A College dropout sells his house to build his dream business
Taking local artisans to global glory! This is a story of serendipity, catching the right opportunities, struggle, angst and doubts, overcome by persistence, bordering on the obstinacy. It is the story of belief and the will to make a success of a unique venture. A magical tale indeed!
This is the story of Rizwan Husain from Nagpur. A College dropout, who always dreamt of creating a product that reached out globally. He earned his spurs and business acumen in his family businesses. He started his own company “Art Resources” off as a sourcing representative for a few companies from the USA and Europe. Travel all over India to procure authentic handcrafted, quality products from the source was the done thing. On one of his journeys, he came across some artisans who were very skilled in making beautiful handcrafted designs mirrors. These mirrors were known as Venetian mirrors in Europe.
The problem was, that these workers were not organised, so were not able to provide goods in time, to tap the global market. This is where Rizwan stepped in to organise the business. He brought 10 families of artisans to Nagpur, promising them accommodation and schooling for their children and a good place to work. He rented the resources, including a 3000 sq. ft. factory.
With everything organized, Rizwan started participating in International Fairs and within a year this caught the eyes of discerning purchasers and the business took off. He started exporting to USA, Europe and the Middle East. The business grew to 5-6 containers a year. The first order came from South Africa, for 200 mirrors, which was delivered in time. The word got around and orders from Israel, Luxemburg, Germany, Kuwait, Bahrain etc. started. The trickle became a stream and then a cascade.
The earlier years were a struggle, and the international fairs cost a lot of money, so profits were meagre. Newer methods of growth needed to be explored. Rizwan developed a website and started social media marketing. Enquiries from India started coming in. People asked him if he was a trader or importer, but were duly impressed when told, that all of it was made in house, in Nagpur. This innovative adaptation took time to take root, but orders started coming in.
To cater to this demand, Rizwan needed a bigger space. Luckily a bigger place was available nearby, but was for sale, not for rent. This was a moment of reckoning and Rizwan did something unusual, He sold his own house, the place he and his family lived and moved to a rented place. He put all he had in the expansion. This requires guts, commitment and a leap of faith only a true blue entrepreneur can muster.
But fate had something else in store and the business was hit by the big global recession. Thankfully, two things came to rescue. India was not seriously affected, and the champion swimmer in Rizwan was not yet willing to give up, so easily. With the help of his son, he started selling online through Amazon, Pepperfry and Flipkart. He developed a range to cater to the Indian market, ranging from 5-15 thousand Rupees. Soon the business built up to Rs. 1.5 Crores in sales.
There is no competition to this unique product and today Venetian Design (www.venetiandesign.in) is the leading brand making world class Venetian Mirrors. These mirrors have found the fancy in many 5 Star Hotels, houses of the Ultra-rich and are supplied to many top lifestyle brands in India. He has done many top end hospitality project in India & abroad. He also won National and International accolades and awards. It started with the “Houzz India : Best Product Reviews 2017” and went on to win, the “Best Product Award at Messe Frankfurt Ambiente India 2018.
The future plan is to take this one of its kind venture forward by establishing offline stores in all the metros of India and abroad, to both broaden and deepen the global market. The potential is huge and it just needs the right investment of finance to encash the opportunity created by lots of work and dedication and has proved itself. Rizwan is looking to raise funds from investors to expand his business offline and online.
Rizwan is available on: [email protected]
Website :- https://www.venetiandesign.in/