Interview with Sumit Shah from PlanetSuperHeroes
YEF – Tell us a bit about yourself and your background?
Sumit – I am 29 and will be 30 soon, the eldest of the 4th generation in the family business. After completing my undergrad in software engineering, I started work in a medical software company as a software developer. That is when I realized that I needed to do more and being confined to 9 – 6 job would not cut it for me. This is when I joined my family business that was established in 1924. I learned a lot from the business and in 2010 I ventured with my uncles to set up our retail franchising business. We started well with 17 stores in 4 states and since then I have been hooked on to India’s retail story.
In 2012, when the new company was all set, I went on to complete my MBA at Fuqua School Of Business, Duke University.
On the family front – I have an energetic 3-year-old boy and beautiful wife that I promised to marry back in high school. I love traveling, have been to all continents apart from the poles. Have a good appetite for risk and adventure – love skydiving and bungee jumping.
YEF – Why an entrepreneur, y not a high paying job?
Sumit – I have been lucky enough to have a wonderful family that encourages entrepreneurship and risk taking. I did try working for a high paying job but that meant sacrificing all the other opportunities. Also being around in a family that takes risks and succeeds plays an important role in selecting such a career path. In my case my father, grandfather and great grandfather took risks and succeed in setting up businesses or taking the setup business to the next level. My family had always encouraged that we think of something apart from the mundane and venture into something new.
YEF – What inspired you to start your own businesses?
Sumit – The inspiration comes from the business idea and the work needed to make that happen. We all have heard success stories of countless entrepreneurs local and global that have made breathtaking enterprises from virtually nothing – why not try doing something yourself.
YEF – What is your company into and what problem does it solve?
Sumit – The latest company Superhero Brands aims to be the one stop shop for character and comic merchandise. While traveling to other more developed countries I could not help but notice the availability of character and comic merchandise in stores and online. All that was available in India was apparel and kids merchandise and of this most was unlicensed sold on streets and some imported at unreasonable prices for the Indian consumer. Hence we set out to make a platform for all fans living in India and what best way to bring this to everyone was a website.
YEF – Tell us more about your brand name?
Sumit – Planetsuperheroes as the name suggests it is everything to do with the superhero world and comic book world. We want to be associated with anything and everything a fan wants.
YEF – What are key services you are providing which are differentiator from the rest?
Sumit – Having almost every superhero character, breath of merchandise (right from t shirts to money clips) and a fan focused approach we closely curate the best products and bring the best licenses to our audience.
YEF – What is the pricing strategy and marketing strategy you have been using?
Sumit – Majority of India’s consumers have been price conscious hence discounts certainly do well, however getting the right merchandise certainly helps fans look beyond pricing. Our strategy is to focus on the fan and ensure there is value in each purchase.
YEF – How’s the business going on and who are your key clients?
Sumit – Business is doing incredibly well – we are increasing our basket of characters and related merchandise. Our key clients are fans aged between 15- 30.
YEF – Your current target regions and future plans?
Sumit – Our current plan is to focus on India and in the next phase make this brand available globally.
YEF – What do you think are the most important factors that will make your company a success?
Sumit – Focusing on high quality and ensuring the fans are kept happy.
YEF – What words of advice would you give to other young entrepreneurs?
Sumit – I suggest young entrepreneurs to follow rapid prototyping and creating MVPs before putting in all blood sweat and tears.
YEF – What do you think about this initiative of youth entreprennovators forum?
Sumit – Any idea bringing smart and innovative minds on the same platform is appreciated. A lot can be learned by sharing experiences.
Visit Company Website: PlanetSuperHeroes