This Indore-based husband-wife duo brings Italian-style wooden accessories to IndiaSindhu Kashyaap
Woodin Watches is a brand of watches that are made out of refined wood, lightweight and splash proof.
Living in a TL;DR (Too Long Didn’t Read) world, everything we have around us is ruled by devices. The analogue watches are being replaced by smart watches. While we might be slowly gravitating towards a newer trend, a bootstrapped startup in Indore is taking people stylishly back to the analogue watch era.
Founded by husband-wife duo Samarth Julaniya and Natasha Saxena, both 27, Indore-based Woodin Watches is bringing in timepieces made of 100 percent refined wood. Affiliated to Japan imported quartz movement, Woodin Watches work along the combination of classic and fashion and are available in three different colours and woods.
“We sustainably source the finest wood from various places around the world; maple from Canada, vera wood from Central America, ebony and red sandalwood from southern India, and zebrawood from Central Africa,” says Natasha.
Samarth left his job as a software professional at Wipro as he wanted to start something of his own, which was both unique and eco-friendly. He attended many summits and seminars for startup ideas.
After months of continuous research and exploration, he came across a US-based wooden watch company. He liked the idea as it is eco-savvy, attractive, and unique. In the US, the concept of wooden accessories is very popular, which is not prominent in India. “We then decided to design our own wooden watches and founded Woodin Watches in November 2015,” says Natasha.
Challenges of setting up
The process of forming the company took over six to eight months. The duo had decided to get the manufacturing done in Hong Kong, which meant that they faced a lot of difficulties in clearances. Natasha adds that the delivery of the consignment would get delayed by six months. Speaking of the time, Natasha, who was a musician and blogger, says:
“That time was a difficult one as we both left our jobs and worked day and night for our startup. Our biggest challenge was to make our product a ‘brand’ with reasonable price as people in India prefer brand while buying a watch. We initially started selling on Flipkart, Amazon, and Snapdeal and in August 2016, we started selling through our website.”
Being bootstrapped, the duo didn’t have any large resources or marketing budgets. With the help of Google and Facebook ads, Natasha claims that they were able to sell more than 180 watches in the first three months and got revenue of Rs 6 lakh. Today, the team comprises close to 10 different people.
Numbers and way ahead
In the past five months, the team claims to have sold over 240 watches and received revenue of Rs 8 lakh till date. “We have faced a little downturn in our sale after demonetisation as people prefer ‘cash on delivery’ over paid orders for a new brand. Being an e-commerce business, winning customers’ trust takes time,” adds Natasha.
The watches are lightweight, splash proof, and come with scratch-resistant mineral glass.
Wooden accessories market is more premium and global. There are brands like TSAR, which are priced between Rs 4,500 and Rs 20,000. There also is WeWood, started by Italian entrepreneurs, which again is made from scrap wood. Like Woodin, WeWood also plants a tree for every watch sold. There is Jord Watches and Cucuzzi Wood Watches, which again are durable, lightweight, and water resistant. Woodin Watches aims to set a new trend in India.
“We are planning to start international shipping soon. Our main aim is to raise more funds and introduce more wooden accessories with unique designs and premium quality. We are also planning to build a team of our own designer, marketer, photographer, and developer. We are also looking forward to establishing our own manufacturing plant here in India,” adds Natasha.