An excerpt from the Interview: • What made you start your venture?
We always struggled to find the perfect shirt at the right price as the three of us are of different build and different height. We checked all categories of brands to get the perfect fit, best cotton fabric (perfect for subcontinent weather) without going out of our budgets, this was really a task because no brand was complete and that’s how, eventually, Across Seas came into existence.
• What has been the key to your business’s success?
A revolution in the sizing, a level above the customised shirts and getting nothing but the perfect fitted premium cotton shirts has been the real success for us. We actually started believing and focussed our self on the perfect fit right from day one; we came across few important and interesting points.
1. The league shirts are made for masses and thus don’t fit all.
2. Nearly every man fits in three category of heights i.e., short (5’2 to 5’6), average (5’7 to 5’10) and tall (5’11 to 6’2).
Body shapes- thin, slender, sturdy, stout and plump and last their trouser waist. We started making shirts based on these three new and unique sizing parameters got them tested on our friends and family, did many changes and finally Across Seas emerged.
• What are the major challenges in your line of business and how did/do you overcome them?
To get the right set of vendors for raw materials, production, photo shoots, web designing and logistics and to gel them in the complete chain was the biggest challenge. There is no perfect formula for success in clothing based business but hit and trial was the best method.
• Do you have a mentor who guides/advices you on matters of the business?
Our previous job experiences in retail and IT was our biggest mentor and learning curve. For many other decisions we have a bunch of friends to get the right set of suggestions.
• Have you benefited from the use of any specific technology for your regular operations?
Yes, just to setup up everything from the very start is very difficult and very time consuming. The most important thing was that we needed a nice website, so we made use of shopify. It helped us with all the features, applications and a website was made based on international standards.
• What strategy do you follow for Customer Satisfaction & Expansion?
Customer and customer service is very important in making or breaking the new product and business. We always have one belief “customer is the CEO and can sack you just by shopping somewhere else”. In spite the fact that we have regular office timings, we still reply to the customer calls even at odd hours and reply to mails around the clock. We give peace of mind guarantee to the customers, anyone can return or replace their product, no questions asked.
• What, according to you, are the top 3 skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?
Successful entrepreneurs are not the ones with the biggest of ideas, but it is about a small idea worked powerfully and it really creates value add in the lives of customers and its users. The three defining skills for us would be:
1. Gut feeling : Most decisions in entrepreneurship is taken through gut feeling, for that we have to make our self very honest in what we do and keep on improving our minds, the more balanced we are, the better decisions we can take.
2. Positive attitude and Passion: There are times when your decisions suffer, nothing works out- that is the most crucial time, hold your nerves, sharpen up and hit back with more power.
3. Creativity: One has to think out of box and be creative to get thing moving. Entrepreneurship is not about the success of a project but many small creative processes bound together, worked together over a period of time makes history. Visit their Website: http://www.acrossseas.in Like them on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ACROSSEAS