"I don’t think you need to become a man to show you have power. I have been taken seriously as a leader and entrepreneur in a male-dominated industry while being unapologetically feminine.”
– Devita Saraf
Devita Saraf, the Chairman and CEO of Vu Group, was born in Mumbai to a liberal-minded Indian family where entrepreneurship was strongly encouraged. Throughout her childhood, her family members were always excited and enthusiastic about business. “It was something we all simply enjoyed,” she says. "However, women were not perceived to be owners of large businesses. I wanted to change that,” she says. Her family graciously supported her decision to build her own empire.
Right from her teenage years, she frequented the office of her father, Raj Saraf, for lessons on how to run a business. During the 1990s and 2000s, his company Zenith Computers made and sold desktop computers. Devita, as a result, got an early initiation into entrepreneurship and technology. She also earned the trust and respect of her father’s employees, many of whom still work for her today.
Devita went on to complete a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Southern California, and is currently pursuing an OPM course from the Harvard Business School. Upon her return in 2006, she changed the course at Zenith Computers and started a new-age display conglomerate Vu Televisions – as she intuitively knew that screens would eventually replace paper in the future. Vu Televisions started out entirely bootstrapped, as a manufacturer of high-end televisions with a strong focus on luxury and design.
Early on, Devita decided that she would grow the Vu brand organically, thus allowing it to carve a niche for itself, instead of battling with competitors over pricing and specifications. In her own words, she chose to run her business like an ‘artist’ instead of a ‘sportsperson’ and even today lives by the mantra, ‘create, don’t compete’.
Vu Televisions is now the Indian market leader in smart TVs with an annual turnover of more than Rs.1,000 crore. It is credited as an industry pioneer and innovator in terms of technology and design. Vu is pronounced as “view”, inspired by one’s vision and view of the future. Today, Vu Televisions forms one half of Vu Group, which creates human-centric technology for consumer lifestyle and workstyle. The group has been built on the values of innovation, quality, sustainability, design and luxury.
Over the years, Devita has also earned a reputation of being a pathbreaking entrepreneur and a role model for women’s empowerment and leadership. She is one of Fortune’s Top 50 Most Powerful Women in India, a member of MENSA (The High IQ society) and has been listed as India's Richest Self-made Woman under 40. She is also a respected guest speaker and panelist, and has participated in over a hundred webinars, summits and panel discussions.
“I enjoy being the boss, as leading keeps me motivated!” she says. She credits her entrepreneurial bent, which she defines as the ability to find an opportunity in every situation and to mobilize people to create something, for making Vu Group the success story that it is.