Cellphone couture


Ronak Sarda came up with Cover It Up as a solution to the problem his friends were facing — that of not being able to carry their favourite characters with them. YASHASVINI RAJESHWAR

Not having a phone today is as close to a living nightmare as one can get. Android or Windows, touch screen or QWERTY, this brand or the other — the only questions are how big, how impressive and how expensive that gadget in your pocket is going to get. We have moved on from the time when only top ranked professionals carried bulky mobile phones to one where cell phones are the most popular goods in the market! With this trend comes the rise of all the accessories associated with it — stickers and stones, covers and skins. Today, there are scores of companies making their money off technology accessories.

Inspiration

For young Ronak Sarda, the inspiration to jump onto the bandwagon came early. Watching his father start from the bottom and build his fortune, Ronak began dreaming of doing it himself some day — to start something new and see it through. This familial motivation coupled with the multiple movie marathons of his adolescence catalysed the birth of Cover It Up, a venture that makes and sells custom-made phone cases.

“I am a movie buff and characters have me rigged very firmly in their environments. When I conducted a random survey asking 50 other people how seriously they take the characters/designs around them, I learnt that most of them were above-the-average fan. Evidently, this generation is living up to their choices.” Add this to the multitude of friends complaining about below par cases for their expensive phones and the spark that led to Cover It Up was lit! Now Ronak provides a way out for anyone who wants to see their favourite superhero/character/cartoon every time they pick up their phone!

The growth story has been tremendous for Ronak and his venture. With 3000 organic likes flooding his Facebook page in the first three months of starting business, he has even received an order from France! Yet, despite the blitzkrieg success that has welcomed Ronak, the thought of Cover It Up as his entrepreneurial venture did not arise. “But then I began getting offers for mergers,” he begins, a tinge of surprise clinging to his story. “Many websites began asking for my products, surprised at my range and pricing. It was then that I began thinking of expansion seriously.”

Planned or otherwise, Ronak’s run has been fantastic so far.

“People thank me for days after they get their cases. We get status messages dedicated to us and others share our page. Seven out of every 10 of our inbox messages begin with the line ‘You guys have amazing cases!’ What could be better than that kind of testimony from our customers? This entire journey teaches me something every day. Today, I can boldly tell anyone to follow what they love without hesitation. It is definitely worth it.”

Looking ahead

Being as nascent yet as confident as he is, Ronak’s advice to all the aspiring entrepreneurs out there is practical. “It is only human to be competitive,” he begins. “But you cannot just cede the market to someone else.

The initial advantage gets quickly narrowed as soon as the idea gets replicated and so perhaps the biggest challenge is to keep at it and make sure it is running smoothly.” Defined by that confidence and determination, his one line of wisdom for everyone trying to walk the path is simple. “Fight for every inch and be open to the inputs of those around you.”

Cover It Up, as it stands today, is a one-man army and Ronak makes sure that five per cent of the revenue flowing in reaches deserving children. “It is amazing to see how things such as clothes, fruits or a box of chocolates is enough to make a dozen kids happy,” he smiles.

As new orders come flowing in, Ronak is busy charting out the plan of action for the future. With a national e-commerce site on the cards in the next couple of months and a clothing line along the same lines over the course of the year, Ronak’s customers can hope to enjoy the chance to customise anything under the sun, how they want and when they want! “Everyone has their own preference but today, they are limited by available resources.

That is where we come into the picture,” says Ronak confidently.

Visit Cover It Up at: http://www.facebook.com/coveritupcases

 

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