Introducing WrapCart Founder- Akanksha Nirbhavane
The 23-year-old entrepreneur Akanksha Nirbhavane is the founder of WrapCart, skins manufacturer from Mumbai that leverages its online portal and other digital avenues like social media for brand awareness and generating business. Born and brought up in Mumbai, Nirbhavane is a B.Com graduate from RA Podar College of Commerce & Economics, Mumbai. She has pursued PGPM in Finance from IBS Mumbai and currently pursuing a company secretary professional degree.
Interview with TimesNext
What’s WrapCart all about?
WrapCart sells vinyl skins for devices that are really different from the commonly available plastic covers. We deal in manufacturing mobile skins, debit cards, and credit card skins, audio device skins, apple accessories skins, and more. With a range of quintessential designs and materials, we provide skins for more than 500 mobile phone models with more than 100 designs. We are now a market leader in mobile, cards, and other device skins in India.
Visit WrapCart’s website here.
Visit WrapCart’s company profile on Hiredd.com here.
What was the idea & what inspired you?
I have always been an average student at the school and the university but that didn’t intercede into a random thought that triggered my mind back in the days i.e. starting a business that could help me generate income to meet my daily expenses without depending on my parents. This thought of self-independence came early to me.
I had a friend who was also planning to start his own business and pushed me by asking me ‘If I can, why can’t you?’. The question kept me busy thinking and I eventually decided to get started. Very soon I invested whatever money I had in a food stall which turned out to be a complete failure. But instead of getting unmotivated, I got even more determined. Though I was open to employment opportunities, I was always zealous about entrepreneurship. Starting single-handedly and later accumulating a team to grow big. As far as distractions are concerned, I never had any, I enjoyed my college life to the fullest and WrapCart is the very result of the motivation and support from my family and friends.
Have you faced any challenges in the outset?
- Yes Ofcourse, Starting with Challenges in self-motivation:
Well, I must say that it requires great impulse and determination to be successful. Failures with learning create opportunities that hit you time and again unexpectedly. There were days when I felt that nothing is happening, and thought of shutting down and concentrate one something else or just stick to education. My research on the internet took me to negative facts and numbers that were making me lose determination, such as “90% of startups fail within 5 years of inception”.
Apart from this, as a young woman entrepreneur, I faced a lot of negative feedback and ignorance from many suppliers. Eventually, I got used to it and started ignoring anything uninspiring that came along. I never had to answer anyone, neither my parents, nor friends, I could simply shut down the business and walk away with it. But I had this feeling of making a constructive choice. I mean why would I punish myself for the stereotypical mindset of others? I continued on my path and improvised daily.
My business IQ got lifted each day and within a short span, WrapCart became the most worthy asset that ever had. And more importantly, I’m now able to manage my business and studies altogether.I believe that the best examples of one’s self form great advice and learning. Thus, I advise the same thing to everyone. There is no secret formula to success, nobody gets successful overnight, it requires zeal and consistency; as Brian Chesky says
“Our ‘overnight’ success took 1,000 days”.
- Challenges in courier services:
I was still taking things lightly. For logistics, we collaborated with a cheap courier service for cost-saving. Initially, it was going well, but as orders increased the rate of successful deliveries started diminishing. We were being regularly bloated with complaints from customers for delayed deliveries too.
We had to maintain our brand value and retain customers anyhow. And for that, we partnered with premium courier services. WrapCart now also has fulltime executives to look into logistics and a dedicated customer service team for solving customer Queries. Moreover, 20 percent of the orders we now receive are from the returning customers.
- Challenges that I faced due to a lack of knowledge:
My first and the silliest one was in the initial phase of starting WrapCart. We were setting up the online store and randomly picked a few images from another social handle and after a few days, we received a warning from the owner of the images saying that he’ll file copyright infringement claim on us. And to fix that we had to take our online store down for a week to replace the images.
Meanwhile, we collaborated with a few photographers and brought our store back live. And sooner, I realized that the mistake was actually a much-required lesson that pushed us to lay an effort and ultimately helped us increase brand awareness and retain user attention by incorporating original product images.
All the challenges faced till now gave me a platform to find solutions, to make better decisions in business as well as in personal life, grow much better and aiming at better things in life.
Tell us about your brand’s collaborations
We have partnered with vinyl material suppliers, logistics services, internship platforms to hire interns, collaborated with many Youtubers and photographers. My experience working with them was pretty much worthy that helped me in communication skills, negotiation skills, decision making, and problem-solving.
According to you what the first milestone for you?
I started pretty small, it was without borrowing money from friends or family and it went perfect. Most of the people I discussed my thing with, recommended me to raise a seed fund from my family and friends, but I didn’t do it in order to prevent the risks involved with raising capital at the initial stage. I wanted to experiment and test run.
So, I bought some skins from small manufacturers in Mumbai and added those to my inventory. It took longer to generate orders since the platform was very new but I managed it. I reinvested the money that I made in advertising and kept repeating the same. The constant support from my developer and team members made all the hardships pass easily.
Within a year, we were able to develop a good customer base and fulfilling a huge number of orders; we invested all the money that we made in a manufacturing unit in Kandivali that helped us cut costs, expand our inventory, and took us way further. My business IQ got lifted each day and within a short span, WrapCart became the most worthy asset that I ever had.
What is the current growth status of WrapCart?
WrapCart is growing fast and we have increased 80% in customer base, and customer services, number of employees, and interns with a good brand image since the introduction. Our online platform is getting an increased number of new visitors daily.
So lastly, What is the vision behind WrapCart?
Wrapcart is now a market leader in selling device skins in India. My only vision is to make Wrapcart a global leader by removing all the difficulties in this path to make my vision a dream come true.