Nobody could think of earning Rs. 30 lakhs from umbrellas until Pratik Doshi turned it into reality. His venture cheekychunk.com has succeeded in luring online shoppers with colorful umbrellas. It sells through own website as well as other ecommerce marketplaces including Flipkart, Amazon, Snapdeal and retail stores of Mumbai. Pratik checked market demand before taking his first step and sold around 500 umbrellas through friends and family. This gave him the confidence to bet on bigger scale and he invested Rs. 1, 35,000 to bring it online.
The initial money invested by him came from his tutoring which he did during college days. Two things, which Pratik says encouraged him to take umbrella selling for his startup, were untapped opportunities in this market and his strong zeal to do away with a monotonous day job. Read more about his stint so far.
Please provide a brief overview of your product/ service.
We sell “Never seen before” uniquely designed umbrellas that give flavour to the rain.
What inspired you to build the above product/ service?
The very fact that we’ve grown so much in fashion, but when it comes to umbrellas, we carry only boring black or floral ones. A major reason for this being lack of design and unavailability of reasonably priced options. This is what inspired me to build my product.
What was the most challenging part of your journey till now?
When you’re doing something never done before, every step is a challenge. You aren’t following anyones path. You are creating a path for others to follow. Right from manufacturing to selling, each part was a challenge undertaken by us.
How did you overcome those challenges?
By thinking of one step at a time and not getting overawed and pressurized by the amount of challenges. We focused on different solutions to each and every problem and worked on them till it got solved. Being detached to the outcome is the key.
Share some details about the investments that you have been able to fetch for the business till now.
While validating the idea, I put in my own savings. While scaling it further, we gave a token amount to our suppliers and convinced them to give us a credit period.
How do you protect yourself from the problem of Brain Drain?
Again, its being detached from the outcome and not bothering much about the money. It is just by giving your all when in office and turning off when you leave it. For me, its 24 x 7 work. I’m passionate about it so don’t face this problem.
According to you, what are the three qualities an individual must have to achieve success?
1) Working hard smartly: Some people say working hard is enough for success while some people say working smart is. I say working hard in a smart manner and investing your resources smartly is a key.
2) Be detached to the outcome.
3) Don’t chase money: Focus on creating an impact.
Which online tools/ services/ apps do you use the most and would like to recommend as well?
Share any one habit which you think makes you more productive.
Prayers and meditation at the beginning of the day is really important to help your inner self surrender to the almighty. After that, you are really not too bothered about what will happen about the things not in your hand. You are satisfied working hard and leaving the results on Him.
Share any one habit which you wish to change in yourself.
Short tempered. I’m extremely finicky when it comes to work and really short tempered when someone doesn’t do something according to what I wanted him to do. It’s important to remain calm. Working on it.
Answer in less than 50 words
One tip to success:
Do something that’s not done before.
One mistake you believe every individual must avoid:
Starting a business to earn money.
One most important lesson that you have learnt till now:
Be detached to the outcome. It’s not in your hands.
What are your plans for next 3 years?
Focusing on a step at a time. Growing the company which solves genuine problems through creativity.
If you get a chance to start your career again what would you do differently this time?
I’ve just started mine Long way to go before answering that one.
What are your top three getaway destinations ?
Office. Office and Office. I feel at peace when I’m working.
Share a quote that inspires you the most.
“Fortune is like a flirt. She will run away form you when you chase her badly, but if you don’t show any interest in her, she will come chasing you” – Swami Vivekananda