Bulb and Key offers an online platform for creators to create their profile and display their products for customers to be able to get customized options closest to them. The startup was founded on 8th January 2018. They also have their own mobile application compatible on iOS and Android for creators to manage their business. We are publishing an interview with Ms. Shreya Mundra – Head, PR and Marketing division.
Q.: What is the problem you are trying to solve? Please share with us any insights that led you to believe that this is a big enough problem?
Ans: Ideas and skills are the currencies of the Present and Future. In today’s time, if you have the right ideas and skills which can create a difference, there is nothing more valuable than that. For people who have ideas but don’t have either enough money, workspace or are maybe bound to their homes due to socio-economic reasons, there isn’t a better place than their homes to start their own business. India is a hub for such home and small businesses where such businesses hold the potential to provide personalized solutions to all requirements.
However, these home-based and small-scale businesses are not completely exposed to the lengths where they can utilize the power of digital technology which can lead to an increase in their business and revenue.
This is where Bulb and Key steps in addressing this problem where it aims at providing them with end to end technology solutions that will help them to scale their businesses.
The problem they are trying to solve is of such mass production and endless consumption. They believe that mass manufacturing is not the future for consumers as factories are trying to create and produce products that no one is not sure are required or not for everyone before consumption. We need to move from rigid mass manufacturing to flexible micro-businesses that provide us with the option of catering to the niche market and customer needs leading to responsible commerce.
Q.: Please tell us about the founders
Ans: Bulb and Key was co-founded by Raj Gujar and Kuntal Baratne.
Kuntal has previously worked in a mass manufacturing company. As he was very interested in 3D printing, he used to discuss this concept with his friend Raj. He even wanted to buy a 3D printed agency and start selling 3D printed objects. But soon they realized that everything is not getting manufactured on 3D printers. There are many things that these hyperlocal startups are manufacturing. “In mass manufacturing, any kind of creativity gets eliminated.”, says Kuntal.
Raj Gujar has a keen interest in travel, global demographics and the food supply chain sector, and is a more process-oriented guy who believes that if we have the right processes, systems and tools, no matter how complicated and unique the job is, it can be done. His experience working at a construction company in Seattle, U.S, made him aware of the opportunities that could be explored in the SME sector.
He says, “If you can establish the right processes, then you can scale your business and turn it into an entity that can grow. This was my motivation behind starting Bulb and Key.”
Q.: List all the names of the core Team Members, along with their Designated Roles.
Ans: Sure. They are:
- Ravi Gulhane heads our Technical Team where the team looking into website and application improvement.
- Salman Tamboli heads our Digital Marketing, Content and Social Media team where we make sure we provide resourceful content to all our creators
- Shreya Mundra (myself) heads PR and Marketing and Creator on boarding across India
- Chandresh Dushane looks after corporate sales and business development.
Q.: Tell us about the Product / Solution. How did you get your first customer? Explain how you went about the Product-Market Fit Process.
Ans: Bulb and Key offers Order Management which helps creators keep a track of their upcoming deliveries. Delivery Network is a facility where the creators who can use our inhouse delivery services to deliver orders at their door step. Another service we offer is Payment Management, where we create links for small businesses via which payment can be processed. Many of the other services offered by Bulb and Key include product listing and inventory supply where one can view the product range you offer and the suppliers can view their supplies in the inventory. Lead Generation is another service we provide where we connect the customers to their suppliers according to their requirements.
Bulb and Key’s current categories consist of cakes and bakery items, jewelry, art, clothing, stationery, 3D Printing and other merchandise. Their future plan is to expand to other categories like fabrics, home decor, footwear, art and craft.
Q.: What is your USP?
Ans: Bulb and Key’s USP is of being a one stop solution for all and any small and home-based business. Instead of using multiple applications and tools to manage your business, we provide a combined solution for all small and home-based businesses. It is truly a one stop solution for all and any Small and Home-based Businesses.
Q.: What were your assumptions when you entered the market, learning that you have? Who in your mind is your ideal customer? Do you have at least one of them signed up?
Ans: As we believed in Small and Home Based Businesses hold the capacity to provide personalized products based on customized needs, we found out that even though there very some organizations supporting them and providing a platform for them to display their products, there did not exist a one stop solution to manage their business. Keeping our ideal customers in mind, we researched and understood where home-based businesses were falling short of tools to manage their business or would rely on multiple mainly non tech resources that is not easy to maintain records or remember details about orders or business.
Hence, we decided to create an application that was not too complicated for these entrepreneurs to use and manage their own business.
Q.: What has been your biggest failure and what did you learn from it??
Ans: Everyday as an entrepreneur we fail in certain aspects and life ourselves up making sure to not make the same mistake again.
Q.: How are you pricing the Product? What is the logic behind it? What is the model you are following – Free / Freemium / Premium etc? Explain your thought process.
Ans: Our process is very simple and easy for any small or home based business entrepreneur to sign up with us. We charge a ONE-TIME registration fee of INR 500 the first and only time while signing up. You can then not just list your products on our website but also use our app to help manage your business better.
We have our delivery costs subsidized and have offer various flat prices and discounts to out creators. Our delivery costs usually start from INR 7/Km for 2 wheeler and INR 16/Km for 4 wheeler.
Q.: Please tell us about the investors (if any)
Ans: Bulb and Key’s first Investor is Anup Pai, Founder of Fintellix who has managed to guide us through their journey of getting better and achieving heights as a business. Recently in late 2019, Bulb and Key managed to raise a round of angel funding from investors Mr Prashant Deshpande and Mr Dilip Tamhankar, the founders of Detaman Electricals Pvt Ltd.
Q.: Is there any interesting success story of your startup? If yes, please write about it. ?
Ans: Bulb and Key has also partnered with channel partners who are huge communities for home based businesses. They recently created a Mobile App for their channel partner PULA (a Facebook group exclusively for women entrepreneurs and home business owners based in Pune) with the help of Ionic Stack Technology. This app helps women manage deliveries, payments, manage their orders, inventories and much more.
We also were partners in local baking events such as Cake-A-Thon which was Pune’s first live cake competition and The Baker’s Collective held in Pune which hosted bakers across India.
Q.: Since inception, give us a sense of the value of business done by your venture?
Ans: We have an average of 7,000 visitors every month on our website. We have managed to onboard and register over 1,000 creators on board.
Q.: What is the big picture of your startup? Is this Product/service leading to something bigger? If so, how?
Ans: We want to scale Bulb and Key and take it PAN India where all and any small and home based businesses can use this application to manage all aspects of their business better and reach out and get their products across India. We also aim at increasing our number of categories we currently are catering to.
Q.: Who do You Perceive as Your Competition? How do you differentiate yourself with them?
Ans: We do not have direct competitors per say however, we do look up to big brands such as Etsy and Urban Clap who provide similar platforms like we do. However, the difference between Etsy is such that they only work in a niche category of people providing home-based businesses however Bulb and Key supports all and any type of creators and provides services for them all.
Q.: What would be your goal to accomplish in the next six months? Any other information you would like to share?
Ans: We aim at scaling our business across India and getting around 25,000 creators on board. We aim at partnering with various channel partners who will benefit using bulb and key.
Q.: What message do you want to convey to fellow entrepreneurs?
Ans: Determination, continues improvement and immediate rectifying of mistakes is what would help scale a business.
Thanks Shreya. All the best!