Introducing Disha Solanki, Managing Partner at Hill & Co.
With a keen mind for business, a Master’s degree in Marketing Management, and an MBA from Aston University, Disha Solanki has had an illustrious journey before joining Hill & Co. as Managing Partner and Chief Growth Strategist.
Disha originally began in the pharmaceutical industry as a primary care health manager; despite not possessing a science degree, Disha was fearless in taking on the challenge, proving her mettle by clearing the exams necessary to work in the industry. During her two-year tenure, she worked with NHS Trust and GPS practices, blending healthcare and business in a way few can.
Disha later transitioned to a project management role with a pharmaceutical wholesaler. Her job was no small feat—she worked with pharmacies across the country, helping them adapt to financial challenges and seeking out innovative ways for them to grow their businesses. This work revealed her knack for strategic thinking, leadership, and compassionate engagement.
In 2020, Disha met and joined forces with Elle Hill, Founder & CEO of Hill & Co. As our Managing Partner and Chief Growth Strategist, Disha is responsible for driving growth within the business, plotting and navigating our own path to success using her inimitable talent for negotiation and strategic thinking.
Disha has proven time and again that she is a resilient, adaptable leader with a passion for business and people; her story is one of perseverance, innovation, and dedication, making her an inspiration for anyone looking to blaze their own trail in the business world.
Join us as we discuss with Disha how every jewelry and gemstone business must be cognizant of its current environment, the value of strong leadership, and the importance of building the right team, acknowledging the fact that business growth – in any arena and industry – is a collaborative effort and not a solo journey.
Does the experience of business owners and leaders change when they’re a start-up or scaling up?
Well, you’ll find that whether you’re just launching your venture or looking to grow, the challenges faced are surprisingly alike. I’d even go so far as to say the landscape looks pretty similar, whether you’re at the start-up stage or looking to expand. First off, it’s crucial to realize you can’t tackle everything on your own.
It’s also intriguing to note how your aspirations and visions shift and evolve. This change is a fundamental aspect of being in business. As an entrepreneur, the drive to reach further and achieve more is often inherent, so the sensation of ever being completely ‘done’ is pretty scarce.
What are the differences between start-ups and scale-ups?
The differences? Well, when you’re at the start-up phase, there’s a higher likelihood of you believing you can manage everything, that there are limitless hours in the day. Unfortunately, this is seldom the case, and you often end up chasing time, unable to complete everything you planned.
My top piece of advice here would be to make room for some quiet contemplation. This pause can recharge your mind and make you even more productive when you dive back in. This holds true no matter where you are on your entrepreneurial journey.
As you transition to scaling up, a vital question to ask is, “Who is the right person to execute this task?” Once you’re in a position to expand, it’s time to think about the experts you need to bring aboard. Locating and attracting these individuals isn’t always easy, but it’s worth the wait to find the right fit. Rather than making impulsive, ego-driven decisions, wait for the perfect team. Lost time can always be reclaimed with the right people at your side.
Why did you choose a broader career path instead of specializing?
The reason I didn’t choose to concentrate on one particular field is quite straightforward. I love the business of being in business. Be it in industries like jewelry, healthcare, or skin and aesthetics, my true passion lies in understanding what propels businesses forward.
How would you describe what you do, since you’ve not picked a niche?
Because I haven’t settled on a single niche, I prefer to call myself a ‘multi-passionate entrepreneur.’ My interests are many and varied, and I’m captivated by just about everything. I want to absorb all the knowledge I can.
There’s considerable merit in this approach as it allows you to draw connections between industries. This can then be used to fuel growth in your own business.
What skills and qualities should a leader have in order to grow and scale their business?
When looking to grow and scale, it’s vital for a leader to maintain a focus on the bigger picture. Avoid getting so bogged down in the minutiae of daily operations that you lose sight of your ultimate goal.
I live by the saying that money is a reward for playing the game. It is not the game. Pay keen attention to customer service and the treatment of your staff. I wholeheartedly believe that the more positivity you infuse into your business, the more bountiful it will be.
How can we increase the number of women in leadership roles, especially in fields like diamonds, gemstones, and jewelry?
Female leaders often have a distinct leadership style from their male counterparts, and that is perfectly alright. It is vital to acknowledge the unique responsibilities that many women undertake, including caring for children or elderly parents, along with the additional mental burden that predominantly falls on women.
What role do male counterparts play in promoting female leadership?
Men also play a crucial role in encouraging growth in female leadership. It’s up to them to appreciate and respect the multitude of roles women often juggle and contribute towards change. Women too must support each other in order to bring about this transformation.
With time, I’ve come to understand that it’s crucial to appreciate the different stages women go through in their lives. Choosing to have a child doesn’t signify an end to a woman’s career. As business leaders, we must provide an environment that allows her to return to work, ensuring we don’t miss out on half the potential workforce.
In my view, an ideal setting is one where men and women work together harmoniously. A board of directors should be diverse, not monopolized by individuals of one gender or age group. This diversity can bring multiple benefits to a business.
What do you enjoy most about Hill & Co.? What excites you about its future?
When it comes to Hill & Co., the sheer potential and possibilities that lie ahead fill me with excitement. It’s always a joy to be part of the Hill & Co. family. We have an amazing team and a host of promising projects in the pipeline for our clients. It’s truly a thrilling business to be a part of.
For regular strategic insights, tools, and advice for business leaders, connect with Disha on LinkedIn.
If you’re in the diamond, gemstone, or jewelry industry and would like to tap into the collective strategic mind of our team, reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
All the best,
Chief Marketing Officer