In Conversation With Vani Jain, SIAS Student and Entrepreneur

Vani Jain is a student at SIAS, Krea University, the Cohort of 2024. A young entrepreneur with passion for economics and business studies, Vani launched her own product called the Mystery Crate. With a goal to provide an engaging and entertaining digital detox to children, the design of the Mystery Crate also supports the development of cognitive, creative and problem solving skills. 

We asked Vani to take us through her entrepreneurial journey, from the genesis of her business idea, through both her ups and downs, to the most important lessons learnt. We found her propensity to create something new, entrepreneurial mindset, and a charming combination of hard work and optimism, truly inspiring. 

Vani, what motivated you to become an entrepreneur?

I always had the urge to do something on my own, instead of working for someone else. Besides, I was always fascinated by entrepreneurs around me. 

What is Mystery Crate, and how was the idea conceived?

Mystery Crate is a subscription product for 2–9 years old, where children receive a box every month with different activities. I saw my brother spending excessive amount of time online, and I was worried about its side effects on his health. So, I thought of taking away my mother’s worries by helping her and parents like her through creating a business module for children of this age category.  

What makes the Mystery Crate such a unique product?

Each box has 3–4 fun learning activities which keep the child engaged and create excitement while unboxing. The boxes are customised according to the age group and gender, which allows me to create specific boxes for the customers. Every crate is planned in such a way that it makes the kid think and develop one or more of skills such as critical thinking, cognitive, creative, adaptive and problem solving.

What makes the Mystery Crate such a unique product?

How do you manage your time between being a student and an entrepreneur?

I have created a schedule that prioritises college work on weekdays, with 30–60 minutes of business work. This enables me to dedicate my weekends completely to my Mystery Crate product. I make sure to not procrastinate, and I stick to my deadlines. And sometimes I work beforehand, to be prepared for any sudden large orders that I might receive. 

What are some of the challenges you have faced as a young entrepreneur?

There can be hurdles at each and every stage, starting from finding the right supplier and manufacturer, getting deliveries on time and bargaining for the right price. Elders initially treated me as a child and were not serious enough while working, but gradually I convinced them through my consistent orders. Finalising the exact box size and stickers for the box took me weeks, which delayed my launching date. However, the overall journey taught me business skills such as how to handle people with patience and respect, and it improved my designing skills and decision making. 

Who has supported you most in your entrepreneurial journey?

I joined the Young Entrepreneurship Academy, where I was assigned two mentors who taught me various components of a business and helped me formulate my business idea and execute it. 

Was there a particular moment of success that boosted your confidence in your venture?

Once I started my business, it took me a while to get my first order, and I started to loose my confidence. But when I got my first order, I felt like the happiest person on Earth. This boosted my confidence tremendously. Secondly, winning the 2nd position at the Investor’s Panel was an unbelievable experience for me — I believed in my business, and so did the investors. This strengthened my trust in my venture. 

What would you say to other young people who have a drive to start their own venture but do not know how?

You should choose a business that you are passionate about, so that even if you are tired and exhausted, you would still want to work on it at the end of the day. The excitement and joy that the business of your choice will bring to you are unparalleled. There is no restrain as to when you can start a business — if you want to be an entrepreneur, you should work on it every day and spend some time building your thoughts. You can begin by reading a few books or watching motivational videos. Just believe in yourself and your idea. It may take time to build it up, but if you are confident enough, then it will happen sooner or later. 

To connect with this young entrepreneur and to learn more about her product, the Mystery Crate, you can visit her Instagram page

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