Rajeev’s Wear Your Opinion is an online store which specializes in printing social commentary onto T-shirts. Let’s hear more about this venture from the man himself.
What made you start your venture? Belonging to a business family, I’ve always had an inclination for entrepreneurship. Having decided to start on my own, I left NY and came back to India. I was not really sure what I was going to do; I did have few ideas but nothing concrete. After months of research and talking to more than a dozen journalists and freelancers, I came to a conclusion that online news space had great opportunities in India. But something that was missing was the “Revenue model”. Since online newsroom was completely opinion based, I came up with the idea of “Wear Your Opinion”. The idea was to print socially relevant designs broadly under Indian-urbane theme on Tees with a lot of pun. As I explored it further, I realized that it was a good idea in itself and worthy of a pursuit. Thus www.WYO.in (Wear Your Opinion) was born. What has been the key to your business’s success? I will not call it a success yet, there is still a long way to go. At this stage, what we have is a sustainable business model. • The Key has been to come up with great designs that really resonate with our target market. • At the same time we relentlessly focus on the quality of the product and make sure it’s worth every penny. • Being honest in communication with your end consumers and providing good support to them has helped us with lot of referrals. • Also, it is very important that as a start-up we manage to keep our costs as low as possible. What are the major challenges in your line of business and how did/ do you overcome them? The challenges are same as in any other business – from production, vendor, customer, inventory to supply management. What keeps us on our toes is getting the best designers and getting the best ‘desi’ designs from them which cater to our customers and brand very well. In our line of business it is very important that we manage our stock inventory very well. It is the heart of the business. Also building the best product at the lowest possible cost is always a challenge. Do you have a mentor who guides/ advices you on matters of the business? We do have a team of people whom we look up to for advice and guidance when the need arises.They range from industry stalwarts, to family and friends. Apart from this, I am also an avid reader and follow the excerpts and experiences of Paul Graham, Mukund Mohan, Both sides of the table, Seth Godin etc. Have you benefited from the use of any specific technology for your regular operations? We use inventory management software to track our inventory, open source code for our Website and we use various technologies for printing as per the requirement of the design. What strategy do you follow for Customer Satisfaction & Expansion? Be Open, Be Humble, Keep Listening, and Find Solutions. We make sure that we follow complete Gandhian policy when it comes to our customers. We have been growing mostly due to referrals till now, but lately we have started getting more and more visibility through exhibitions, events, fairs, and digital media. Our expansion is carried out diligently,keeping our brand value intact yet reaching the right audience. What, according to you, are the top 3 skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur? • Discipline & Desire: The fundamental element, it is not enough to run and sprint, it is essential to walk and crawl too, in totality, keep moving everyday! • Keep Calm & Cool: Aggression is required but it has to be restricted to certain areas only! One can hard press the accelerator to gain momentum but when it comes to managing people, having a cool and calm approach works well, always! • Execute & Improvise: This may sound as a plan and not a skill but it is actually a trait one should have when sailing through the seas of entrepreneurship. One needs to get started from the word go, waiting for everything to fall in place will put launch dates farther away. Here the most important thing to remember is ‘you will never know if it works, until you put it to work’. Want to buy a socially opinionated tee for yourself? Log on to www.WYO.in