A mother’s care is unconditional, A mother’s love is unlimited, little did we know how this selfless being also deserves comfort. A venture that aims in making life wonderful for women in motherhood is IMPORTIKAAH. IMPORTIKAAH makes comfort comfortable by Giving hundreds of different products to thousands of women, especially in India. IMPORTIKAAH is a self-made brand. Where it lives up to its expectations not only in means of quality but also in means of service. In this new generation where anyone could start a business in haste and dream to be successful, some fewer people believe in real growth because they know this is how you stay. We know that ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day’.
A business runs successfully only when you give it time to settle and grow, and how amazing it is to see that IMPORTIKAAH is one such venture that firmly believes in complete inside out development. And this generation does require such ventures that choose quality over quantity. IMPORTIKAAH helps women in wearing their best selves and portraying the lionesses they are! A dream to chase, A determination to make a change is the foundation of such a venture and how beautiful it is, to see it standing tall and strong!
Let’s see the interview with the man who lived by these words ” don’t follow your passion, invest in it” and succeeded in making its name known to the world.
Inventiva: What is the Name of Your Venture? Any specific reason for this name?
Sahir: Our venture name is IMPORTIKAAH the reason why we coined this name, initially was at that time we used to only import innovative products to India but later with the launch of MAKE IN INDIA by the Government. We Started focusing on generating our innovative products in India only.
Now we have reduced the import to less than 10%.
Inventiva: Who is your target Audience/clients?
Sahir: We started with multiple categories to sell online and to diversify our business revenue. But now we are mainly targeting Women in the wonderful journey of motherhood (age range of 28 to 40 years).
Our main product in this category is IMPORTIKAAH 3in 1 Postpartum belt, Instant Tummy Tuck Slim Waist Belt Body Shaper, and Anti Aging Natural Jade Facial Roller Healing Slimming Massager.
Inventiva: Where is your venture based (city, state, country) & What are your geographical target areas?
Sahir: Our Companys’s headquarter is based in Belgaum, Karnataka, India Geographical target areas are Southern India for this Phase. Although we have Constant customers all over India and Gulf countries like Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar.
Inventiva: What problems does your venture resolve? What are your products or services?
Sahir: We are just dealing with products that are problem-solving for our customer needs. The top sellers each month are products related to Pregnant and post-pregnant ladies (IMPORTIKAAH 3 in 1 postpartum belt.). Other products with constant needs in every house are waist pain bands, knee pads for elders.
Inventiva: Share the idea or story behind the venture. How did it come to existence? What motivated you to start your venture?
Sahir: I started IMPORTIKAAH in 2013 after working for one year at ICICI Prudential. It was always my dream to be an entrepreneur. To chase my dreams, I took the big step and left my job. As the new entrepreneur in me was ready to take that leap of faith.
In my job at that time, I couldn’t understand what I was doing as my ideas/ imagination was not being entertained or they cannot be implemented in that time frame. Though I was in a position where my ideas and plans cannot reach the CEO of the company. That was the time I realized it’s not the place where I want to be.
If I could sum up my core strength is my Imagination and innovation in any circumstances which lead to success. With the support of my parents and my saving from my current job, I started my Venture as that was the right time to hit that step.
Inventiva: Who are your biggest competitors and how do you differentiate yourself from them?
Sahir: To be frank we are our biggest competitors yes for sure some other companies are selling some of the same products as we do. But eventually what matters is quality and services.
We ensure to give our best quality products and to never let our customer expectations down. The ideology is to launch those products that add value to the people’s lifestyle and if by any chance we are still lacking anywhere. We value our customers’ voices and post retrospecting we work accordingly.
That’s why we are being the first choice of our customers.
Inventiva: How did you identify your co-founder? Tell us something about your co-founder/s
Sahir: Right now, we have no co-founder in the company but yes we consider and treat our employees as our co-founders. I appreciate my team as they give their fullest and maximum potential to the company.
Inventiva: How did you hire your first team members? What skills do you want in your employees/team workers?
Sahir: Every entrepreneur’s first employee hiring is always a mistake due to lack of knowledge and even I made a mistake on my first hiring then I had to fire the person but it made me learn what exactly is a person I want for the company’s growth.
I simply prefer that person who is self-motivated and I don’t have to spend my time on motivating them. If this is the area I have to work on the staff then they are advised to leave immediately. I like to work with people who are full of energy, have the desire to learn new things. These kinds of people can be trained for any skill.
Another main talent I am keen to know about my employees is their power of imagination alone with the ability to make things in action. With the desire to achieve things people can grow gradually and this, I have seen in my every team member till now.
Inventiva: What expansion plans are you looking for in the next 2 years, next 5 years?
Sahir: Currently, we are at a stable stage of our business and it is allowing us to explore new categories of products. As said before we are looking forward to launching products focusing on Women. I don’t believe in long term plans for the business.
