Rithika Gupta, founder of Ollie, Singapore largest plant based home and personal care brand, share her experience as a finalist of Launchpad’s Pitch Fest
Join us as we step into the dynamic world of entrepreneurship and explore the exciting journey of Rithika Gupta, the visionary founder behind Ollie. She’s the driving force behind Singapore’s leading plant-powered home and personal care brand.
In this episode, Rithika shares her remarkable experience as a finalist in the inaugural Launchpad Pitch Fest. Not only did she pitch in person for the first time, but she also walked away with the second prize, valuable insights, new connections, and a growing community of super-consumers.
Are you thinking about joining the Pitch Fest? Tune in to this enlightening conversation and learn about the pitching process and the outcomes. Don’t miss out!
00:42 – Introducing Rithika Gupta, founder of Ollie
02:21 – Rithika shares her journey of founding Ollie
08:43 – Why Rithika changed the pricing structure of Ollie
11:46 – How Ollie came to be stocked at Cold Storage
14:18 – Where Ollie is in terms of fundraising
15:32 – Rithika’s experience in the Launchpad Pitch Festival
18:09 – What you should do if you’re thinking of applying to the Pitch Festival
19:51 – The impact the Pitch Festival had on Rithika and Ollie
23:03 – Rithika’s forecast for retail and her business
24:36 – Top tips for standing out at the Pitch Festival
28:53 – Key takeaways from the conversation
- Chris Edwards, founder of Honeycombers and Launchpad, and host of the Good Business podcast
- Rithika Gupta, founder of Ollie, Singapore’s largest plant-based home and personal care brand
Are you thinking about joining Launchpad’s upcoming Pitch Fest in November to stand a chance to present your business to a curated group of investors and win exciting prizes? Visit this page to learn how you can apply.
Good Business goes behind the scenes of the leaders of good businesses, who have people, planet and profit at the core of their mission. Follow the show on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts.
[00:00:00] Chris Edwards: Welcome to Good Business, a Launchpad podcast that goes behind the scenes of the leaders of good businesses who have people, planet and profit at the core of their mission. So what does it take to create a heart led business? Join me and together we’re going to learn how to create a good business.
[00:00:21] Before we do, I want to acknowledge the traditional owners of the land that I am recording this podcast on, Bundjalung country. And I pay my respects to the elders past and present, and I extend my respects to all traditional cultures. All right, let’s get into it.
[00:00:42] Have you ever thought about joining a fundraising pitch competition like a shark tank? So our guest today is Rithika Gupta, who is the founder of Ollie. And if you’re in Singapore, you’ll know Ollie. It’s a company that creates ethically sourced, environmentally friendly and chemical free products that are sold in cold storage and other supermarkets and that are really affordable and accessible for everyone.
[00:01:09] Ollie’s focus is on eliminating harmful chemicals and animal testing and Rithika has created a line of products that are both safe for consumers and the planet. It’s a beautiful range of products. So how was her first time pitching at a pitch festival? Well, Rithika actually came second in the Launchpad slash Crib pitch festival that happened in March this year.
[00:01:33] And our Pitch Festival is coming up again in November. In fact, I think today we are announcing with a link on how you can apply. So I thought this episode is really good timing for you guys who are thinking about joining the Pitch Festival to learn from someone who has done it and see whether she would recommend that you should do it as well.
[00:01:56] Let’s jump into it. Hey, Rithika. So great to have you here on the show. I’ve got so many questions. I don’t really know where to start, but I suppose the obvious one is why don’t you share with our listeners a little bit about your journey and the idea behind Ollie. I mean, initially you had a wholesale business, but then you’ve decided to make it a direct consumer business.
[00:02:19] So maybe you could talk about that as well.
[00:02:21] Rithika Gupta: Hey, Chris, thanks for having me. I still actually do have a manufacturing and a wholesale business, and that hasn’t changed. So a few years ago, I started Ollie like sort of COVID and right after, I started Ollie, the retail business, and honestly, it started off more like a hobby project really, and it’s grown to what it has become today.
[00:02:41] Personally, I’m a big DIY person and having access to all of these amazing ingredients, I would sort of create all of these concoctions at home from repellents to cleaning products. And then I thought, you know, why not share this plant powered goodness with more people. Thank you. And I knew because of my wholesale business, because of my access to really high quality ingredients and the knowledge that comes with it, I was in a unique position.
[00:03:07] So I wanted to do something about it. And really, that’s how I launched Ollie.
