder funded company, no VC or PE funding, zero debt and profitable since inception. We have been able to retain our team and our average tenure of the team is over
5 years.. while the top management in the bracket of 8 plus years. I am a voracious reader since childhood and I attribute my success partly to my reading habit which gives me insights as to how others have achieved. I am good at connecting dots from a book to a business or vice versa and my passion is reading, being a teetotaler since a couple of years I am on high on sharing jokes and singing with friends get togethers. I might sound cliched, however from first day of work till today, I am eager to get up in the morning and go to work and seize on the opportunity of the day . I have gone work everyday of my life, every sat and Sunday, even on national holiday , even if its for a few hours. I am married for 26 years now and am proud of my 2 daughters, Archita works in Google Singapore and Vidhika is pursuing her Pshycology in Ashoka University. I am married to Neelu who is not only my better half but also half the reason where I have reached today.