Aditi Surve was like any other regular 20-year old girl from Mumbai, pursuing her undergraduate degree in management studies (BMS). She knew that she would soon have to enrol in an MBA coaching and then pursue a professional degree in business administration. She also knew that once she got stuck in the corporate race and structure, it will be difficult for her to get out of it. To explore and pursue her interests, she started blogging.
“I was blogging for about 6 months consistently. It was a good starting point but it wasn’t getting me anywhere because there were no physical products to sell.”
Even though she was aware that she was interested in the field of Advertising and Marketing, she knew that she valued her freedom and time and did not want to pursue this field through the regular corporate structure. She did not want to get stuck in a corporate job in the field. Blogging taught her a lot about online marketing but she wasn’t sure what came next.
“I wanted to pursue Advertising and marketing but I was not sure how to move to a specific product. I was not very aware of the whole different world of internet marketing”
It was around that time that she came across a YouTube advertisement by Digital Dukaandaar and joined their ECom Freedom Challenge (EFC) program. After enrolling and successfully completing the challenge, she was sure that she wanted to go ahead and explore this field in depth. But as a college student, it became challenging for her to arrange the funds required on a monthly basis to get started in the field. After EFC, it took her five months to arrange the funds to join and participate in the program by Digital Dukaandaar.
“Even though my parents had their doubts, they were very supportive and believed that even if I lose the money, I will learn something important from my experience. I am really lucky to have such parents who believed in me and my dreams.”
While undergoing training at EFC, her learning graph witnessed exponential growth. She realised the potential of the Print on Demand e-commerce business and started implementing her learnings from the program. She continued to experiment with her t-shirt designs. After a few trial-and-error attempts, she started understanding the design-niche compatibility on a different level altogether.
“Although I was learning a lot, I did not have enough money to keep investing in the testing process. I was always losing more than I was earning. It felt like I was moving one step forward and two backwards. But what kept me going were the core principles of CONSISTENCY and RELENTLESSNESS that I learnt at home and their regular injection in the Digital Dukaandaar program. I kept toiling because I believed that success eventually follows hard work. Soon enough, I started getting business queries on my Instagram. I needed to keep infusing capital into my POD ads. Getting money from one source and putting it into building a business seemed like a great plan and that is when the idea of starting my own lead generation agency hit me.”
She started her own digital marketing agency to help people get more leads for their businesses and use those earnings for her Print on Demand venture. For her, the best part was that she had learnt in-depth online advertisement while working on the POD business with Digital Dukaandaar and also that she had honed her skills practising it on her own POD business.
She identified a geographical location for her target market (The U.S.), reached out to clients in a particular niche (dermatology), and started generating leads for different businesses. She was also able to help her clients scale their businesses. Slowly and steadily, her business grew and she was able to direct her earnings from her lead generation agency to her Print on Demand venture. This was a steep learning curve for Aditi.
“Even though the lead generation work seemed promising, I knew that my earning from this work was unscalable. I had to build a viable, progressive and nurturing business, and I knew it was only possible through Print on Demand”
It was good to have a backup source of income but it was not enough. Initially, she had no idea of product-design compatibility for her Print on Demand business. Through the testing process that she learnt as a part of the Digital Dukaandaar program, she was able to figure out which designs would be her bestsellers. In less than a year, Aditi has been able to generate almost $93,000 in sales and earns a profit of almost INR 20,000 per day through her Print-on-Demand venture. She stuck to the business principles learnt with Digital Dukaandaar, practised them consistently without reinventing the standard loop and has reached a stage where she no longer feels the need to pursue a Master’s degree.
“Print on Demand was a game-changer for me. Everything I learnt through the program would have been impossible without the support of the Digital Dukaandaar community. When people shared their progress in that community regularly, it motivated me to reach greater heights as well.”
She feels that her investment in the Digital Dukaandaar program has been of great value owed to her current Return on Investment (RoI) in the POD business. Inventory management is directly proportional to investment and inversely proportional to scalability. But dropshipping doesn’t need inventory which enabled fast scaling and reduced investments for her. After her fast and exponential scaling, she plans to continue taking it to greater heights.
“It is worth investing in the testing phase. Eventually, you will find your design niche. Also, it is very important to not focus on saving small amounts of money in the short-run that can land you in big troubles like paying penalties later.”
She believes that people who undergo life-changing experiences should share their stories with others because true stories inspire greater confidence than hollow motivational lectures. Taking inspiration from other members of the Digital Dukaandaar community, she plans to grow her venture by diversifying her product range and introducing printed masks to her collection as well. She learnt that it is important to trust the process first, and experiment once you have enough customers. You can also check out The 5 Day E-com Freedom Challenge with Digital Dukaandar or join their signature program to launch your own e-commerce store like Aditi.