“Life has two rules: #1 Never quit #2 Always remember rule # 1.”
Today we are in conversation with Ipshita Who is the Co-founder of Speaking walls,a platform that make people feel empowered.So lets see how she keeps everyone inspired.
Tell us a little bit about your startup.
Speaking Walls (www.speakingwalls.in), a brand under Creativines Creative Solutions Private Limited aims to be an authentic one stop destination for all kind of inspirational and creative designer artworks like posters, greeting cards, customized photo books, artwork mail subscriptions etc.
Our motto is to make people feel so empowered that they believe everything is achievable. We aim to constantly grow and touch as many lives as possible and inspire them through our creation as we believe in the power of great quotes and great designs.
Now we are moving towards becoming a complete design firm which handles everything from interior to exterior theme based wall décor for homes as well as workplaces. We are working on offering complete packages of designs to suit customer’s needs.
What inspired the creation of it?
Being in a college where we get to encounter people from varied culture, the creation and obliteration of ideas had become a commonplace activity. Thus, the idea of designing poster came into being. We realized that most people wanted their walls to inspire them every day or to have the things that they are passionate about to be in front of them all the time. Posters seemed like a great way to make that possible.
What is your target audience and why?
Though there is no dearth of websites selling posters, being in a comparatively remote location of North-East, we decided to build our base here and then build a space in the market by differentiating ourselves through our exclusive designs.
Since now it also has a dedicated website and all, how time consuming or difficult was it to get started?
Yes maintaining and developing the website is a time-taking process and it requires people to regularly maintain and upload the upcoming designs as we have new products coming in every week. Currently, we are revamping the look of the website to make sure that our designs and products are more visible and accessible from the home page.
What problem does your company solve ?
As mentioned earlier, people can keep themselves motivated with posters of their choices. Moreover, Speaking Walls being the first successful start up of NIT Silchar is an inspiration for the college and also strives to boost the entrepreneurship culture of the north-east region where the concept of entrepreneurship is yet to be accepted and understood completely.
Our company provides a platform for artists and graphic designers to convert their work into products that people love. We use the aesthetic appeal of the original work to create authentic products that stand out because of their uniqueness in terms of design. This way, we are giving a way to use their creativity and talent to earn proportional benefits on every sale their products make to a pool of 50 designers all over India.
Also, we do completely customized wall decor’ for people’s houses, cafe’ and all other kind of places by first studying the look, ambiance and the profile of the person to whom the place belongs. We create walls to suit the requirements of the place and to add to the look of the place.
Who are the founders and key team members ?
Founding Members: Shreya Dalela, Ipshita Biswas, Anup Dutta, Nitish Rajpurohit.
Other key team members: Shradha Agarwal, Arup Dutta, Mohit Dave.
Anup Dutta is the design head. Mohit Dave handles all the technical stuffs related to the website. Shradha Agarwal handles the business development and gets us offline projects. She is also helping us expand our artist base. Arup Dutta has recently joined us and he will be handling logistics and manage sales and look after the marketing interns.
What relevant domain experience do they have ?
Shreya, Ipshita, Anup, NItish, Mohit are presently the alumni of NIT Silchar. Shradha and Arup live in Kolkata.
How many hours a week do you spend on work? What about family/hobbies?
While we were in college, we had to manage time from our class hours and studies in order to devote the maximum time in Speaking Walls. Most of the works were done at late night when the hostel ambience was quite and unperturbed. Approximately, we worked for 30-35 hours a week.
Our family member supportive about it. All they wanted was that the venture didn’t affect our pointers.
Why do you think this company can beat the competition?
There is always a certain category of people with whom a certain concept of design clicks. We have experimented in the market by listing our products online and checking the response. Our designs have performed well in the market so far and with proper advertising and business development strategies, we are sure we can take it to great levels.
Have you been in a failed start-up before? Why did it fail? what would you do differently?
No, we have all started out afresh but we have mini-failures sometimes when the plans we make don’t work out well but we keep learning and growing every day. It never puts us down.
What outsiders have been most important to your business (eg. Mentors, bankers etc.)
While we started Speaking walls in college we had Assistant Prof. Wasim Arif Sir as our mentor.He had been a great guide to our venture right from the beginning. His support, guidance and belief in us helped us grow with Speaking Walls.
What is your advice to young entrepreneurs starting today?
Being in college is the best time to start your business as there are a number of advantages of being a college startup. Especially in the matter of getting in contact with the right people and getting your hands on free resources college environment is the best. Even marketing your product would be made easy if you are in college in the midst of some smart people. Secondly, your team should be comprised of people who knows their work and shouldn’t be reminded of the same. So, our advice is to start early while you have smart, talented peers around you.
How has been your journey so far as an entrepreneur?
It’s been an amazing journey, right from the day we decided to open an online poster store for our college students to the present day when we are selling posters all over the country. Coming up with the name ‘Speaking Walls’, creating a Facebook page, getting more than 10 orders within the first 24hrs, then opening an amazon store, getting our company registered, followed by our own website, visiting Comic Con Bangalore, getting offline projects all these have been a great deal of happenings within a span of one and a half years.
Where do you see yourself and your venture 5 years from now?
As mentioned earlier, 5 years from now, we see Speaking Walls as an one-stop destination for all design related works. When it comes to design and decorations, the first name that comes to everyone’s mind is Speaking Walls.