“What I believe is to make sure what we are doing right now should be the best thing at that time. It will eventually make us a bigger brand in the coming years”
Inventiva: Where do you want to see yourself in the next 10 years?
Sahir: As an Entrepreneur, I have never seen anything for myself. My main focus is to make IMPORTIKAAH a most trusted brand in every category in the next decade. We are here in this battle to make sure we are adding value in the people’s life be it our customers or people working with us. After 10 years If all these people say that I have added value in their life and it makes them happy to be around me and dealing with our brand IMPORTIKAAH that would be the biggest achievement of my life. I started IMPORTIKAAH to make a living for myself as I had left my job in 2012 and started the business in 2013.
But things started changing slowly. My mindset was different after 2 years of the business when I had enough of earnings I started looking further for value addition in people’s life. Not thinking just about money and completely working on prioritizing our customers and our employees. You would find us one of the dominant brands after 10 years.
Inventiva: What are your immediate goals over the next 1, 3, 6, and 12 months?
Sahir: Due to covid19, we are just focusing to sustain and keep the business stable in the market doing something innovative will just backfire and will end up spending a lot of money. It’s better to save the money for the good times to come. We are being proactive with our plans for post-COVID there is depression among the entrepreneurs but I would just advise them that try to sustain any way to make your products easily accessible to the customers till the vaccination comes.
Inventiva: Have you raised any funding? Or have any plans for the funding?
Sahir: We haven’t raised any money but yes, we have prepared some of our investors to be a part of our supply chain. In the current scenario, we prefer to make the investor a part of the business operations as he should be aware of ups and downs. I have seen that due to a lot of pressure from the investor’s entrepreneurs lose their plot from the business. I am sure enough I won’t let any investor pressurize me. My terms would be clear: be a part of the business and be passionate about what we are doing.
As I don’t believe in aggressive growth where you are not able to make your present customers happy. So, I would raise funds as it’s a better option than bank loans.
Inventiva: What were the problems you faced during the starting days and how did you resolve them?
Sahir: My initial stage in the business. When I left my job in 2012 on November 30 I was searching for a job. Later I was selected by almost all the companies I was interviewed but still, it was not making me satisfied. I always wanted to start my own business. I decided to start my business I just had 2700 rs from my savings left I found that after Nirbhayas rape case females were worried to walk alone on the streets so I first bought some 10 Chilli pepper spray bottles from a manufacturer struggling hard to negotiate with him on such a low quantity. But somehow, he agreed. I distributed it in a college, supermarket, and a cosmetic shop in the market. I was damn sure we will sell that in a day but eventually, it took almost a month to recover that money the sale was too slow girls found it not worth to buy though the product was the best this is where in practice, you get to know your best idea is sometimes the worst idea this is what you call CUSTOMER SIGNAL.
Eventually, I ordered some sample products from the overseas manufacturers worth 1500 left with me that were hard to negotiate with a supplier to get that product in 10 pieces but even he agreed later. That product turned out to be a hit. It was a height elevator product for men. I first started selling on Olx and started dealing with the customers on calls. It was fun. The biggest challenge here was to manage the cash flow of the turnover in just 1500 rs whatever profits I was getting. I was adding to that principle and ordering the same product repeatedly. It was tough to manage
my finances during those days. I stopped going out with my friends so that I don’t spend a single penny extra out of my business. Then I started investing in new products within 3 months of the business and this is how it worked for me. Sometimes you have to sacrifice your desires and wants to sustain your business. As later you would have earned enough to spend.
My parents have always supported me in achieving my goals and dreams and now my wife is supporting me with various departments of the business since we couldn’t hire people for packaging initially my Father and Mother always supported me in packing the parcels for the customers, Some new entrepreneurs are not being supported by their parents but parents moral support is very important for their children’s to stand strong. I request all the parents to let your child fly. Let them do what they are serious about just supporting them trust me they will do miracles.
Since then till now I have faced many challenges but I was and I am now tough enough to face and take any challenge as I have seen the worst time in my initial stage of the business which has made me tougher to manage things in a very smooth way. There is a lot more to be achieved and IMPORTIKAAH is ready for it. Bring It On!
Inventiva: What was the most challenging part of your journey till now? How did you overcome those challenges?
Sahir: The most challenging part was when I realized I have reached my 100% potential of giving to the business I was not able to think innovatively and couldn’t imagine in a better way. It wasn’t difficult to overcome those challenges. I started reading books and applying for online courses to improve my skills and get ready for the tough times. Learning is like an energy drink for me to run the business smoothly hence everyone should learn at the right time whether it’s an entrepreneur or an intrapreneur.
Inventiva: What are your hobbies? What do you do in your non-work time?
Sahir: Playing video games was my hobby. I try to play video games if I get time But these days I prefer to read or learn something new in my non-working hours.
Inventiva: Whom do you consider your idol or biggest motivator?
Sahir: Dan Lok a business coach from Hong-kong and based in Canada.
