Our business Customised India is a 0 investment startup by Nishit Kalawadia, a management undergraduate student. It mainly deals in all types of Customised products and it aims at customer satisfaction and perfect delivery. It does not only aim at selling the goods, but it deals with emotions, the reason for choosing a customized product range is that we can bring emotions to live to the customer. When you deliver a simple product, and you deliver a customized product, the smile on the face of the customer is different. It feels as if the product is tailor-made for them, it is tailor-made for their needs, the customer feels as if there is someone who understands their choices, and here lies their success. It follows the tagline, “You Think, We Ink”. There is no limit to their designing and customization option. Their main product line is customized mobile phone covers and faux leather products, but it also deals in t-shirts, corporate uniforms, pop grips, metal products, corporate gifts, laser-cut wooden products, and several others.
What another peculiar thing about our business is that we give priority shipments in Ahmedabad, Rajkot, and Mumbai.
There are numerous stories wherein we have ourselves delivered covers in the city on an urgent basis, at 12:00am couple of times, to surprise the friends and family members of our customers to give them their valuable gifts. The smile on their face gives them an incentive to work
A customer always returns to them when it comes to gifting option or a customised product, the reason for expanding the product range was that several times, customers ask them first when it comes to any type of customised product. Hence they thought of expanding the product range. Starting from only mobile covers of 120 models in November 2017, now it produces phone covers of 700+ models with 275+ other products as well. Now we are one of the top leather engravers of the country.
How did you get your idea for this business?
Once I had ordered a customized phone cover from a reputed Instagram page worth Rs. 500. But after receiving the cover, I thought that the cost is way below 500Rs. There were very few competitors in this product line as well. And at that time, the Instagram page was very booming for business, though they did not provide ample options for customization, proper designing. So I (Nishit Kalawadia) thought of jumping into this product line by zero investment. We started off a reseller of another manufacturer. On that same day, though we had our end semester final exam, we started off with this business on 24 November 2017. And after that day, we have never looked back.
Why is “now” a good time for this idea to exist?
We firmly believe, that for any idea to execute, the good time is when you think about it. For any idea, if you think that the time is a good time to exist, just go for it, without a second thought. In our case it was a perfect opportunity. It had no considerable investment, and it just required a good user base and customer base, that we could get perfectly in our college. So we got our initial users from our college itself. And we both cofounders are in our under graduation stage, so we can spare some time for our venture as well. And for customized products, an insta portal was quite better than the websites, as it needs one to one user interaction. And when it comes to both of us, we are very eager for any business. From high school days to under graduation, we have been indulged into four profitmaking startups.
What was the reaction from your family when you first decided to become an entrepreneur?
Founder, Nishit Kalawadia comes from a business oriented background. There was no need of such startup financially. He has a very strong financial background. For couple of weeks, the family wasn’t aware as well, that something like this was started. And he did not take consent as it was a trial as a reseller that if we could bring in customers or not. So I informed my family after 2 weeks, and they had lot of questions regarding our commitments to studies and everything, as our final exams were going on, but our results shut their mouth as well. I scored outstanding grades. And being an entrepreneur was welcoming in my family as I come from business oriented background.
What was your biggest mistake in business and what did you learn from it?
Talking about our biggest mistake is that, due to negligence, several times, we lose a lot of orders, being students we have a lot of other commitments to college, clubs, committees, family, and friends. In this process, there are quite a lot of enquiries which could be lot profitable to us, but we fail to respond. For this reason we missed a huge order of 1000 pieces, which we still regret. What I learnt is never neglect any enquiry, and person in the business, anybody can turn out to be the most valuable customer for the business.
What is your biggest obstacle in the next 12 months and how will you overcome it?
n the next 12 months, our biggest obstacle would be order management system. We currently deal mostly over Instagram though we have a functional ecommerce website, as it is a customized product range, people need to interact and talk to confirm the order. So we spend around 30 minutes for customer to design and confirm the order, but now we feel that we cannot respond promptly to customers. We need a system wherein customer would design on our portal and order on its own from the portal itself. We are working on that. If we do not expand and continue over Instagram itself, we would not grow after a certain limit.
Another big obstacle is our commitments and the rigidness of our college. We have an 85% attendance system and strict timings in a network jammer campus. This is a big hindrance for us. The time that we work for Customised India is 11 PM to 2 AM. When all other friends are chilling and watching movies or enjoying their sleep, we tend to be working for a different passion altogether. We have started with the website https://customisedindia.online/
What habits contribute to your success?
We had a firm determination of doing something new. It was around 6 months that we were out of this startup ecosystem. So we were very firm regarding our commitment to Customised India. We have a college from 9am in morning to 6pm in the evening. During this time we cannot use our phones as well, so it becomes very difficult to respond to enquiries. But when it comes to work after college, we are not lazy at all, whether it comes to designing product at 2am overnight or travelling 5 am in morning to figure out our parcels, we were firm at our decision. Our batch mates, our classmates used to enjoy in these days chilling out at cafes, but we are firmly engaged in our work. The best factor is that we love our work, and when we love what we do, there is nothing that can stop us from achieving success.
If you had the opportunity to start this business again what would you do differently?
If we had the opportunity to start this business again, we would develop a customized order portal, keep a chatbot, and launch it differently. Now we would think of far sight rather than an immediate goal. We would give attention to all products equally. Though currently, we are more focused on mobile phone covers and faux leather products. We would keep my own delivery channel in as many cities as possible for priority shipments on-demand.
Favorite inspirational quote that drives us is:
“Entrepreneurship is living a few years of life like most people won’t, So that you can spend the rest of your life like most people can’t.”
Where do you find inspiration?
I find my inspiration from the success stories of young entrepreneurs who in their school days, can earn their profits in six digits. I met such guys during one startup expo and thereafter, I always think in a different direction, regarding entrepreneurship. My inspiration to work harder comes from my customers, whose happiness motivates me to work further in this business. Their happiness, their surprises to their family is our success. What is your favorite book?
The Four Hours Work Week , is our favourite book , which drives our passion towards entrepreneurship. We initially had a very causal approach towards entrepreneurship. But this book, changed our perspective and determination towards business. “Choose Yourself” by James Altuchar has also remained our all time favourite.
What advice would you give to someone starting out?
The best advice we can probably give would be the simplest one – Just start.
However, don’t get me wrong. Just because it sounds simple and easy, does not mean it is.
In the matter of fact, it is very very hard. And the hardest thing is – to convince yourself you are ready.
But, when it comes to giant decisions like starting your own business, are we ever ready?
I don’t think so.
Having been there and having done that, I can for sure tell you that you will doubt yourself.
You will wait for the perfect moment. Or day, or even a year. You can spend half of your life waiting for the perfect timing. But, is there any?
Now, when we have already started our own business I can for sure tell you there is no such thing as”perfect time”. It is just a concept human created and never left behind.
From a young inexperienced man to another, I warmly advise you to just start your own business.
Even if you have to go against your mother, or friends or the society. There are no rules about ”when” should you start a business. There is no guide on doing the things you are passionate about.
If you deeply, truly believe your smartest move is to start being your own boss, then you should definitely go for it.
It won’t be easy, but no one ever said it will be.
Prepare yourself mentally.
Remove the ‘can’t ‘ out of your vocabulary, simply because – You can.
Take the leap.
Even if you fail, you have a whole life ahead of you to learn from your mistakes and get back up.
We believe that you can. You should too.