[quote style=”boxed”]I would be more fearless about the decisions I make.[/quote]
Chirayu Patel is originally from York, Pennsylvania and graduated from Penn State University with honors in Finance. For the past seven years he has worked on the largest global mutual fund at the largest money manager in the world. This experience has given him a unique perspective, which shapes Rakani’s brand and design process. Rakani was launched in 2013 as a natural fusion of his entrepreneurial instincts and creative energy.
Where did the idea for Rakani come from?
The Rakani story began in March 2012 when I gave my girlfriend a watch for her birthday. She jokingly asked if the watch was meant to keep her from always being late. Although it wasn’t, it made me realize that watch designs today have no particular meaning behind them. This idea inspired the premise behind Rakani, which is to create meaningful designs that have significance beyond the product itself.
What does your typical day look like?
My time is split between handling daily operations, brand building, social media management and product development. Since Rakani is still a new brand I spend time fostering relationships with everyone from customers to bloggers.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I’m a very analytical and detailed orientated person; I spend a lot of time thinking and researching new ideas before I act on them. Once I’ve hashed out an idea I do everything possible to execute it. Everyone has ideas, some good, some bad but I’ve found the key to success is to identify your best ideas and then to put in the extra effort for successful execution.
What’s one trend that really excites you?
Globalization. Everything from the name Rakani, to the models we use and our customers (we ship everywhere) all represent the true global essence of Rakani.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I’m detailed orientated. It takes more time upfront, but it generally pays off in the long run.
What was the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?
Delivering newspapers starting at the age of 12. It was my very first job. It was extremely hard work and took up a lot of time, but it taught me discipline, as I had to deliver those papers no matter what – weather, personal commitments, etc.
If you were to start again, what would you do differently?
I would be more fearless about the decisions I make.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business? Please explain how.
Be unique. The watch industry is extremely saturated. The only way Rakani is able to succeed is by offering something totally different. Anyone can design a nice looking watch, but I design timepieces with meaning adding value beyond the product itself.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
I try to do too much on my own. I need to be a better delegator, still a work in progress.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
A fashion brand that focuses on ages 55+.
Tell us something about you that very few people know?
I never got chickenpox.
What software and web services do you use? What do you love about them?
Google Analytics – For an e-commerce site this free service is very useful.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
Jump In! by Mark Burnett – Written by the producer of Survivor and The Apprentice. It teaches you how and why to be fearless.
What people have influenced your thinking and might be of interest to others?
Richard Branson – He just goes for it!
Kobe Bryant – Not only because I’m a Lakers fan, but I truly respect his dedication, work ethic and mind for the game of basketball.
Mark Burnett – He is someone who came from nothing, came into a difficult industry with no experience and rose to the top because he was fearless, worked hard and thought differently. I intend on achieving the same thing with Rakani.
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Mario Schulzke is the Founder of ideamensch, which he started a decade ago to learn from entrepreneurs and give them a platform for their ideas.