27 year old Kashyap Dalal’s dreams were always different. This was clear from the very beginning, when he chose to start his own company Inkfruit instead of going down the tried and tested path of joining an already established Corporate House after completing his B.Tech from IIT Bombay, PGDM from IIM Lucknow. “I decided to become an Entrepreneur because I realized that this would be the only thing that I would be able to do with complete and absolute ownership. Even menial or boring tasks become very exciting when you can see direct results. When the activities help your company to grow, you feel like you are completely involved in your job. And finally, it begins to feel like there is no distinction between the Self and the Company.”
Established in 2007, http://inkfruit.com started with a team of three people toiling endlessly to ensure that the dreams they wove were converted into reality. Today, the number of employees at Inkfruit is eleven and The Company has established branches in both Bombay and Bangalore. “I started working on this business with my friend and partner Navneet in early 2007. Initially, working on this business was very taxing. We started with just Rs 90,000 which was the amount of money that both of us had managed to pool in. I suppose that the fact that it was our money gave us the chance to experiment with it.”
Inkfruit has been making really rapid progress ever since. Their growth this year has been 400 percent. As Kashyap puts it, “percentages are not that important early on in a startup’s life, but nonetheless, we are growing really fast.”
Operationally, members of the Inkfruit community submit graphics, they vote on all the 1000 plus submissions that come in every month and through this voting process, select the ones which are most popular. Winning designs are manufactured and put on sale.
What sets Inkfruit apart is the outstanding collection which the design team comprising of 1000s of designers across the globe creates! And this is largely because all the designers largely work on their personal passions – not to a design brief from Inkfruit’s side. They enjoy what they do and end up doing some really amazing stuff.
Kashyap has a definite vision for his company. He says, “I want http://inkfruit.com to be a key destination online for every person who is interested in design. I would also want our merchandise to be available to our customers across the top 10 cities of India offline through relevant tie-ups. And what about more expansion in terms of business? “To be able to grow our international sales significantly will be the icing on the cake.”
Inkfruit plans to scale up by promoting the website internationally over the next few years and being known as a popular destination for hobbyists, amateurs, professional designers and people who love creative stuff. The company also plans to scale up by expanding the merchandise range to include items which can serve as a canvas – apart from t-shirts it would include posters, canvases, frames, sling bags and many other such items. Within India we will also be expanding offline through exclusive retail outlets of the company
Earlier on, Kashyap was taking on a lot more than he could handle because of financial constraints. “Navneet and I were always multitasking. Financial constraints rather than logic are what governed us. We were the strategy experts, the execution managers, the customer service executives and the delivery boys. There were times when our commitment levels were really tested but I am glad that we went through this journey. It made us tougher as people and helped us learn from our mistakes. Somewhere deep down, the will do succeed always drove us to strive for perfection.”
Clearly, Kashyap believes in the saying, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.” Today, Kashyap and his partner are on their way to establish a long-term business.”
Has Kashyap ever considered an alternative career option? “I’ve never felt like doing anything different. The thrill of working for yourself is too addictive. There have been times where I’ve missed the security of a regular job and the number of zero in the salary figure in the market. But as they say- to win some, you must learn to lose some.”
When asked what drives him, Kashyap says that he has always fantasized about a tenth floor glass office that overlooks the sea. “On a more serious note,” he adds “I want to establish something that will make people think of me and remember me even after I die.”
What tips would Kashyap give for budding Young Entrepreneurs? “I would ask them to be very careful about the initial bunch of people they pick. It is very important to have a good team when one is working on a business. Once an initial team is established, one should make sure that they are committed to the vision and have as much drive as you do.”
We at YourStory will continue to track the story of the growth of Inkfruit and we wish Kashyap Dalal all the best for his future.