Washington: A technology company founded by an Indian-American at the age of 19 has emerged as the largest online seller of silicon wrist band in the US.
Mumbai-born and Houston-raised Azim Makanojiya founded Wrist-Band.Com when he was a full-time student attending the University of Houston and was also financially supporting his family.
After just one year in business, Wrist-Band.Com pulled in over USD 6.9 million, a statement said.
It was at a trade show in China where the silicone bracelets caught the attention of Makanojiya.
"I was amazed by how much one could customise the product," Makanojiya said in a statement.
"There was not a single site in the US where individuals could tailor bands online. So I created a site that gave the customer the freedom to decorate a band anyway they liked," he added.
Take the popular LIVESTRONG wristbands idea, make them customisable and deliver them to the hands of consumers, he said.
From molding and tooling to identifying product demand through AdWords, Makanojiya thoroughly researched every anticipated aspect of the business.
Starting with a limited budget, Makanojiya was challenged with running a separate business and managing a new venture.
"At that time, it was just a startup. I still had to maintain my original business, which was a pretty good chunk of my family income," Makanojiya explained.
"My family was not financially well and they relied on my income. That was the dilemma. Should I focus more on the startup or on what I was currently doing?" he said.
Before a platform was developed Makanojiya and his two-men team were taking orders over the phone, jotting them down on an order sheet that they created and submitting orders every night.
The small idea evolved into one of the fastest growing promotional product manufacturers in the industry.
"The only reason that this could happen at a very fast pace, from my point of view, was because we had the drive," Makanojiya said.
In 2011, they were inducted into the prestigious elite inc 500 companies, coming in at number 31 and continues to be one of Houston's fastest growing technology companies.
"The interesting part of our company is that we are not a manufacturing company. We tell everyone that we make wristbands but the beauty of our company is we are a technology company. We don't have a single equipment that touches the product. If you order a product from us, we don't touch it," Makanojiya said.
"We're a technology company and we're basically providing that portal for you to place your order and get your products seamlessly," he added.