[00:03:11] Chris Edwards: You make it sound really simple, but I know it’s not. And I also really loved learning about your story that. Actually, your first business was a pizza place in Bangalore. And then you kind of shut that down and moved to Singapore.
[00:03:29] And you also had an impressive corporate career at Goldman Sachs. So I’m really interested, what was the motivation to get into entrepreneurship? And you know, besides that tinkering kind of experimental process, like what motivates you from giving up a corporate tax salary to, you know, I suppose the rollercoaster of entrepreneurship.
[00:03:51] Rithika Gupta: So I’m a very, uh, go with the flow person and I started my career at Goldman Sachs and when I did, it was a fantastic, uh, first job. I mean, I wouldn’t change anything, but after five years there, I actually met my husband at Goldman as well. And so we were both there and I think we’re both big project people.
[00:04:11] So we always had something going on where we would be either some experiment in the kitchen or. Like in all our lives that we’ve known each other, there’s something with carpentry or there’s something or the other going on on the sidelines for us. So we built a wood fired oven at home and we started growing our own basil and like making pizzas.
[00:04:32] And it got to a point where we said, you know what, we should give this a shot. And so about five years in at Goldman, we were sort of ready for a change. So we could quit our jobs and we started the pizza place and it was a whole different world. Because, uh, the highs were crazy, crazy high and the lows were like down deep in the pits.
[00:04:50] And also I realized because we’d had friends from Goldman come and eat at the restaurant and they’d be like, Oh, I’ve had a really long, hard day of work. And then I realized that I’ve gone from thinking I’ve had long, hard days at work to actually having long, hard days at work. Because it’s something else when you’re running your own business, especially in the restaurant space, right?
[00:05:10] Uh, it’s so physical. You’re up and about. Your day doesn’t end until 2 a. m. So it was a whole different world. And, uh, it’s since then it’s been sort of a bunch of entrepreneurial stints and I believe, you know, you live only once. So do what calls out to you, figure it out if it works or not, pivot if you have to and just go for it.
[00:05:31] And that’s pretty much what I did. I also over time realized I liked the independence. I like the freedom that’s coming from it. And when you’re an entrepreneur and you know this. No two days are the same. You’re doing so many different things. Uh, some weeks are completely different from the other. And after this, can you imagine going back to a desk job, doing the same thing every day?
[00:05:51] That could be so boring.
[00:05:53] Chris Edwards: Yeah. Yeah, yeah. And I totally agree. And I think once you’ve had a taste of, it’s a bit of a rush, isn’t it? But tell me, so why did you decide to close down the pizza restaurant? And how did you get into Ollie?
[00:06:06] Rithika Gupta: So with the pizza restaurant, Bangalore is not what then wasn’t what it was now, what it is now, the spending power was lesser, the audience who went out and ate every day was smaller and restaurant in general is a difficult business around the world, a standalone restaurant to make money is very, very hard.
[00:06:24] So after doing it for two years, what we saw was Asian food was starting to come into the market. There were more Asian restaurants opening and then suddenly people were like, okay, we want to do a bit of a change from European food and go towards Asian food. So at that point we had to pivot. So it was either we franchise out or we start retailing sauces or things like that.
[00:06:44] Or I mean, we had to do something and we at that point found a buyer and we said, you know what, why not? Cause we’ve done it once. We can do it again, and I’m sure we’ll do it better. With all the learnings, with all the experience. So, we sold it at that point and then I was very happy actually to take a bit of a break as well after, because that’s when you realize how burnt out you are.
[00:07:06] And then, as I was trying to figure out what to do next, I was speaking with dad and so we come from, uh, I come from a family of essential oil producers, it’s, I mean, I’m third generation in the family and I was always, uh, I’m not going to join the family business, I’m going to stand on my own two feet and you know, all of that at the start of my career.
[00:07:25] But they were going through a bit of a down in the business and they were trying to figure out what to do next. And at that point he said, you know, I need some help. And I thought, sure, why not? But I told him, I said, I’m going to do this on my own terms. I was done doing business in India with running a restaurant and paying off, paying bribes and like, you know, dealing with all of the problems that come with it, I was like, I’m going to do this the way I want to.
[00:07:47] And that’s when I sort of came to Singapore and set up the wholesale business. This was in 2014 and eventually after we moved here and so that was running for a while and like I told you about Ollie, I started this, I launched Ollie in 2021 and here I am
[00:08:02] Chris Edwards: So now do you run the wholesale oil business alongside Ollie?
