As quirky and unique as the name sounds, so is the budding bubbly entrepreneur behind Ding the store. In Chai pe Charcha, we got to talk to the founder of Ding the store, Shishir Ramnath, 20-year old law student from the School of Law, Christ University who found his passion in happy customers above his passion towards his major.
“Like any other person, I wanted a fancy case, the moment I got an i-phone, and when I did receive mine, from a reputed case maker of the country, the case that had wrecked my wallet wasn’t really worth the wait and every penny shelled, and when even the replaced case did not satisfy me, I decided that I need to bridge the between what we see and what we get, in online purchases,” recounts Shishir Ramnath, the founder of Ding the store.
The passionate photographer with wanderlust etched deep in his heart, is now busy in growing his venture. “I was extremely focused towards delivering customer satisfaction and did strict quality checks on the first samples I considered,” he says, recalling the initial days of the start-up.
Ding the store began as his idea and was carved out of his research in November 2015. Thanks to free modules on marketing courses from Stanford, the 20-year old law-student from Christ University knew where he was going. “I studied the market, analyzed ‘what not to do’ and decided that even if my products were a little on the pricey side, it should be valued for the amount shelled,” he says.
Being the solo man behind the start-up until a team was formed, though was ‘a little hectic’ as he terms it, he accepts to have thoroughly enjoyed it “I looked at every aspect of the of my start-up right from the logo to sampling every case and the packaging,” he adds.
The Website was officially launched and began operations in April 2016, and there has been no looking back since then. Initially offering only imported i-phone cases, they have now expanded to cater to the needs of users of 90+ phone models with simultaneously coming up with their own designs for the cases.
Planning to launch and expand in a very phased out manner, Ramnath is looking at roping in designers, marketing and selling their designs on a royalty basis. “I feel a lot of designers are under-recognized. There are many with tremendous talent and huge potential out there, but are not very recognised due to the lack of the required launch pads and marketing,” he says, adding that it is all about “monetizing art in a manner that is beneficial to them,” hoping that is what Ding will grow into. The idea struck him, when he realized how as a photographer, he himself carved for a brand and recognition but couldn’t get it.Applying this crave for niche to the numerous designers out there, he decided what his store would expand to accommodate.
The store is also in talks with a few manufacturers in Tirupur to expand their product line to customised t-shirts and women apparel. They have also opened up for collaborations with corporates for bulk orders and from what looks like it, doing a pretty good progress on those lines.
Ask him what is the best part of his venture, he responds with credits to his team, “nothing is possible without an efficient team,” he says. “I think it is very essential to have a young team,” he adds.
Looking for seed funding in the next six-eight months, he hopes to grow with the organization. “Exclusivity needs to be maintained, you need to do what you do best,” he says when asked what drives him and his decisions with respect to making his venture different from all others, “Its not just about gaining customers, it is more about gaining happy customers,” he adds, what seems to be the vision of Ding. With a warm yet stern business attitude, “Get Dinged,” he says, portraying the uniqueness and quirkiness his products display.