Shalini Kamal Sharma has beaten all the odds to emerge as one of the greatest entrepreneurs of the 21st century. 15 years ago, nobody would have looked at her and imagined the prominence she was about to gain. Born in a well-heeled family, few could have pictured her choosing to step out of her comfort zone to build an empire for herself. Despite her position and ability to ride off the glory of their parents, she chose a less trodden route to establish herself in the business world that has won her the respect and admiration of her critics.
Shalini has fought an epic battle to get down into the books of history as a self-made entrepreneur whose presence and contribution are being felt far and wide in the world. She has a rare reputation of building multi-million dollar organizations without the need for external help or loans. She confesses that she had not anticipated the kind of merit she was now getting, although failure is never an option for her. Throughout school and university, she won several awards from academic scholarships to beauty pageants to advance her career. She studied Law before post-graduating in International Relations.
Listening to her, you will know that Shalini is a creative entrepreneur. She speaks with a zeal and conviction that matches no other. Perhaps, this is what has helped her to stand strong even when conditions were not favourable. She approaches every challenge with audacity because she believes that fear impedes success. To her, change is the only constant in the equation of success. “It doesn’t matter where you come from or what you have, be passionate about your work, tenacious in your approach and resilient in your thinking and success will align itself with you.”
Like many other entrepreneurs, she doesn’t shy from her achievements. Who can steer a company to 3 global businesses in less than 10 years and not be proud of it? Amid the challenges, her companies have expanded globally with operations in 21 locations. In her own words, she is a staunch believer that negative thoughts do not lead to positive results and surrounds herself with cultured, creative and competent team. Her organization is renowned for a huge product range ( spanning a full range of hospitality solutions, furnishings, to organic health, beauty and lifestyle products) and is seeking to increase both production and expansion as a continuing part of creative entrepreneurship.
One can immediately single out ways in which the corporate culture of Shalini’s organizations are a reflection of her own personal values. For example, every stage between the sourcing of materials to the finished product at FORMULA ONE FURNICHE Pte Ltd are constantly refined in order to continually enhance quality, innovation and goodwill. In terms of quality, Shalini believes that there is no quick fix when it comes to providing the best standard of products, services and solutions to clients. The mindset is ‘your success is our success’, a mantra she has taken for word, providing upto 10 year warranty on most FF&E and Hospitality products, services and solutions. When she introduced her line of designer shoes under the brand Diva which is also manufactured for private label, she enhanced her designer shoes by combining sophistication with unparalleled comfort for the best wearing experience, again a first in the foot wear industry which focuses on form over function.
Innovation at FORMULA ONE FURNICHE Pte Ltd can be seen from two aspects in particular, an environmentally responsible perspective e.g. the incorporation of non-azo dyes and a product improvement perspective such as ‘easy-clean’ soft furnishings to help clients save costs on replacement and maintenance thus lowering the environmental impact as well. When it comes to gratitude and giving back to the community that brought her success, Shalini’s efforts know no ends. She strictly implements ‘Go-Green Initiatives’ and recycling programmes within her organizations, whereas externally she is constantly on the lookout for opportunities to make a difference. Apart from working along with small businesses, personally involving herself in organizations such as The Rotary International, Singapore After Care Associations, Handicaps Welfare Association, Singapore Children’s Society, Ministry of Social and Family Development among others, being a Voluntary Probation Officer, she is deeply interested in encouraging the youth to follow their dreams. She proved all this and more when she offered one-on-one free consultations, company sponsored designer materials and media coverage to budding fashion designers all over South East Asia in a one of a kind fashion show.
In the next few years, Shalini has set a target for continued global expansion.
Success is not final. For continued success, a successful company must innovate everyday.
For up and aspiring entrepreneurs, Shalini has this advice, “ The journey of success is riddled with valleys and pitfalls. One time you feel that you won’t make it while the truth is that you are about to accomplish something big. Every solution had a problem. Quitting is never an option in the world of entrepreneurship.”