[00:08:07] Is it two businesses that you run? Yes. Yes. And they interrelate because you use the oils from the wholesale business to make the Ollie products? Yes.
[00:08:17] Rithika Gupta: Yes. Yes, I mean that’s sourcing is a very strong point because with all the, all our R& D, production, bottling, packaging is all in house. So, production is a big part of it and with that comes sourcing.
[00:08:30] And what the wholesale business enables for Ollie is the ease of sourcing.
[00:08:34] Chris Edwards: And where is it manufactured? Is it all manufactured in India or China?
[00:08:39] Rithika Gupta: Everything is manufactured in Singapore in this very unit that I’m sitting in.
[00:08:43] Chris Edwards: Oh, wow. Okay. That’s cool. And look, you know, we recently caught up, was it 10 days ago, I was in Singapore and you said to me, and I found this really interesting, that you have just changed your pricing.
[00:08:57] Something like used to be 20 for a product down to 12. I mean, that’s a pretty massive pivot in any business. Can you share with me why you made this big change and how you were able to produce your product? You know, maintaining profit margins from. 22. Is it 20 to 12? Did I get that right?
[00:09:19] Rithika Gupta: Actually, 25 to 12.
[00:09:21] So yeah, it was, uh, it’s been a big project. So sustainability and accessibility are two very, very important things for us. When I started, uh, Ollie, the idea was to make high quality products to solve your everyday problems. minus the drama, minus the frou frou. And it was never to make an expensive brand.
[00:09:41] It was never that we’re so fancy, you’ve got to sell your kidney to buy our products. It was, that was never the idea, right? It was always a create good feeling, good smelling, good doing products. Without costing the earth. So when I remember when I first made the dish soap at that point, the idea was to create it with high quality ingredients.
[00:10:01] I wasn’t so much paying attention on the cost. It cost me 15 because all our bottles are recycled plastic as well. So they’re all a hundred percent recycled plastic. And so, which means I have to get them custom made, which means I have to order a minimum quantity. So there’s, there’s a lot of things that come with it.
[00:10:17] And so when I made the first bottle of dish soap, it cost me 15 just to make it, you know? And then if you think about retail margins, I have it up at cold storage and the margins have to pay them. There’s nothing in there. And I think I spoke to you about this a few months ago as well. I really wanted to bring down the price.
[00:10:32] So we were focused on that. We were all about product and ingredient quality, truly non toxic plant based, but Make it accessible, but these ingredients don’t come cheap. And we live in a world where these products are benchmarked at the two and 3. Since the time we’ve known retail products, since the time we’ve known home cleaning products, we’ve been using them all our life.
[00:10:55] They’re made with petrochemical ingredients, which means they’re so much cheaper, but even a consumer who cares about using green products will find it hard to commit to a 25 product. It’s just natural, right? I mean, even you and I won’t do it, and I know that you are a big champion of sustainability. So we knew that it was not optional, but it was also a very, very difficult ride.
[00:11:16] It’s been months of hard work, constant R& D, constant sourcing, um, ordering in bulk to let the economies of scale kick in. And it helps that the brand has a lot of acceptance. The brand is growing well. And as more and more people buy Ollie products, we’re able to increase our bulk ordering quantity of raw ingredients.
[00:11:37] And we’ve also reduced our margins to like way for thin with the idea of making the difference and like passing on the cost benefit to our customer.
[00:11:46] Chris Edwards: So now you need to hit the volume, right? Yes. But you’ve just been accepted or, um, you’ve just got stockists of cold storage. Is that right? In Singapore?
[00:11:56] Yes. Which is huge. Congratulations. Which is big. Mm. Really big. Was that hard today?
[00:12:00] Rithika Gupta: I think the initial conversation felt easy, and then as we got into it, I realized, oh my God, what is this? It was quite an experience. So they rebranded as CS Fresh, and when they went from Cold Storage to CS Fresh, it was around then that they started accepting or even thinking about the idea of smaller, uh, suppliers.
[00:12:20] So everything from delivery, to paperwork, to packaging, to conversations, to negotiations. It’s been a huge, huge learning for us, and it continues to be. We’re seeing a lot more acceptance. I meet people and they tell me, Oh, you run out. So actually, my son’s, uh, he’s five years old and his classmate’s mom texted me the other day with a screenshot of my picture on our website in the About Us.
[00:12:47] And she said, this is you. And I said, yes. So she said, I picked up this dish soap from cold storage the other day and I loved it so much. I went up to their website to look up what is this brand and why haven’t I heard of them? And as I was going through the site, I saw your picture and I’m like, wait, I know this person.
