Tradition Still has life
Soumya Krishnamurthy: AATIKE
India is a land of millions of home run entrepreneurs from rural India! Buy Hand Made Indian Wooden Toys & contribute to a million home run entrepreneurs from rural India! India has largest skilled resources across the world. Cottage Industry contributes almost 40% of the gross industrial value added in the Indian economy. Developing products using these skilled resources paired with natural sustainable products & modern technology is the way forward to contribute to the growth of economy.
Cottage industries are way for people in rural areas to make a living from self-employment that doesn’t require a large capital outlay. The talent & skills available in rural India is abundance especially under toys! More so it has been empirically found out that Cottage Industry has given economic independence to the women in the developing nation like ours.
AATIKE is an outcome of this thought & intends to explore new business opportunities having social impact by contributing to Indian cottage industry and selling products under the Toys, Home & Office Decor categories.
AATIKE was started in 2013 by SK Nirmiti with a passion for design and manufacturing of sustainable & natural products “MADE FROM INDIA”
Challenges that we face :- Availability of quality artisans – Artisans are taking up other forms of employment due to lack of business opportunities.
- Availability of raw materials from sustainable sources.
- Chinese toxic toys available in market at a lower price compared to home developed toys
- Unorganised sector & inadequate performance measurement & production processes for large scale quality output.
- Long turnaround time,
- Customer’s mind-set – Oh these are Channapatna toys they must come inexpensive! Or irrespective of the design innovation – if it is lacquer then the designs will be available across everywhere!
AATIKE’s Developments over the period of 1yr plus
- Happy to have created livelihood for more than 15 artisans spread across Channapatna, Saharanpur & Etikoppaka contributing to our India’s cottage Industry
- Successfully partnered with esteemed online partners like: ICICI Bank, Firstcry, Babyoye, Fabfurnish, Flipkart, Snapdeal & Naaptol
- launched our retail presence retail chains in Bangalore
- Blessed with many happy customers & successfully sold more than 2500+ handmade products
Our Belief:Wooden toys are a MUST have toys along with toys of other materials toys
Reasons for buying woodentoys for your children:- Natural texture of wooden toys simulate child’s senses as they invite children to touch, feel & explore. Wooden toys hold great educational value hence is the reason that Wooden working materials are widely THE Chosen one in Montessori centres across the globe
- Natural & Bio gradable, Non Toxic – Does not harm the globe if the materials used are from sustainable sources (Eg: wood with forest certification of government approved)
- Wooden toys are simple play things that allows children to use their imagination & creativity
- High durability & cannot be broken easily
- Wood is the chosen material for toys and a common part of childhood for thousands of years since the civilizations of Mohenjodaro and Harappa, up to 5000 years ago. Till day this art form has sustained compared to any other material used for toys!
- MOST IMPORTANTLY – THESE TOYS BRING BACK OUR CHILDHOOD MEMORIES & HAPPY MOMENTS TO CHERISH!
AATIKE Toys are designed & developed keeping the following things in mind- Fun for kids
- Age group
- Skill development like: Motor, Cognition, Social & emotional, Visual & Spatial, Logic, Mathematical, Creative
- Themes that society is popular with: Animals, Activity, Movement, Wheels, Traditional etc.
Our take on Plastic toys
Plastic Toys are generally less expensive than wood and are considered safer by some because of the flammability of older wooden toys and possible injuries from thrown or falling wooden objects, but wood does not contain toxic PVC like plastic do. They are the most durable playthings and can usually last through generations of play.
Today’s wooden toys are just as innovative, if not more so, than modern, electronics. Cars, trucks, and wooden wind-ups make wonderful gifts and wooden pull alongs delight toddlers. Board games like chess and checkers, and even tic-tac-toe can be found made of wood, as well as physical games like ring toss.
For toys that provide educational benefits and last for decades, add the games that have been tested by time for your child, wooden toys for your child’s childhood collection. As a parent one must decide what best educational value a toy provides for their child! One must have a combination of all forms of toys which contributes to complete development of their children.
Please share your transformation of corporate journey to Startup experience..
The amalgamation of passion for design, product marketing skills and sensitivity to recognize potential, created the opportunity for wooden toys which are Nontoxic & made from sustainable materials aided by my global business travel & this started AATIKE. The urge to create, design, develop and produce products especially those that aid economic contribution to localized cottage industries, increased over a period of time and I attempted to convert this desire into a venture as an entrepreneur & start a business. The initial idea started shaping up into a structured business model, I experimented by partnering with an international company as a partner. We successfully launched www.woodixtoys.com in Belgium. Post this I decided to launch a new brand “AATIKE” (http://www.aatike.com) for India & other international markets a few years ago.
What it takes to be an entrepreneur…Starting one’s own business sounds exciting for everyone, However, the truth is that business start-up life is long and full of hardships, with no guarantees of success. Being an aspiring entrepreneur, one must know that starting a business from scratch is a demanding endeavour. Few suggestions thatI would like to recommend to aspiring entrepreneurs.
• Secure oneself financially for minimum of 3 yrs – This gives a lot of time for experimentation in business
• Get complete knowledge before you initiate any business venture (its pros & cons) . Understand the risks on both personal & business aspects. Have a higher appetite for the unforeseen risks. Meet people & discuss your ideas – The more one speaks – One will get different perspectives Will help in evaluation better
• Stay focused – don’t juggle between multiple ventures at one time
• Don’t have long term plans, keeps your mile stones for a shorter period and achievable goals, with time the business will grow & give you more clarity on long term goals
• Know when to walk away - Most entrepreneurs know when to begin but forget to figure out when it is the time to call in quits. If your idea does not pan out, you must assess what you have done differently and what has gone wrong. You must immediately analyse whether you should leave it here or drag it on
• Most important – Positive Attitude with a smile J - One has TRY when they have a Choice!
What are your current achievement and future plans..
AATIKE’s Developments over the period of 1yr plus• Blessed with many happy customers& successfully sold more than 2500+ handmade products
• Less than 1% return of goods
• Happy to have created livelihood for more than 15 artisans spread across Channapatna, Saharanpur & Etikoppaka contributing to our India’s cottage Industry
• Successfully partnered with esteemed online partners like: ICICI Bank, Firstcry, Babyoye, Fabfurnish, Flipkart, Snapdeal, Naaptol, Shop clues, Skoolshop, joybynature, Indiamums, Mebelkart
• launched our retail presence retail chains in Bangalore – NowAATIKE products are available in Bangalore International Airport at Lotus House, other retail chains
• Partner with International partners: The Little Indian Company (UK), Infanion (Belgium)
• Successfully built corporate clientele (Mahindra Retail & Merck Group)