Having worked in the corporate sector before, Dawar and having had to close down his first venture Shahrukh, this friend duo came together to address the world’s most burning issue, plastic waste and do something good for the environment.
Everything started with 100 toothbrushes back in February 2020 and now in a 1 year span, Organic B has 21 different personal care products that they are offering to the market! We had a very interesting conversation with these two friends cum founders and one thing is for sure, these guys are really passionate about what they are doing!
Read our conversation with the very humble Mr. Sardar Shahrukh Kibriya and Mr.Dawar Zama to know more about their venture Organic B.
How did the concept of Organic B come about?
Shahrukh: Both me and Dawar have been friends for the longest possible time, back when we used to go to college everyday we saw huge piles of waste dumped in the landfill. Things started getting more concerning when we went trekking to Naag Tibba, the mountains there were covered with plastics. That is when we felt the need to come forward and act on the fact that Delhi is becoming a pollution hub. We had many brainstorming sessions, we did a lot of research and that is when we came across the concept of bamboo toothbrushes. Without further ado, we kickstarted Organic B in February 2020 with 100 bamboo toothbrushes. Now we have 21 different eco-friendly products that we are offering.
What are the product lines that you are currently offering?
We have a whole range of different personal care products that we are offering like Toothbrushes, Charcoal Powder, Dental Tabs, Copper Bottles, Scrubs and other personal care products. Our charcoal infused bamboo toothbrushes and Rosewood combs are our bestsellers, they have been really adored by all our customers.
How do you source your products? Do you manufacture them yourself?
We both manufacture as well as source our products. If we talk about the manufacturing part, we are not doing it inhouse, we have tied up with artisans from the villages of Assam and Dehradun, where we can easily find bamboo, who make the products for us. Along with this we have also tied up with a few corporate houses who make products for us like the toothbrushes that require heavy machinery for the production. We provide them with specifications and the raw materials and under our monitoring they manufacture the toothbrushes.
Who are your allies in running the venture? And how have you divided the work among yourselves?
Shahrukh: We have a small team of 5 people including us two founders. We have a freelancer who works with me on our website and the SEOs. Then we have two of our other friends who help us with marketing and logistics. Also, currently we are working on offline sales whereby we are tying up with a concept store here, so our two friends are working on this right now.
Dawar: Apart from this we also hired interns for 3 months who focused on the sales part. They helped us create awareness in the market about our brand and our products. Also since we are a startup there is no fixed role designation, all of us do a bit of everything like packaging, handling customer queries on our social media, and offline marketing. We are just getting it done as a family.
Since you mentioned that you do your own packaging, do you have a designated office space?
Yes we do have two floors, one is completely for packaging and another one is the office. For the packaging we have a fixed designated time and during that time either of us is there to check on the quality as well as other things like the sanitization and health protocols aspect as of now with the pandemic going on. In addition, we also very closely monitor if the packaging is hygienic or not as all the products are personal care products.
What is your sales process? Is it more of a B2B or B2C?
Dawar: Our main focus is B2C but we do both B2B and B2C. And talking about our sales channel we have been using a number of different approaches. We do PR packages and tie up with influencers and celebrities. We have our website, we also have listed our products in major online channels like Amazon, Flipkart, Snapdeal to name a few. In addition, as mentioned earlier, we have placed our products in online as well as offline sustainable stores that are directly dedicated to these kinds of eco-friendly products. We have just started to take baby steps in offline marketing, we have covered almost all the organic stores in South Delhi and we are also planning to expand to a whole lot of other cities too. Our dream is to make at least one store per state in India. So, we are using both the online channel as well as trying to push everything offline too. Basically we have a huge array of channels when it comes to sales and reaching our customers.
How did you raise investment to cover the whole lot of expenses that goes into starting and operating a startup?
Shahrukh: This is a self invested venture, we earned the money and invested it in starting Organic B. We invested like IRs.20,000 when we started out and right now we are just circulating what we earn from the sales. Now since we are in the growth stage, we are looking for someone who is interested in investing in our idea.
What are the core challenges that you faced to set up the company?
Dawar: There were multiple challenges. The very first was getting the artisans on board and actually getting commitments from them that they will be working and manufacturing the products in a timely manner. Also, building trust both ways was tough.
The second obviously is the COVID challenge, with all the courier services down and the country going on a lockdown. Also, our sales drastically decreased, we were dispacting 100 orders per day before COVID and with the crisis our sales went down to zero. By god grace things have started to get better and we are back on track.
Thirdly, there are many people who are still unaware of our presence in the market, both brand and product wise. When we introduce our products to someone new 90% of the time they are like “What is a bamboo toothbrush? Can we use them to brush our teeth”. So, yes that lack of awareness is there.
How do you maintain the consistency and quality of your products since they are handmade?
We check every single product with our hands. Previously this was quite easy as the volume was less, now it is getting a little difficult. But the good thing is we have been associated with these artisans and these companies for the last one year, so they know what we want and what our standard is.
What are your short term plans for Organic B?
We are definitely focusing on our sales right now. So, profitability is not our topmost priority, our major focus is spreading awareness about our brand and our products along with the benefits that come along with using them.
Also we will be focusing on more offline sales in the coming months. Moreover, we will be working on our prices, making our products more affordable and reasonable by achieving economies of scale.
You surely wouldn’t want to miss checking out their products! To make it easy we have linked their official pages for you!