Strutt is a private label for Leather and Faux Leather goods. This venture was built as a people’s collective and within a year using Lean Methodology have built operational efficiencies to achieve brilliant costing structures. Strutt is a story of the people behind it and how a team of people with varied expertise, from different walks of life came together to build something which every customer can advantage from. Shruti Dhanda started her first business when she was in 3rd year college. She was the “Phoolwali”. She started by supplying flowers to corporate offices and five star hotels. Having scaled that business significantly, she then sold it to her staff and moved on. From there she moved on to try her hand at Gifting as today also she feels there is no solution for the Unplanned buyer and flowers is the most purchased item not for the love of them but for how easy and convenient a purchase they make, What is the other option? This is while she was struggling to set up Shop to Surprise she bumped into Vishesh.
Vishesh too is a Serial Entrepreneur and with a creative bent, his Journey started with Film making, from there he moved to designing and printing and then evolved into a full-fledged Brand and Digital marketing agency with projects related to brand campaigning and online solutions for acquisition and grew his team. Vishesh and Shruti met to Settle Shop to Surprise and finally landed up on Strutt. We are publishing an interview with Shruti.
Q.: What is the problem you are trying to solve? Can you share with us any insights that led you to believe that this is a big enough problem?
Ans: The number of travellers is growing day on day, however options for convenient overnighters and easy to store luggage products are too common in design and are still limited to very few good brands. Travelling and Awareness has become so intrinsic to the culture of the Millennial that their lifestyles and needs and Shopping patterns are what is Guiding our path. There is no current brand focusing on the soft travel segment/ cabin luggage segment which actually has the highest number of users in almost every age group.
Q.: Tell us about the Product / Solution. Explain how you went about the Product-Market Fit Process.
Ans: Strutt is emerging as an industry leader in the carry on Travel Luggage space. The Options, colours variety sizes shapes we have them all.
The bags are Compact and Easy to carry and needless to say extremely stylish. The variety offers something for everyone.
Q.: What is your USP?
Ans: Each bag is made and designed keeping in mind the size and utility of Cabin Baggage. The most common sizes we are offering are perfect for 3 to 4 days travel.
There are some standard features across bags which are imminent for essentials and those have now become our highlighting features. All our products are made from the finest quality PU/Leatherette or Leather and have been hand crafted keeping in mind the mass market.
Q.: What were your assumptions when you entered the market, learnings that you have?
Ans: The first thing that came to our mind was:
“The Indian fashion and accessory market is already crowded with many premium international, domestic brands and niche fashion designers. In such a scenario, how could our fashion label stand out to others? “
However, today our customers are evolving. They are more open to giving Start-ups such as ours an honest shot as long as we are being fair to them. They are open to experimentation and are open to trying new things. Now in the scenario where you are offering a Good quality Product range which is making their life a lot more easier and convenient they will def. give you a shot.
We have many online buyers who growing on a daily basis. We also have Giants such as Waymart India and Koovs as our customers.
Q.: What has been your biggest failure as an entrepreneur and what did you learn from it??
Ans: Finding the wrong people to partner with initially who didn’t share the vision and the perseverance to give the startup what it takes to make it a success.
Q.: How are you pricing the Product? Explain your thought process.
Ans: We have managed to build a production line as such that we can manufacture lesser quantities with commendable quality but at affordable prices for the mass market and by doing so we wanted to transfer the cost advantage to our customers.
Q.: How did you get your first customer?
Ans: Networking and known circles
Q.: Please tell us about the investors (if any)
Ans: NA (Soft Commitment only)
Q.: Is there any interesting success story? If yes, please write about it. ?
Ans: We are still waiting for our big celebrity moment, where we cross paths with that one person who is carrying a Strutt bag and we all celebrity crazy and ask for his autograph.
Q.: What is the big picture of your startup? Is this Product leading to something bigger? If so, how?
Ans: We Plan to grow online with maximum reach and offline through a unique model which will enable a lot of entrepreneurs and quicker and more efficient deliveries. Considering our growth chart in the last couple of months we are extremely optimistic about the future and the direction we have taken and are looking at achieving a Leading role in the Travel life cycle of the Smart traveller.
Q.: What is the insight that you have about this market, which no one else has? Uniqueness about your Startup.
Ans: All we would like to say here is that the insight we have gathered for this particular market led to the rapid increase in sales for a particular segment in our product range i.e. Travel luggage.
Q.: List all the names of the core Team Members, along with their Designated Roles.
Ans: Pallav + Rashi + Jitin + Faizan – Are young, curious and hardworking, with a high risk taking capacity with age being on their side. So after Pallav from FDDI got the first tailor, Faizan and Jitin jumped on the bandwagon too swearing to manage the look and feel of the brand online, finally followed by Rashi also from FDDI to make strutt a success story
Q.: Who do You Perceive as Your Competition? How do you differentiate yourself with them?
Ans: There are very few players in the soft carryon luggage segment. Most of the established players are either focusing on Hard Cases or Backpacks. Duffel bags there are very few players. However , we do struggle a lot with these big market places such as Amazon and Flipkart as they have built consumer habits by offering Big discounts and getting the customer habitual to using their Portals to shop on , even though today their prices are either the same or higher for our segment even after the discounts . So these aggregators are what we are struggling with.
Q.: What would be your goal to accomplish in the next six months?
Ans: We are looking at exponential growth now and considering the stage we are in we are now actively pursuing investors which we plan to close in the coming months.
Q.: What message do you want to convey to fellow entrepreneurs?
Ans: Persistence and perseverance are just what you need…Bus Lagey Raho Munna Bhai….
Q.: Any other information you would like to share?
Ans: It’s the time and age of the Millennial. They have now become the most significant demographic of the population. For the Millennial today Quality is king, they seek both quality and value and are more attracted to Pvt Labels that deliver both. The Millennial state of mind has changed the way the purchases are made across generations. The sheer size of the Indian youth paves the way for sustained growth in purchasing power.
Thanks Shruti. Best wishes!