This Shepreneur Cooked a Business Out of a Lunchbox
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Former techie Ridhi Singhai while heating her plastic lunch box at the office microwave, daily fussed over the toxic fumes that it emitted. Being a mother of a two-year-old then, it concerned her even more and she decided to change the game. She bought glass lunch boxes, providing her family a safer medium, but her son and husband broke them in a matter of two months. From there on, she decided to build a product which is microwave-safe and sturdy.
"I always had a knack for designing and often thought of switching to a profession which would require designing skills," says Singhai. Having struck with the idea of innovating a daily utility item like a lunch box got her excited as it would let her play around with designs. She quit her job in 2015 to give shape to her idea. First, she conducted a survey which led her to believe that people wanted an alternative to plastics. Basis that, Singhai thought of using steel but the product would look uncool.
As glass lunch boxes were gaining poplularity, she started researching on different kinds of glass. She found borosilicate as the highest quality of sturdy glass. The challenge was to mould it giving it the right shape. The eureka moment came when she met an Australian designer who was travelling to India. The creative minds worked together to design eco-friendly and break-resistant lunch boxes and water bottles with colorful silicone coverings. You can keep the cover when heating food in microwave and not burn your fingers while taking it out.
Speaking about acceptability, she was initially mocked by her husband's colleagues, she remembers. It was, however, her husband and father who helped her stand the ground. "They made me realize that if I stop having faith in my idea, nobody else will," laughingly said Singhai. Her husband and father gave an initial push to the business with a capital of Rs 1.5 crore. TintBox's offerings are priced between Rs 650 and Rs 2,500 and it sells only online (through their own website and on Amazon). They have tied up with FedEx for deliveries. "I believe that my target audience is mostly the netizens. Further, I don't want to get into retail as of now, as the price and the quality that I provide is not matching vendors' price point," adds Singhai.
This bootstrapped model is growing at 150 per cent per month and with around 90 orders a day, they aim to cross a monthly turnover of over Rs 1 crore. Currently, it is already in talks with some angel investors and VCs. Singhai is now planning to foray into the kid's segment