Entrepreneur Bhagyashree Dixit shares her recipe of making interactive shopping an exciting experience with Prachi Rege
"When I was studying in class X, I won the first prize in a poster competition for literacy awareness from the President of India. Art, however, took a back seat when I decided to pursue IT engineering and later worked as an ERP professional. After a few years of working, I decided to pursue an MBA at the Indian School of Business (ISB). During my stint there, the chord with art came alive and the seed to start my venture SheepStop was sowed.
During my tenure as the president of Arts and Creativity club of ISB, I had invited artist Sanjay Bhattacharya to the campus to address students. It was then that I realised that artists have a limited market and reach; copyrights are hardly talked about and the recognition is minimal. I got an idea to set up a venture that values artists and their creativity.
Keeping this in mind, SheepStop went on the floor in September, 2009. Part of the business plan was to make an effort to change the perception of online shopping in India and also to start an eco-friendly brand that is affordable to masses.
Our business philosophy is to provide exceptional service to online shoppers so that they can enjoy the experience. The enjoyment comes from their involvement in the product creation and the handwritten “thank you” notes that add personal touch to their online shopping experience.
Our USP is our unique crowd-sourced designs and organic clothing that we provide at affordable prices. Challenges are part and parcel of any business. More so if you are looking for manufacturers to supply ‘tees’ made using organic yarn, dyes and processing.
Since, most of them have their order books overflowing with demand for synthetic and non organic cotton, we had to identify screen printers, who could work with our complex designs using water based inks, which requires intricate printing skills.
Reaching out to artists across the country remains a challenge, given the unconventional nature of this economic platform. Now, we have more or less managed to surpass these hurdles by using the right tactics. Our turnover improves every year and we are diversifying and expanding rapidly.
When you face challenges, only your passion for the business will get you through. My inspiration in the business world has undoubtedly been Steve Jobs. His passion to delight the end user by taking responsibility of the entire experience enthrals me. His meticulousness about the details of the product and design sensibility is something I can empathize with probably because I also saw my dad following the same principles in his business and it was imbibed in me right from childhood.
I follow the famous Apple commercial which states, “The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do”. My advice to youngsters is do what you love and believe in it wholly to see it materialise into something profitable.”