How Changing My Elevator Pitch Changed Everything

I was in B-school when I came up with the idea for ShaadiShop. I was lucky, as it was a supportive and safe environment to bounce ideas off of people, seek advice, and test concepts. But, at first the conversations didn’t go anywhere as people got stuck when they heard, “Indian wedding”. Responses were two-fold:

  • I’m sorry, I don’t know anything about Indian weddings so I can’t help you. or,
  • They’d share their fond memory of the one time they went to an Indian wedding and got to wear Indian clothes.

The 3rd time this happened, a pattern was established. That night while driving home to OC from USC,  I came up with two new ways to describe my company and set out to test them.

  • We drive wedding business to venues
  • Lead-gen marketplace for wedding venues

Option 2 won by far. I deleted the word Indian altogether and viola! We were in business…having productive, business conversations.

{Lessons Learned}

Focus on First Principles
At first, I didn’t understand why people got stuck when they heard “Indian wedding” and I spent time thinking about that, until I realized it didn’t matter. The fact was they were getting stuck and I wasn’t achieving my goal — to gather info. So, I could either solve the problem or hope that eventually someone would ‘just get it’.

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Again
Once I came up with the new description, I went back to those first few people and offered that I didn’t describe my concept in the best way, and requested them to take another look at my concept; 2 out of 3 did.


Samta Varia is the Founder & CEO of ShaadiShop,  lead-gen marketplace for venues interested in South Asian weddings.

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