Sunday, September 25, 2022

Work on unit economics from day one

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Sabine Elsässer
Sabine Elsässer is founder and chief editor of the StartupValleyNews Magazine. She started her career at several international direct sale companys. Since 2007 she works main time as a journalist. While that time she learned more about the Startup Scene, what made her start her own Startup Magazine the StartupValleyNews.

EMIGN for unique, designer and sustainable home furnishing products

Please introduce yourself and your startup EMIGN to our readers!
I am Ankur Garg, founder & CEO of EMIGN, a young e-Commerce start-up for unique, designer and sustainable home furnishing products. EMIGN is first of its kind marketplace that connects small and medium sized designers and producers in home décor segment, to people thriving for designer but sustainable and long-lasting home furnishing products. Our product portfolio is sourced from hand-picked suppliers originated from Eastern Europe to Nordics. Our range of products fits into everyone needs, weather you are looking for nice decorative article for your office desk or craving for a nice and comfortable bed (something which you can heritage to next generation) for your bedroom.

Our vision is “To be the most reliable destination to shop home and living products in markets we serve”, and our business idea supports this vision by offering wide range of unique and long-lasting home and living products at best prices.

How did you get the idea to EMIGN?
Well, it didn’t pop up overnight of course. It was originated right after I landed in Germany five years back for study and accommodated in student apartment in Leipzig. Honestly speaking, I was not comfortable on bed I used to sleep and my body got that quite early too. That time I was student and obviously had limited budget to spend on something like that, so I started sleeping on floor with mattress. Most of the people I met during and after had similar problems with quality of piece of furniture they were getting (we all know, who dominates furniture market in Germany!). The idea of EMIGN was there in mind since then and offering “real” piece of furniture I was used to back home (in India) to Europeans.

But as we all have, life treats us differently than we think and I had to take a job, which can successfully pay my bills and education loan. Though I kept my entrepreneurial spirit and worked in start-ups in Berlin and South East Asia. My last job with payleven (later acquired by SumUp) ended in 2016 and since then, I started working on shaping EMIGN into reality along with taking some freelance projects on the way.

P.S.: I had my first start-up back in India and failed after three years of tremendous efforts. I learnt a lot from my failures so far.

How difficult was the start and what challenges you had to overcome?
Starting up is never difficult in my opinion. You can start working on your idea (especially in tech industry) with nearly zero money in your pocket in this digital era. I would say, it might be bit difficult for a foreign national to starting up in Germany. But things get better as you go. Most challenging part is translating that into real business and then moving forward. Especially for someone like me who was nearly bankrupted while doing freelance projects (nearly 80% receivables are still due), managing personal expenses while working on something big is quite challenging. I started with 100€ in my account and took 1000€ loan from my close friend in March 2017.

Since then, always worked around the hurdle of monetary investment and successfully paid loan back in two months (technically, had operational break-even already). Another big challenge I had was inefficient logistic services across Europe (through conventional carrier services like DHL, DPD etc.). After initial few hiccups, I partnered with unconventional and new entrants in logistic space, trusted on them to offer great experience to our customers and succeeded so far.

But despite anything, this is “a journey from basic to unique”.

Who is your target audience?
Well, this is difficult to say as we have little data to prove anything (had beta launch in June 2017) but our early adopters are categorized in two segments:

• First, young corporate people, age group of 28-34 years, eying for designer and unique products, and willing to pay premium for comfort
• Second, middle age people, age group of 42-46 years, having an eye to differentiate unique from basic and thriving for eco-friendly and sustainable product range

What is the USP of your startup?
We don’t just fill up your walled house with wood and metal, and calling it “home”. We are promised to bring ethnicity and sustainability in form of long-lasting furniture and home decor products that you can certainly showcase to your friends, family & guests, and feel proud. We are a team, a friend, an adviser, a critic whom you can rely on while scouting for products that fit into your need and look “wow!” in your home. In addition to that, our unparalleled customer support sets us apart from others.

Can you describe a typical workday of you?
I am not an early riser and I work until late in night. And as I am close to 30s, I become more conscious about fitness and daily routine. So I usually kick off my day with a soft gym session and spend about 30-40 minutes in shower. That’s the place I put together my thoughts for rest of the day. The day structure is laid out once I hit my mailbox and then ready to go! I usually take 30-45 minutes break during lunch (almost mid-day) and recollect everything if I am on the track for rest of the day.

I am successful so far keeping my Sunday available to get recharged and nearly don’t do anything as long as something is really urgent and can’t be kept for coming week.

I am aggressively working on building dream team (especially tech and marketing) for EMIGN so anyone reading this article and interested to have a quick chat, most welcome.

Where do you see yourself and your startup EMIGN in five years?
I see myself more financial stable, taking financial responsibility of my parents back home and working 2x more to make EMIGN 4x more successful. I see EMIGN as foremost and most reliable marketplace for home furnishing products and changing people’s life of both who produce and who consume such products.

What 3 tips would you give other Start-up founders on the way?
• Don’t talk, do it!
• Work on unit economics from day one (not every start-up is unicorn!)
• Keep believing in you despite of all odds in your life (Pressure creates Diamonds. Fire refines Gold)

More information you will find here

Thank you Ankur Garg for the Interview

Statements of the author and the interviewee do not necessarily represent the editors and the publisher opinion again.

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