uByld.com – India’s first Do It Yourself Platform Furniture and Curio Store
uByld.com shares there entrepreneurial story with us today, it’s the brain child of three DIYers with similar interest in craft, and environment (recycling. up-cycling and reuse). They are solving the problems associated with the furniture sector with their DIY and Eco-friendly tools, we must say they are doing a great job.
The founding team poses rich and varied experience in all fields, they are:
Shobha Nair – An architect by education, designer extraordinaire and an IIM Bangalore alumni. She loves to cycle and make creative things out of up-cycled material.
Pradeep Nair – Marketing guru, operations genius with brilliant acumen in customer service. He is an early entrepreneur who dabbled in business from the age of 16.
Denzil D’Souza – Award-winning creative program manager with many years’ experience in setting up large IT systems, IT sales and customer service. He is an enthusiast of all things organic and grows his own veggies in his home garden.
“Love your customers, your employees, and your environment. Innovate and implement”
How did you come up with the idea of creating your own store?
We landed up on the idea while making an ergonomic planter for our terrace garden. We realized that, walking the whole road in securing wood, finding a craftsmen, getting in expensive tools is a problem for most DIYers – instead we decided to create kits with all of this (wood, tools, instructions and 3D models are all a part of the kit) and encourage Indian’s to be the craftsmen and ‘build’ simple furniture on their own. The fact that we ensured that we’d work only with upcycled material was a huge driver and a ‘calling’ for us to start uByld.com.
What is so unique about your online store?
uByld.com is India’s only online furniture store that focusses on Do It Yourself (DIY) furniture and using UP-CYCLED solid pine wood is the cherry on the top. No new trees are cut (isn’t that great?), secondary material from one supply chain gets consumed into products of higher value and aesthetics – truest form of up-cycling. We are arguably one of India’s most sustainable furniture companies and boy we make some beautiful furniture
What were the major challenges did you face while starting up?
A new concept in the market always comes with a certain onus on the founders – to impart sensitivity and encourage the early adopters. For us it was two major areas that we had focus on – the concept of DIY and the concept of ‘upcycling’. To our pleasant surprise we found that Indian’s as a community were eager to adopt both and we did not have to stress on either of the two areas too much. Instead we focussed on ensuring the designs are unique, the actual kits are easy to implement and customize, the quality of the furniture and customer service was the best we could do. Of course other operational elements like setting up our factory, ensuring that we have the right people, finances are monitored stringently were challenges in their own right. Our founding member teams are stellar and together we navigated through those challenges.
Any learning you want to share with fellow entrepreneurs?
Well learning are many, put just to highlight some which are the key drivers, I would say are:
a) Spend lot of time ensuring the quality of the product which you are launching in the market.
b) Keep the pricing right and ethical (don’t be greedy).
c) Always provide the best customer service and keep as many channels of communication open for the customer.
d) Enrich the lives of people who work for you. It’s a proven fact that an employee who is motivated is 2X more efficient than the rest.
How was your experience with KartRocket?
We had heard about KartRocket before and followed its progress. One of our key drivers to choose KartRocket, was to support an Indian (made-in-India) eCommerce platform, it was not an emotional decision alone – we wanted someone who understood the struggles, requirements and nuances of the early stage Indian businesses. From Day 1 we were supported by fantastic people from KartRocket – the account managers, the techies who customized the site for us, the support tech leads – all were and continue to be stellar. [The fact that the COO of KartRocket, liked our page and sent us an enquiry early on in our journey was validation of sorts as well.]
The pricing from KartRocket is great, you don’t just get the bare-bones but you get ample amount of tools and apps that are just right for early businesses. The fact that KartRocket is constantly improving is awesome as well – the recent migration to the cloud has increased the site loads speed, the upgrades on the dashboard have been awesome as well. It’s been a great journey with KartRocket so far and has played heavily on our decision to continue with KartRocket for the years to come. We continue to look forward to their support, upgrades and mobile rich features.