From the first day, Happydesk.in founder Mahesh Patil knew that he wanted to get into entrepreneurship. Formerly working for Embassy Property Developments, the MBA graduate had the opportunity to gain exposure in business park development and marketing, all while continuously communicating with executives. It was with his constant interaction in the workplace where he noticed a pattern of miscommunication. Whenever the chairman or any other employee requested for items to be brought into the office, it was the case that the wrong items were delivered. Why was there a poor level of understanding and how could direct visibility be restored of people’s needs for supplies at work?
With this curiosity, Mahesh began analyzing markets in India, particularly concerning office and school stationaries. This analysis lead Mahesh to find a disorganized market where producers in the industry are dominated by a few, big companies, driving out the smaller producers. On the consumer end, particularly in rural areas, it was the case that many schools would never have come across such companies. The exposure to producers was clearly lacking for some educational institutions.
Thus, Mahesh was inspired to use technology as the solution to eliminating the unorganized aspects of the market. He figured that if a website platform was used to connect the stationary producers to the consumers, small manufacturers would be able to increase their coverage to a larger audience while buyers would gain both more variety and easier access to sellers. With an online website, anyone can simply connect to the internet and find the products they need for their schools, offices, and so forth.
Having this concept in mind, Mahesh went to work with creating his enterprise Happydesk.in. Immediately from his experience at Embassy Property Developments, the founder already gained insights on how a company should be run and the organizational structures used to work professionally. And through his cousin’s connection with LEAD, Mahesh was introduced to the Deshpande Foundation and Sandbox Startups where he received news that a new IMER incubation center was opening in Belgaum. After participating in the first “Pitch Your Idea” event, the budding entrepreneur won and received incubation support from the organization.
The support in the tier-ii city of Belagavi certainly gave a boost for Mahesh. The attention provided by the director of IMER was a great asset while the coordinator at Sandbox-IMER was always attentive to the incubatees’ needs concerning operations. And indeed, the co-working space shared by other entrepreneurs gave a sense of mutual solidarity for one another. But the founder still had the challenge of gaining more information and research about the unorganized market. Despite this exciting market opportunity, the vendors themselves were reluctant to provide information due to a lack of trust.
Thus, Mahesh realized the futility of talking to the vendors and instead employed a strategy of going directly to the manufacturers. As a result, Happydesk.in gained over 40 companies who would sell directly to the end user instead of having to deal with an inconvenient middleman. Meanwhile, around 16 schools were eliminated from the worry of finding stationaries and have used the website to gain more choice for buying reliable school products.
Given its recent beginnings, it is impressive to note the customers and suppliers that the founder has accumulated in the past few months. Indeed, Happydesk.in is set to slowly reorganize the stationaries market while setting a goal to reach out to 50 schools and 1lakh users in the next year. It is even more exciting to see the enterprise potentially grow to 5 other states beyond Mahesh’s native Karnataka.
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