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Warrier Safe Shields (OPC) Pvt Ltd was launched in August 2020. We are publishing an interview with Mr. Rohit Warrier, founder and director of this startup.

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?
With Sippline we are addressing a very real and significant problem of hygienic consumption of beverages in public places. How often have you asked for a glass to be changed or polished the rim of the glass before partaking your beverages.

While these gestures make you psychologically feel better, they do not prevent you from catching infections spread through cross contamination. Sippline the drinking shield does. It takes the ifs & buts out of the equation and lets you enjoy your beverage with a peace of mind like never before.

About the founders
A serial entrepreneur and founder of Warrier Electronics (WEFIRE) and Warrier Sicura, Rohit Warrier is a passionate person driven to bring a positive change in every industry he touches. Having brought to light the importance of fire suppression with WEFIRE and Warrier Sicura, he has now turned his attention to oral hygiene.

His innate drive to innovate coupled with his hospitality background fired the idea of relooking at oral hygiene in a novel way that found expression in Sippline™ – a protective shield between your lips and the rim of the glass. It ensures no matter where you drink & what you drink lips touch a sterile, clean surface. Designed for Glassware, Sippline is likely to change the way people enjoy a drink out of their homes.

Rohit Warrier, founder and director of Warrier Safe Shields (OPC) Pvt Ltd

An IHM graduate, with a diploma in Fire& Industrial Safety engineering, and 12+years of experience under his belt, of which 10+years have gone into forming & leading organizations

List all the names of the core Team Members, along with their Designated Roles – How you see them evolving over time. What would be each of their Skill Sets? – Elaborate also if any of the team members has a specific domain expertise.
Sure. They are:

  • Suruchi Kakkar Khanna: HR and Finance: Although Suruchi is from an HR background, her ability to initiate, take charge and lead; combined with a curiosity to learn and execute things out of her domain has led her to be an asset in our team in a noticeably short period. She is organized, dedicated with ownership focused on results.
  • Sheela Mishra: Operations in charge: Like Suruchi, Sheela is a multi-talented personality. Street smart, funny and a wanna-be standup comedian, she has her unique way of finding solutions to a problem. Her previous experience with multi-national companies such as Eicher and MAN trucks has helped bring professionalism to the team and its culture.
  • Rahul Kamble – Director (Warrier Sicura Pvt Ltd): Rahul’s experience in setting up a bakery manufacturing unit brings with it the ability to face the unexpected, an everyday occurrence in a start-up. With his calm and composed demeanour, he understands people well. He is the go-to person to sort any internal conflicts within the team. He keeps the team cemented together under his guidance. Rahul is apt in analyzing the customer mindset, thus helping the company make informed decisions.

Tell us about the Product / Solution. How did you get your first customer? Explain how you went about the Product-Market Fit Process.
Glass hygiene in a public place has always been questionable, while some of us surreptitiously explore ways to clean the rim, a large number of people turn a blind eye.  Rohit Warrier of Warrier Electronics identified this gap in oral hygiene. Using his Hospitality background to his advantage set out to find a solution.

Sippline™ was his answer setting a new standard and a benchmark in oral hygiene, a protective shield between your lips and the rim of the glass. It ensures no matter where you drink & what you drink, your lips touch a sterile, clean surface.

Designed for Glassware, Sippline™ is envisaged to change the way people enjoy a drink out of their homes.

Sippline™, announced to the world in August 2020 is a product diversification in oral hygiene from Warrier Safe Shields, a new venture from the house of Warrier Electronics (WEFIRE) a renowned name in fire suppression solutions.

For the product-marketing fit, we are initiating outreach program to make people aware of the benefits of Sippline.

What is your USP? What is the insight that you have about this market, which no one else has? Uniqueness about your Startup.
Introducing a Novel and patent pending product in a market that has a certain need of the product, in itself is its USP. We have the first movers’ advantage with a strong product, arrived out of numerous trials, re-work, design changes, and engineered design elements. Not to forget the thoughtful aesthetic elements found in Sippline.

This innovative product enhances personal hygiene and following are the features of Sippline

Sippline™ Safety:       

  • Sterilized and free of disease-causing bacteria
  • Avoids cross contamination
  • Enhances personal hygiene
  • No human touch after sterilization, until it is opened by the user for use!

Sippline™ Style:

  • Smooth finish to replicate the feel of glass/ cup
  • Multiple color choice for differentiation within family members

Quality:

  • Food grade material
  • Heat resistant
  • Reusable (by same individual)
  • Recyclable
  • Odorless
  • Dishwasher friendly
  • Non-Toxic BPA free (Bisphenol A)

Packaging:

  • Medical grade sterilized packaging
  • Special inks on packaging for Sterilization Identification with colour

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?
The concept of a hygienic drinking shield is altogether new not just in India but anywhere in the world. We basically got into the market with a major gut feeling and feedback from some 50 to 100 odd people. There was a clear gap in the way we drink and a real problem with no standard solution. I personally faced the problem hence it was easy to convince my gut that we need to do something about it. My hospitality education certainly helped.

