When most brothers and sisters grow up arguing and building Lego, Shanil and Jenika Gudka were making business plans and building empires.
The youngsters, aged just 21 and 22, have just launched their own e-commerce business and designer clothing brand. They even went to the same university to study the same business course before becoming business partners. Jenika graduated this year from the course in International Business while Shanil has one year left on the course at the University of Portsmouth. Their online brand, The Wolfe London Ltd, has already received global interest from the contacts they made during their studies.
The ambitious pair, accumulated a vast contact list of potential suppliers and customers while travelling internationally on their placement years as part of their university course. They credit this, and being taught the complexities of international trade, with being confident and informed enough to launch their own company.
Jenika said: “We absorbed so much from our year in industry and the opportunity to work on a global level was the best possible experience as it cemented what we were learning. Course units such as the one in contemporary international business were incredibly hard, but it wasn’t long before we discovered that knowledge would be priceless.”
Jenika and Shanil both travelled in Europe and Asia on their placement years, Jenika hosting large corporate events for GSMA, body that represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide, where she mastered the art of networking and making contacts. Shanil, already an expert in social media with thousands of followers, managed to pick up enough Chinese to travel around the country developing contacts. He said: “The opportunity to build a global network was invaluable. Some of the contacts we both made are now some of our suppliers and some of them we hope to turn in to customers. There’s no substitute for getting out there and talking to people.”
Jenika, said: “Launching our own business has been a long-term ambition for both of us, almost since we were children. We’ve always known that we would do something together it was just a case of what and when. We’ve both been saving hard and at this point in our lives we’re able to start something original and see where it takes us.”
The clothing concept was the brainchild of Shanil who was in China when he realised the market for quality designer clothing at affordable prices. It sparked the clothing concept for which Jenika has the creative flair. She started to sketch out some designs to take to their suppliers from whom they commissioned samples. Now stock is arriving to fulfil early orders from customers already interested in the brand.
The Wolfe London range, inspired by the film, The Wolf of Wall Street, is aimed at the 16-35 year old market. It is currently for men but has a unisex appeal and they plan to launch a women’s clothing as part of the second phase of their plans.
Lecturer on the International Business course, Mike Buchan, described the pair as astonishingly capable. He said:
“They have a combination of intelligence, ambition and entrepreneurial talent in its truest sense.
It’s a tough course but Jenika graduated with a first, and with Shanil entering his final year we’ve already arranged for him to deliver some workshops for the other students. I’ve no doubt they will succeed and I wish them the very best.”
The Wolfe London website will launch soon but their designs can be seen on Instagram and Facebook: @thewolfelondon.