Akshay Jain has always had a penchant for selling things online and with CustomBaba – an online store that customises and delivers your garments exactly as you ordered – he is thrilled to have complete creative control over his venture.
But running a business is far from easy. In a candid chat with Indibeat, Jain talks about the challenges and rewards of being in the highly competitive e-commerce space.
IB: What is the story behind CustomBaba?
CustomBaba is my third entrepreneurial venture. The idea was born when I ordered hoodies for myself from a well-known online store and disliked the quality very much. So, I thought, why not start my own company?
CustomBaba.com was up and running in October 2016, and in January 2017, we opened up a vertically integrated unit in Ludhiana. We soon got visited by the team at Abof. They liked our quality and workmanship so much that we got an order from them to manufacture garments for their winter collection.
IB: What were your biggest challenges, how did you overcome them?
Initially, the biggest challenge was to find good and reliable labour. Manufacturing is a labour-oriented job and it took time to put together a team capable of fulfilling orders while also delivering quality.
The next key struggle was getting customers, but that was soon sorted thanks to me being highly active on Quora.
IB: How is CustomBaba different from its competitors?
Unlike other players, our manufacturing is 100% in-house. This enables us to offer cost-effective prices to our customers.
In fact, apart from the images displayed on our website, you can send us any image of your choice and we will manufacture it for you – colour, style, size no barrier. Lastly, in the entire industry, only we give all your money back if you are unsatisfied with the quality.
IB: What makes you truly happy other than your business doing well?
The fact that I am able to create a positive impact on the lives of the people who work for me. I know the company is responsible for their livelihood, and it makes me work harder.
I believe every entrepreneur reaches a stage where they wonder if they can call themselves successful. I think I can call myself successful now, and that has brought me immense happiness and peace. I focus more on improving my processes instead of worrying about my competitors.
IB: Any advice for budding entrepreneurs?
Bootstrap till profitable. Expanding fiercely with no systems in place will lead to problems later on.
Companies are run by systems and establishing them should be given the first priority. Do not build fancy offices. Concentrate on the balance sheets and save money.
Also, do not get disheartened by failure. Failure is imminent in the entrepreneur lifestyle, so it is better if you fail forward. Learn from your mistakes and try to not repeat them.
Check out CustomBaba’s Facebook page here.
Image Credit: Akshay Jain