Entrepreneurs: Kaushal Modi & Sukriti Agarwal
Business Name: Outbox
Welcome to Entrepreneurs of India #startupstories episode 94
We all love surprises. From birthday parties to proposals, there are a handful of surprising episodes in our life that we hold closer to heart. Kaushal Modi and Sukriti Agarwal, two friends from the bustling city of Kolkata, are in pursuit of spreading a surprising smile since 2014. Outbox, their startup, is a go-to place to give an exciting surprise to your dear ones.
Outbox is a surprise and experience planning platform. It offers over 150 surprises that include exotic proposals, helicopter chartering and private candle lit dinners. Where did they get this idea from? How does their business work? The founders share their exciting story.
1) How did you get your idea for this business?
The market for gifts always has and will exist. People are looking for different avenues to surprise their beloved. We sensed this opportunity during Christmas when we executed 10 Santa at your doorstep surprises during our first week of launch. Midnight surprises is another avenue where there was a huge potential when we started out. Personally, when we wanted to send gifts to someone, there was no portal offering personalised surprises and experiences.
2) Why is “now” a good time for this idea to exist?
‘Now’ is a good time for any business to start because of the ease of doing things. Technology has been so amazing, that people from as far as Iceland book personalised services for their relatives in Kolkata. India being a consumer driven economy, this generation doesn’t think twice before spending on valuable experiences
3) What was the reaction from your family when you first decided to become an entrepreneur?
We both being from business backgrounds, our family was extremely supportive and helpful when we decided to start out. Though they weren’t very convinced about the sustainability of the business initially, but with time and regular orders, we proved them otherwise
4) What was your biggest mistake in business and what did you learn from it?
Your team makes and breaks your business. We’ve had a few hiccups to get the right type of people in place to smoothen your operations and workflow. We’re glad we learnt this early on in our business career. Most of our efforts now are concentrated on getting the right talent to take this company further
5) What is your biggest obstacle in the next 12 months and how will you overcome it?
Our goal is to execute personalised surprises across all metros in India. Scaling a personalised service comes with its own challenges. The only way to overcome it is by getting the right partners/people in place
6) What habits contribute to your success?
Persistence to do the same thing over and over again in a better way
Passion to achieve something in life
Patience to face challenges in a calm and relaxed manner
7) If you had the opportunity to start this business again what would you do differently?
We could have started on a larger scale with more money and more people in the team. During our first year of operations our team size was restricted to just three people and we used to do all the work. Had we invested in capital and technology upfront, our growth could have been faster. Having said that, we have no regrets in whatever decision we took so far
8) What is your favourite inspirational quote?
You have to dream before your dreams can come true – APJ Abdul Kalam
9) Where do you find inspiration?
People inspire us more than anything else. Be it a tea vendor who sells 100 cups a day or famous startup founders in India, everyone has a story to share. These stories are inspiring
10) What is your favourite book?
The Content trap by Bharat Anand
Shoe Dog by Phil Knight
Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki
11) What advice would you give to someone starting out?
Start as soon as you can. If you really want to do something, you’ll find a way. If you don’t, you’ll find an excuse.
Sukriti and Kaushal explored new avenues in the market to unlock an opportunity in personalized gifting. They realised there were no portals that offered surprises and experiences. The intention of Outbox was to give a very unique experience to customers. As entrepreneurs, they have succeeded in creating an impact in the market.
Now Outbox has an extensive clientele in Kolkata. People know where to go when they want to set up a jaw-dropping surprise for their dear ones.
So the key to success in business always depends upon the value you give to your customers. Invest time to study your customers. That’s how you can understand what they are seeking. It helps you stay unique in your niche. Thank you Sukirti and Kaushal for sharing your amazing startup story.
You can check out Outbox on Instagram here!
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