Devita Saraf is the Founder, CEO and Design Head of Vu Technologies – the premier brand of luxury televisions. In 2006, the same year the company was started, she was ranked among the youngest businesswoman on India Today’s list of 25 Most Powerful Women in India. Ambitious and driven, she joined the family business at the young age of 21, and established Vu Technologies when she was 24. Devita is also a member of Mensa, the international high IQ society. An iconoclast, a non-conformist and an individual spirit; her commitment and journey towards building her own brand has been remarkable and inspiring.
She’s a model CEO, in more ways than one: Devita Saraf’s next big move
What did you want the model face of the company to stand for in regard with Vu Technologies? What were you looking for?
The brand ‘Vu’ stands for luxury, quality, youth and innovation. Starting out Vu at age 24 after having studied at Harvard and USC, and hailing from one of the pioneering family businesses in tech, my team felt I was the correct representation of these brand values and therefore decided to model for the brand.
How did you decide to represent your brand as the model face for it yourself?
This is a personal story. An old associate told me that I shouldn’t model for Vu [the way Branson and Zuckerberg are the face of their business] because I am not a man and I am not a foreigner. This made me realize how much we undervalue ourselves as Indians and as women, and it drove me to be the public face of my company. Why should a male actor, who is 20 years older than me, be representative of my business and my generation?
An old associate told me that I shouldn’t model for Vu [the way Branson and Zuckerberg are the face of their business] because I am not a man and I am not a foreigner
Do you believe your strategy is working?
Clearly. Forbes International called me India’s Model CEO and I was also invited to speak with Richard Branson in Istanbul on entrepreneurship.
More than that, I get fan mail from young people across the country who want to live a life that is a genuine mix of substance and style. It’s only after building a $50 Million business that I decided to model for it. And that story aspires people to follow their passion in their career path, even if it’s the road less taken.
Did you face any criticism from people when you started your company? How did you overcome such hurdles?
We took time to perfect our product. We started out as high-end PCs and gadgets and then focused all our efforts on the crown jewel of the electronics industry – televisions!. The market was 3 lakh TVs then and is 98 lakh TVs in just ten years. But the bets we made worked in our favour, so the hurdles helped us get on the right product and brand strategy.
What are your views on the glass ceiling? Do you think women still face challenges in the corporate sector because of gender?
Yes, in most professional environments they do. But in an entrepreneur-owned organization like Vu, which is run by women, we are oblivious to gender, age, religion or any demographic and people are giving growth opportunities purely based on meritocracy.
What is your message to the young entrepreneurs of this country?
Be real. Focus on your life and career and make something of yourself, rather than trying to follow others.