Startup > My Story > Gaurav Henry
Gaurav Henry

Gaurav Henry

Founder & CEO

Short Description

Take a break; go for that vacation you have been planning for a while! Relax, unwind, comeback and make it work!

Brief about company, offerings and foundation of the company

The simple concept which is the building block behind kyastyle is to “take the ordinary and create something extraordinary! Kyastyle is an e-commerce company which provides stylish solutions to their clients/customers. The company has incredibly talented team designers and fashion experts who can completely transform an individual and make them stand out from the crowd. Kyastyle provides solutions to the customers which are stylish. We call it “customizing your Style”. On board kyastyle are talented fashion designer/image consultants who provide style tips to their clients, customize clothes according to every individual’s needs and occasion. Kyastyle is not only about transforming an individual, but also about all the designing solutions that can make anything, aesthetically pleasing. For example, our interior designing services transforms houses in a way that people are speechless and the only word we often hear is “WOW”. Our interior designing services are second to none. Talented architects and interior designers who transform an individual’s house into a work of art! The business model was created in Jan 2012. The concept was implemented in June 2012 and the website was created in July 2012. Kyastyle LLP was registered in the same month.

Risks involved in business and way of addressing

There are a lot of risks involved in any business. The biggest risk as a founder of the company was to quit a well-paying job and start a venture with not sufficient working capital.The other risk is of someone replicating the business model and investing large sums of money to ensure that we are taken out of the competition. This is a big worry at the moment. However, I am certain that there are a lot of potential investors out there who would bet on the winning team of Jockey and Horse rather than bidding on just the horse.

Most critical decision

The most critical decision that I had to take was at the time of the inception of the company Kyastyle. With an already saturated e-commerce market in India and almost all small and medium enterprises trying to have a fair share of the e-commerce pie it was to devise a plan of action to ensure we were not lost in the crowd. We tried to focus on developing a concept that would be different from any other website/portal in the market. It is not only important to be different from the rest but also keep in mind that being different should bring about a difference in the business. Hence, we focused on the current shortcomings of e-commerce websites, and tried to devise a way to reach the potential customer. With the shortage of working capital I had to allocate funds for the development of all the channels and had to forfeit the Idea of having a physical office and a warehouse.

Some of the difficulties faced while building product/ solution

I have experience working as a business analyst and a project manager. As a business analyst my job was to make new business models for companies/start-ups and also tweak the existing business models of companies to turn them profitable. Now, it sounds easy in theory, but in practical implication there can be a lot of difficulties. Even after a comprehensive feasibility test, there could be some problems which are not thought about or taking into consideration, which can impact the business in a major way. The big decision for any e-commerce website has always been to decide which products would sell and which won’t! Now, the same goes for services as well. Kyastyle is an e-commerce website which sells both products and services. Hence, it was a difficult job to focus on the core areas of the companies and to ensure we are not tagged as just another e-commerce website selling everything under the sun!

Three big lessons/ mistakes encountered while building company

I have to admit that even after thinking about every aspect and planning for the business comprehensively, there were a lot of mistakes committed and lessons learnt from them too. But if I were to just state 3 major mistakes they would be as follows: 1) Dodgy wholesalers: Sourcing is one aspect of the e-commerce business which can be a real pain in the neck! There would be a lot of people who would guarantee to provide you good quality products and latest collections etc. However, most of the times it’s quite the opposite! We found it the hard way, after spending a lot of money and time on timewasters! 2) Focus on too many products and services: We had listed a lot of products on our websites, which can be confusing for a customer. Hence we are streamlining all the products which would be exclusively available at our website.3) Digital marketing campaign was not sorted out properly: For any website it is very important to have visibility. The problem arose when during the PPC campaign the list of keywords which we needed to bid on were really expensive making the overall campaign cost pretty steep.

Different actions if I rebuild my company from scratch all over again

The first step would be to rope in investors to have ample working capital to work with. The second thing that I would have done differently would have been having a sound and technical in-house team for all the development and updates for the website rather than outsourcing it to a 3rd party.

