Today, we interview the man behind one of India’s fastest-growing online fabric stores – Kantagiri India. The company crossed 1-crore mark last year with 0 rupee spent in promotions and advertising.
Aman talks about what it takes to build such a business at a young age and scaling it amidst a diving global economy.
Interviewer: How did you get the idea about starting something like KANTAGIRI?
Aman: I come from a family that managed a textile-related retail business. When I was around 13, I had the instinct of doing business and was clear that business is something I want to proceed with but I had no clue where to begin.
I didn’t want to get into retail and wanted to become a real businessman, not a self-employed shopkeeper. Had a bunch of ideas I dabbled with including dropshipping, print-on-demand, but never had much of a success with it.
However, by trying my hands-on different things I was becoming affluent with technology. I was gaining skills that would help me propel myself forward. After failing 2-3 times, I realized that if I want to build a scalable internet-based business, I need to learn at least one of the programming languages.
When I wanted to build an ecom website, the development costs in the market was around 1-3 lakhs just to get started. To hire someone and pay them 30-40k a month was out of question for me. But I read somewhere “even Elon mastered rocket science by reading books and starting SpaceX”, this was still programming, that doesn’t stand a chance against rocket science.
I burnt midnight oil and learnt about website development, logo designing, SKU and stock management, GST compliance, logistics integration. After 2-3 months doing so, Kantagiri went online but lacked meaningful sales, to bring together organic traffic and convert customers, achieved after a series of difficulties.
What are the difficulties you faced or continue to fact with your startup?
The initial 6 months of Kantagiri were absolutely brutal.
I had started a YouTube channel around Kantagiri but it was heartbreaking to see they weren’t gaining any views.
I slowly realized that I was doing the same thing my competitors were doing in an overly-saturated market – there was no differentiator. I started conversing with my customers, checking YouTube comments on regular basis and realized that not having Cash-on-Delivery was the biggest pain point for most of our customers.
We were a new company in the market and no payment integrator was interested in giving us the privilege of offering CoD to our customers. After a lot of research and back-and-forth, I came across a courier provider that allowed to offer CoD after a contractual agreement.
After that, we moved ahead with our top-notch customer service, free shipping, easy returns and the business grew fast.
Where does Kantagiri stand today?
We’ve been doing good. We have excellent customer feedback, customers who come back to make their purchases with us. The numbers are good too. We believe this is a good time to be looking outside, raise funds, and scale Kantagiri to the absolute next level.
In 5 years, we aim to make Kantagiri a leader in Indian fabric industry. And we’d love to have you be a part of our journey.
Links to Kantagiri India:
YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/c/KantaGiri/videos