Rahul Bakshi, the co-founder of Savoir Faire Academy, is a young and successful entrepreneur who relentlessly worked on a dream to make it a reality.
Formal Education and Career
Rahul Bakshi did his schooling in Calcutta and graduated from the University of Mumbai in 2015 with a degree in Bachelors of Business Management. He is currently pursuing his Masters in Business Administration in Finance at Babson F.W. Olin Graduate School of Business in Boston, Massachusetts. His interesting academic journey brought in more opportunities for him to meet great people, amazing friends and new learnings.
Rahul Bakshi never lets an idea fade away without being tried on. During his Undergrad years in 2013, he started an Online Marketplace for Jewellery, Ketlacarat.com, after being inspired by his mother who was in the same field. That was the right time when consumers started purchasing jewels online. The world witnessed huge growth in the eCommerce segment.
The battle was initially challenging because the jewellery industry was community driven thus it was increasingly difficult to penetrate into the B2B segment and develop a supplier base. Therefore, Rahul Bakshi partnered with one of the largest Jewellery retailers in India as a part of his strategy to sustain his business. They merged the companies in 2015 to reach many customers.
Alongside, Rahul helped his sister, Konkana, in executing her wish to establish today’s most renowned grooming and finishing school, Savoir Faire Academy.
In 2018, he started Clean Space, a D2C home/facility management services which later pivoted into eco-friendly personal care products company.
A Brief about Savoir Faire Academy
The first-of-its-kind academy in India spreads the motto, “Master the art of being extraordinary.” Communication, grooming, business etiquettes and interpersonal skills are indispensable for an individual to achieve success, be it in any field. Savoir Faire Academy understood the importance and has created a practical curriculum that would help its students to go through a visual transformation.
They organize webinars and workshops to deliver pragmatic tips and proven methods that guarantee a transformation. Besides, Savoir Faire academy maintains the privacy of their clients by not disclosing their identities as they are all high-profile.
Challenges Confronted and Failures
Whenever the academy introduces a new aspect that could bring value to the entire course, it was difficult to censure its significance among their clients. Therefore, Rahul Bakshi started reaching out to corporate companies to validate the prototype. He collected feedback along the way to further improvise the product and create the best solution for his clients.
Besides, creating trust among his clients was yet another difficult and challenging task. However, Rahul Bakshi did not give up and came up with new strategies to attain the company’s goals.
The initial days of Savoir Faire were an uphill battle as everything had to be done by the duo. And without any precedent or proof of concept, it was difficult to gain acceptance/trust from those initial clients. They won the war by taking one step after the other- curated smaller workshops for a few corporations and built it from there on.
Once there was an event, the organizer rain checked at the last moment when there was only a short time left. Rahul had to step up, though it is not his core competence and supported the workshop to make the event a grand success.
Plans and how they stand out
Savoir-Faire Academy have robust pre-screening criteria and assessments to identify the pain points and propose an effective curriculum to deliver most rewarding results. Currently, their portfolio of products spans across Business Etiquettes - Communication, Body Language, Business Networking, Wardrobe Planning, Effective First Impression, Sales and Negotiations, and Social Etiquettes - Art of Fine Dine, Hair, Skin and Make Up, Color Analysis, Public Speaking, Interview Skills, Cultural Considerations, Relationship and Conflict Management.
Their Clientele spans across Founders and successors, C suite executives, movie stars, sport stars and politicians. Those who are in people-facing roles understand the importance of these social skills and are most keen on joining hands with us.
Savoir Faire Academy creates customized modules based on the personality and lifestyle of its clients.
Source of Inspiration
“My home is a powerhouse of inspiration. I am fortunate to be surrounded by people who have a growth mindset.” Says Rahul. Also, he is an avid reader and a big believer in focused work. He lives by one rule- NO ONE SHOULD EVER LOSE MONEY DOING BUSINESS WITH HIM. Value creation and Value delivery are of immense importance to him and he pays close attention to ensure that his customers, employees, investors and shareholders are happy and satisfied with the results that they produce. And when things go south, he is not the leader to fold but focus.
Advice to the Young Entrepreneurs
The only thing that he insists on is, “If you have an idea, try executing it because ideas are easy; it is actually the execution that matters.”
If there is an idea, build a prototype and seek feedback from those willing to pay for your product. If you can analyze those feedback and use them to your advantage, you will grow and develop yourself. The feedback might not decide the success or failure of your company but it will better your product/service offerings and help you grow.
Rahul Bakshi considers the growth of Savoir Faire Academy as his biggest achievement. Savoir Faire has produced some incredible results in the past few years. The product portfolio has grown, sales surged, team size increased, (Net Promoter Score) NPS improved, they expanded internationally and broadly; their stakeholders have been very happy. In the next couple of years, they will blitz scale the company to greater heights and they are now open to joining hands with potential investors/partners both in India and Internationally.