Published: 17th April 2019
Entrepreneur Bijay Nanda Debta's e-commerce start-up sells t-shirts that reflect the culture of Western Odisha
Not only from Chennai and other cities, but they also receive orders from around the world
It is said that one must never forget their roots and one person who has followed this adage through and through is Bijay Nanda Debta. Born in Bargarh in Western Odisha, he must have felt frustrated when he launched Booking Done, a travel company, back in 2015, tried to run it for two years and failed. But he bounced back by shifting base to Noida and today, he has two successful start-ups to his credit, AiO Stuff, a digital marketing company, and Innov Fashion, an e-commerce website selling T-shirts, which in some way or the other, reflect the culture of Western Odisha. This piqued our interest and we had to find out more, so we reached out to Bijay.
Even Amazon and Flipkart started from zero. I have a long way to go
Bijay Nanda Debta, Serial entrepreneur | (Pic: Innov Fashion)
"Sambhalpuri is not just a culture, it's a way of life and that's what we want to depict through our clothes," says Bijay, talking about Innov Fashion. With a team of three designers, four content writers and a website developer, they rake in about 200–300 orders per month. And what's more? After making their presence felt online, they now want to open a brick-and-motor store to display their sought-after contemporary merchandise. And where else will their first store be launched if not in his hometown of Bargrah? What a way to get back to one's roots, we say. "Yes, work on the interiors are going on in the shop. And depending on the feedback we receive for this store, we will plan to open another one in the next two to three months," says the serial entrepreneur. First stop Bargarh, then Western Odisha in a year and after that, who knows? The plan is huge and he hopes to take it one step at a time.
They are planning to expand into women's and kids' wear soon. Currently, they deal with men's wear
But would setting up offline stores really work as a strategy in this world which is increasingly going online? Bijay feels that internet penetration is yet to blossom fully in several pockets of Odisha and hence, a physical store still remains a good idea. "Also, there is so much culture and tradition around us and our T-shirts are a new-age way of showing it," opines Bijay, who is a member of Startup India, the global community for entrepreneurs, TiE Delhi and other such forums which help stimulate his thoughts. "I am constantly exploring myself and I am very energetic and eager to learn. All this helps me help others as well," says the 30-year-old while describing himself and adds, "I've never followed the crowd; I have always felt that my path is different from others." And we would probably agree, after all, if it's the path that leads one home, can it be wrong?
Flaunt it: This T-shirt screams 'Being Sambalpuria', the culture which the company strives to promote among all | (Pic: Innov Fashion)
Iconic face: Featuring famous actor Atal Bihari Panda from Sonepur, this T-shirt not only embodies what he stands for, but also the fact that he is a proud Odia | (Pic: Innov Fashion)
Are you happy?: Apon mone khushi to is seen in print on this T-shirt. Meaning Are you all happy?, this is one of the most iconic lines in Odia | (Pic: Innov Fashion)
For more on him, click on facebook.com/Biju1818