Gurminder Matharu, Founder & Director, Ltd edition
“Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all, love of what you are doing or learning to do.” ― Pele
Undoubtedly, the beauty of hard work, grit, and perseverance is that when you hold on to it strongly, you can win any war. It’s the grit and drive that keeps pushing you forward in spite of challenges and hardship. The story of Gurminder Matharu, the founder of Ltd edition sourcing Pvt ltd, is all about sheer determination, resilience, and grit that brought her recognition and accolades in the world of fashion. With a crystal clear vision and unwavering perseverance, she challenged every stereotypical notion and fought all odds to become the successful businesswoman that she is today.
Coming from a middle-class Indian Punjabi family where the only aim of a woman’s life seems to be a successful marriage, going against the grain and doing a job after graduation was a big challenge for Gurminder. But since childhood, she was very fascinated by the apparel-making process. When her mom used to stitch her school uniform and clothes at home on a hand machine, she would be on her side and watch how the machine would just get two pieces of cloth together, followed by a fantastic outfit in the end. This fascination was always alive in her. After completing her high school education, she commenced an undergraduate degree, but it could not hold her area of interest. Thus, she went for a fashion designing course at an institute in New Delhi where she worked very hard to finesse each process of garment making. And, a practical dimension for all her theoretical knowledge came from every garment she made for her siblings and herself. Finally, she stepped into the industry and started working for a small export house in Greater Kailash and worked her way to running and monitoring an entire sample room in a big export house. After this, there was no looking back. Soon, she helmed the position of Country Head for a European multinational and ran their head office in Gurgaon for over 25 years.
In Crisis, Opportunities Are Born
While Gurminder was climbing the ladder of success in her career, the Covid-19 pandemic hit the world. And, in early August of 2020, bankruptcy ended more than 25 years of her service to the European market. Gurminder and her team were disheartened, but their spirit was not! Driven by the firm belief that in crisis opportunities are born, they decided not to give up. Overnight, the plan took shape and within 1 month of the bankruptcy, the platform of Ltd edition on the web was launched. “Even though it was very hard to survive during the pandemic, we kept our spirits high and held onto the faith in our hearts. In my experience, when you believe in yourself, the universe joins you and the path starts unraveling by itself. We were fortunate enough to find like-minded co-partners who don’t just work, but also love what they do. Having experts in the field, with valuable working experience, helped us get an upper hand, as we built a strong foundation of Ltd edition,” elucidates Gurminder. Soon, the company started exploring different avenues of retail customers, and even though it was struggling to strive during the pandemic, it started its second gear with work.
Growing through Challenges
While there were several challenges that the company had to face, one intricate aspect was to find and retain customers, as various retail shops closed down due to the shortage of customers to maintain social distancing and comply with the regulations at the time. This influenced the market since orders were dropping and sales were going down. But there is always a light at the end of the tunnel and at last, the company got its first order, after which the graph started steadily improving. “The biggest challenge I had to face was the pressure of all the work, as due to lockdown we were all working remotely, and almost every minute, work was landing on my shoulders. There was a time when I could not see my day ending; working 24×7, 7 days a week. It was an endless stretch of tasks. The pressure of this time took me back to my day 1 in the field. The only difference was this time there was speed and expertise on my side,” affirms Gurminder. The pressure of the responsibility of feeding not just her family, but the families of the people working with her, the people who entrusted her, was tough to mitigate for Gurminder. But against all the odds, she successfully led Ltd edition towards growth and prominence.
Empowering and Nurturing the Team
According to Gurminder, a leader must value each team member and focus on collective efforts in the necessary direction to achieve adequate results and profits. As a leader, she also emphasizes on providing a healthy work atmosphere that fosters the growth of a team. She believes that building up a team that stands to work together even in your absence is what shows how successful you are as a leader. “The dream of every businesswoman is the outcome she aims to proclaim from her start-up. Keeping all experiences and expertise aside, it is imperative that she has the tact to get the work done in the most efficient and effective manner. She needs to be a team builder and should know how to bridge the gaps and sometimes resolve conflict to keep the team together and focused on the shared cause,” asserts Gurminder.
Drawing the valuable life lessons from her entrepreneurial journey, Gurminder advises aspiring women entrepreneurs to find what they love. “Find something which you love to do, and you realize that you don’t have to work for a single day. Your work becomes your hobby. Moreover, maintain your confidence and keep believing in yourself. Lastly, learn your own worth, accept yourself and keep the power of validation in your own hands,” opines Gurminder. For the avid entrepreneur, success is about making a difference and creating a positive impact on others by guiding them, educating them, and simplifying things for them.
Continues Reshaping the World of Fashion
As a people-centric leader, Gurminder always strives to keep the team together and build an atmosphere where everyone can reflect their best and contribute to the shared values for the company’s vision. She believes that even during the most hopeless of times, leaders must lend an ear to listen and understand and guide the individual to the best of their abilities. Undoubtedly, her indomitable leadership and value-driven approach are applaudable and somewhere the key contributors behind her resounding success. Forging ahead, the ardent entrepreneur aspires to continue offering the “sustainable fashion for good” platform all around the world and connecting people for a common cause. “Our vision of the company is to make a difference through sustainable fashion. We aim to do something which impacts the society in a positive way while making life easier for our customers,” concludes Gurminder.