Entrepreneur: Akshay Patharkar
Business Name: The Biker Wolf
Welcome to #eoindia #startupstories Episode 34.
Each week we will ask a new Indian entrepreneur 11 questions so that we can all be inspired by their stories.
When your passion intersects with your job you have found true success. As the famous quote says “Find a job you love and you’ll never work a day in your life“. Today we intervew an entrepreneur who has done just that. He has taken his passion and created a business that uses that passion to create products that people love.
The Biker Wolf creates unique biker accessories from the most versatile and durable material known to us i.e., Leather. The products are tested on the road by the founder for a minimum period of 6 Months before launching so their durability comes guaranteed.
Akshay had visions of creating a startup after he graduated, but like many others he had to put that aside to get a regular job. However, his love towards biking introduced him to the whole new world of passionate people and their success stories which inspired Akshay to quit his Job and be an Entrepreneur.
Akshay says “Bikes were just a passion for me before starting but now have become an integral part of life. I am just getting started with the business and as I grow, biking products are now the highest priority for me.
1) How did you get your idea for this business?
I love to travel especially on my motorcycle. While riding to distant places I have always faced problems with carrying money and cards together, because all the conventional wallets themselves are bulky and thick, moreover cash and cards make them heavier. It also made me uncomfortable to sit on the saddle for long because of the thickness, using cards was also a problem because each time I open my wallet everyone had an open view of What’s In My Wallet. So came up with an idea why not to build a wallet specifically for travelling. I worked with many materials for my designs I found leather to be best and most versatile material for the purpose. And as they say, everything fell together and TheBikerWolf started the Ride.
2) Why is “now” a good time for this idea to exist?
Indian consumer has now become aware of the quality and is willing to try many new options available in market than going for big brands. Many face small problems in their daily routine like problem of carrying earphones while travelling without getting them tangled or forgetting the Daily Essentials while leaving I hurry.
Our products are designed to reduce such daily hassle that many are tired of. Selling online is the best option NOW because it allows me to reach to everyone right from Kashmir to Kanyakumari and is also easy for all to find because they don’t have to search the market, just go to the url and done!
3) What was the reaction from your family when you first decided to become an entrepreneur?
They weren’t convinced at the first when I put this Idea to them because I am a Computer Engineering Post Graduate and was Working as a Lecturer, and this concept of lifestyle leather accessories was no near to the stream I was flowing in, moreover quitting a Job in crucial career years would be a major risk, they believed.
But I was able to convince them with just a few Statistical Reports, that’s what Engineers are good at actually! And now when I have started the venture they are as excited as I am, even more I could say.
4) What was your biggest mistake in business and what did you learn from it?
There are many big mistakes that I made, but the biggest that led all was to do everything by my own.
It’s very lonely road when someone is working single handedly, there are only a few people you can talk to about your ideas, problems, plans and much more. A small mistake in one phase will always get replicated in all other following stages, so better is to have someone with you who could share the load.
This taught me that It’s better to divide the task, it’ll definitely multiply success.
5) What is your biggest obstacle in the next 12 months and how will you overcome it?
Since all the products are exclusively handcrafted right from the first cut to last stitch by myself, expanding the sales in near future is the biggest obstacle I see.
Using machines will definitely increase manufacturing numbers but I believe that Machines have no Souls at all. Mass produced products are all same in every aspect and they are rarely inspected for detailing in each piece, however a Purely Handcrafted product undergoes quality testing at each stage whether it be cutting, stitching or even stamping which makes them unique. I don’t want to confirm in Demand and Supply business model and that I guess will limit the expansion of the business to a wider audience. But that will raise new labor requirements which will definitely help the growth of My Business and local crafters too.
6) What habits contribute to your success
DIYs and Self Evaluation. Whenever I couldn’t find the exact product I want, I try to make one. I found leather to be the best material and chose to work with it. Since I own handcraft all product, Self Evaluation has helped me a lot in refining the designs and final products as I inspect them at every stage for minute details and revise if something doesn’t look as expected. I have always believed that Solution is always around the corner, you just have to lean to find it.
7) If you had the opportunity to start this business again what would you do differently?
I am quite happy with the start but if I get another chance for the same I would first work for audience build up through social media Marketing, especially Instagram, and then launch all products. Because To Be Successful You Have To Sell The Problem You Solved and Not The Product.
To Be Successful You Have To Sell The Problem You Solved and Not The Product.
8) What is your favourite inspirational quote?
It doesn’t come from any famous person actually but I am inspired by the word that
Dreams which don’t scare you aren’t big enough.
9) Where do you find inspiration?
From the stories of entrepreneurs, whether it be a success story or a failure story, it inspires me in a positive way.
Success stories teach what they did to be successful, their habits, inspiration, struggle, strategy, planning, execution plan everything teaches a lot. And failure stories teach the same along with Where Did They Go Wrong.
10) What is your favourite book?
I don’t read much books to be honest, but the one that I have read to last page is Steve Jobs. Rather my favourite is a Web Series, TVF Pitchers and I find it no less than a great book.
11) What advice would you give to someone starting out?
Don’t hurry into anything, take your time to find the best before starting. It’s better to be late than to deliver a poor product.
Secondly don’t repeat my mistake of working alone, have someone with you in the process, a team will have greater number of solutions than an individual.
And most importantly don’t dream Small, because the Biggest Mistake a Small Business does is to Think like a Small Business.
Akshay shows that it is possible to take your passion and turn it into a business. It may not be an easy road and you will be promised many ups and downs, but you are also promised a business that gives you joy and life. If you can manage to make it profitable you have created the dream life for yourself, that is truly a success.
We really like Akshays advice for others – DONT DREAM SMALL. You will never build a big business by dreaming small. DREAM BIG.
Thank you Akshay so much for taking the time and sharing your startup journey with us. Please check out the The Biker Wolf’s website or Facebook page to get connected with them. You can buy their cool Indian biker accessories online via their website. We wish them every success as they grow their product range and business.
As usual, don’t forget to check out the recommended reading below. They come recommended for a reason!