Hitesh Anand

Founder of GIBIE Home Furnishings

Hitesh Anand is the founder of GIBIE Home Furnishings Ltd. Hitesh comes from a small town with rich mythological heritage, named Ayodhya in India. Since his school days, Hitesh was business inclined and entrepreneurial in his outlook. His first project was about managing his father’s investment portfolio while he was in school. He went ahead to start his investment consultancy during his graduation and also opened a small web development agency along with his cousin. After completing his engineering, he briefly worked for a software giant, Infosys in India before moving to United Kingdom for his masters. After completing his masters, he came back to India to begin his official entrepreneurial journey in the textile industry. He was introduced as a managing partner with an organic clothing company based in India. He spent a lot of time with this company understanding the nuances of this industry and building a strong clientele. He has been a part of the textile industry for last 8+ years now and constantly working on developing better practices and better products. After gaining a lot of first hand experience, Hitesh moved back to United Kingdom to set up his most passionate project which he called GIBIE, a sustainable textile company.

Where did the idea for GIBIE Home Furnishings come from?

I have been working in the textile industry for several years in India. During my early years of working, I learnt about the inhumane conditions of workers and dreadful processes involved in the dyeing industry resulting in multiple diseases among people working in the factory and those living in nearby regions. Many workers lost their fingers because of the extreme skin conditions caused by the synthetic dyes being used, and consumers today continue to wear such dyes on their body. Disheartened, I decided to make a change. So I went on a journey to find alternative dyeing methods. I came across a dyeing practice which was 100% natural, had existed in India for 5000 years – but was on the brink of extinction. I started working on ways to make this dyeing process viable for modern textiles. It took 3 years to develop the right method and identify manufacturers to work with to create the finest, sustainable bath linen and labelled it as GIBIE, from the Sanskrit words, Gunas, Indriya, Buddhi, Ichha & Eka, describing our Mind, Body and Soul, the fundamental pillars of Ayurvedic science.

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

I am a nature and fitness enthusiast at heart. I love to spend time in the greens. I start my day with an hour long morning walk and meditation session. At work, I usually start with a 25 minutes call with my team. I extensively rely on collaboration tools like Spark & Zoho Suite to keep my task list under check. I usually close my workday at 5 in the evening followed by a quick workout session. Rest of the day is usually spent with my family and friends.

How do you bring ideas to life?

I firmly believe that one should not rush into decisions before investing the required time for research. A&B testing is an important aspect when you’re working on your product idea. The more time you spend in your research the better you understand whether we’re moving in the right direction. Seek mentorship wherever possible. Learn from their failure, that way you can avoid yours.

What’s one trend that excites you?

The growing consciousness about the environment among consumers.

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

I have a habit of pre-planning my hourly schedule on a day-to-day basis. It helps me prioritise and manage life better. Don’t use to-do list, rather write each task in your calendar with specific time when you have to complete it.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Never to carry the ‘I-know-it-all’ attitude and be a learner.

Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.

Introverts can also be successful entrepreneurs.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

I believe feedback is an indistinguishable part of running a business. I am always building on my products and the business model based on the valuable feed that I receive from my consumers and team members

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?

We’re in a connected world. Having a strong network in your personal and professional life always gives you an edge to achieve more. It is the best thing you can do for your business without paying anything for it.

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

Being complacent during the initial phase of my entrepreneurial journey got me stuck where I lost my edge to competitors. Realisation of the importance of constant innovation was key for me to overcome this eventually.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

Demand for sustainable products will continue to be on the rise. There are enough healthier alternatives in every aspect of business in terms of products and services. Develop a model to serve upcoming sustainable businesses through the skills and experience you posses now. For example, if you are good at digital marketing, make digital marketing for sustainable business your niche. You will genuinely develop more understanding of the sector and become an expert as you grow.

What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?

We recently moved to Klaviyo which costs us around $100 a month. That is the best $100 we have spent. Klaviyo, a fantastic marketing automation platform focused on email marketing. A must for ecommerce businesses.

What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?

Zoho Projects, its a cloud-based project management tool. It helps me plan my work & track my work efficiently while collaborating with my team.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

Factfulness, a book by Hans Rosling. Using publicly available data from UN website, Hans Rosling explains how misconstrued is the idea about the general world among the masses and tells you where the next opportunity of future growth lies.

What is your favorite quote?

“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life” (Confucius)

Key Learnings:

  • Follow your passion, research more & plan better to make it large
  • Green will only get greener and bigger. There is no better time than today to be in a sustainable business
  • Project management and marketing automation tools can help you drive efficiency.