PIKABOO is an online boutique that deals in fashion accessories for children, they also curate children’s fashion apparel for special occasions. The USP of the brand is that each product is handpicked by their founder Vertika Pant. Vertika is an engineering graduate who worked in IT for 5 years before venturing down the entrepreneurial path. We chat with her about the company: An excerpt from the interview:
- What made you start your venture?
I was constantly bored by the constraints of a “9 to 6” job. The challenges are far and few and I did not feel that it was bringing out the best in me. When I felt that there is an opportunity in the kids’ fashion market with the currently growing economy, the idea of stepping into an entrepreneurial field for kids’ fashion really appealed to me, since I knew it will be challenging and interesting. I was always keen on doing something related to fashion.
- What has been the key to your business’s success?
The key to the success of our business is the sincerity, passion and clarity of vision of the people working towards making it a success. That apart, growing technology around the e-commerce segment has helped us a lot in making the processes smooth and quickening our pace.
- What are the major challenges in your line of business and how did/do you overcome them?
Like in any e-commerce startup, order handling, packaging procurement, inventory management etc. are our big challenges. We also do B2B dealings. Hence, to be able to work on the B2B along with the retail segment and managing to work on the pace of our B2B clients was initially a challenge. We have worked on these aspects for quite some time now and devised our process flow to accommodate all these challenges.
- Do you have a mentor who guides/advices you on matters of the business?
With no formal guide or mentor, our customers are our biggest advisors. We take the customer feedback seriously and we have our plans to incorporate all the great advices we might have got from our customers. As Mr. Bill Gates has rightly put – “Your unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning”. We follow that mantra.
- Have you benefitted from the use of any specific technology for your regular operations?
Initially, in the very early stages, the retail order handling was a big and tedious task. We have been using an Order Handling tool for the same – Uniware which is on the cloud. It is a tool that handles all your orders in a go, syncs up the inventory and even helps in invoicing. It is a great tool for a lot of e-commerce work.
- What strategy do you follow for Customer Satisfaction & Expansion?
There are 2 things we primarily do for Customer Satisfaction:
- Thorough QC of the products before dispatch. We usually inform the customer about the product’s detailed quality, material etc. if they make any enquiry. That helps minimize the return rate.
- We provide an assisted personal shopping experience to the customer with always having the answers about sizes and colour handy. Usually the customers are worried about the exact colours since they need our products for a particular occasion, probably to go with a particular theme or dress. Hence, we assist them in picking out things that meet their requirement the best. Since most of our customers are women, this may take some time but goes a long way in building a great customer experience.
- What, according to you, are the top 3 skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?
- Ability to handle a lot of work pressure that you should not buckle under
- Ability to make good and thoughtful judgements
- Flexibility and Open-mindedness- soak up the best practices around like a sponge.