Kapil Dasani, Founder of Dasani Connoisseur, has just completed 9 years at BNI! He joins us to tell us about his long and fruitful journey at BNI.
“Today, we see a lot of women entrepreneurs, we know a lot of women going forward in good positions in life, and they are even homemakers who are socialites. Today’s dress code has changed compared to the last 15 or 20 years, but the jewelry still has not evolved. So that’s where we come in; we design beautiful, lightweight, affordable jewelry that women will love to wear daily.
Kapil begins by sharing an interesting story of how his journey began at BNI. My first client was from BNI. I went to meet Bijay Shah; I was at a crossroad. I didn’t know what I was going to do. So I left my job… instead of giving me any solution, he just told me, “Can you make a ring for me?” I said, “I don’t have a bank account, factory, jewelry…how will I do this?” He said, “You can do it. Here’s your order. Can you do it for me?”That was the starting point. I’m so thankful to him. Since that day, we’ve got more than 3,000 satisfied customers. We must have crossed around more than a million dollars in sales annually. They say the first million is difficult, but we have already crossed that milestone. This is what a mentor or a leader does. He didn’t talk much; he just said, can you make one ring for me? That was all I needed—my answers. My solutions for all my challenges were in that one order, and then I got the style and confidence.
“When you come out of a company and start your own, you are not sure what is right and wrong. So there was a lot of evolution that happened. Thanks to my BNI team members and my team, who kept informing me and teaching me what to do because they’ve done it. I also found a very good mentor Muneer for our business.
I remember this instance when Corona had struck. Muneer had given a 45-minute consultation for free. So he said, if anybody is facing any challenge during Corona, I’ll give you 45 minutes. So that’s when we started to get into action while the whole market was going down. So this way, BNI gives you strength, and support, pushes you forward, and even challenges your belief system.
Be it funding, designing something, or I wanted to move my team from point to point. For example, I want to do some advertisements, my social media, and my entire business is done through BNI. My travel tickets, printing, stationery, suit, everything is made through a member.
“I saw this movie ‘The Founder.’ I would love to have a franchise in at least 40 to 50 countries, and I have created my beautiful vision board. I’ve seen myself having several franchises in different countries and locations. So that’s my dream. Right now, we are setting milestones that we want to open some kiosks and small boutiques and mini-stores, and that’s what we’re looking at.
Words of Advice
Kapil concludes with this fantastic story on how BNI has helped him and what new members can look forward to. I remember I have a member in my chapter; she’s from Malaysia, Susan. Some Malaysian delegates had come to the Expo, and they were here. They probably must have met. They asked her, “Do you know any jeweler?” Now Susan just referred me with confidence. I don’t know what magical words she said. You will not believe me…the Malaysian delegates drove to Al Ain to meet me. I was at an exhibition, and in the show then. PCR at that time was mandatory, so they called the embassy, got the PCR certificate, took about two hours to get into the show, and arrived to meet me. I was so happy and delighted to meet them. We sat down, and they loved the collection. There are more than 1 thousand stores in the UAE to buy. They came all the way to me just because they were referred with confidence by my BNI member Susan and they came and bought jewelry worth 60,000 Dirhams.
“You will have a lot of education and a big network. The energy you will get when you go to BNI meetings, and the other members gracefully share their contacts with you is fantastic”, he advises people looking to join BNI.