Smita Rajgopal Poliak believed that life is not just about the beginning and the end. She believed that the important moments are those that happen between them. After all, how she went from nobody to becoming the founder and global creative director of her own international communication design firm, SMITTEN, was a result of her grit, guts, and passion in between.
Today, SMITTEN has offices across New York, Bangalore, and Chennai with a growing presence in Dubai. Smita and her team have worked with brands and companies like The International Olympic Committee, United Nations, Unilever, Absolut, Diageo (Johnnie Walker, Guinness), Hilton, Taj Hotels, Sheraton Hotels, Mattel, Walt Disney, Panasonic, Bacardi, Logitech, Perfetti, Wagamama, Maxell and many more.
The start of SMITTEN is a story of trying. Smita was at that time finding herself. She wanted to carve a path of her own. So no matter what, she tried anyway. The world faced a recession in 2008, but she persevered.
Smita searched on Google: “How to set up your own graphic design studio?” Later on, she knew she had to start somewhere. And Google led her to find an accountant. Half an hour later, she found Mr. Prakash, on a random listing, and arranged a meeting with him.
The next day Smita went to meet him and recalled the first thing she asked, “I want to start a business and I don’t know how to do it.” Even when she felt like she could have asked a better question, he simply responded with, “Sure what sort of business?” She then explained graphic design to him and said it would be a communication design studio.
What he said next was unexpected for Smita, but she knew it was the start of something incredible.
“Great, just get started then,” he said. “All you need is to set up a company account. I recommend a government bank for security, so State Bank of India, and then start your work, keep a track of your income and outflow with receipts and invoices and come back to me at the end of the year. We’ll file your taxes and close your books for the year.”
Fast forward to today, and the world is facing yet another recession. For Smita, life changed so much. SMITTEN has grown into something she never expected it to be, expanding across North America, the Middle East, and South Asia. But one thing remains the same; it’s her hope. Despite the uncertainties, for as long as you work hard, all things will fall into place.
Now Smita wants to remind aspiring entrepreneurs to choose to keep going despite it all. Her story is a great example that great things take time. You just have to be willing to take a step further.
Despite the pandemic, it is a spectacular year for Smita and SMITTEN. She believes that good things can still happen. Make sure your drive is all about making your dreams a reality, no matter what it takes. As she said, “you have to keep your head in the game and play to win, not worrying about the outcome,” After all, it’s not just about the beginning and the end, it’s what happens between them.