These 13-year-olds have earned more than Rs 1 lakh so far with their unique phone accessory
As they say, necessity is the mother of invention. And that’s precisely how Maahi Sanghavi, Anishka Manawat, and Soha Aggarwal, students of DY Patil International School, Dhirubhai Ambai International School, and Cathedral School and John Connon School in Mumbai, thought of an accessory that everyone could use to secure their valuables without the need to carry a big bag or wallet.
The idea for Multi-Grab came from a brain-storming session the young students had in their Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA) class.
“Every day, one sees people getting caught for not having their licence; sometimes they forget their wallet at home. Also, during certain activities, one may not want to carry one’s wallet or a bag, for example while jogging or at the gym,” Maahi says.
The youngsters came up with Multi-Grab, a light-weight flap that can be stuck to the back of the phone. It can hold your credit and debit cards, licence, cash, and even a key. Two out of three of their designs come with a mirror. The flap isn’t too bulky and is available in different colours. A key advantage is that the flap also ensures that things don’t fall out.
The multi-functional flap
Soha points out that most phone storage accessories available in the market right now are open and without a flap. “Another unique feature of the flap is that it can be customised with elegant gold initials below the logo,” Anishka says.
“Although Multi-Grab can be used by anybody, it has been most popular with gym-goers, walkers, runners, and senior citizens. Our goal is to allow people to go out comfortably, without the need to carry a bag or wallet,” she says.
Anishka, Maahi, and Soha met at YEA! and soon realised that they had common interests and hobbies.
Before starting the YEA ! programme, they used to watch shows such as Shark Tank, which they say really inspired them. Watching people pitch their startups and get investments to help their business grow was one of the reasons they joined YEA!
Guidance and mentorship
The girls received guidance from YEA mentors at the Cathedral and John and Connon School. They kept designing and iterating their product based on consumer surveys. The trio also received suggestions for improvements from their parents, who supported them throughout, and from fellow students in the YEA class.
Furthermore, when the girls set up a stall at the YEA trade show, several well-known entrepreneurs and investors gave them ideas on how to improve and expand this business.
So far, Multi-Grab has sold 202 flaps, bringing their revenue to Rs 1,01,000 (each flap is sold at Rs 500). The girls say this is just the beginning as they believe there is “huge potential for this product”.
The biggest challenge for Multi-Grab so far has been finding a reliable manufacturer to make good quality products.
Currently, the flaps are being made by a manufacturer in Bhiwandi, an industrial suburb near Mumbai.
“We asked everyone and used our networks. This unit is located in Bhiwandi, and going all the way there, multiple times a week, was quite a task. But now we have the process set, we can be more efficient,” Soha says.
Team work pays off
When asked how they manage to juggle studies with entrepreneurship, Maahi answers on the trio’s behalf.
“Everyone knows that they can make time for things they enjoy, so it became a lot easier as time went by. The advantage of working on a team is that there are the three of us, and three extended families to guide and help.”
Multi-grab is available on Amazon and has also partnered with a gifting company. The plan is to participate in as many pop-up events as possible. Apart from phones, they plan to market to athletes - for example, stick it on a tennis racquet cover!
As entrepreneurs, Maahi, Soha, and Anishka want to create a larger and meaningful impact apart from making money.
“Since we have got the best reviews from senior citizens, we are donating the product to an old-age home in Mumbai. We hope to expand this to more homes. We are also looking at designing flaps out of denim. We have found a company that will help us with his idea, and are very excited about unveiling our eco-friendly range of flaps,” Anishka says.
(Edited by Teja Lele Desai)