Normally when we talk about entrepreneurship or any entrepreneur, there is always a very classy successful story connected to it. And though we enjoy reading that but at the same time it doesn’t leave much impact on us. Why? Because we don’t feel connected to it. As when we hear few entrepreneur’s stories it senses like they were made for it or they had some early signs of becoming an entrepreneur. Maybe they had achieved many accolades since their childhood and we were just busy in going with the flow and being average novice each time.
So does that mean that entrepreneurship is only for the few handpicked winning personalities? No, here we have collection of stories of few leaders, who were not born to be successful, but they created their own path towards success, they chose courage, innovation in their life.
And this is the first story of an average common person walking ardently with some uncommon dreams in his eyes, Aman Kumar, the Co-founder of TEESHOOD, a customized merchandize store.
Aman was born on 20th of January in 1995 in Bihar in a small village called Dariyapur. After few years he shifted to Patna along with his family and finally when he was in class 6th he came to the city of Joy – Kolkata.
He got admitted to DPS Newtown in Kolkata. But coming from a small town it was challenging for him to accustom with the level of studies and school environment that DPS provided being the best renown name among the school brands and kids belonging to the high class societies.
He had remained an average student till 8th standard and due to the radical change that came into his life by shifting from a developing city like Patna to the one of the largest urban agglomerations of the world and included as one of the big cities in India i.e. Kolkata, he lacked behind academically and was extremely poor in both English & Mathematics.
And meanwhile his dad’s business was going in loss, so he was shifted from DPS to an ordinary school called Hariyana Vidya Mandir in class 9th, where he met his first love of life and fell head over heels at first glance only.
Love was the motivation behind his changed life!
And there blossomed a young love story with the beginning of his life’s U-turn. His girlfriend’s love for him and the desire to achieve her at any cost, inspired him to excel in studies.
As she had acquainted him very early about the situation of his home, himself and his future, realising that, they both started studying hard.But as the time flew, they did achieved success academically, Aman got admission into IIT Kharagpur and was going well, but their love slowly started fading. And before he could understand the reason behind that, the girl ditched him.
He was completely shattered and lost by the infidelity of his girlfriend and broke up while he was in the second year of his college. He was depressed and somehow got hold of himself and started keeping himself completely busy in some or the other work.
Baby steps towards Entrepreneurship
He was an active member of their cultural fest called SPRING FEST and used to design T-shirts for the fresher batch of Kharagpur and was content by the few bucks he used to get by it, that was enough for his college pocket expenditures.
Unaware about the fact that the toy he was playing with just to overcome his grief and the past, was indeed giving shape to his venture, After the first sale, whenever someone from the societies and clubs wanted to design t-shirts, the college students used to give Aman’s reference to them.Thenafter he and the co-founders that helped him in his first sale, had started getting many calls for the orders, with that he realised, that it’s the best time to transform this into a proper business and planning to make it big- they created a website.
He and his friends (the talented co-founders) used to sit together in night with GODADDY(the domain seller company) open in their laptops and started searching a good name for their company and finally selected a domain named TEESHOOD.
Birth of TEESHOOD
When busysprinklers asked Aman kumar about how he selected his co-founders and what market research & future scope research he did before starting his proper business? He replied that, he selected his partners aka friends, that were involved with him in his first sale. Paras, who was a very good web developer with all the technical skills of website making and one of the member in web development team of SPRING FEST website and also a fine photographer. Debopam was expert in public relations, he had a great network and good links with other colleges and political parts while Aman himself was very good at marketing, interacting & had good execution skills.While answering about the research, he said we did somewhat like we searched our competitors rate before starting the esteemed venture, but didn’t went deep within all this, as our mantra was, “Bend down your head and keep working”!
The Challenges that came over their way in the initial stage of Business
Beginnings are too tough and involves lots of hardships, So when we asked Aman about what were the challenges he faced in his first 10 months of his venture, he replied to that, that in the first year he had to go through the challenges of not getting the proper supply, also they were always in the search of a good quality fabric at cheaper rates.
Also they faced problems in payments, sometimes clients used to pay the bills after 2-4 months of the delivery. Initially they used to trust the clients and delivered the products on 50% advance payment only, but after that they got frustrated because of the due payments.And to overcome that situation they made a law of penalty with the proper court papers on due payments, not paid within 15 days.
Business Insights via Aman Kumar
Aman in respond to how modern business has changed the way people do business said that, modern businesses are not limited to and depend on shop or property strength, in this modern era any normal person can start their own business venture with their normal brain, like now a days one can sell anything without having a shop or mall, all thanks to e-commerce. Nowadays just by creating your own website or networking with influential collaborative website one can began his journey towards starting something of their own. Unlike our parent’s time, today it is very easy to begin a business, just to maintain that business you require skills and discipline.
When asked about his daily routine, giggling he replied,” I don’t follow any structured routine, frankly speaking people do read about successful people’s daily routines and all, but it’s really tough to follow a pre-planned schedule, because of many factors, like sudden plan change because of outer sources etc. So I just do things when I want it. But surely need to keep deadlines for the priority work and also still being a college student I don’t have control on things like exams! As I need to prepare for it no matter what.”
At the same time when we asked him that what jugaad(trick) he has used so far to overcome any blunder created by mistake by them. He laughed recalling that, once they got an order of black t-shirt and he had took that order on call. But while mailing the design, the client had sent the design on navy blue t-shirt, so because of the little bit confusion, the final ordered t-shirts were made in blue colour. It was a serious goof but they would have got in huge loss if the client would have refused to accept the t-shirts. So he tricked the client on how blue was better than the black with all the possible psychology he could have known and at last the client was happy about his independent decision to change the colour, though it was not a decision but an error.
TEESHOOD a household name amongst the college going students, IIT, IIM and even corporate world for customised t-shirt designing
Teeshood, a customized merchandize store for buying or designing t-shirts now just in the short span of time i.e. just 1.5 years old, has approximately 2 to 3 crores turnover, with approx. revenue being 40 lakhs. Now as their popularity is growing, Aman has become an inspiration for many and keeps travelling across India being the speaker of honour in many universities, colleges including IITs, startup exhibitions etc. that helps him in collaboration with mutual benefits.
Regarding how he grew his network with the influential personalities and support system, he said that social media platforms played a crucial role in growing his network. He sometimes was contacted by people or would approach himself, if he finds someone’s profile interesting, he would connect with him/her via social media & this way he grew his network with the like-minded people, potential barter partners and supporters. Recalling his one of the influential connection through social media tool was with an investor named Pankaj tahakar, founder of Padup ventures and they even met at one of the entrepreneur meet held at Sikkim called SMIT.
Most of the Startupreneurs are in dilemma, whether to go for equity partnership or to hire key role people and share certain percent profit. To this he advised that if your business goes single handed then innovations scopes get very low because a person’s thought would be saturated after some time but if 2-3 people who are think tanks with the same vision, if they join hands together then there are maximum probability to come up with the new innovative ideas & way of execution in the same business & the problems that are involved in it can be solved easily. So he favours partnership in business as hiring key role leads to exploitation due to trust issues that barely happens among the co-founders. Also he suggested to go for Private limited registration for your company, as in future any conflicts happens between the partners still the company remains safe & working.
All is well when beginning is well!
Aman Kumar truly believes that life never comes with the package of good life or bad life, it’s up to us what we want to make out of it and how! Finally he found a blissful love in his promising venture Teeshood.