A graduate in Commerce, Rohan Desai was associated with an advisory firm handling matters pertaining to finance and accounts. Now, along with partner, Hoshang Gotla, he successfully manages a venture in apparels that caters to people of all ages. Inkfested is the brainchild of two friends – a commercial pilot and a graduate from accounting and finance background. Going against tradition, giving finance and aviation a break, they formed a start-up venture in the apparels industry named INKFESTED. This brand designs t-shirts that display subtle and witty humour. What made you start Inkfested? www.inkfested.in was started in order to fill in the gap when it came to cool, yet funny t-shirts, which would appeal the youth. A failure in an exam and the never-dying urge to own a business, pushed us to start this venture. Apart from selling tees under our brand, we offer corporate merchandising on most apparels. When you started off, what are the basic factors that you included in your business plan? A feasible business idea that is also sustainable and adequate capital are the basic requirements one needs in order to kick start. Also, one needs to be aware of the risk reward ratio. What are some of the unique features/ services that you offer your customers/clients? The designs that Inkfested create are unique and based on themes. We serve the client with quality products. This quality strengthens our unique selling proposition and sets us apart from our competition. Were there any unexpected/ major challenges that cropped up in your line of business? How did you handle them? Hurdles and challenges were a part of our venture since its inception. That said, we realized that there are no pre-defined solutions for the challenges. We dealt with them as they came our way. How do you exceed customer expectations and deliver customer satisfaction? It is very important to hear out the customer. If a customer is unhappy with the product or the service, it gives the management an opportunity for rectifying errors and retaining a customer. This makes the customer feel justified and gives a sense of belonging to the client. The chances are the client will stick by you. As an entrepreneur, you are bound to have a tight budget and schedule, what are the tools you use to make your daily business processes easier? We try and keep the overheads as minimal as possible. This helps with budget constraints. Tell us more about the kind of marketing strategy that works for your business. We strongly believe that for the corporate merchandising side of our business, we believe that there is no better marketing than word of mouth and it has indeed worked for us. For the brand Inkfested.in, we have used Facebook ads and set up stalls at different college fests. What are the qualities that you look for when you hire people to be a part of your team? We look for people who have the ability to perform tasks when there is a serious time crunch. Also, we want people who are passionate about what they do. Sometimes talent covers up for passion, but for the kind of brand we want to build, the passion and zeal is very important for us. What has been the key to your business’s success? We are still on our way and aspire to become more successful, but we strongly believe that any success till date is the result of hard work, patience and perseverance. Any words of wisdom for other budding entrepreneurs? If there is an idea that does not let you sleep for more than a fortnight, put it down on paper, and give it a wholehearted try – success or failure is inconsequential.
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