Few months back, I was watching a video called, “Ambani the investor”. In that video, a poor boy makes money and doubling the money using garbage and products. At that moment, I was inspired and wish that if I could see someone in real life like this boy.
After a month, I received a mail from Hritesh Lohiya, the founder of Priti International company. I was started reading his mail and after 5 mins of full read, I felt numb.
A truly inspiring story of a person, who started a business and shut down, again started and again shut down but at last, a business which named after his wife “a lucky charm” got worked and his company last year turnover was $8million.
So without wasting a moment, i reply him back for the interview coverage and today we published his full fleged coverage. Kindly read his interview and let me know your views,
Hi Hritesh, what are you doing with your life prior of starting up?
Prior to Priti International, we did many businesses like started factory of chemicals for textiles, started a factory of Stone cutting, Making & selling washing powder, stock market business etc. But loose huge money in all of the business.
How did the idea of setting up your startup come about?
After losing all the money in previous business, we were totally out of money. So we have to think what should we do now. During those days, we were having a lot of waste material in our factory. Like old gunny bags, old drums of chemicals, etc. We have tried to sell those to collect some money for our bread and butter, but didn’t get good money, so we start thinking of making some items out of these waste items. And this is how this project starts.
What is the story behind the name of your company?
The name of the company is in the name of my wife as I believe she is always very lucky for me, because all early project I did was on my name or on other names, and I failed miserably.
In a Nutshell, How does Priti International Work?
At Priti International, we are designing & making various handmade products out of waste materials. We make a lot of bags from old gunny bags, old military tents, old denim pants, etc, then we are also making furniture from waste tins, drums, old military jeeps, tractor parts, waste machine parts, etc. Lamps from waste lightings of the scooter, motorcycle etc. All these products are then exported to various countries like China, USA, Europe, Australia etc. WE are now countries biggest exporter of waste handicraft products and only exporter in INDIA to export to CHINA.
All these products are then exported to various countries like China, USA, Europe, Australia etc. WE are now countries biggest exporter of waste handicraft products and only exporter in INDIA to export to CHINA.
As an entrepreneur at the helm of a growing venture, what do you think is different in terms of challenges and excitements in your industry today as opposed to when you were just starting out?
Our industry is completely challenging & different from other industries. This is a purely design base business. We have to think over each waste product we find in the market and get it design to make a useful product out of it. Very exciting job. Every day new waste and then get them make a new
product out of it.
How are you planning on working and scaling your venture?
At present, our current turnover is around $8million. And our customer base is around 36 countries. Our production facilities are spread over 3 large factories with around 400 people working for us. Our focus market is China where we find huge potential as there new generation is very much fond of buying our products for putting in Bars, Café’s, Pubs, Restaurants etc. We are planning to expand our production facility and scaling our Venture to $20 million by 2016.
How do you see the industry you are operating in evolving and shaping up (globally and in context to INDIA?)
Our Products are getting very popular in the developed countries due to their uniqueness. Moreover
As I have wrote already that our main focus market at present is China, where the consumption is Huge
Due to the new generation are having fresh money to spend on new products. Moreover as our target
The market is Bars, restaurants, café’s, pubs etc, where people want unique products for decoration and also for furniture.
In regard with INDIA, there is huge potential for our products due to online shopping getting popular day by day. We are already in talk with several online retailers like Pepperfly, Flipkart etc, showing interest in selling our products online.
We have also started a retail showroom in Ningbo, china for selling our products in retail. This is just a test showroom, and the response is very exciting. Now we are planning to open 12 more showrooms around China, exclusive for our products.
How is market responding to your venture? Any landmarks you would like to share?
Future for our venture is very promising. We are growing at the rate of 25% YOY basis. WE are completely booked with our export orders for the year 2015. For next year orders, we are participating is various International exhibitions, especially in China like Canton fair, International furniture fair, Shanghai, china etc. This exhibition is in Sept & Oct 2015.
Recently our success story of our unique products making has been filmed by Discovery Channel for a program called “ THE LIQUIDATORS”. They have made a whole episode on our work and
Our story to be telecast in around 140 countries. This is a big landmark for us.
How is your Venture Funded?
At present are venture is self-funded. We have no loans from any banks or any other financial Institution.
Who all are your core Team comprised of?
Our team is having mainly two people. With myself and my wife Priti. WE both have started this venture together and now she is looking after designing and creating of products out
Of recycle fabrics.
Our Clients & Partners?
Our clients are mostly stores, wholesalers or selling online. In the US, we are selling to several large chains including Cost Plus world Market, Hobby Lobby, Target etc, and in China, we have local partners for selling our products to projects for Hotels, restaurants, Etc.
What has been the hardest Part of Becoming an Entrepreneur?
After failing in several ventures, it becomes very difficult to start again with new venture and that too with a completely new idea. We talked our idea with some people around us, but they never take it seriously. We were in need of money to start our venture but nobody wishes to invest. So, we started with selling my wife Priti’s jewelry. We made some samples and took their photos. Then start marketing through the internet and sending Our product pictures to prospective customer around the world. It took around 2 years to get first order. These 2 yrs were the hardest part.
What has been the best part about starting up?
The best part of starting this venture is it give us an international reorganization. We are today one of the best designer and creators of useful products out of Waste.
Several national magazine including INDIA TODAY, a national newspaper like Bhaskar, Amar Ujala, Punjab Kesari, Rajasthan Patrika, Times OF India etc and national TV channels like Zee News, AAJ TAK, News Nation, Sahara Samay, etc have published and shown our success story.
Have You had any Mentors along the way?
I have no mentor. I believe in Aham Brahmasmi. My belief is we don’t need any mentor, as everybody is
Unique in this world with their own qualities and abilities. And we have to struggle to find our abilities.
What advice would you give to those looking to strike out on their own?
My one line advice is that success can’t achieve without hard work.