Fun At Work Keeps Happily Unmarried Climb The High Ladder Rajat Tuli and Rahul Anand, both graduates from the Mudra Institute of Communications, Ahmedabad, after respective stints at Mudra and JWT and then a software company came up with the idea of starting Happily Unmarried. This was in the year 2003.
All that they wanted to do was make fun products out of very normal, everyday use items like peg measurer, shot glasses, beer mugs, T Shirts, coffee mugs, cushions, ash trays, etc. Soon, however, this became a serious business, and they graduated to interior designing, branding and marketing with corporates, organizing music festivals. Catering ‘happily’ to a wide gamut of consumers – youth, companies and even old uncles who still love cracking jokes over a mug of beer, Happily Unmarried has drawn up big plans for the years ahead to embark on the next stage of entrepreneurship, growth.
Running between music festivals, corporate events and basking in the success of Happily Unmarried, both RajatTuli and Rahul Anand took out few minutes to talk to us. This got us exploring their route map to success and here is what they have to say.
What made you start Happily Unmarried?
Happily Unmarried was established in 2003. Happily Unmarried initially started as a one stop shop for young people living on their own. Based out of own experiences we discovered that in this family-oriented country of ours, no one was targeting the Gen Y solely. That’s where Happily Unmarried filled in – We wanted to provide everything from basic services like property to fun gifts. Of course we had no money, no clue on how to go about it and it was the time of the dot com bust. We later on focused only on creating fun products.
What is your business model? What are your products/services?
We design and create products that are both functional and fun – after all fun is our motto. They are subsequently sold through our own outlets, multi-brand outlets and even online. We believed that our products should also have the Indian cultural connect and the packaging should make you laugh. That’s the essence of our product range. We have more than 180 products with us.
What has been the key to your business’s success?
Our take – The fun that we are having in designing our products reflects in the overall product outcome. And we are guessing this is what keeps our customers happy too.
What are the major challenges in your line of business and how did/do you overcome them?
The biggest challenge is to keep coming up with new products at regular intervals, which are both fun as well as relevant. When we started, most people felt that we would run out of products after maybe the first 10.
Well that hasn’t happened till date and now we have an idea list of over 800 products and we are no where even close to getting finished. Also, doing funny T-shirts is easy, but the challenge is to come up with a fun factor in the most boring categories like doormats or glasses.
Have you benefitted from the use of any specific technology for your regular operations?
We have started using bar-coding for maintaining our inventories but other than this, there’s not much dependence on tech. Having said this, we are now actively looking for solutions to manage our inventory better and on an end-to-end basis.
What strategy do you follow for Customer Satisfaction & Expansion?
For customer’s satisfaction our policy is simple: keep your employees happy and that will keep your customers happy. There is no side-stepping that. Apart from that we follow policies like a no questions asked refund, exchanges etc. Regarding expansion, only in the last year or so have we sat down and put a business plan in place. The road ahead looks challenging but with so much promise, these days we don’t feel like going home!!
What, according to you, are the top 3 skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?
• People skills:
You just have to get along with people! For the initial years, an entrepreneur needs to get so much work done without paying money or very little of it. Unless you can convince people to believe you they will never go out and do things for you. I don’t mean using people but you just need to have the skills to convince people to work for you or pass you that lead or clear the cheque a little early.
A certain amount of thick skin is required because a lot of people will write you off, dissuade you or tell you it can’t be done. Thick skin comes in really handy in such situations.
• Faith in yourself:
Finally, everything flows from the entrepreneur’s vision about their business. So you have to have faith in yourself and back yourself to death. Check out their website to see what all they deal with – www.happilyunmarried.com