Sarika Singh, Ever-Passionate Leader Steering Entracte To Deliver Memorable Transitions From House To Home Since 2002
“The secret of getting ahead is getting started.”– Mark Twain.
Entracte, a French word for an interval between two acts of a play or opera, perfectly suits the fearless, ardent, and action-oriented leader; Sarika Singh’s vision for her Bangalore based Interior Design firm Entracte as she and her team offer a seamless interval between buying a house and making it home for past 18 years.
Since 2002, having accompanied hundreds of clients at every step of the journey as she personifies their dream home, the stout-hearted, focused,action-oriented and determined entrepreneur Sarika Singh, with her venture Entracte,continues to create a suavesymphony between her clients and multiple artisans and professionals in the interior designing industry.
Her brandwalks the talk delivering the assured exclusively designed and customised spaces integrated with high-end quality product and lively interior designs executed hassle-free. They deliver residential and commercial interiors where style, comfort, and appropriateness are fused to spirit up the space designed, managed and executed to reflect client’s personality and dreams.
The CEO Magazine proudly recognizes Sarika Singh in its Women Entrepreneurs of the Year 2020 issue for her efforts and leadership as a fierce combatantspearheading the company’s flanks and guaranteeingdelivery of value-added solutions to every client. In an insightful interview with Sarika, she shared her views about various aspects of the business:
The CEO: Take us through Entracte’s business model that delivers value to the clientele?
Sarika: I founded Entracte primarily intending to bring designs into reality with spaces that reciprocate the client’s energy while crafting their homes. Unlike many other brands in the industry who are focused on quantity, I ensured, with my entrepreneurial venture, that we work with our clients to channel their vision by understanding their taste, priorities, necessities and dreams and creating quality and customised solutions.
We execute or put life into the designs in collaboration with our master craftsmen, contractors and suppliers, who we manage keeping in mind the client’s timelines and resources. We have completed more than 600 projects orchestrating the entire project from design till delivery and beyond.
The CEO: How was the journey of being your boss?
Sarika: Every entrepreneurial journey is packaged with uplifting challenges and joyful victories like relishing our achievements, giving more strength and motivation than ever before. My journey has been a roller coaster ride filled with many emotions at different stages from being anxious and excited about renting an office, to hiring the first employee, to letting an employee go due to poor performance, to being recognized for excellence, and finally being satisfied seeing a customer happy with our services.
The CEO: In this competitive business ecosystem, how do you build a successful customer base?
Sarika: A genuine personal recommendation from a trusted friend, colleague or family member is a powerful tool that creates a profound impact on consumers looking for services and I believe we are able to create those with our solutions.
For Entracte, it is an honour to share that our quality has replaced the need for advertising as we have grown with the most effective and powerful way to attract clientele i.e. via word-of-mouth and referrals.
The CEO: 2020 has witnessed a rough start and many derailed businesses, what are the challenges you are facing and how do aim to overcome them?
Sarika: Amidst the pandemic outbreak, I believe, the only way to overcome the challenges is to slowly unlock, nurture, and strengthen the innate creativity that lies within us all. The action plan right now includes taking time to process the problem while remaining calm, gaining perspective and building clarity and certainty being creative to seek alternatives.
Being a part of the service industry, we have realised our responsibility towards migrant workers and have successfully managed to retain them, provide them with accommodation, and insure them making sure that they are safer despite being outside their hometown during the lockdown.
The pandemic also presented a disruptive level of emotional stress on the workforce. We are creating a standard of care that fosters a sense of stability at the front line. With immediate changes underway, we are beginning to prepare ourselves for an uncertain recovery and potential for a significantly different next normal. The Entracte team is building resilience in operations, evaluating how demands could evolve, and creating plans with flexibility and agility.
The CEO: How are you strategizing your company’s business model in the near future aligning with the latest technological trends?
Sarika: We have acknowledged the need to design for flexibility, speed and comfort to deliver value to our customers. We look for best and latest design software to enhance the way client’s see designs while making it look closer to reality and ending the dilemma clients face through the phase where they are unclear about how their home will turn up. Post COVID-19, we have also realized and aligned with the online platforms to facilitate communication.
The CEO: What are the core values you ensure are followed by the team? What are recognitions you are proud of today?
Sarika: Communicating with transparency and respect internally and externally, taking ownership of the project, having a competitive spirit, and supporting each other as we grow; are core values followed by our team. At Entracte, we own it, drive it, and deliver it facing all the challenges during the process that makes it more exciting and innovative.
We have been recognised by India Lifestyle Awards, 2016 as Most Creative Interior Designer in Bangalore and India Business Awards, 2016 as Best Interior Designers and Decorators in Bangalore and besides these recognitions, I feel proud that our clients have recognised our work throughout our journey.
The CEO: What do you believe are the most important things to progress in a leadership position? What drives you?
Sarika: As leaders, I believe, we must focus on facilitating honest open communication, encouraging employee growth and development, and giving and receiving feedback. In challenging situations, one must maintain their sanity while leading as examples for the team members showcasing honesty, transparency, discipline and consistency. I would say my team drives me and I am striving towards making them capable, independent, and better.
The CEO: How do you define success? Who do you credit your success the most to?
Sarika:Success, among a few other terms, is subjective and for me, success is enjoying what I do i.e. to motivate, inspire, and engage young talent and to create a meaningful impact on the lives of people around me. Moments of success, for me, are when someone seeks me out for advice, or someone tells me that I have been helpful.
I strongly advocate for being independent and facing the problems head on. A key person who has nurtured and instilled that in me is my mother. While both my father and mother guided me through my childhood and the initial years in business, my mother has been an unshakable pillar even post my marriage as she took over the responsibility of my children to support my passion.
My husband, Rishi, also deserves a significant share of credit in my success. As a partner, Rishi has always fortified my entrepreneurial spiritwith his qualitative insights and actions as his positive outlook on business facets extensively shaped mine, his incredible management mantrasguided me, and his understanding towards my work intensifiedthe dream to achieve more.
My childrenalso deserve recognition as they have been thoughtful, supportive, adjusting and accommodating with my busy schedule. And indeed, my team who have always stood beside me along with my customers whose positive feedback have inspired me to get better and better.
The CEO: What would you like to share with women with start-up dreams?
Sarika: I robustly believe that entrepreneurial challenges are the same for every individual and to achieve success, one must be consistent and patient.One must not give up or let fear distract them in the endeavour tochase their dreams and make them come true.
In a nutshell, I agree with Oprah Winfrey as she said, “On my own, I will just create, and if it works, it works, and if it doesn’t, I’ll create something else. I don’t have any limitations on what I think I could do or be.”