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Hidden Gems: Meet Arjita Shrimali of The Desi Bride

Today we’d like to introduce you to Arjita Shrimali.

Hi Arjita, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstory with our readers?
I am a passionate problem solver with a BA from The University of Texas at Austin (go Longhorns!) and an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management. I bring a mix of strategy and e-commerce. I started my career as a management consultant at Deloitte, moved to Amazon to grow a global brand (that sells toilet paper!) and most recently launched the country’s first 5G phone as a Product Manager and led home appliance online sales at Samsung Electronics.

In 2019, my husband and I spent 14 months planning our wedding events, which started in Jaipur and ended with a third reception in Dallas. Wedding planning was the most stressful chapter of our lives, from the anxiety of merging two families to a never ending daily task list. Two weeks before our wedding, my husband had an anxiety attack (which he thought was a heart attack), and we dropped everything and rushed to the hospital. We’ve spoken to so many couples who’ve gone through the same stresses. Why can’t wedding planning be easier and more joyous, given that we are celebrating two families and two people coming together? I know it has to be better than what we and other couples have experienced. I want to make it better. Four months ago, I left the corporate world to go all-in on The Desi Bride and see if I can make wedding planning less stressful for couples and families planning South Asian weddings.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
On my very first consulting gig out of undergrad, I had a terrible experience. I worked hard, but I struggled to meet expectations and had a challenging manager to work with. I remember that I stayed up until 2 am and couldn’t even put together a simple slide, one that might take me 30 minutes today. When I got my rating after that project, I thought I was done and that I just wasn’t cut out to be a consultant. Fast forward to two years later. I got promoted, worked on some incredible projects and learned analytics and storytelling skills I still use today, and most importantly, met friends and mentors that have helped me guide my career ever since.

As I reflect on the start of my career to being an entrepreneur today, there have been several moments of doubt and of failure, but there’s no experience I can think of that has felt as much of a roller coaster as being a founder today. I absolutely love developing a vision, talking to my partners and clients, and moving fast with my team to execute, but there are many moments where I struggle with questions like: Am I really solving a problem? Did I pick the right industry? How in the world will I get to 10K followers (I have under 500 today) and compete in this social media/influencer led world? Am I cut out to be a founder? In moments of uncertainty, I always remind myself that I left tech to run The Desi Bride for three reasons: 1) To solve a problem and make wedding planning less stressful; 2) To learn; 3) To have fun. As long as I continue checking the boxes on these three reasons, then I’m doing what I left to do.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your business?
My husband and I spent 14 months planning our big fat Indian wedding, which started in Jaipur and ended with a third reception in Dallas. Wedding planning was the most stressful chapter of our lives, from the anxiety of merging two families to a never ending daily task list. I left tech to build The Desi Bride to make wedding planning less stressful for couples. The Desi Bride is a digital platform for couples planning South Asian weddings to find curated vendors. We help match couples and families with their dream vendor team by providing a list of curated vendors, transparent pricing, and honest reviews. We don’t want clients to spend hours emailing and calling vendors just to find that they’re not a good fit in terms of budget or be a surprising day off to find that service wasn’t up to par. We pride ourselves on honest, anonymous reviews, so previous clients can truly leave an unbiased, transparent review for other couples to read and use to make their decision.

We aim for less stress, more love through the wedding planning process. On the vendor front, we are excited about partnering with both traditional players in the South Asian market and new players wanting to break into the Desi wedding market. It’s a huge market, and competition brings innovation. Our role is to help connect the dots between clients and vendors and help these amazing small businesses grow. If you are a vendor looking to grow your South Asian wedding-focused business in Texas, please DM us on Instagram or email us, so we can learn more about your business and see if you might be a good fit for The Desi Bride. It is completely free to be on our platform. If you are a couple or family planning a South Asian or interracial wedding (Indian, Pakistani, Nepali, Bangladeshi, or Other), we would love to help you find your dream vendors, from the venue to photographer, makeup artist, DJ / Dholi, decorator and everything else.

We love surprises, fun facts and unexpected stories. Is there something you can share that might surprise us?
I have rediscovered my love for Nutella during this pandemic. I try to make it feel like a healthy snack by layering a spoonful of Nutella on apple slices every morning, but let’s be real, who am I really kidding here? On a more personal front, I have an amazing family, team, and mentors who support me day in and day out this journey. My parents are constant brand advocates, from telling all their friends about The Desi Bride to my mom finding new vendors for us to partner with. My sister, a lawyer by trade and journalist by education, reviews all of my content, even if it means her staying after until 2 am after she’s finished her day job. My brother is the laughter when we need it the most, and my husband is my #1 cheerleader. I use him as my constant whiteboard and secretly treat him like me COO. Without my supportive family, incredible team (who I lean on every day), and gracious mentors, I would not be where I am today.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Memoirs Photography (Jaipur) Nida Rehman

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