As the CEO of Vu Technologies and Executive Director of Zenith Computers, the second largest PC manufacturing company in India, 29-year-old Devita Saraf has a tough job. That of steering her father’s 700 crore business empire. Unapologetic about being born into a legacy, Saraf is out to prove that there is more to her than her inheritance.
Her brainchild, Vu Technologies, which researches, designs and manufactures high end display and video products, television sets and gadgets around a visual experience is a sister company of Zenith Infotech (both companies are a part of the $200mn Zenith IT group) and is already an established brand, putting an end to all those who speculated about her calibre.
When most children her age were out playing or busy watching cartoons, Saraf was busy being inducted into the family business. “I remember sitting on my grandfather’s work table as a four-yearold, learning the ropes of the electronic business from him,” she laughs. While she did not understand much about the world of business as a child, her grandfather would often tell her stories about their Marwari roots and how they had been entrepreneurs for generations, all the while explaining to her different features of gadgets.
It was no surprise then that by the time she was eight, Saraf had developed a game of her own, that of fixing gadgets. “My elder brother Akash was always a technobrat and I would sit and hound him with questions,” she says. It was this curiosity to learn that had her pick up the Handbook to Marketingwhen she was eleven. For someone who was so eager for knowledge, school was surprisingly not something she was fond of.
“They were always trying to categorise, which I resented,” she says. Not a topper, she hated mathematics, like children everywhere, and wanted to run abroad at the first chance she got, as she felt the schools there would give her not only the exposure but also challenge her analytical mind.
After completing her first two years of junior college in Mumbai, of which she spent most of her time at the Zenith office, even missing an examination once so that she could attend a meeting, she realised the importance of specialisation and went on to study Business Administration with a focus on marketing from the University of Southern California.