How I Grew My Business 10x In My 20’s?

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How I Grew My Business 10x In My 20’s?

Back in 1994, my days were a whirlwind of academics and real-world experiences.

During the mornings, I was drowning in books at IIFT for my MBA, and by evening, hustling over to my family business- Delta Exports. It felt like living two lives simultaneously, one in the classroom and the other in the trenches of the business world.

Things were slow at our business. Agarbatti was one of the products in our mix and we sold only around 10-12 lacs worth per year. Then I did an experiment and was surprised when we sold Agarbatti’s worth 1.25 crores (10x of current sales) in just 1 year.

Interested to know more ? Read on…

Delta Exports was a handicrafts exports business started by my father. We were procuring handicrafts like wooden products from Saharanpur, stone from Agra, metal products from Moradabad etc. and exporting to importers in USA & Europe. We were making profits, but our growth was at a standstill.

We were putting in all the effort, but our numbers weren’t rising. It was driving me crazy! Despite being a business student, I couldn’t figure out what was missing. It seemed like all those fancy theories were falling short.

Then, one day during a lecture on marketing strategies, our professor introduced us to the concept of how ‘niche marketing’ works. I learnt that it’s a targeted approach where instead of trying to reach a broad audience, you focus on a specific market segment with unique needs and preferences.

At first, it seemed irrelevant as we were dealing in multiple types of handicrafts. But something definitely clicked! A little voice in my head kept nagging: “What if…?”

It became clear that focusing on a wide range of products at the same time won’t work out because we had so many competitors doing exactly the same thing. So, I decided to find a niche, a sweet spot where we could focus our energy and really shine. That’s when the idea struck: let’s focus on Agarbatti’s.

I observed that the packaging quality of Agarbatti was third class. I went to the US and studied the kind of packaging they were using for similar type of products. I was good with computer design programs like Corel Draw and used my skills to completely redesign our packaging. I had just gotten a coloured inkjet printer for my birthday and I used it to design some mockups. I displayed these mockups during the “Indian Handicrafts & Gifts Fair 1995”.

And the results? Definitely worth it! I booked orders for more than 35 Lakhs on the spot. My father was completely surprised and asked me to develop more such designs and innovations.

Within just 1 year, our agarbatti exports went from 12 lakhs to a whopping 125 lakhs – a crazy 10x jump! We weren’t just another export business anymore; we were “The Fragrance People”, exclusive and in demand. I was myself surprised to get orders from big names like Walmart, Carrefour, Target etc.

This got me hooked to technology. It was shocking how I could use it to create such crazy results. Even during my MBA education I could earn more than 1 crore simply by using a computer and inkjet printer. I started using technology in each and every aspect of running our business.

Today our company exports to 600+ customers in 57 countries with a huge 20 acre manufacturing facility. I handed over this amazing business to my younger brother Deepak in 2007 as I wanted to pursue my passion and founded Technology Never Sleeps. Because of the technology I had used to automate our export business, Deepak shifted his base to Melbourne, Australia and is successfully running this huge business remotely.

Who knew this one simple experiment, fueled by some curiosity and passion, could change my future.This experience taught me two most powerful lessons of my life- Don’t be scared to experiment and reinvent constantly. Secondly, remember to leverage technology alongside this process. With all the cool AI tools out there, bringing your ideas to life is easier than ever.

Looking back, it wasn’t just about the success. It was about the journey of discovery and passion. That’s what keeps me going, the feeling that anything is possible if you’re willing to take a leap. I surely wouldn’t trade this experience for anything!

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