Interview with the team of Utpatang

[This interview is sponsored by workspot.in , India’s leading aggregator of co-working spaces, meeting rooms and shared offices. If you have additional office space and are looking to rent it, please do list it on workspot.in. If you are looking for space for your startup, do visit workspot.in]

 

The start-up scene in India has seen a tremendous boom in the last couple of years. We are witnessing an era of an ever increasing number of start-ups, all set to transform some or the other sector. Among this growing number of start-ups is another unique start-up that is transforming the workspace for these start-ups. Utpatang is an online creative merchandising firm which is purely dedicated to the entrepreneurial spirit. The company began operations as a brand communications agency in 2009 but soon realized that there is a need of a company giving crazy merchandize options for workspaces and Utpatang was born in 2015.

It is the first ever store that is focusing on the designing and creation of wonderful products for the start-up workspace. The Utpatang team believes that it is crazy to take the not so obvious path of entrepreneurship and they salute this spirit. This is the reason they have used a word which would mean crazy, bizarre, weird, unusual, etc. as their brand name, Utpatang.

So let’s explore more about Utpatang and the team that is behind it.

What motivated you to start the company and what is it all about?

If you want to buy something online for your home, you know where to go. If you want to buy something for yourself like apparels or shoes, you again have loads of options, but when you want to buy something for your workspace, all you could think of is Posters. We want to give people crazy options for their work place ideated to inspire and motivate.

Our readers would like to know about your core team and their roles?

We are a 6-year-old brand communication agency and our current core team comprises of a set of self-driven people who have been with us since the very beginning. We dreamt, conceptualized, shaped and gave birth to Utpatang together. Our team is one of the biggest strengths of our brand.

What is the current Team Size?

We are 6 Utpatang Heads working together.

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How did you hire your initial team?

We have made only two hirings for Utpatang, the rest of us have started together. As co-founders of the company, Tarun and I strongly believe that a strong core team can make mountains move, and we have seen that happen.

Which recruiting channels work best for you?
Referrals/Job Boards/ Staffing Agencies?

Referrals have worked the best for us while staffing agencies the worst. In my past 6 years of start-up experience I’ve had many agency associations to help us with hiring and they have all failed terribly. I go with my network to spread the word via social media and most of my hiring has been successful that way.

What are the key factors that you look for in a potential candidate?

No matter what we look for, it’s rarely visible in the first meet. But over a period of time, we have started developing a 6th sense after conducting n number of interviews across different profiles. We just make sure that the person understands his work, has pulled off few projects well enough which he can explain to us with details and is not trying out options but is focused on things. All of these can be assessed with the right kind of questions and a good conversation. The Mantra however is to listen more and ask less.

According to you how much is the competition in your vertical? How big is the industry? Who all are your competitors and what are your views on them?

We are not competing with everyone who is into our category of products. The industry size is however as big as the total number of new age workplaces. The ones that invest on ensuring that their work place is motivating enough for the people who spend around 8-10 hrs of the day working and ideating.

There are many creative people in this field and they are doing a great work. Having said that, we stay away from making anything and everything and ensure that ‘originality in content’ always remains as one of our key aspects. Our primary focus is on creating merchandise with relevance.

What are your marketing strategies? Do you take help of Social platforms to promote? Which channels have been very effective and which have been super flops?

The best marketing strategy is to try reaching out to your initial customers individually and make them spread the word about you. If your product is different and good, it’s likely that they would share it with the peers. Social Media is good to take feedback and make people aware about your brand. However, the real selling happens when you create value through an integrated brand communication. This is your content, design, videos, digital commn, website interface, product experience, word-of-mouth, marketing strategy, partnerships and seamless delivery, etc all coming together to work out wonders for you.  Nothing is a flop if you plan for the medium instead of just copy pasting your strategies across all medium.

What has been your experience with paid marketing channels?

They suck the money out of you with little results if you don’t play it well. 🙂

Can you elaborate on the Challenges in promoting your website/ App?

Bringing relevant traffic to a website is perhaps one of the biggest challenges for any online market-place, particularly when you are dealing with a market of which everyone is trying to have a piece. Our challenge is half met with our positioning and relevance of products which targets the growing startup ecosystem and workplaces that look for real stuff for motivation. We are steering our marketing plans towards traffic generation to start with and then conversion to take it ahead.

What is the current traction? Can you share some numbers on Usage and Revenue?

The traction for us right now is to be known in the Startup Circle and we are glad that we are hitting it right to reach there. Within three months of launch we have impressive tie-ups with noticeable startups like Chaayos, Sheroes, etc. We are also tying up with co-working spaces for meeting bulk demands. Considering the need and regular demand of our audience to get the feel of the product, we have just launched our first physical store. Additionally, Utpatang products will be available at more and more events, beginning with Comic Con Delhi this December. The sole reason for fast pace traction at Utpatang is its inspiring yet amazingly captivating products.

Based on your experience would have any advice to new Entrepreneurs/Startups?

Don’t wait for too long to test your products in the market. Launch with a basic prototype and keep tweaking with real response and feedback from your customers. This is one thing which has helped us to a great extent.

 

[This interview is sponsored by workspot.in , India’s leading aggregator of co-working spaces, meeting rooms and shared offices. If you have additional office space and are looking to rent it, please do list it on workspot.in. If you are looking for space for your startup, do visit workspot.in]

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