Ideal customer is he or she who goes out dining, thus it mean, almost everyone especially in the urban area. Having said that, we are targeting hotels as our ideal customers since it would be easier for the diners to get a service and a Sippline from where they are dining out.

What has been your biggest failure as an entrepreneur and what did you learn from it??
Having like-minded partners and team members is very important. Six years back, I teamed up with 4-associates to start an online dhobi platform (Dhobi Express) with inhouse laundry service. Back then if we had pursued the business, we would have been the pioneers in transforming the informal laundry service into an organized laundry service, managed through an app. Our ideas were ahead of time. We had planned a GPS enabled delivery of the laundered clothes to clients in which, the software would decide the best route and the driver needed to follow real-time route map. Features such as wallet and real-time status update of the service etc. were inbuilt in our software – they were not regular features 6-years back.  Well, the great idea got nowhere & that was my first learning – the core team needs to align ideologically and professionally – knowing when to keep differences aside for the larger goal.

 Second, was – A company can succeed, only, if there is one person at the helm! There could be various leaders in different roles however, more than one decision-makers at the top will result in failure.

Not getting Dhobi Express to sustain for more than six months has been my biggest failure and learning!

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.
Cost base pricing with the aim of maximizing value for the customer, Sippline has been priced to fit every pocket .

Currently available on Amazon https://amzn.to/382Hr95 & Warrier Electronics website – www.wepune.co.in. Sippline comes in packs of 2, 5 and 10 at a price range of Rs 131, Rs 288, Rs 509 respectively.

Please tell us about the investors (if any)
Right now, the company is bootstrapped and is self-funded

Is there any interesting success story of your startup? If yes, please write about it?
My other business Warrier Electronics (WEFIRE), founded ten years ago, is funding the Sippline project and its new entity Warrier Safe Shields.

To be honest, in its first 2-years of its inception, Warrier Electronics did not see a billing of a single rupee. It was pointless to talk about profits when there was no sale! Yet the belief that there is light at the end of the tunnel kept me going. From then to now, thanks to the perseverance of everyone involved, we are not only able to stand on our own but fund our initiatives.  Today, we are the leading suppliers of fire suppression system in India for the Machine tool industry, with several OEM’s as our customers, this for me is success. I do not come from a fire background. Most of the on my learning has been on the job while running my business.  I believe is one is committed & focused on his goal with dedication, come what may, irrespective of the number of failures, you will achieve your goal. Every failure motivated me to increase my efforts each time.

Since inception, give us a sense of the value of business done by your venture? Please explain in detail.
It is difficult to calculate the value of any business in the current pandemic scenario but for a start-up with a new product and an entirely new concept, an impossible ask.  Changing a habit is tough enough getting people to form new habits will take time. SIPPLINING a SIPPLINE is also a habit, it will take some time before everyone naturally SIPPLINES their drinks and Sipplining becomes a habit.

However, what we can value Sippline for is the market feedback, since its introduction 2-months back, which has been extremely positive, be it from a hotelier or an end-user or even the media publications. People who have experienced it or adopted it have been Wowed!

What is the big picture of your startup? Is this Product/service leading to something bigger? If so, how?
We believe with Sippline the problem addressed is a significant one, that most people know of but are not quite aware. We have tackled a big lacuna in hygienic drinking that has been begging to be addressed with a simple and very cost-effective solution. It has the power to change how people consume beverages in public places.

Who do you perceive as Your Competition? How do you differentiate yourself with them?
Currently there are no competitors in the World for Sippline, as it’s a unique product that addresses a huge gap in oral hygiene and enhances drinking hygiene in public places.

What would be your goal to accomplish in the next six months? Any other information you would like to share?
Any new concept in its nascent stage is about constant education more than selling. Our goal will also be about educating individuals and the hospitality industry, along with creating awareness about the availability of a product to enhance drinking hygiene with Sippline.

What message do you want to convey to fellow entrepreneurs?
Stop thinking and start acting! Do not be a victim of fear of the unknown. 

Many entrepreneurs and businesses fail because they over-analyze a situation, thus complicating their thoughts, resulting in confused, delayed and often hampered decision making and end up losing time. Follow your gut improvise as you progress. Starting is important. 

I follow my advice. Once an idea germinates, I am quick to pursue it and move to execution. My motto is ‘start working on it RIGHT NOW! ‘Thoughts such as later, tomorrow, next week, dekhtehai’ are the seeds of imminent failure. 

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