Inside Business: Wireless Zone owner calls career change a success [Capital (Annapolis, MD)]
(Capital (Annapolis, MD) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Business: Wireless Zone.
Education: Medical degree from Manipal Academy of Higher Education in India; master's degree in medicine from Columbia University in New York.
Vani Gulati was chugging toward a medical career before life and technology sidetracked her.
No, a malfunctioning GPS wasn't the culprit. For the owner of Wireless Zone at 211 Main St., part of her transition is attributed to taking time off from pursuing a job as a doctor to raise her daughter. When she sought to re-enter the workforce, she wanted a profession that gave her flexibility in scheduling and one she was passionate about.
Wireless Zone is a mobile phone and technology retailer that specializes in Verizon products. Gulati's parents are both doctors, and they were initially startled when she informed them of her career plans.
The India native said helping customers find the right phone for their needs gives her the same satisfaction she would've found in a medical career.
Gulati recently spoke to The Capital about her evolution from a career in medicine to one in technology.
What drove you to a career in wireless communications
"I was really fond of computers so the idea of going into electronics fascinated me. Now, I'm dealing with new phones every day. It suits my lifestyle. I wanted to do something on my own.
"This industry, when I started in 2008, was really booming. It is still booming and I wanted to be in an industry that keeps advancing. That intrigued me. When I was a teenager, my brother and I would have the latest and best Nokia phones."
How did your family react to your career change
"They were kind of surprised. They didn't understand why. When I told them how I wanted my lifestyle to be, they supported me. I like the flexibility and with my brother there (as co-manager), it helped. His support helped me get on this path."
What do you miss about the health care industry
"I thought I would miss it. But I haven't. About 80-90 percent of customers come for customer service. So helping them is very satisfying. That's comparable with the health care industry. It's helping people with what they need."
Why the name change to Wireless Zone
"We started out working directly with Verizon. This year, in July, we moved under the umbrella of Wireless Zone. Wireless Zone is one of the six largest Verizon retailers.
"We work through them with Verizon. It has made us more accessible. We meet with them instead of being one of many working directly with Verizon. It's smaller meetings state-by-state.
"You get to know the other owners. It's more personalized. When the new products come out, we're not left out of the loop. We have an advantage. We get new devices sooner than (as an independent retailer)."
How many hours do you work at your store
"We're open seven days a week. I'm there from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m."
Are you looking to expand with other locations
"We are definitely going to. We don't know when. We started this in July and our remodel ended in October. We're going to see how this goes; it's doing well so far."
iPhone or Droid
"I like Android. It's more tech savvy, it gives you more options. My brother likes iPhone. It's a pretty good mix."
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