Founders at 'Integrity Technoplast'
Gitanjali Thite and Swanand Thite
Quitting something that is safe and secure to start something on your own can be very taxing, strenuous and anxiety inducing. Entrepreneurship is an uphill battle and is a constant one. In such a time, having a support system is essential.
Gitanjali and Swanand Thite are soul mates in every sense of the word. They support each other in their respective endeavours whole heartedly and contribute to the larger company with their prior experiences. Swanand is the founder of the toy manufacturing company “Integrity Technoplast” and Gitanjali being the Co-Founder at ‘integrity. Technoplast’, takes care of the creative and administrative aspect of the company.
She is also the founder of “Elite Learning”, a training centre for personality development which she undertook as a passion to educate the homemakers and the young generation.
Integrity Technoplast is also getting incubated at IIM Bangalore NSRCEL for the new project.
The journey of Integrity Technoplast is moving ahead with getting incubated at IIM Bangalore, NSRCEL under the WSP 3.0 Program for their new project.
Here is an excerpt from an interview conducted by “Soar2high”:
Gitanjali, you have been involved in many jobs for the past sixteen years, including a well paying corporate job. What made you leave that and start something on your own?
Gitanjali: Yes, it has been a tough decision. It is not very easy to take that plunge once you have worked for so many years in corporate. But there was always a desire to do something on my own. I had not planned to become an entrepreneur, but I just wanted something of my own. Something was telling me that I had the potential and I was quite confident in my abilities. I figured if I put that energy into something of my own, it could give me more satisfaction than what I was doing at Corporate. Secondly, Swanand had already started “Integrity Technoplast” then. He quit first and then I did. There was already a plan set before I joined in. Third, I really like training and spending time with children. I couldn’t do that at my job.
Could you give a brief of “Elite Learning”? What is your role and what is the concept behind it?
Gitanjali: I used to do personality development training on the weekends. I used to go to schools or MBA centers. But when the pandemic happened, all of it stopped. So, I thought of doing something during the free time. The factory has also stopped and Swanand was taking care of it. I was at home. There were also a lot of people who were eager to learn because they had a lot of free time as well. So, I thought it was the right time to start this. I mainly train children and home homemakers. I target children because training at a young age could really help shape their personality. I come from a recruitment and HR background, and I have seen how difficult it is to train adults. Coming to homemakers, there are times when confidence becomes low, they feel inferior because they are not working (which is not true, there is a lot of work when you are a homemaker). These women faced a lot of problems during the pandemic as well, so I thought of helping them get through it. That was the intention behind starting “Elite Learning”.
Swanand, you have run other businesses before starting your own. How did those experiences help you in running “Integrity Technoplast”?
Swanand: I always had the penchant for selling since a young age. In school, whenever there used to be festivals like Raksha Bandhan or Diwali, we had to sell crackers and Rakhis. I used to sell the highest number. From then, I have had this urge to sell things. When I was in standard eight, our family started a milk and milk products company, which I also joined. For a while, our sales never increased. I was concerned and asked my father that despite me going around talking to everyone about our product, why aren’t our sales increasing. He said that I didn’t know the products very well. So, I went and stayed at our dairy for two days, learned everything and then started marketing. By a few months we started selling 1600 litres. Through that I learned, to sell any product, it is necessary to have in-depth knowledge about it. Then I joined a pest control business and those experiences really helped in sanitization of our products now. Every business has had something to offer in terms of knowledge, be it customer relations or product knowledge. I worked in the plastic industry for fifteen years before starting “Integrity Technoplast” and I have put in all the business experience and job experience I have had into it.
How hard was the decision to quit and do something of your own?
Swanand: That was the most difficult phase for me. I had joined the company which makes toys for “Kinder Joy” in 2010 and I worked there till 2016. I was the quality head. When I decided to resign and start my own, my MD did not accept my resignation. He said that I could not leave until he got another Swanand. My notice period dragged to almost a year, which is unheard of. But I understood, they needed a good enough replacement and they were conducting interviews. Every time I went in with my resignation, he used to tear it and throw it. I was trying to set up my business and they weren’t letting me go. It was quite a difficult phase.
Gitanjali: By the end, his MD was also quite supportive and encouraged him to start the company. He became sort of a godfather for us. He was our first client. He believed in Swanand a lot and always used to say you would reach great heights.