Belonging to a business family, it was only natural that Pooja Narula Sharma gravitated toward starting her own business endeavour. She began “Cryatif Designing” an interior designing firm, alongside her sister, and slowly friends and relatives came forward with their residential and commercial interior projects, which they completed successfully. Soon several projects kept coming their way and the design firm began turning their client’s dreams into realities. The firm has successfully completed more than 100 projects in the last 15 years. Cryatif designing has designed Dsoi Gopalpur, Dsoi Meerut, Wheler’s club, Dolphin institute, Artrac Shimla mess and guestrooms, and many residential and commercial projects. Along with Cryatif Designing, Pooja is also a community entrepreneur, running several social media accounts that sponsor free professional education for women and organizes live talks with the experts in the industry on issues of women’s health & entrepreneurship.
She runs 5 Facebook groups, Parenting with food and fitness, She, Mommies and Babies, Beauty with gadgets, F3, and two Instagram handles, Hellozmeerut and Cryatif Designing which have almost 2 lakh followers.60% of all the earnings from the brand collaborations are utilized for the upliftment of women. She has collaborated with more than 250 national and international brands like Dyson, Amazon, Samsung, Phillips, Pediasure, ITC, Olay, etc.
However, success rarely comes without challenges. Pooja says, “Embrace each challenge in your life as an opportunity for self-transformation “, which only goes to show that she does not let the challenges she has faced, discourage her. When it came to her design firm, maintaining a client-friendly budget became increasingly difficult as new innovations came along, and explaining this constraint to the customers was also a difficult matter. On the other hand, as a community entrepreneur with an established brand, reassuring brands that targets and deliverables will be met on time has become progressively tough.
Pooja also mentions mistakes that she has made and how she has learned from them. She says “Without mistakes, there can never be that “perfect success” so I also made many mistakes in my career. The first mistake was that I took a break of a few years and stopped taking projects from 2015 to 2018. I found that I had to restart, re-identify resources available, and also re-invest in the business which was declining due to so many new competitors”. Another thing she learned was to recognize the value of her work, in the sense that her work was a culmination of efforts made by her team and could not be offered for free. “I provided my services free of cost to so many people which later I thought was not right. Every work has a price, and so does my work. Friends will never try to use you for their personal benefits, so be very clear and bold enough to clear all terms and conditions before starting any project”.
Pooja’s family has been her backbone throughout her journey. At first, her parents supported her as she was starting out, her father always wanted his daughters to fly and create a space for themselves in the world. Later, her husband and her two children became her source of support. Pooja established her business and has not looked back since.
Pooja Narula Sharma has been awarded several awards. Most emerging & enterprising Facebook group and Ace women entrepreneur 2020 award by GBTEOI, Women of substance 2019 by Daily hunt, and Mompreneur 2021 by Growth Beats, Women Victory award 2021 by Star Awards, Brand icon of the year, Fox Clue’s India 100 women icon award among others.
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