Ronak SardaFounder: Cover it up! Published On: Saturday, November 01, 2014 Views 3300
"Just because you have an idea, doesn't mean it belongs to you."
Ronak Sarda is a young entrepreneur with bachelor’s degree in business administration. He always believed in his entrepreneurial skills & founded Cover it up at an early age. The startup got 3000 likes & a crucial order from order from France within its first quarter.
“It is only human to be competitive”.- Ronak Sarda
Cover it up is an online marketplace for custom-made phone cases. Ronak grew up watching his father making everything on his own and always thought of doing it himself one day. The idea of launching a portal to sell custom accessories came from the complaints he used to hear around about poor cases. With perpetuated belief in his business goals he made the mobile phone accessories a trending product online. Yo! Success covered his story and learnt about a young startup that is making news for its clear vision & grit.
What inspired you to start your Business?
After my graduation, I was a on a TV marathon watching movies and sitcoms, Being a movie buff myself, Characters have me rigged very firmly in the environment they’re in. I got thinking about other movie buffs, about other people who are also taken by characters, a story, a design. Realized that there is so much around us to play with.
Then it was time for the idea to be executed somewhere. After seeing the sad range of cases in India for which people pay big bucks to protect their smartphones. We came out with 20 designs after conducting several surveys. The idea was warmly welcomed and we were sold out in 2 days! Our page managed to grow organically on Facebook and the response was magnificent.
I din’t take this idea seriously, but then we got offers from random people for a merger. I came across many websites (a few big names in the market as well) asking me for my products since everyone was shocked to see my pricing and the wide range. I then planned to take it seriously and expand the product range and its reach.
As of now, our product line majorly includes phone cases. But the vision is to not just stick to phone cases. A clothing line and a designer accessories line is under R&D stage, keeping the same idea in mind.
What is your life mantra?
I believe in this. There are 2 types of Business theories.
PUSH – Where you don’t trust what you do, but you realize its got potential and push your product to the dealer, distributor, end customer. Explain them why it’s nice and spend heavily just to push it in the market.
PULL – You put it out there in the open and let the product do its work. If people are impressed, you don’t have to explain them anything. Best part about this, if people are happy about it, they’ll help you promote it.
It’s very important to trust yourself with what you do. You need to be obsessed with it.
What was the most challenging part of your journey till now?
Just because you have an idea, doesn’t mean it belongs to you. After the launch of our Facebook page, we realized that many people started coming out with similar pages. It’s only humane to be competitive. It amazes me how quickly a modest idea gets replicated and any initial product / market advantages get narrowed. You can’t accept simply ceding part of the market to someone else because it’s big. The main task would be to keep it up and running smoothly.
You need to fight for every inch and be open to inputs from everyone around you.
How did you overcome those challenges?
The only thing which has kept us different from others is Vision.
While others thought of it as a mobile accessory market, we believed there’s more to that. Its about giving people what they like on things they carry around them. It can be anything, t.shirts, wall art, keychains.
Our products are well priced keeping the target audience in mind. People help us spread the word, all we need to do is make sure we’ve heard them. That’s the reason we are growing in such a short span of time.
If you give people what they like and if they are happy, I think the job’s done. Rest will follow.
According to you, what are the three qualities an individual must have to achieve success?
Obsession – While some think of it in a negative way, I feel it’s the obsession which keeps a man awake in the night doing probably the most boring work, yet feel happy about it. You should fall in love with what you do. An idea is nothing if you don’t think big. It might start with the smallest of things like say mobile cases, but it is the love that will get you off your bed at 3am and reply to a Facebook message in the morning and get you to work late nights without feeling tired.
Vision - An idea is not required for being successful, one needs to have a vision first. Just because the bulb lights up in the head, doesn’t mean one has achieved success. What you’re going to do with the idea matter more.
Support – If people around you accept you and your ideas warmly, that’s probably the only thing you’ll ever need. Positive Energy always helps being productive. People around you need to support you in your ups and downs. Family and Friends play a big role!
How do you protect yourself from the problem of Brain Drain?
Stay trend-anusaar. If you don’t follow your target audience, there’s no fun in doing whatever it is that you do.
As an entrepreneur, what advice would you like to share with emerging startups?
Goes without saying, but always do your research, spend good amount of time just on research.
If you get a chance to start your career again what would you do differently this time?
I would finish my MBA and then decide. I jumped in before that, won’t make the same mistake again.
Which online tools and services do you use the most and would like to recommend as well?
For e commerce:
Many online platforms like Zepo, shopify, seem pretty cool too. They are user friendly.
Share any one habit which you think makes you more productive.
I don’t sit idle. I don’t think i can ever retire. I see scope in everything very instantaneously and feel like doing something about.
Share any one habit which you wish to change in yourself.
I run solo. It’s been a great run, but i wish there was someone with me
Which one mobile app would you recommend?
Facets, not from a business point of view.
Answer in less than 50 words
a) One tip to success:
Too soon to answer this
b) One tip to be a good learner:
Listen to what people have to say. Its upto you whether to take it seriously or not, but listen to everything what everyone has to say! And then work on it!
c) One mistake you believe every individual must avoid:
Get carried away with initial success. The trick lies in taking it forward and to keep it that way.
d) One most important lesson that you have learnt till now:
You should fall in love with what you do. Rest will follow.
If you get an opportunity to start a new venture what will it be?
A mobile app company.
What are your plans for next 3 years?
3 years is long!
In another 6 months, we plan to expand and start for other segment of markets. We plan to come out with set of designs which cater to 45+ too. We are also coming out with a clothing line and designer accessories line.
Share a quote that inspires you the most.
When you see passion calling you, don’t even let the tornado stop you. Plunge in. Experiment. Comment. Commit. The rest is history. Rise up. Take the first step. It’s never too late to chase your dreams. – Savvy