India is one of the biggest marketplaces in the world coming only second to China. Owing to its vibrant and diverse culture, the Indian marketplace is no different, where vivacious and flamboyant goods and services are always having an ‘available’ signage. The marketplace now with its growing dependence on the online front is slowly on the verge of becoming the biggest in the world. According to Morgan Stanley, the country’s e-commerce market is expected to be worth $119 billion by 2020 and at the present moment happens to be the fastest-growing in the world. With the growing reliance on the online space, India has also risen to become the biggest consumer of mobile phones, with 3G & 4G data plans that are cheaper than other developing countries. Thanks to the rising digitisation, India for a long time to come will be one of the most prominent marketplaces across the globe, with various business entrepreneurs implementing their startup business ideas.
Thanks to this surging rise, one can also see a significant evaluation of the gifting market, which is estimated at $30 billion in the present day. In a country that hosts numerous festivals and events (birthdays, anniversaries, naming and thread ceremonies among others), there is no death of instances where one or the other person is always looking for a reason to receive or give a gift to their loved ones. During a time when everyone is shackled with hectic schedules while staying away from their homes, there is a mounting demand for trustworthy gifting portals that can meet and maintain the surging demand. Standing at the cusp of this demand is SkyCandle, which incepted out of the requirement to ‘make gifting easy’. Aimed at revolutionising the gifting space in the country, the portal is a breath of fresh air in the otherwise stagnant gifting space. The extensive range of products include lamps, kitchen accessories, sports equipment and furnishings that are bound to add a spark to any festival or occasion one can think of.
Impressed by SkyCandle’s rising prominence in the gifting space, we interviewed the brains behind this eclectic venture, Aditee Joshi. Her persona and ideologies exhume positivity in every aspect; a quality that every successful pioneer has had who has ever shined in the entrepreneur list. A firm believer of the organisation’s motto “Love where you live”, Aditee’s words are pearls of wisdom for every aspiring business entrepreneur out there. Read on to find out for yourself:
SkyCandle is quite an established brand. Could you tell us about how it started and the ideation process that went into it before setting up the brand?
When the two friends and Co-Founders of Skycandle met over a routine cup of coffee and discussed the idea of selling sky lanterns online in the year 2014, little did they know they would evolve into one of the trendiest home décor startups selling chic home décor items online in India. Thus, the two founders – Gaurav Garg (Director) and Aditee Joshi (CEO) incepted Skycandle.com which later became skycandle.in in the year 2014 that sold quirky, chic, tasteful designer candles and sky lanterns at affordable rates through a user-friendly website across the country to 19000 area pin codes.
Inception found its way by the medium of need. One fine day while Gaurav was organising a college fest at NIT Hamirpur, he came across the need for sky lanterns to remark the event. At that time, the product was not available in the market and thus the idea was coined to introduce it in the online medium. Both the Co-founders came together to devote their full time to the venture and skycandle.in came into existence.
Can you give us a walkthrough of how SkyCandle evolved from its bootstrapping stage to what it is at the moment?
Skycandle.com is a bootstrapped venture by GPA Group and it certainly came a long way since its inception. In 2014, a team of 3 with 50 SKUs in catalogue ventured into online and retail gifting segment. In April 2015, the team grew to 27 with an average order book of 300 orders a day. We are present on all major E-commerce marketplaces with our catalogue present across various portals like Flipkart, Amazon, Snapdeal, Paytm and Shopclues.
Today, we process a daily order book of 4500 with a team size of more than 100 employees. We have multiple warehouses located PAN India with an in-house developed Enterprise Resource Planning software. This software has helped us achieve optimum resources and efficient productivity at limited resources.
Given the stiff competition in the online gifting space, how is SkyCandle establishing its stronghold in the sector? Can we expect to see a mobile application?
True, the competition is tougher each day and the dynamically changing market conditions demand strategies feasible to sustain the market. A startup is known for its dynamic growth and change. At SkyCandle, we strive hard to strike a balance between growth and innovation. When it comes to technology, our IT Team is taking care of projects to automate systems and improve accountability.
We currently have an android app. However, as the technology is emerging each day, our IT team is focusing more on Push notifications which are a lighter version of the app and more user-friendly. Marketing team, on the other hand, is working on Skycandle blog and social media platforms like Facebook and YouTube to come with content that attracts more customer base.
Could you give a personal account of a few of the mistakes that you committed along the way and what you learnt from them? In the same stride, could you speak about how aspiring business entrepreneurs can avoid the common mistakes one commits?
At 26, being an Entrepreneur is in itself a challenge. However, failures are part of the journey and what we have learnt from them is to be accepting of others and our own mistakes. When it comes to leading a team, it becomes primal for the leaders to lead from the front and for that, the entire training process begins from training our own selves. Letting us understand the outcomes of our own strategies. It took us two years to develop a work culture where everybody is treated as equal and regarded for their contribution towards the website.
What are your expansion plans for SkyCandle? How are you aiming at expanding your catalogue?
We currently have 3500 SKUs and are constantly adding new innovative products on a daily basis. The Product Research team analyses the trends of customer needs and ever changing demands which enable us to come up with better designs and features. When it comes to expansion, we are aiming to go global this year. Venturing into global E-commerce marketplaces and testing waters on new shores would be exciting.
Similar to any business on the online front, SkyCandle too faces the crunches and challenges of handling timely delivery with exceptional logistics and manpower. By truly bringing innovation to the online space, the firm looks at adding a value proposition in the gifting space that comes second to none.
We at Pick My Story truly believe in Aditee’s vision and SkyCandle’s ideologies that are bound to personify the gifting space in the country. To check out their wide array of products, you can visit their website.
Do let us know what you think about our work by dropping a comment down here or send us a message on Facebook. Stay tuned and we will soon be here with some new stories to guide you through how to be an entrepreneur!
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