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Speaker Profile

Varna Bhat
Varna Bhat

Founder & CEO
Blisswater Industries Private Limited

The contributions of women entrepreneurs rarely make headlines, despite India being the third-largest start-up ecosystem in the world. Success is glamourized as a rare and difficult find. It can be attributed to many reasons, including the lack of opportunity, investor apprehension, or even the role of a woman as a homemaker.

A driven entrepreneur, Varna's passion for exploration was not confined to the academic realm. Her career path nearly ended in the civil service before she realized that bureaucracy was not her calling and she decided to turn to marketing, creativity, innovation, and branding instead.

Blisswater Industries is Varna's third entrepreneurial venture. She has also founded two companies - RapidStall, which creates eco-friendly marketing solutions for brands, and Tessarakt Experiential, which provides marketing, event, and creative services.

Varna gained in-depth experience in brand building, including marketing and sales and had the chance to learn from some of the best brands. This experience and knowledge is helping her build a distinct identity for Blisswater Industries.

Varna was fascinated by the alco-bev industry and always wanted to start her own business in this field. It has traditionally been a male-dominated field, but Varna wanted to prove that there are no advantages for certain genders, in the field of business. Instead, it is for those willing to work extra hard to achieve success. Alco-bev, like any other industry, is open to anyone willing to take the plunge and create something unique and different.

A conversation with friends made her realise that India hardly had a signature drink. In December 2020, Blisswater Industries launched its flagship product Rahasya, the world’s only India infused vodka. The company has recently launched its second product Yaksha – a benevolent blend of the indigenous Soma plant infused in whisky.

India's alcoholic beverages market is expected to reach USD 1285bn by 2027, so the opportunity is immense. Several factors drive the market, including the rise in appreciation of high-quality products, the increase in discretionary spending, and a shift in lifestyles. This set the stage for Blisswater Industries.

Blisswater was founded with a vision of creating innovative products in the alcohol sector where products with foreign origins are typically viewed as premium. The company has raised a Seed funding round. The funds will be used to extend the company's geographic footprint and expand its product line.

The core values that define Varna as an entrepreneur are innovation and business acumen; creating product and solution categories that are unique; and most importantly, building a team devoted to growth. She also serves as a mentor and consultant advisor to several start-ups and SME businesses focused on growth.

Varna resides in Bangalore but is Goan at heart. She is a Rhodes Scholarship Finalist and a mom to twin girls.