The Silicon Review
The beginning of a business endeavor can be quite tough and challenging on all fronts. While the paths to success are many, there is no set-in-stone instruction that can lead one to achieve great things. Entrepreneurs have to take on different roles and tasks and think on their feet to build a thriving business. Every entrepreneur stumbles over unexpected hurdles at some point in their journey. But what differentiates the successful ones from the rest is they get back up stronger. This is the story of one such entrepreneur, Mudit Khurana, who dealt with various obstacles, and moved past his setbacks to achieve his dreams.
When Mudit started Rucept, he dealt with his fair share of struggles. At times, he was unprepared and ignorant and didn’t realize his troubles until he had tripped right over them. But Mudit worked hard on his ideas, didn’t let anything dissuade him and saw his ideas turning into reality.
Getting off the ground
Rucept was started in June 2016 when Mudit and his college friend, Vineet realized the need to automate product creation and just in time manufacturing for retail under a single solution. They tested the idea with a few lines of code to prove the technology, and fortunately, it started generating revenue from its first week itself.
Rucept works with artists and media to turn content into product and upload it to different marketplaces globally, as well as handle item fulfillment from its network of two dozen factories worldwide. A single image can turn into 250 unique products, and the listing on over thirty marketplace sites across the world makes it a licensing platform without precedent. The company strives to solve the clients’ hardest problems first, looking for areas where it can completely redefine the efficiencies in a process.
It takes hard work over the long haul to succeed
Mudit says that he can still remember the launch day of his first startup, when his co-founders reached office early morning before him. Generally, he used to ensure that they all reached together. This time however, they reached early because he kept pushing the launch date to buy more time for the website and make it perfect. But his co-founders felt they had to launch.
Mudit recalls driving on the Gurgaon-Delhi freeway from his home to office as fast as possible, as if the sky was going to fall. He was on the call with the co-founders hoping that his voice would somehow restrain them, but that was just wishful thinking. “I was maybe halfway there, and they put the website live. I had a mixed feeling; I was thrilled yet nervous”, said Mudit. “Then, suddenly the first order came in. Nine years have passed after that, and I feel someone fired the starting pistol that day without giving me a chance to be ready and there has been no stopping since then”, he added.
Founders, Mudit and Vineet started off with very limited knowledge in many areas of their business. As their business grew, it was quite challenging for them to unlearn the professional habits that they picked up in India and learn to do business in the US. Building software and hardware products too were completely new. Mudit realized that they had to become good at many such things and fast. So he took courses from Udemy to learn about coding and UI/UX designing, and read as much as he could about single-unit manufacturing.
Coming from a B2C e-commerce background, he found it hard to depend on in-person enterprise sales to build traction. This was extremely frustrating as he was used to large traffic and fast order cycles. “Vineet and I tested our hypothesis very quickly”, says Mudit. Rucept used to create bags and phone covers. This was fun for the founders but the business demanded investments in inventory. So they decided to code a quick automation software that would overlay one image on 100 phone covers.
They also started listing thousands of products on e-commerce marketplaces daily that resulted in an immediate surge in their sales. Their friends from the entertainment industry too wanted to try the software, so they started listing products for them. That’s how it started and grew.
Pushing the limits
At Rucept, Mudit envisions of developing technologies that completely digitize the physical product supply chain so that creators can create and sell freely, and consumers get access to more products in more places like ebooks for writers or downloadable music for musicians. He believes that one should have a strong will to change something while starting a venture and a deep conviction to get there.
Mudit quotes, “As an entrepreneur, it takes a lot to ensure that you’re doing the right things for the right reason. It takes a lot of work to get the word out, and then it takes a lot of work to get people to see things your way. So even though it gets difficult I believe it should be like that. Not so much as a CEO but definitely as an Entrepreneur, I believe that.”
With alacrity, Mudit mentions that his journey so far has been exciting. However, he feels that he could have had more trust and belief in himself, and given the chance to start his career all over again, he would change that. Mudit added, “The highs have been very high and the lows very low. It’s made me stronger as a person. I see myself working tirelessly to ensure the best possible future I can foresee for the people and problems I care about, and traveling more! I would really like to steal some time for that.”
Mudit is presently focused on manufacturing and merchandising. In the near future, he plans to consider dabbling in brain sciences, education, blockchain based voting systems and even space.
Knowing the thought leader
Mudit was the co-founder and CEO of India’s first premium fashion marketplace, Rooja.com, which later got acquired by fashion aggregator, Exclusively.in. This was in turn acquired by Snapdeal.com, India’s $6.5 billion e-commerce marketplace.
Mudit went on to head Paytm’s (valuation $10bn) premium retail division, where he was a Sr. GM and division CEO. At Paytm, Mudit got the idea for a zero inventory on demand retail model for apparel and accessories.
“As an entrepreneur, I believe that one person can make a difference and individuals can and must step up to solve challenging problems and lead.”