From Novice To Entrepreneur

Its not an easy choice to be a trendsetter, indibni design studio, a Jaipur based startup is setting some new trends in the world of Gifting. We talked to Mr. Nitin Jain -Founding Partner of indibni, regarding his journey from a novice to an entrepreneur and his life experiences which made him reach these heights and still reaching for more.

Q. Tell us about your journey, how did you get your idea or concept for the business; and what made you choose your current location?

A. I did my schooling in a Hindi medium school affiliated to the Rajasthan Board.  In my pre-university days I took PCM with Fine Arts – a unique combination. After that I was convinced that I had to make a career in a creative field. I eventually ended up doing my undergraduate and post graduate degrees in Animation and Design from Birla Institute of Technology, Mesra (Ext. Jaipur). In college, I met Ankit Jain, a very original individual with an offbeat nature. Both of us wanted to start an enterprise but we did not have fundamental understanding of product design and materials. Ultimately, we roped in Khushbu Mathur, my junior from school, and a graduate in Crafts & Design from IICD (Jaipur) – she became the third partner.

There were three common factors we shared

  • We were interested in storytelling with no limitation on medium. (Design approach)
  • We wanted to work for ourselves (Entrepreneurship)
  • We wanted to stay with our families. (We all are based in Jaipur)

With these factors in mind and investing required time on understanding market needs and current trends, we decide to open a design house. In the beginning we were diversified, but with time we defined our niche.

Q. What are your failures, and what have you learned from them?

A. Failures

  • When we started our journey, we were five people with same qualification and we did not define the work profile.
  • We let clients negotiate for a truck load of potatoes and then buy 1 kg at wholesale rate.
  • We tried too many things, almost everything without setting milestones & revenue model.

Learning’s

To overcome all these obstacles, we have mentors who helped us in identifying the problems and we brainstorm together for solutions

  • We always heard about two ways of doing things:
    Straight ahead or Step by step, for us both didn’t work in business, and then we found the third way Straight forward with Baby steps (laughs) i.e We started defining things in a planned way as well as we become flexible as per the need of situation.
  • We invested our time and energy to position our brand experience in long lasting and impressive way. Our Product’s presentation and packaging, Identity & website, Social handles talks about the same.
  • With time we become Selective. For us working on every new product is giving birth to an idea & choosing clients is like climbing ladder. Parallel to that, to provide better services we also become selective in hiring people.
  • Taking and implementing feedback becomes a regular affair.
  • We started documenting the communication, regular team meeting and interaction with mentors.

Q. What do the word “Indibni” means and how it is significant in the market?

A. Indibni is actually a very interesting word. It is an ambigram (mirror image) of the word ‘indi’. Inspired by the roots of India team at indibni strive with a mission to Design for Life. The three ‘i’s stand for India, Innovation and Individuality.

Q. What does a day-in-the-life of Nitin Jain consist of?

A.  Having a self designed coffee mug in hand while sitting on a rotating chair in front of an open window. As sunlight and the blowing wind fills the room with no confinements. Wearing capris and graphic tees. One giant white board that welcomes everybody in its vicinity to unleash their creativity. Having lunch with the entire team on one table, partying and playing games inside the office itself. Arrivals and departures are decided by individual and not others. An impressive business card with your name as creator / co founder of the company and various little things as such that I am living today.

Q. What was your mission at the outset?

A. Indian culture and ethos are the motivations behind Indibni. In our childhood days when we used to create cards and mementos to gift, and delight, people around; But in the present scenario, when we look around, we face hard time finding right thing, which can actually express our feelings. Art of gifting is losing its importance, this changing world the lifestyle of the people has changed to a great extent, we become very selective and subjective with whom and what we are gifting, in another words we are losing the personalize touch, which enhance the bond between two relations.

Indibni is looking to carry that story forward by creating beautiful products that have utility; or at least, a story behind them that people can relate to.

Q.What service(s) or product(s) do you offer/manufacture?

A. The target audience for Indibni is, well, just about anyone who needs to buy a gift. And the market is huge – people are always looking for innovative gifting solutions to celebrate festivals and occasions, or just to remember and cherish their loved ones.

“We have two types of products, or rather, two types of customers.”

Customers for ready-to-buy gifts

Most of the company’s ready-to-buy products are quirky, and range from Rs. 150 to Rs.1500, and the buyers are youngsters aged between 13 and 35 who live mostly in the Indian metros and larger cities. Indibni has processed orders from over fifty cities in India through various e-commerce platforms like Amazon, Flipkart, eBay, Snapdeal, Fabfurnish, PayTM, etc.  The products are also sold through some of the outlets of retail chains like Crossword, Poparazzi, and Shoppers Stop. These products are much appreciated by the NRIs, who are looking to send gifts to their loved ones in India. So far, Indibni has received orders from over 15 countries.

Customers for personalized gifts

Since we are also a design studio, we take up corporate orders and provide exclusive gift ideas and designs. People, who know a thing or two about design, are ready to pay for the exclusivity and creativity. We have designed gifts for 3M India, Owens Corning, NBC, JIFF, and many more. We have also done some exclusive souvenirs for the Bachchan family, Mr. Marc Bachet (Filmmaker and Oscar Winner), Late Shri Varghese Kurian (Father of the White Revolution), Shri Anna Hazare (Social Activist) and many others.

Q.What made you choose this type of business?

A. Five Simple Reasons:-
– We love what we are doing. (Job satisfaction matters most)

– We are solving a problem. (Demand and supply)

– What we are doing makes people happy. (Happy faces around)

– We are good at it. (Have required skill set)

– We are earning enough money. (We can buy what we need)

We are a creative team of passionate designers who have command on various medias. Our objective is to provide innovative gifting options to people, which has some emotion, utility, nostalgia, memory, humor and a lot more than what an individual expect from a gift. All around the globe, we humans have tendency to make relations frequently and to acknowledge the relation you always look for something which has a personal touch and warmth like your beautiful relation.

Q.How would you like people to remember your company?

A. There are some retail gifting benchmark stores like Archie’s and Hallmark who provides gifting solutions, but to be specific, they have very generalized products with limited utility. Indibni is very different. It follows a design process for making exclusive gifts for everyone. Its USP lies in adding utility and personalisation to every gift that is created.

For us “Gifting is not about price, utility, shape or size; it is all about the experience it gives to a buyer, and feeling it evokes in the receiver. “

If what we are doing touches people’s emotions and bring smile on their face, we can do this

Q. Does your company help the community where it is located?

A. We are working toward it, Rajasthan is a very rich and cultured state, with numerous art styles and craft, but still there is a huge demand and supply gap. To bridge the gap and make art/artist meet the application, we plan to launch the Indibni Design Society –  a social enterprise –  where we will invite various artists collaborate with them, with their ideas and designs. Indibni will be the producer and marketer of these signature pieces that will be sold under the artists’ names.

Q. If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out, what would it be?

A. All I can do is to share these 5 valuable learning’s

  • Everybody is creative or has a skill set. Find your goal, hunt it down, make it your slave and keep it alive inside you.
  • Patience is the key to success, live your dreams, but analyze things before making any actions. Parallel to that, don’t wait for things to get executed by itself, consistency towards your goal will help you to define your path.
    • Learn from others mistakes and do homework.
  • Be tactful, the end product can’t be one’s opportunity, it’s team’s hard work, well wishers’ blessings & critics feedback.
  • Its necessary to have mentors, they always guide you; support you to make your vision a success.
  • Devotion to your duty is not a sacrifice; it’s a justification to your existence in this world.

– Swami Vivekananda

I said 5 and I’m still writing more, it’s another lesson; always deliver more than expectations.