Bored of their IT Jobs, how Ganesh Bhat & Akshay Nagaraj created 'Twach' - a Fashion accessory brand
Growing up in a small town called Kumbla (the same place that the top cricketer Mr. Anil Kumble hails from), Ganesh Bhat became a cricket fanatic. He lived the sport through his entire school life. However, something inside him changed when he saw that many artists from his town created successful careers for themselves in major advertising firms. This was the starting point for Ganesh's love for design. He believes that his decision to take up Mechanical Engineering rooted from the same.
After completing his Bachelor's degree, Ganesh joined Cognizant. It was at this company, that his colleague and now co-founder Akshay Nagaraj walked up to him to discuss the idea of 'Twach'. It did not take Ganesh more than a couple of minutes to say yes. His dream of transforming his own designs into reality was going to be a reality soon.
Today, 'Twach' serves 10 corporate houses and have about 3000-4000 unique visitors per month with a conversion rate of 2-3 percent. They say that their products appeal to both urban mainstream and the artsy consumers.
In this exclusive interview with CrazyEngineers, we got Ganesh Bhat to talk about his venture and share his entrepreneurial journey. Read on!
Ganesh Bhat, Co-Founder & CEO - Twachstore.com
CE: What made you leave IT industry and jump into fashion & accessories industry?
Ganesh Bhat: How common is it for an I.T engineer to be bored of his job and how exciting is it when your colleague shares the same boredom.This shared view drove me and Akshay (co-founder) to take short trips on weekends to escape the weekday life.
These trips helped us explore and live different culture of our beautiful country. The amount of variety each place possessed, in terms of the art forms, the story of each place, the local cuisine, indigenous materials were all new to us and upon sharing our experience with a lot of other people, did we realize that there were scores of people who like us who were unaware.
We envisioned to showcase these on accessories since they are most frequently used. Also, branded players in this segment are a handful, the opportunity was massive.
Akshay Nagaraj, Co-Founder - Twachstore.com
CE: What does the word 'Twach' mean?
Ganesh Bhat: Twach which means ‘Leather’ in Sanskrit. It is a fashion accessory brand based out of Bangalore.
CE: Who inspired you the most to manage the company the way you do, and to define the culture the company has?
We always have been inspired by traditional businesses which look to build a solid foundation before constructing skyscrapers.
So we operate traditionally but infuse an open culture at our workplace. Our people are not bound by our thoughts, they have a free hand to express their views and we do ‘listen’.
CE: How many transactions do you do on a typical day? Tell us a story about the team being overwhelmed by the response.
Ganesh Bhat: Our daily transaction is a concoction of B2C sales and B2B orders, so there is no fixed number. We have a good corporate clientele and our userbase for the brand is increasing at a good pace.
CE: What is the revenue model for Twach?
Ganesh Bhat: Twach has opened up quite a few channels off late and most of them are yielding results. Apart from our own web store, we are doing pretty well on marketplaces and corporate orders bring a chunk of the revenues.
CE: What's the most important thing you're working on right now, and how are you making it happen?
Ganesh Bhat: We are super excited for our next collection and are sure you guys will love it too. Keep a tab on www.twachstore.com.
CE: What's the hardest decision you've made so far?
Ganesh Bhat: The hardest decision has been to stick to our motto of growing organically.
It gets tough, but over the long run, we are confident it will yield the desired results and a loyal consumer base.
CE: How has the startup impacted your family, social life, or relationships? How have you changed as a result?
Ganesh Bhat: Priorities have certainly changed. Work is always at the back of the mind and most discussions revolve around it. Family has been extremely supportive, they understand that we are heading towards something big. But yes, social life (have heard this somewhere ). That says it all.
CE: How does your company develop talent?
Ganesh Bhat: Our people have the freedom to try their hands at different things apart from their routine work and surprisingly they excel in them. This has not only helped them identify their strength outside their core area but also gives us a backup resource
CE: In your opinion which is more rewarding: making your startup a success, or being able to continue keeping it successful?
Ganesh Bhat: I would call it a ‘success’ when it is sustained. So yes, continuing to keep it successful is more rewarding.
CE: Thank you for your time. Any message for your readers?
Ganesh Bhat: Do not get carried away with things around you, just work hard, follow basic principles and you would be surprised with what you have achieved.
Definition of success in realistic world is always about the scale achieved, long term market leadership and most importantly the possible returns in the exit which could usually be around 7 to 8 years.Shiju RadhakrishnaniTraveller