You heard us right- Pawan believes in demand creation rather then demand fulfilling, basically he is an E-Commerce guy who started from zero and now doing drop-shipping in USA & Spain. He also has two Clothing brands here in India.
Like most entrepreneurs it was not a first attempt success for Pawan too.
Pawan Rai has been born and brought in Howrah a city in West Bengal of India. Pawan Rai was born on 24 August 1999. He started at the age of 17 as a Youtuber but unable to make his mark there.
After that he started doing content writing for clients , as well as learnt Facebook marketing using various Youtube videos and Facebook Blueprint course.
After that, he started POD using platforms like MyDreamStore and after having some experience with them he started his own venture Desi Art Room with the budget of only 25000, where he wanted to focus on printed tees as well as jewelleries from local artists. Right now, he has two E-Commerce store running successfully in India and stores in Spain and USA also.
Read our interaction with this young gun –
1. Greetings from Postman News, Pawan, Tell us about your start-up , What solutions does your venture offers? Which section of society is your target audience? What are the problems, you are trying to address through your start-up?
Basically our all of drop-shipping sites/ E-Com sites is based on demand creation model where we used to create demand for the products and then sell it out to the consumer by feeding their mind that, Dude! You need this product anyhow
and our basic target audience is based in USA, Spain and for some of our products India also.
Actually I didn’t used to believe in brand building my main motive was to start a store or any business and make as much profit as much I can from that particular project, so being a guy who only believes in profit booking not in branding there is now a shift in my approach as I learned through my experiences & experiments.
Now I am working on a female specific fashion brand and one offline institute in Kolkata but those are in planning stage.
2. What are the key issues you faced while setting up the ventures such as funding, government clearances, etc. ?
Funding was definitely an issue in beginning ,I started DesiArtRoom for 25k INR only but in starting I felt that this will not be much amount and we may need funding so I have been to 30+ investors with the idea of E-commerce but we were not been able to grab it,
However, I remember that one of the investor agreed for the project but they were asking for 75% of share and I was not ready to handover my idea my company control to anyone else so yes funding was an issues but we started with 25k and we
were able to make it successfully viable and running profitable in very short span of time.
Talking about Government clearance it was all easy! I did not faced much hassle as I started as proprietorship without much documentation and later we upgraded it. But I would say it was not at all hard- all easy process, I would advise make sure you just get a Good CA to avoid any hiccups.
3. What is the revenue model? How the period so far has been with the financials? What is the payback period you are looking at? Explain some numbers
So talking about revenue sources, currently my main revenue source is Drop-shipping in USA and Spain, However we are also cracking some good numbers in AdSense and Affiliates and client based services that I started recently so for me I made my income sources diversified and also working to make it more stable.
Talking about the numbers, I would like to explain it not with the revenue but with simple math and some analytics data.One of our E-com store has got 206,000 users and 279,000 sessions and this is the insane traffic for a E-Com based site where conversion rate is somewhat about 3 to 5% so you can do simple math to calculate revenue.
I would also like to share one of my 2 month old E-com site based out of India where we were able to generate the sales of 2000 USD in just 1 week and that was something that personally however the conversion rate was only 1.5% and that is the thing that we need to work on improve it to make better revenues.
AdSense and Affiliate based sites are also going good with 4 figure of monthly income in USD, so I would say my revenue sources are diverse and one thing keep in mind if you are working online than make your revenue sources as diverse possible because you don’t know which Facebook update or Google update will destroy your complete work in matter of days. However this applies to offline business too but I believe those are more stable then online based business so make your income sources as diverse as possible.
4. Do you think Modi government’s policies such as Start Up India and Make In India helping the start up world ?
Modi Govt policies are good- Even other policies like GST , Relaxation in income tax and benefits for the exporters are the things that I loved from this Government.
Startup India and Make In India are good govt schemes but I have not studied in depth around these schemes.
5. You become quite successful at a small age, what your parents feel?
I don’t know what is the formal definition of being successful but I do believe that success is far away from me now and there are lots of plans that I need to execute before I retire so success is far away let’s see how much I can accomplish.
Talking about the parents they always supported me and they have not pressurized me for anything at any time and have always given me the freedom I wanted to.
6. How your study’s going on. How much time do you give at your work? How do you divide your time between studies and work?
I am currently doing B.TECH in CSE from Techno India University here in Kolkata, but by mind I am not an engineer or coder as I am in CSE, I always play the role of management person or marketer and that’s what something excites me. I consider myself as a part time B.Tech student and full time marketer
talking about time division I attend college between 11 AM to 6 PM and for work I have the time slot of 12am to 5 AM (Yes, my official work timing is in midnight) so basically I sleep for only 2 to 3 hours max because of college work load – success doesn’t come cheap.
7. What are the basic challenges you think maximum E Commerce Start Ups are facing currently?
If you are going to start E-commerce in India in future, you will face many more challenges that right now E-com industry is facing in India, as I believe Indian audience is still not that much matured for online shopping. The biggest challenge the industry is facing is ratio of cod vs online payments because in India mostly more than 90% Audience prefers COD and COD means returns, so COD and RTO (return to origin) are the biggest challenges that as a E-commerce brand we face in India.
Second biggest challenge is courier companies itself, in tier 3 or village type of areas the courier boys don’t wants to travel that much and they creates fake reports of customer declining to receive order. In short COD, RTO is the biggest challenge because it hampers your overall revenue as well as hampers your cash flow so make a system to reduce returns and increase online payments to get established in this industry.
8. Do you agree with the narrative that there is a wide gap between the education taught in colleges with the skills and knowledge , the companies are looking for?
Yes! I do agree on this, our educations system is lagging to train the students according to industry needs. They will teach you everything that is not required but they will not teach you even a 10% of the skills that is required in the industry.
As I constantly hire interns and employees I notice the fact the educations system is not able to produce students according to needs of the industry. I believe entrepreneurship should be in from starting of the school and educations system should focus more on practical skills of a student rather than bookish and the skills that is not required.
9. What are your future plans, maybe where do you see your venture in the next 2yrs?
Talking about future plans, my target is to achieve 1000 USD A day profit in 2019 itself and I believe I would be able to do this.
There are some more thoughts in pipeline but it would be premature to speak about them as of now.
10. What would be your advice to the youngsters who wants to start their own e commerce ventures?
So as I am also a guy who started from scratch and seen every change from my bare eyes all I can say for upcoming entrepreneurs is that believe in value generation, offer products that adds value to the consumer’s life.
Also if you are working in Indian market then start with less, go slow and steady and after experimenting with the market take decisions based on data not emotions.
One must try to reduce COD orders and RTO as low as possible because it will help you to be in the game for a longer period of time.
“Luck is a factor in success but it is not everything, You need to change your luck by working hard and that’s the ultimate success mantra. “