Pratik and Shikha are the husband-wife duo behind the successful Square Barrel. While Shikha is an interior designer, Pratik has been looking to enter the startup industry. He also runs his own textile business of cotton fabric. While Pratik has done BSc in Electrical & Computer Engineering and Economics from Carnegie Mellon University, USA, Shikha has completed BA in Interior Design from Raffles, Singapore and BA in Economics and Psychology from Mumbai University
Shikha has grown up around furniture and furniture lovers. Her grandfather and uncle started The Great Eastern Home, which is known for its antiques and period furniture. When the duo first had an idea about the latest startup, there was much pondering about its feasibility. After careful analysis, both launched Square Barrel, a line of furniture that is guaranteed to make you smile.
Please provide a brief overview of your product/ service.
Square Barrel is brand of funky furniture. Each design is quirky and is meant to enliven the room. The product range is inspired from tribal to pop to modern art.
What inspired you to build the above product/ service?
Shikha, an interior designer, wanted to follow her passion and interest in design but did not want to enter any crowded space. She figured that there is almost no one designing funky furniture in India. After designing and manufacturing her first piece (the Rubik’s Cube Side-Table), she received a great deal of positive feedback and truckloads of advice and suggestions which was overwhelming. I got immensely excited at the opportunity of teaming up with Shikha and making her ideas of funky furniture into a real business. We are extremely excited to uncover the potential of Square Barrel and provide a new dimension to furniture shoppers.
What was the most challenging part of your journey till now?
Each design is a figment of imagination. The challenge is to bring it to life without losing its imagined beauty.
How did you overcome those challenges?
Continuous experimentation and improvisation at every stage of production
Share some details about the investments that you have been able to fetch for the business till now.
Square Barrel is completely funded by the owners.
According to you, what are the three qualities an individual must have to achieve success?
Go-getter attitude, hardwork and people skills
Which online tools/ services/ apps do you use the most and would like to recommend as well?
We use social media extensively – Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.
Share any one habit which you think makes you more productive.
Since we are doing this together, we discuss Square Barrel all the time – with each other and other entrepreneurial minds. It gives us a lot of time to think about new direction and avenues for the brand. And we love talking about it!
Answer in less than 50 words
One tip to success:
Create a USP – distinguish yourself from the crowd.
One mistake you believe every individual must avoid:
Overspending and under spending – both are bad.
One most important lesson that you have learnt till now:
Do not hesitate to take favors from others – a startup needs all the help it can get.
If you get a chance to start your career again what would you do differently this time?
We would think less about doing things and actually go do them.
What are your top three getaway destinations?
- Masai Mara
- music festivals
Share a quote that inspires you the most.
“You can’t connect the dots looking forward you can only connect them looking backwards.” Steve Jobs