Abhishek Agarwal

Founder of Design’N’Buy

Abhishek has an extensive background in information technology (IT). His mission is to deliver the best, innovative ideas in Web to Print (W2P). Delivering the best, with the utmost perfection is Abhishek’s life motto. He holds a Bachelor’s in commerce and a Master’s in ecommerce.

Where did the idea for Design’N’Buy come from?

I felt that there was a need for innovative software solutions to bridge the gap between the retail and online print industry. So, I started a modest print company in 2009 with my wife and created a print commerce website for printers.

When that website became successful, we launched a completely innovative web-to-print solution named Design’N’Buy to help businesses. Over the years, our company has provided online print solutions to diversified segments such as commercial, textile, label printing, and packaging. Today, if you search for “web-to-print” on Google, we are guaranteed to pop up in the results. We have been in the business for a very long time.

Ever since our inception 13 years ago, we have made great strides — regardless of the business climate and industry trends. We pivoted whenever we could! You see, for many businesses, the COVID-19 pandemic was a dark time. Companies were shutting down.

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

My typical day starts by waking up at 6:45 am to make tea for my wife and me. Afterward, we both get our daughter Aaanya ready for school and drop her at the school bus stop at 7.30. Next, I run and do yoga for 60 minutes. But I don’t check emails and social media before 9 am.

After that, me, and my wife, who is CEO of Design’N’Buy, spend quality time on plans, new ideas, and strategies. We make our plan for the day and list down all our to-dos in our diary.

In the evening, I spend time with my daughter and talk about her day and homework, then we all see something good on OTT for 45 minutes. We end our day by reading a book. I am currently reading a book on the Indian SaaS industry, “The India SaaS Story.” Afterward, I go to sleep by 10 pm.

How do you bring ideas to life?

By collaborating with my team and co-partner, I bring ideas to life. From checking the background to the reasoning behind what, why, and how, I do in-depth research and analyze everything.

What’s one trend that excites you?

Ever since our inception 13 years ago, we have made great strides — regardless of the business climate and industry trends. We pivoted whenever we could! You see, for many businesses, the COVID-19 pandemic was a dark time. Companies were shutting down.

Many people are getting laid off. Operations worldwide were in a fix. The traditional way of working had to be left behind faster than ever just in the hopes that we could adapt better and survive because of a virus that had instilled a fear in people for their health.

But we managed to stay afloat, took some giant leaps of faith, entered into some exciting partnerships, and grew in different nooks and crannies of the world. But before I tell you how it all came to be, let me take you to the beginning.

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

I am very good at making notes whenever anything comes to mind or while talking with someone. If something important comes up, I immediately write in my diary and further work on it. This habit enables me to learn from people, and I can implement lots of new things in the organization.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Always take risks that you can afford and add value wherever you are.

Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.

Fail fast in order to get success fast. You should not attach to a product or idea if that is not working for a long time. You can scrape it after giving justified time to it .

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

I listen to people around me, take my team’s opinion, and discuss matters with knowledgeable persons. Also, connecting with like-minded people on LinkedIn or any other social channel will make you a better person and entrepreneur.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?

Hard work. I am persistent when it comes to giving shape to my ideas. I don’t back down if I fail but take my time to think and change my strategies. I believe that a person’s growth is never limited. It’s infinite. Once I achieve a goal, I embark on the next one. Hence, I am still learning and growing every day as an entrepreneur.

Even though we cater to businesses, we know we are dealing with humans at the end of the day. If you would like to learn more about us, please drop us a line at [email protected].

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

We had many failed products before Design’N’Buy. Being from a technical background, we used to start coding as an idea comes to our mind before proper market research, planning, and go-to-market strategy.

When we ideated Design’n’Buy, we did lots of brainstorming sessions on gaps in the current market and existing players. We called target customers even before the product got recognized to know their interest.

Undoubtedly, the COVID-19 pandemic! Our ability to adjust to our clients’ needs and ensure easy ordering of products online for their end customers was really tested when the pandemic happened. It became more important than ever to support their long-term maintenance needs.

But believe it not — we managed to achieve a lot in those two years, and our clientele increased and has stood by our side during the turbulent times just as we have had supported them with our web2print services when they needed to digitize quickly.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

The online packaging business is something I would advise readers to do. You can start even if you don’t have a printing facility with a partnering print company near you. They would be more than happy if you bring orders to them.

What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?

I spent $100 on a music instrument that my daughter had wanted for a long time for her music class. With this instrument, she can sharpen her skill and make her practice effective. Also, with this gift, I will always be with her.

What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?

Zoho. It saves my time, automates the workflow, and boosts productivity. Not only does it helps my customers, but it has also assisted in scaling up my business.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

5 AM Club by Robin Sharma – This is a must-book to read for self-help, maximum productivity, health, and serenity. It won’t be wrong to say that this book is a part of my success and self-learning journey. 5 AM Club is a fiction book based on a billionaire mentor who teaches a struggling entrepreneur the importance of waking up early in the morning.

What is your favorite quote?

“Only the fittest will survive” – Charles Darwin.

Key Learnings:

  • Research, effort, and marketing – Adopt these key principles for growing a business.
  • Covid-19 changed consumer behavior and boosted the online E-commerce business.
  • Dream big. Start small. Begin now.
  • Ideas are worth nothing unless backed by the application.
  • Listen to people around you. Ask their opinion. Being a greater empath will help you in your personal as well as professional life.