With the changing dynamics of the world and the constant cry for renewable alternatives to many household items, Assamese brothers Parikshit and Pramathesh Borkotoky are doing their bit to provide solutions to the home design troubles with KraftInn; a venture that deals in lighting products for home. These products are made with materials easily found in Assam.
This Assam duo are no strangers to the world of business. After obtaining an MCA from Jorhat Engineering College, Pramathesh got 10 years of work experience in various establishments which sharpened his keen business eye. Parikshit, on the other hand, with 14 years of experience under his belt, offers his expertise in sales and marketing to KraftInn. He obtained his MBA from Amity Business School, Noida. His expertise in the field of marketing and his passion to provide jobs and employment opportunities for the semi-skilled artisans is one of the major driving forces of this enterprise.
Before fully launching this enterprise in 2015, Parikshit ensured he left no stone unturned in his search to find quality product fitments. He also went on to take a peek behind the veil, uncovering and understanding the basic tenets of the market.
The turning point in Parikshit’s life that birthed his entrepreneurial drive and determination came when he worked at Acceltree Software – a software start-up company. Parikshit was taught how to take charge of his own destiny and not let any opportunity pass him by. This mentality of being responsible pushed him to get intimately involved in every aspect of the business and as a result, sharpened his entrepreneurial skills.
The brothers coined the name KraftInn from “Kraft” and “Inn”. Their original plan was to create a place where people from all over India can acquire a piece from the Northeast culture in the form of bags and lamps and use it to decorate their homes. Parikshit puts it plainly; “KraftInn’s core focus is on design and manufacturing of handcrafted products using sustainable materials like bamboo and water hyacinth and making it mainstream using online and offline channels. Currently, the products include lamps, bags and other home decor artefacts like bookshelf, laundry baskets and many more.”
The brothers note that together, they have invested a total of 12 years into the venture. From the beginning of their entrepreneurial journey till now, the duo have judged their success by the families they have been able to positively affect by beautifying their homes with creative artifacts.
It wasn’t long after this attitude boost that the idea to begin his own company came. After an unsuccessful attempt at establishing an HR consultancy firm, Parikshit relocated to Assam where he collaborated with his brother, Pramathesh, to kick-start the business.
The duo launched the business on the idea of merging a handicraft that is indigenous to the people of Assam with popular contemporary lifestyle demands. “We use sustainable materials like Bamboo, water hyacinth, cane and jute to create beautiful, modern and other distinctive products showcasing Assam’s deepest tradition,” says Parikshit.
At the start of every entrepreneurship journey, there are usually challenges and hurdles to overcome in order to achieve success. A few businesses fold up at this stage and the owners simply lose out. On how they surmounted this phase, Pramathesh reveals they were helpful tips that helped them achieve success. He says, “Entrepreneurship is always a very tough journey but the benefits of building it are enormous.”
“The three things which we have learned from our experiences are; Patience, you need to be very patient. Don’t try to fix things by shortcuts. Information, you need to look at the business analytically and be informative on the latest trends, and creativity, building the right product and marketing it well are the key factors. You should have the ability to create a new product and market it well so that it gets widely accepted,” he adds.
According to Parikshit, their design philosophy controls how and when their products evolve. He notes, “Our design philosophy includes ideation, feasibility study, prototyping, feedback from the team, improvement, feedback from potential customers, improvement, and repeatedly improving after feedback from actual customers. Our products have evolved over the years based on feedback from users.”
A few of the company’s best selling products include; Modern Floor Lamp, Standing Floor Lamp, Tattva Floor Lamp, Decorative Table Lamp, Canon Lamp, Tripod Bamboo Floor Lamp, Multipurpose Bamboo Bins, among others. As entrepreneurs with passion for their work, the brothers derive motivation from the positive feedback they get from customers and the increase in customer trust and reliability in their brand, coupled with an increase in the number of sales made.
In dealing with the abnormalities caused by the pandemic, the brothers switched to more automated manufacturing means, thereby limiting the use of people, to guarantee the safety of their employees. The employees still had an important role in packaging the product, so as to sustain their income.
Presently, KraftInn has been inducted into the North East Agri Technology entrepreneurs Hub under Assam Agricultural University and National Institute of Transforming India AAYOG Initiatives. They hope to continue growing and expanding their business by including several new ranges of products. If you require that extra traditional touch in your home by giving it that extra Assam indigenous look, you may checkout their products on KraftInn or other e-commerce websites like Amazon and Flipkart. Their products are also available at offline stores, in Guwahati and Bengaluru.
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