Solo-businesses are a career choice many urban Indian youth are waking up to – Entrepreneur

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By Baishali Mukherjee
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The advent of technologies has facilitated the proliferation of solo-businesses all over the world and India too is fast catching up. With cloud computing and mobile devices enabling access business information over the internet from anywhere and everywhere solopreneurships are all the rage now. Many of these businesses are without a physical space and exist as virtual ventures.
Entrepreneur India got in touch with some of the feisty solopreneurs who are getting their names heard and making their products and services stand above.
Making Food Medicine
With an extensive research in the field of biotechnology, he started representing India in many biotech events like BioKorea in South Korea and Bioconclave in London where he used to represent India biotech industry. His passion in Medical Nutrition always drove him and today Karan Kakkad is the founder and CEO of H-Spree which is backed by an extensive research in the field of nutrigenomics.
“I believe that lifestyle diseases are predominantly dietary and lifestyle driven and treating the root cause is the key to reverse lifestyle disease. By addressing the underlying causes of the ailment and not suppressing the symptom of the disease, I aspire to reverse the lifestyle diseases which have now become an epidemic of our times,” shared Kakkad.
He helps people reverse their lifestyle diseases by eating right food. The best part about his journey has been the impact that it has on people’s life. “Our journey has been very exciting as what we do is opposite of conventional belief that lifestyle diseases cannot be reversed,” asserted the young health enthusiast.
From his first client which he got as a reference from his CTO, Kakkad has grown rapidly and organically with 99% of clients coming through reference. “Two key elements make our venture unique. First, we reverse lifestyle diseases rather than just managing it and secondly, our complete treatment is food based. There are no supplements, no medicines but only food. We believe that Food is our Medicine,” he concluded.
Vouching For Personalized Than Mass Produced
After having worked in the plywood industry for 6 years, Saikat Saha, founder, Woodgeek Store, felt like starting something new. He was driven by the idea that there’s nothing more fulfilling than conceptualizing an idea, making the product out of wood and introducing it to our customers.
He started in October 2015 with the launch of bamboo journals and pens. In the two and a half years since, he has introduced wooden bow ties, carved wooden posters, wooden name plates, engraved wooden signs, wooden sunglasses and spectacles, wooden phone cases.
“Three months before Saha launched his e-commerce website, he started building an email list by previewing his bamboo notebooks on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. By the time he launched, he had over 3000 subscribers on his list.
“Initially, we focused on social media marketing. But in order to keep growing, we ran paid digital marketing campaigns on Facebook and Google. Content marketing and driving organic online traffic by writing blogs, have been very effective. Though we reached out to influencers to review our products, we had mixed success with it, hence won’t count it as a big part of our digital marketing strategy,” notified the young-preneur.
Saha started shipping internationally from March 2017 and since then exports have accounted for 25% of his sales. “Our bamboo notebooks, wooden sunglasses and wooden posters are very popular as corporate gifts. Linkedin, Raymond, Bain & Co, GLSEN, Adidas & Furlenco are some of our B2B clients,” shared the maker of cool things out of wood.
“I vouch for personalized rather than the mass produced. Our focus on customization ensures every customer can get products made for them through our high quality in-house production process. Focus on product design, our flexibility and skill in personalizing wooden products and a strong team to execute our vision, have remained the key to success,” opined Saha who believes working in plywood manufacturing for years has helped him understand manufacturing and the versatility of timber as a raw material.
Taking Calculated Risk
Aishwarya Biswas conceptualised and created Auli Lifestyle to follow her passion for wellness essentials. Biswas always wanted to start something that she could call her own and had money saved from her nine years in corporate. A first generation entrepreneur, she took a calculated risk and is now happy she did so.
“Another major reason I started with my own savings was that I didn’t want to be responsible for another person’s money,” shared Biswas who admits that the amount of time and patience one has to put into in solo-preneurships, is nerve racking.
“However, the satisfaction you feel at small achievements is completely worth it. I have made thousands of new customers who blindly trust my brand which in itself is the best part about the journey so far. I derive pleasure in making the customers feel special. We have started breaking even within nine months and have added three people to the team. We are looking at going international soon,” she informed.
Friends, family and ex colleagues were her first clients with whom she pitched three products, which they bought at face value. “They knew I would not endorse something that wasn’t worth the price or quality, even if it was my own brand. From there, word of mouth and strategic marketing brought us where we are today,” enthused the young-preneur, who feels if the product is of the perceived quality and provides results as per people’s expectations, they will talk about it. Biswas now caters to more than 7500 happy users acquired through word of mouth and exhibitions and events she participated to.
Making Deep Domain Insight Count
While in her earlier stints as an entrepreneur, Kanupriya Sinha, founder, Profilers Inc, had started and managed an US mortgages based BPO and also a fine-dine restaurant at DLF Cyber Hub. After her two kids; she was nominated to the Goldman Sachs-ISB Entrepreneurship Program and later chanced upon Personal Branding as a nascent field to pursue.
“While in my consultations with many clients; I realised that professionals were more engrossed in their day to day job and not paying attention to the presentation of their career as a whole,” shared Sinha, who now advises and consults senior professionals across industry streams for career growth.
While consulting on admissions to leadership programs at Harvard, ISB et al, and conducting sessions for budding leaders at premier B-schools like IIM; Sinha has now pivoted to provide communication solutions to corporate clients.
As a smart move she decided to partner with recruitment firms to leapfrog her consultation services and her first client was introduced by them. Since, then she has walked a long way today.
“While we have a dynamic online presence, nothing beats the power of word of mouth and it is our recommendations and references from our past clientele that compliments the good work that we do,” notified Sinha, who brings to table her own deep domain insight, industry knowledge combined with understanding of a professional’s intrinsic persona to suggest customized solutions.
“It is her extensive experience having worked with industry stalwarts like American Express and ITC Hotels, ability to spot future trends coupled with a bird’s eye view outlook which have been instrumental in being partners of success with her clients,” maintained Sinha.
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