Motivation and Drives factor
As a kid, if anyone would ask me, what do you want to be when you grow up? They would often be surprised by my answer “I want to be the richest man on the planet.” In today’s world people would call it a selfish goal. But the bottom line is, not much has changed. Perhaps as a kid I only had the desire, but now I have the experience and the know-how to make it big. Call me crazy, but my ambition is still the same! My goal to be at the top is what drives me, and it always will till I achieve it.
Unique about my way of motivating troops

I believe in quality work and compensating a person for what he/she has achieved. Money has always been a motivating factor since man began trading. However, I believe there are a lot of things that one can do in order to motivate their troops. It can be as simple as a pat on the back, a letter of appreciation or a lavish party for appreciating the job one has done. I personally believe that every member who is associated to the business from the lowest hierarchy is equally important as the top management. Enquiring about every employee’s wellbeing personally can make a lot of difference and keep the troops motivated. My idea of motivating my troops involves all of these, and rewarding my employees when they least expect! It can be gifting a phone which they have on their wish list, or buying a weekend getaway package for them when they are struggling and depressed with work. 

Way of choosing my people

I back my instincts to choose the right people. It takes just 2-5 minutes to analyze if a person is suitable for a job or not. This is a trait that I have developed by meeting and interacting with different people from all parts of the society from around the world! Now, it is not only important to spot the right talent, one has to ensure to nurture and inspire them to add value to the organization. I work closely with each employee giving them training and inspiring them to be better than the rest, at times by the way of constructive criticism. I understand that this methodology is not the most popular in the world; however, it often results in the employee becoming sharp and really spontaneous to tackle the dog-eat-dog business world.

The challenges and lessons learnt to get first customer

To be honest it was more like a competition as to who is going to be the first customer for Kyastyle. With hundreds of friends and acquaintance waiting for the site’s launch it was not a difficult task to sign up the first customer. On the contrary, it was more like a cut-throat competition as to who would be the first one to order from Kyastyle!

Experience of reaching out to potential investors

9 out of 10 people have been really amazed by the Kyastyle’s concept for these reasons: It’s unique, it’s not been done before, and the revenue model is capable of generating revenue from both the sale of products and services, and listings by people/business who can cater to the client. However, that is not enough. The need of the hour is money. The biggest hurdle has been reaching out to “potential” investors.

My role at different dimensions as the company evolved

It’s been a really short time since the inception of the company. However, in this short period of 3 months I had to ensure all the processes were streamlined and the practicality of business be put to test. As it stands today, most of the work is being done by our business heads after the segregation of all the departments and distribution of roles and responsibilities. However, I know for sure, if we were to scale up, I would need to emphasize more on every aspect of business keeping the budget in mind to make it a viable proposition.

As a leader how I make sure that I am connecting the right dots

Focus, vision and a sound strategy is what it takes to ensure that mistakes are very few. In every business there are mistakes which are made, opportunities gone a miss. However, it is about minimizing these mistakes and exploring the opportunities which ensure that the business is profitable. Mistakes can also be minimized when important decisions are collective and well thought of. It is very important to take the opinion of your team member who have experience and can help in making the right decision.

My thoughts related to entrepreneurship/ leadership and management
“It’s all about making money, honey”. How well you can make money consistently is often the distinguishing factor between just an entrepreneur and a successful one. The line of demarcation between success and failure is very thin. One has to tread carefully, thinking about every step, the pros and cons. Managing people is like herding sheep. The shepherd has to always be on a lookout that all the sheep are in the right direction and none of them strays away. In times of need, the shepherd has to give individual attention. This is something which is applicable to all businesses. The welfare of your employees ought to be the ultimate concern. Happy staff is often more productive.
Best company I admire globally

The company I admire the most has to be apple. Even though the products are not the most technically advanced the marketing is such that people are drawn towards them. The way they have created a “niche” in the market ensures that they can sell almost anything! I would want to take a leaf out of their book when it comes to establishing a company’s brand identity.

Advice for fellow entrepreneurs

Take a break; go for that vacation you have been planning for a while! Relax, unwind, comeback and make it work!