Interview: Preena and Davina Desai discuss their experience starting a business in the pandemic

Sisters Preena and Davina start up a fragrance business during the pandemic. Photo Credit: Preena Desai

The covid-19 pandemic has forced thousands of businesses to close their doors to comply with government lockdown restrictions. With millions of people stuck at home, a boom in entrepreneurial activity has struck the market.

Whilst there is little optimism for future employment opportunities, entrepreneurs are excited about the prospects for their businesses when doors begin to reopen.

Sisters, Preena and Davina Desai, based in London, UK, decided to take action when they both suddenly found themselves with an abundance of free time. Preena and Davina had longed to set up a fragrance company in memory of their late grandmother, Urmila. The lockdown restrictions enabled the sisters to work on their company business plan and successfully launch their first products within a year. 

“We decided to start our business during the midst of the pandemic because we found that we had a lot of spare time. We were staying at home together, so we thought we would take the opportunity to begin a business in something we are very passionate about”, stated Preena.  

The sisters are not alone. The annual report issued by Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) recorded its highest rate of early-stage entrepreneurship, with 1 in 4 individuals of working age in the UK engaging in some type of entrepreneurial activity. 

The report also showed that the age cohort 25-34 years old holds the highest number of entrepreneurs throughout the United Kingdom.

“I graduated in 2019 in International Business and Economics and, although I got a first in my degree, I found it very difficult to get a graduate job. It’s so competitive out there, and the video interviews and application process is a very long-winded journey”. 

“So I thought, with the pandemic and the employment market at the moment, it was a good time to start a business in something that I have wanted to do for a long time,” said Preena.  

I interviewed Preena and Davina to learn more about their entrepreneurial experience and to hear about their new fragrance company. Check out the interview below.

Introduction Video Credit: George Morina & Pavel Danilyuk from Pexels

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