India Startup Stories – Episode 27 – Dennison | Ashwini Seth

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Aswini Seth

Entrepreneur Name: Ashwini Seth

Business Name: Dennison

Welcome to #eoindia #startupstories Episode 27.

Each week we will ask an Indian entrepreneur 11 questions so that we can all be inspired by their stories.

The arrival of e-commerce in India has created many opportunities for small and medium businesses. No longer are you restricted to your local town or market. Suddenly the whole of India and wider world has become your potential customer.

But these opportunities are only for those that have the vision and make the necessary adjustments to their business model in order to enable success in the online word.

Today we talk to once such entrepreneurs, Ashwini Seth (@ashwiniseth09) and learn how he has taken an existing local brand, from a regional city, to become a national presence with the help of technology and e-commerce. Dennison was started in 1998 in Gwalior , but now Aswini and his team competes against the biggest brands in selling their goods online. This is someone who has seen the opportunities of the internet, made the neccesary changes to their model and reaped the rewards.

Let’s meet Aswini Seth and hear his story. Welcome to EO India…

1) How did you get your idea for this business?

Like most of us, I am also ambitious and there has always been an urge to do something in my life. So this is where it  started with all struggle coming on my way and I will not say that what I am working on is a new idea I would rather say  my team has been working on revamping my traditional business to the modernization of it. Dennison came from local apparel store in tier 2 city to become a national level brand. Well this happened with the idea of using technology and yes it is the power of e-commerce and rapid shift in purchase behavior of buyer and consumer helped us to reach in every part of the country.

Our concept and aspiration are dressing smart and to the occasion should not only be the sole right of the highly privileged section of the society. The middle class and the general population too should have a similar if not equal access to a smart looking shirt and a decent set of clothing and with affordable prices.

IT IS THE POWER OF E-COMMERCE AND RAPID SHIFT IN PURCHASE BEHAVIOR OF BUYER AND CONSUMER HELPED US TO REACH IN EVERY PART OF THE COUNTRY.

2) Why is “now” a good time for this idea to exist?

Well my Idea is fashionable clothing for everyone and people now understand fashion trends better as the internet and social Media penetration has increased. When I started this business in 2014 , Ecommerce  was booming at  its best and my idea was to reach masses in India and to launch a Mens Apparel Brand across India it would have been a minimum invest of $ 4-5 millions to establish offline brand.

But as I told you e-commerces was at its best so we started our venture and launched our Apparels in Ecommerce martketplaces like Snapdeal, Amazon, Flipkart, Myntra, Jabong , LimeRoad etc. I took years  to establish as a Brand in Ecommerce Space but now people started knowing as a established brand which provides good fashion in affordable prices.

3) What was the reaction from your family when you first decided to become an entrepreneur?

I  think today also they don’t understand what does entrepreneur mean and they just understand I am selling clothes. Yes when I told them I am going to sell clothes online they acted like one my best critics and asked how will you make your survival. Good thing is when they saw my business running and showed positive signs they supported me.

Taking orders at the Dennison Office

3) What was the reaction from your family when you first decided to become an entrepreneur?

I  think today also they don’t understand what does entrepreneur mean and they just understand I am selling clothes. Yes when I told them I am going to sell clothes online they acted like one my best critics and asked how will you make your survival. Good thing is when they saw my business running and showed positive signs they supported me.

4) What was your biggest failure in business and what did you learn from it?

There are lot of failures which you face while doing business.I think monetary loss and bad decision are a part of being successful business but I will put light on one of my  failure which is based on ethics which made me independent and more confident of being what I have to be.

It was when I lost my Mentor and Inspiration due to personal difference in very short span of time. At this point there was feeling of lost man, sense of happiness for what I was doing was not anymore in me  as there  was nothing inspiring me further or the inspiration because of which I came so far. I started feeling what’s the point of being successful when there is nothing to inspire you and there was no one to ask for guidance when you find yourself in diffulculties.

I think Mentorship and Inspiration goes parallel in order to do something in your life for a long term as it hold you for what you are doing. When I look around and saw people working for me and It was time where I made my decision and faced the consequences of the outcomes of it. This is point where I started believing in myself more than ever and became more practical towards my approach.

5) What is your biggest obstacle in the next 12 months and how will you overcome it?

My next biggest obstacle is to establish my brand in Physical World i.e Sales & Distribution Channel as it more complicated and extremely hard to penetrated in market when you don’t have single penny as investment and where everything is bootstrapped.

We are coming with a strategy of Shop In Shop Model where we will be targeting 25 stores across North India in Phase1 and atleast 100 Multi Brand outlets under our Retail Network Channel. We believe this is the best way to approach in Offline Market in India with least Capital requirement. Also another one is to setup an office in Delhi and hope we may do it soon.

6) What habits contribute to your success?

Well I still don’t know how to measure success  but yes what contributed to make my business running is Planning and its Excecution strategy, Ready to take responsibility for any outcomes.

7) If you had the opportunity to start this business again what would you do differently?

You always make a difference when you start over something again as you carry more experience. .Well in this case I would start same business in Metro city like Delhi, Mumbai or Bengaluru. We lack infrastructure, talent, and opportunities being based out in Gwalior.

8) What is your favourite inspirational quote ?

Be you.

9) Where do you find inspiration?

I find my inspiration in common man around me, you can say in there daily struggle, dreams, in their preferences, sometimes in a bond between humans. I mean I can be inspired with anything now which enlightened me from inside.

10) What is your favourite book?

Well to be genuine I don’t read books but yes I read once The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand.It helped me a lot personally.

11) What advice would you give to someone starting out?

My piece of advice would be to have a practical idea with real world application and it should impact huge chunk  of society. One should not get in starting up a business just because its in trends because it stakes lots of life and there dreams with you . In the end Madness needs to there whatever you starting up –  I mean falling love with something for longlife.

As usual a big thank you to Ashwini for the open and honest interview. We trust that your this story will inspire others to take the plunge of joining the world of e-commerce and reaching out to a larger audience

If you are looking for high quality menswear then please check out their website or Facebook page and get shopping

Don’t forget to check out the recommended books below. Until next week… keep working.

Ashwini’s recommended Book of the Week

EOIndia Book of the Week

Web Hosting

2 COMMENTS

  1. Well done Ashwini……u r an inspiring personality…..the best part I found and learn from ur interview is “be u”……all de best dear……keep going….

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