The art of managing the festive season juggle
For some businesses festive season is a peak time, when customers loosen their purse string for big-ticket shopping
The festive season is a time when businesses slow down as everyone is gearing up to celebrate with their families. However, for some businesses it’s peak time, when customers loosen their purse string for big-ticket shopping. For Gaurav Singh Kushwaha, founder of online jewellery store BlueStone.com, it’s an extremely hectic time. “Festive season for jewellery business is a very special occasion. It gets very tiring but it’s an exciting time,” says Bengaluru-based Kushwaha.
Of course, discussions with function heads like marketing, sales, operations begins at least six months before the festival season, to ensure that the company is well-prepared, deliveries are in place and there are no last-mile hiccups. “We try to ensure no part of the business is at a breaking point during the season,” says Kushwaha. This leads to the frequency of meetings going up in the weeks leading to Diwali.
To ensure there are no glitches, everyone puts in long hours, including him. Even the factory runs 24/7, with employees working in shifts. “In the head office, we work well into midnight because customer interaction is high during this time. Everyone gets into direct customer interactions,” he says.
Despite the hectic schedule, Kushwaha ensures that the festive mood in office is not relegated to the background. So, there is the customary prayer ceremony and on that day every employee is encouraged to wear festive clothes. Gifts in the form of sweets are then distributed around the office. One ritual that BlueStone.com has been following for the last five years is shipping diyas to their customers at least 20 days in advance so that it doesn’t get operationally hectic. Another tradition that has been followed at the company for the last seven years is donating clothes to various NGOs.
A crackling celebration
After a hectic few weeks, Kushwaha says that the Diwali day is much relaxed. “Thankfully Dhanteras happens two days before Diwali, so there is still time for people (employees) to get back into the festive mood. In fact, after Dhanteras, I take my daughter to shop for firecrackers. I know there is a lot of movement these days on avoiding crackers because of pollution but I am somewhat old-school when it comes to crackers,” says Kushwaha. He heads to Hosur, a town on the outskirts of Bengaluru known for fireworks, to do his firecracker purchase. His love for firecrackers can be traced to his earliest memories of the festival, where he would start bursting crackers a fortnight before Diwali. “I have gotten injured multiple times,” says Kushwaha. Now, he opts for firecrackers that throw up a lot of light as his two children are very young and get scared of noisy fireworks.
One of the fun traditions of the festival is the card games. However, Kushwaha steers clear of them. “I played twice and lost both times. That’s why I stopped playing card games,” he says with a laugh.
On his wish list
Kushwaha hopes that people celebrate festivals by spending more time with their families. In fact, he believes people should take time off and have a lot more fun and not be glued to their phones. On his part, his ideal way of spending the festival is to be with his children. “The kind of happiness and surprises you see on their face, especially given the age that they are, mesmerizes me,” he says.
Festival Spirit at Work is a series that looks at how CEOs spend Diwali at office and outside it.
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