"From convincing individuals to making a team it all comes down to the communication skills we learnt at IIPM."
It’s not easy following your dreams but that is what differentiates the achievers from others. Meet Sachin Kumar who decided to tread the unbeaten path and follow his passion of not just building a brand but also helping the less fortunate and making a difference. It involved a lot of hard work and sacrifices (including giving up his dream job and the love of his life) but then it was all worth it and today this young entrepreneur is living his dreams and plans to expand his business and aims to reach a turnover of Rs 200 crores in a few years. Read on to see how he did it all.
Q. Tell us about your business ventures Sattuz and Bangletangle ?
A. We started “bangletangle” in 2016 and “Sattuz” in 2018. We had the vision to start various businesses which would originate out of Bihar and slowly establish them as worldwide brands.
First we started with handicrafts which actually have the biggest impact on rural women empowerment. Earlier “Mithila/Madhubani Painting” artists mostly women artists used to give their paintings to middle-men who would then sell these paintings in metro cities at high rates and pay the artists minimal amount and that too very late. We saw how much the poor women were being exploited.So we decided to do something about it.
We led the change and started giving jobs with pay and thus started “bangletangle”. Under this brand along with handmade paintings and other decorative items, we started production of handmade bangles also known as “Lehti/Churi”. Here again the same old scene was prevailing. We started by giving them cash against order which again was a big change in their lives. Directly or indirectly we impacted lives of many. Happy employees results in happy clients. Now customers are eagerly waiting for our monthly new designs release. Second phase of our plan was to get into the food business. Here again we came up with a big innovative leap. Sattu is a very famous health drink in our region and yet no company has ever thought of making it a brand as such We began to make “Sattuz”- an easy to make, take and carry food-drink which became an instant hit with the customers. People love its taste and have given us great feedback. We have already launched two flavours of Sattuz and are in the process of launching a new chocolate flavour Sattuz too.
Q. What have been the most difficult and the most rewarding moments in your journey ?
A. Most difficult moments were leaving Mumbai my dream city and leaving my job as a consultant which was also my dream career. But as it is said ...you have to give up the good to go for the best. Change is always difficult.
The most rewarding moments i must say are when I see my customers smile when they buy my products.
Q. You are known as the ‘Bihari Entrepreneur’. How did you get that name ?
A. That’s really a compliment for me as my friends during my college days and also while I was pursuing my management studies at IIPM used to call me by this name. So it has stuck on and I like being called a ‘Bihari Entrepreneur”.
Q. Tell us about your future plans.
A. That is actually most important to us as a team. We have set a target of achieving Rs.200 crore revenue by the end of 2021. We plan to launch Sattuz Cafes at major travel points in different cities and also sell our ‘Bangletangle’ branded handicraft items in that cafe.
By year 2019 we will start exports too. We also have projects lined up in the tourism sector.
Q. What is the best advice you ever got? From whom ?
A. “Dare to think beyond”...by the one and only our very own Arindam Sir.
Q. "Great leaders are also great speakers” Do you agree ? How did your personality development classes help you in your business ?
A. Yes. Ex-com and NEP classes actually helped me a lot. From convincing individuals to making a team it all comes down to the communication skills we learnt at IIPM. I would also like to mention that communicating while implementing change management is much more crucial.
Q. If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out what would it be ?
A. Build ...Test... Learn.... and Repeat. Be ready to change or be the change.
Q. What motivates you ?
A. My urge to make an impact both at the social level and economic level is what keeps me motivated.
Q. What makes you happy ?
A. Eating good food and reading books.
Q. What sacrifices have you had to make to become a successful entrepreneur ?
A. I left my dream job, my dream city and my girlfriend too for the love for my dream.
Q. What is the secret to your daily productivity ?
A. In the 24 hrs that I get in a day at least for 30 minutes I ensure that I am all alone and planning my next moves.
Q. Which other company apart from yours do you admire the most ?
A. TATA, Apple, Alphabet.
Q. Your favourite quote ?
A. That’s my own quote - ”I live for moments, work for quarters and build for generations.”
Q. Your favourite vacation spot ?
A. Switzerland (it includes many memories of IIPM’s GOTA trip)
Q. Your favourite dress ?
A. Kurta Pyjama
Q. Your favourite movie / song / book ?
A. a) Movie – Lagaan
b) Song – Ek din bik jayega maati k mol
c) Book – The Alchemist