Inventiva: What do you feel is the major difference between entrepreneurs and those who work for someone else?
Sahir: Passion towards their work an entrepreneur is doing what he likes so he is energetic and passionate. An employee who has not found his or her strength and work forcefully just to make a living will always struggle to climb the success ladder An employee who is working as per his strength will always turn out to be an intrapreneur. There is no difference between an entrepreneur or people working for someone else as far as they are passionate about their job.
Inventiva: If you had the chance to start your career over again, what would you do differently?
Sahir: I would start the same business again with no money at all and would test myself how I can manage things in a better way that happened in the past. When I turn back and see my past I feel that I played a game to be here and I would love to play that game again. At that time it was a tough time which has turned into a game for me now. I am an experienced gamer of eCommerce business. It would be a cakewalk for sure now.
Inventiva: How has been an entrepreneur affected your family & Social life?
Sahir: You have to sacrifice something if you are passionate about something I didn’t see any changes or anything affected in my family life as people around me are supportive of my passion my parents and my wife always supported me for my dreams. As far as social life I set only a single day in a week or 15 days to meet my friends. It’s really up to us how we balance out our life.
Inventiva: Anything, you would like to say to our readers or upcoming entrepreneurs?
Sahir: All the entrepreneurs out there take small steps to learn and then time will teach you to make decisions in the right way. This is some of my learning I would share with all the upcoming entrepreneurs.
Try not to invest all your money in one product.
Just don’t be crazy about investors in your initial stage. Invest your own money once you earn confidence and attitude toward achieving goals like a gamer.
This is the attitude that investors are looking for. Invest in yourself investors will come running towards you don’t let investors pressurize you to work the business in their way to generate huge revenue in a short period. Investors are meant to multiply money and that won’t make sure you are retaining customers. The J curve will only emerge in the business when you have sustained your business for a sufficient period only then sustainable exponential growth happens.
Investors have no interest in your super idea they have only interest in your attitude to make plans work out in the right way.
Products don’t sell by itself you need to have a budget for marketing your product and a talent to reach your target audience.
Branding is everything; this is what will make your product sell by itself at a later stage when you sit along with your happy customers. Branding is your track of records. It doesn’t come easily to you.
Make sure you are passionate about being an entrepreneur. We have seen many failed entrepreneurs just in the craze of becoming a boss. Make a note that entrepreneurship is another day to day job but it has no time to just forget about the freedom you have to be ready 24*7. In any situation be clear about this it’s a high-pressure job.
Hone your skills at every stage of your life. Business is looking for a chance to throw out an unskilled worker whether it’s an entrepreneur or an employee. It’s your skills that will gain you respect and success; it only comes through learning.
Talk less, do more … Believe in 80/20 Pareto principle that works.
Make sure you focus only on 2 to 3 tasks every day for just 3 hours or 4 hours max no more than this as it’s the max and best productive you can be. You have to do the most important things every day in these 3 to 4 hours which will only help you grow your business. rest tasks can be done in an impromptu way
Inventiva: Tell us something about your education & family background.
Sahir: I have pursued a Bachelor of computer application B.C.A and later did Distance learning in MBA. My father and mother are graduate holders, My father is a business man and my Elder sister is an MBA working in the USA and the younger sister is an Engineer in architecture working in a leading architecture firm. My wife is a postgraduate helping me in my business. We belong to an educated family who works hard to earn our bread and butter.
Inventiva: What is your USP which makes it unique & different from other start-ups in similar domains.
Sahir: We value and listen to our customers and work accordingly which makes them feel respected. We treat our customers as our mentors as they are guiding us through this journey which is making us help to achieve our goals.
Inventiva: What do you think is the biggest threat to the success of small businesses & Start-ups today?
Sahir: Finding an investor immediately after launching the business Make a note that IF YOU CAN’T START OR RUN YOUR BUSINESS WITH NO MONEY THEN YOU DEFINITELY CAN’T RUN IT WITH BILLIONS OF MONEY IN YOUR ACCOUNT. Your startup is a learning institute for you. In your initial days, you have to do it by yourself to try to get out of obstacles. Yes, I know money is a little easy to solve your problems but that won’t let you go through the struggle of solving the problem. Create a business in a way where investors come running to you.
Inventiva: Do you consider yourself successful and by what means do you measure success?
Sahir: Considering myself successful will only stop my journey of growing and learning new things so I don’t want to consider myself successful there is a lot to achieve. Creating a way to workout every obstacle in your business which will help your company to make things work easily and grow rapidly. This is how I measure success whatever you have learned to get that in action.
What I feel is a short period of success is practically a little tough to measure. when you have a lot to achieve.
Inventiva: Please share complete name, address, phone number, email id & website of Your Business & Contact Person
Founder Name: Sahir Momin
Address: 1st lane, 4th cross, 31b Shivaji Nagar Belgaum, Karnataka, 590016 Phone: 8904858762
Email: [email protected],[email protected]