We are publishing an interview of Mr. Bharat Kumar M, Marketing and operations (Mfg) head, CbyS – Lucky Candles – A Hyderabad based startup is one stop solution for all designer candles and candle making raw materials.
About the founders:
- Sujatha M – Founder. Who has been successfully managed a apparel retail outlet at Visakhapatnam.
- Tulasi Das – Co-founder, Retired employee, currently looks into the operations at Lucky Candles.
- Bharat – B.Tech and MBA with about 10 years of experience in fields like marketing and consulting.
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?
To be a one stop shop for all candle related things. We started off this as a hobby and a back end research parlelly on designer candles, which has provided us insights on the huge market potential for candles in India but there is no well known brand and this sector is not yet organized. We approached few event management companies only to support our secondary market research. Event management companies were more than happy to welcome us with the kind of finish and the prices that we had to offer and most importantly we provide custom solutions based on client requirements. Over the last 4 years we have seen an increasing trend in the candles usage, apart from event management companies there are various other uses like, spas, resorts, hotels, fundraising, spiritual and healing purpose, return gifts etc. and the list was only going to increase increase and increase.
During the initial days and even today, we still face challenge of unavailability of the right raw materials and even if we get hold of it then there is a MoQ which is much more than our requirements and again not very sure on if this would help us create a candle what we want to. This leads us to situation where we need to procure materials in bulk quantity which may be used or we lost all the invested amount.
To address this and exploit this opportunity we intend to be a one stop solution for the raw materials to help the other candle making beginners to focus on candle making than running around for raw materials. The market is huge and approximately $10 USD. Which means this industry if it is organized it would create lot of employment and yes this can be for the totally illiterate people who can work in this industry. It is just not Lucky Candles, but there is a huge scope for other business to get established like craftsmen to design on the candles, print on the candles etc. and every design is unique and the market in India is willing to accept new products and designs. Last, but not the least there is a over reliance on China for candles in Indian market and we would like to change that scenario. We wish we have more companies established in India exploiting this opportunity.
What is the uniqueness about your Startup?
Customized solutions – Designer candles. A one stop solution for all designer candles and candle making raw materials.
Why do you choose crowdfunding?
We have established and have been running Lucky Candles with our savings and the profits. Designer candles is a pretty new concept in India and we need that additional push to take this into people to start using designer Candles. It took almost 4 years for us to stand at this juncture, which would need a lot of patience and belief in the long term value proposition rather just an immediate profit and hence have chosen crowd funding as the platform to generate funds.
Why should anyone or investor back you?
If you were given a chance now to go back to early 1980’s and also have an opportunity to fund Infosys, Would you like to be part of Infosys, if YES….then yes this story is for you and about you. Designer Candles will be one of the most happening industries in the coming days. A rough estimate from us based on our past 4 years’ experience and the industry facts say India is at least has a potential to be $10 billion. Want to be part of the very few who would like to be part of this Industry. We welcome you aboard. And yes you would definitely be happy to be the ones who are going to create number of jobs as Lucky Candles is also into be a one stop shop for all candles raw materials and also impart training and thus we would be part of creating more entrepreneurs. Be a part of new Industry…just not a company.
Where can people back your project?
They can back this project from: http://www.catapooolt.com/campaign/info/title/cbys—lucky-candles?camp=CBYAE1NOFW&pid=NTYy&uid=NjYzNQ==
What would you do after raising funds?
We shall use the generated funds to set up first of its kind, an exclusive retail outlet for candles and candle making materials in Hyderabad.
What is the revenue model? What is the logic behind it? Explain your thought process.
Premium – Each candle is hand poured and it takes lot of patience to make a candle that would make you say WOW. We have been in a segment where there is a cutthroat competition from people manufacturing candles from home. But we are happy when Lucky Candles are on the table the rest take a backseat but yes only if the customer is willing to shell out that addition premium amount. Lucky Candles are priced at least 30% – 40% more than the regular candles available in the market.
Who are the consumers that you are targeting? How is this going to affect them?
Event Management companies, Resorts, Spas, personalized gifts, Hotels, spiritual and healing, return gifts. This wold help them to be unique, as most of our candles are custom made as per the requirements shared by Customer, so every candle that we make is different and give the competitive advantage to our clients as well.
What is the big picture of your startup? Will it lead to something bigger? If so, how?
To be India’s first branded candle company. This space is absolutely vacant in Indian industry and we at Lucky Candles with right fundamentals, we believe we can be one of the front runner to take this position.
What is the success story of your startup in your own words?
Availability of Raw materials: Every assignment comes with lot of surprises 🙂 With all the limited resources that are available in India, we have hardly turned down any request from our clients till date. Example, Issues with Molds: When we started off, the major challenge was on the molds as quality of the candle majorly depends on the molds. When we couldn’t get a good supplier, we went ahead getting the mold making raw materials and also professional who can manufacture the molds. Today we stand at a stage where we can come up with any candles(shape) of customer choice.
Any other information about your startup that you would like to share with us.
A new industry, a new sector in India, we look forward to be the first movers and want many other to be part of this Industry and we welcome competition that would always help us and helped us making a better product all the time.
Thanks Mr. Bharat. Best of luck!