Dhruv is a graduate in IT & Business Management from Lough borough University, United Kingdom and Post Graduate in Innovation & Entrepreneurship from Warwick University, United Kingdom. He always had a knack of entrepreneurship which led him to the booming startup arena. After completing his studies, he launched his startup PrintOctopus, which is an E-commerce platform, which helps artists to display and monetize their artwork through print on demand merchandise while helping consumers design products, which reflect their individuality.
Dhruv wants to carefully chart out the growth path for his company and thus apart from handling the company strategy and business management, he personally manages E-commerce design, product printing and product development too. According to him at the end of the day an artist should do what they love – design! They should not have to worry about the small and tedious tasks of bargaining with a printer, maintaining stock, making a website, handling a store, marketing and so on. He then came up with a solution, which would make things easier for artists while also getting them the money and the recognition they deserve.
What inspired you to build the above product/ service?
During my final year of under graduation from Lough borough University, United Kingdom I saw that my sister, after doing a course in Graphic Designing, stopped what she loved to do – which was designing quirky stuff and adorning it with photography. I on looked that gradual change which turned my sister to a person complying simply by her client’s requests with no heart to follow her dreams. That is when I realized that this was the case with most of the artists in India!
With this realization, I began exploring undiscovered domains which led me to foresee an opportunity wherein i could combine my knowledge of printing with the artist community in India. I had gained this knowledge in printing after being elected as the merchandise representative of my halls of residence during my under graduation, I then decided to do a Masters in Innovation & Entrepreneurship from University Of Warwick, which helped me refine my idea and give it structure.
What is your life mantra?
Listen to people and be humble. Be open to new ideas and new ways of thinking. You haven’t figured out everything yet!
What was the most challenging part of your journey till now?
I personally believe that there exist simply three things that stop any artist from starting their own venture in their life span. These were of course, my biggest challenges and I knew I had to tackle these to achieve what I wanted for artists. 1. Financial capability 2. Business acumen 3. A big push or a motivation from within These, I believe, come into play for anyone who wishes to venture out on their own!
How did you overcome those challenges?
The panacea to all the problems is to break the challenges into smaller segments and then analyze them. That is exactly what I did here. Great products aren’t built overnight! My year long Masters in Innovation and Entrepreneurship helped me develop on the idea and bought me time to work through the loopholes. That 1 year during which I worked on this project helped me grow and constantly learn which ultimately resulted in me solving these problems
Share some details about the investments that you have been able to fetch for the business till now.
We are self funded for 1.25cr at the moment and are looking for further investments for expansion.
How do you protect yourself from the problem of Brain Drain?
Tell us about your company’s attrition control practices. It’s as simple as it gets. Apart from being a team, we are also a family. Productivity can only increase if the employees feel they are valued and are all equally important in building the company. Hence, we firmly believe in letting everyone take independent decisions by coming up with creative and unique ideas! We not only share a professional relation but we also celebrate success and share feedbacks together as one. We hold individual meetings every morning, take frequent breaks to let our hair down, help ease the load off the other if our own work is finished and more importantly, we understand how important it is to be happy where you work! Now that our employees do feel that, it is, undoubtedly, our biggest achievement!
According to you, what are the three qualities an individual must have to achieve success?
Which online tools/ services/ apps do you use the most and would like to recommend as well?
- I use basecamp a lot.
- I find it easier to use compared to trello and asana. Its simple and at the end of the day gets the job done.
Share any one habit which you think makes you more productive.
Waking up early, without second thoughts!
Share any one habit which you wish to change in yourself.
Take more time out for my health.
Answer in less than 50 words
• One tip to success:
The cardinal rule is to be open and accept all viewpoints The best of ideas come from the most unexpected sources! Once we decide to let ideas come graciously from everywhere, we literally end up creating room for greater heights.
• One mistake you believe every individual must avoid:
We must not get too attached to our ideas. One must always be open to change!
• One most important lesson that you have learnt till now:
Patience is key. We all know that great empires aren’t built overnight! After all, there’s a right time for everything and things do take time.
What are your plans for next 3 years?
I firmly believe in constantly learning, growing and developing. Having said this, I wish to expand the company’s variety of products into something much more wide apart from the current range of Tshirts (Men’s and Women’s), Posters, Canvas, Phone covers, Mouse pads and Laptop sleeves! With a beautiful forum that PrintOctopus is for the artists to BROWSE, CREATE AND SELL, I envisage the company as India’s leading customised product marketplace in the next 5 years. I want PrintOctopus to be Flipkart of Designs! But apart from all this, I mainly wish to help artists turn their hobby and their secondary source of income into their primary source of income!
What are your top three getaway destinations ?
- A friends place.
Share a quote that inspires you the most.
A quote from Donald Trump is what keeps me going all the time – “You’re going to be thinking anyway, you might as well think big.”