She isn’t apologetic about being a privileged technology punter. Devita Saraf may have inherited a Rs 300-crore business empire from her father, Raj Saraf, but she now treads confidently. Vu Technologies, her brainchild, is already an established luxury electronics brand and keeps Saraf on her toes. Obviously, she is doing things right. Having graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Southern California in 2003, she was conferred with the IT People Woman Leadership Award in 2006, and is going great guns.
Life depends on a laptop
I just can’t do without my laptop,” she says. “It contains all my pictures, my business plans and confidential sales figures — my life depends on it.” Mind you, she says laptop, not mobile phone. Yes, she certainly can boast of having used no less than 15 laptops — and why not? She runs a PC business, after all. “I am presently using a Zenith Admiral Plus laptop and it is my first laptop for this year,” she says, nonchalantly. How many laptops does she use in a year?
A short pause and she owns up, “Around three laptops a year.” There’s more: she does not believe in paying for boxed software, and instead pays for software like a service. “It’s no good buying costly software when all you would use is maybe just a few features. I like to opt for software subscriptions online, where I can pay for the software as a service, thereby using only the features I want. It’s definitely a more savvy use of technology,” she explains patiently.
The favourite LV bag
This “techno-commercial entrepreneur”, as she calls herself, owns several luxury laptop bags, but her last year’s favourite was a Louis Vuitton laptop bag. “The bag fits the laptop and has space for documents. It has an exterior zipped pocket for smaller items and a huge, wide strap for comfortable carrying,” she says. “I must have gone through countless laptop cases, all of which were either too big or cumbersome to carry along with my bag. I needed something to hold just the laptop and keep the toting to a minimum. Louis Vuitton’s laptop bag was my answer.” After all, it was used to encase her custom-made, pink-gold laptop.
Givenchy, Gucci, Hermès and others have been turning their attention to technology, with creations that could have thousands of women leaping with joy in their Blahniks.
In 2009, go desi
From Louis Vuitton to self-designed crocodile leather laptop bags, Saraf does think in myriad ways. “I have designed a crocodile leather laptop bag that will include extra space for battery and chargers, besides the laptop,” she says. Price? “Oh, it will be given along with Zenith laptops, which cost around Rs 30,000.” Saraf promises that if successful, this will not be the last of her “designing ventures”.
Little Miss Fixit
For the young executive director, who started fixing gadgets when she was just eight years old, Saraf has seen a generation of laptops pass her scrutiny. “I have used a minimum of 15 laptops, from boxy early versions to present chic ones, and I have capably fixed several with my toolsets.” Saraf, known among her friends as the gadget-fixer, once helped dad Raj to manoeuvre his way out of a broken lift — by instructing him about emergency controls over the phone. She credits her grandfather for teaching her how to fix gadgets, “I learnt to use screwdrivers and tools from him.”