Jinay Savla (Accounting and Finance)
Entrepreneur and founder of Mizzigo.com
To succeed as an entrepreneur, it’s not just what you know but who you know – my degree helped me understand the importance of both.
I started my degree in 2011, but had to take some time out after my second year and that’s when I really started to work on my business idea. Everything I learnt at University helped - it gave me more confidence and the incentive to return and complete my degree in 2016.
The seed of my business idea was planted when I first got to Exeter… I arrived at halls on a Saturday evening, tired after a flight from Mumbai. The shops were all closed so I couldn’t pick up any essentials and that night I slept under a towel.
The next day, thanks to a combination of jet lag and partying, I slept in until 5.30pm. As it was Sunday the shops were closed again so it was another night under a towel with a backpack for a pillow! When I finally on the Monday after scurrying from shop-to-shop and carrying heavy bags across Exeter I realized that I’d spent more money than I needed to and could have found cheaper deals. It was this rough experience that led me to find an innovative solution.
That’s when Mizzigo Wonder Bag was designed. A bag filled with 109 essentials items - from bedding sets to cookware to stationery - everything students need to set up their room. We deliver the bag directly to students’ accommodation in time for their arrival so they can pack and carry items they love rather than need.
The biggest challenge I’ve faced was building and sustaining the right team. It took time but today we’ve got it. Every day we face challenges but we’ve always felt we can do it – we can overcome any hurdles.
If you want to set up your own business I would say follow your gut, be patient when you face hurdles and find a mentor who will share their experience, hold your hand, give you direction and save you not only money but precious time.
At Exeter there are great mentors like Joe Pearce from the Innovation Centre who not only helped me shape the business model but also helped me hone skills I thought I didn’t have.
It takes courage to go out on your own but the rewards are incredible.