Ashutosh Roy, a 27-year-old young entrepreneur from a small town in Bihar, has already made a couple of brands successful. Now, he has launched his own apparel brand called Offmint with London-based designer Rani Ahluwalia.
In an exclusive interview with Startup Pedia the young entrepreneur Ashutosh narrated his inspiring journey.
In April this year, Ashutosh Roy, with his previous brand Gavin Paris co-founder, appeared on the famous TV series Shark Tank India season 2. The pitch did not lead to funding, but Ashutosh was praised by the Shark Tank India judges for his marketing skills. The brand had made Rs 1.4 crore in just 7 months, and Ashutosh was the man behind the unexpected revenue in the short span.
After the Shark Tank India pitch, Ashutosh received many messages and calls from family, friends, relatives, and investors. One of them was Rani Ahluwalia, who wanted to join hands with digital marketing wizard Ashutosh and build a fashion brand. Ashutosh liked the business idea, and hence Offmint was established.
Rani, based in London, is a designer by profession. She is the founder and creative director of Key Interior and Designs, a London-based luxury interior design studio. She has designed luxury hotels that are owned by her husband Sukhpal Singh Ahluwalia’s company, Dominvs Group, which deals in the hotel, residential, and commercial real estate sectors in the United Kingdom.
The duo worked on designs and production for about 4–5 months and launched the brand on November 1, 2023, with about 500 SKUs. So far, they have men’s and women’s wear to offer, but they are also venturing into kid’s wear, which will be launched before 2023 ends.
For men’s and women’s wear, the brand falls into almost general categories, such as jackets, shirts, pants, cargo, t-shirts, sweatshirts, hoodies, etc.
The quality of the apparel is too good to resist. “For instance, almost all the brands are using 180 GSM fabric for t-shirts, and we are using 240 GSM. In this way, we are selling high-quality and long-lasting products at a comparatively lower price,” said Ashutosh while talking to Startup Pedia.
The company is headquartered in Noida where around 10 people work, while the factory employs 25 people. Out of the total workforce of Offmint, 70% are women and there is a reason behind it.
“As Rani was born in India she has an emotional connection with the country. Despite being a remarkably successful and well-known personality in London, she funded and co-founded a business here because she wants to empower women. Rani’s profit from Offmint will go for the welfare of the society,” told Ashutosh during the conversation.
The startup is also striving for a responsible brand. While Ashutosh uses banana fabrics for product manufacturing, his sustainable brand Offmint also adds a seed pen or seed card to every order for free, uses paper bags for packaging instead of plastic, and does not use heavy denims that require more water to wash.
Ashutosh said, “Being in the fashion industry, we know we can’t be 100 % sustainable every single time. Through these initiatives we are trying to become a responsible and sustainable fashion brand to mitigate the harm the textile industry is making to the environment.” The apparel brand has already provided seed pens and seed cards to its 500 customers who genuinely planted those seeds.
Offmint was launched only a month ago, and it is already making Rs 1 lakh in revenue every day. Currently, Offmint products are sold through its website across India; it will soon venture into retail stores in London and India.
Ashutosh said that the brand will be launched on other e-commerce platforms soon such as Amazon, Flipkart, Myntra, Ajio and others to attract more customers. He uses social media marketing to promote the brand’s products as he mentioned that most of his customers are on Instagram.
Rani Ahluwalia, co-founder of Offmint, has recently funded $10 million to the business. Ashutosh said that the funding will be used for global expansion. Moreover, they are in the process of launching 1000+ SKUs in men, women and kids categories.
Entrepreneur born in college
Ashutosh belongs to a middle-class Indian railway contractor father from a small town in Bihar’s Samastipur. After completing his schooling, he enrolled in Guru Nanak Dev Engineering College, Ludhiana, Punjab, for a BTech in computer science engineering. While he was in the first year of his engineering college, he got a project to build a website for which he was paid Rs. 5,000. “This was my motivation to start something of my own. That project and the money for it boosted my confidence,” said Ashutosh in a conversation with Startup Pedia.
At the age of 20, Ashutosh started his own tech company called TechOrion. Although he started single-handedly from the college hostel, gradually he hired more and more employees from his college. The tech company based in Ludhiana initially built websites for its clientele and then added social media, digital marketing, and mobile applications to its verticals. By the time college placement started, his business was running so well that he hired a few students for his tech startup.
TechOrion was making Rs. 10 lakh per month in revenue. However, since Ashutosh wanted to move out of Ludhiana, he shut the company down. Since then, he has worked with various tech companies as a director, such as Elocity Technologies India Private Limited and Pramaan Network Private Limited, and then founded Gavin Paris with one more co-founder. Because of his skills and experience, Ashutosh mentored many startups for growth and marketing.