[00:13:02] So, um, and I’ve had at least three of these stories in the last month alone.
[00:13:08] Chris Edwards: That’s so cool. You’re like famous for your product. It’s a pretty big deal when you get stocked in a major supermarket. I imagine it’s just almost a whole new business you have to get your head around, right?
[00:13:20] Rithika Gupta: Yes, it’s a completely different model.
[00:13:21] Everything from package. So when I started at cold storage, if you looked at all the bottles, right, the packaging is dainty, the illustrations are dainty, the brand name. If you’re, if you have, I mean, if reading is a bit of a struggle to you, you might not even notice the name of the brand. So you can easily walk past the products and miss them completely because they are not.
[00:13:40] designed for the shelves. They’re not like shouting, screaming with like a dermatologist approved and a 99 percent effective and like having these things shouting at you. That also means that we’re not ideal looking for a supermarket shelf and that has its cons as well.
[00:13:57] Chris Edwards: So, will you change your look and feel to help give you more shelf appeal?
[00:14:01] Rithika Gupta: I don’t know. I think maybe the answer is midway. We haven’t changed anything yet, but maybe we’ll do something midway to keep the brand’s essence because that’s what it’s about. But also there’s no point of having the brand if it doesn’t sell. So that’s also important.
[00:14:18] Chris Edwards: Yeah. So interesting. Now, Rithika, I really wanted to talk to you about fundraising.
[00:14:23] So where are you at on your fundraising journey?
[00:14:26] Rithika Gupta: So we’ve been completely bootstrapped so far, and it’s been great so far, right? But like I was telling you, with the new pricing, with our new positioning that has shifted, we’ve cut down margins, and to survive, we need to do volume. Which is why, like, cold storage is key, RedMart is key for us, we’re even looking at seeing how we can place ourselves at an NTUC fair price, and other similar platforms.
[00:14:49] But all of this takes money. Whether it is stock, whether it is marketing, hiring people, it’s not cheap to do any of this in Singapore. And growing a business takes money, it takes investment. We’d like to grow across Asia, not just Singapore, and become the chosen brand for sort of home care and self care across.
[00:15:06] The continent. But, um, I need to raise money.
[00:15:10] Chris Edwards: What’s the total market size of that? Asia?
[00:15:13] Rithika Gupta: So, it depends. Again, it depends on the product, right? Like, laundry is a category of its own. Dish and home care and body wash are categories of its own. And these are like, multi million dollar markets. Because also the green, the eco market is growing, but also that this means that there’s so much competition that it’s a fragile ecosystem.
[00:15:32] Chris Edwards: Bit of a race. And tell me, you came second in the Launchpad slash Crib pitch festival we did in March this year. How did you find the experience?
[00:15:43] Rithika Gupta: Oh, that was, uh, that was amazing, actually. That was my first in person pitch. So I’d done one on zoom before, but that was it. And to be very honest, I was very surprised when I was shortlisted.
[00:15:55] And I remember thinking, Oh, this is their first pitch festival. Maybe they had about seven or eight entries. And I was like in the top five, no big deal. I mean, good, but yeah. And then I spoke with Megha at one of the, I think on the day of the pitch festival, when I got there a little early and she said that I was a top five amongst 21 pitches and I was like, Oh my God.
[00:16:16] And that’s when it sort of started to hit me. Right. It was a big moment. And then I saw the judges list as well. And I was like, okay, this is like serious stuff. I got to get my act together. I remember I was even sort of under the weather that day, and I was going from Los Anges to Los Anges, from Panadol to Panadol, but it was totally worth it.
[00:16:33] It was a fantastic experience.
[00:16:35] Chris Edwards: And for our listeners who weren’t there on the day, do you want to just share what was the experience? Like just talk through the event if you don’t mind.
[00:16:42] Rithika Gupta: Sure. The pitch went very well. As you know, I got a lot of questions from the investors. So it was a five minute pitch and there were five people pitching and all of them did really great.
[00:16:54] They were all from different sort of businesses. So it was a nice varied bunch of businesses. There were a very set of investors. There were, I think, 16 of them, if I remember right. And there was a very, very enthusiastic audience. In fact, I remember during my Q and a, one of the investors asked me, do you know who your audience is?
[00:17:12] And just as I was going back to the slide that had about, that was talking about the audience, about 30 odd hands, I think in the audience went up and they were like me, me, me, I was over the moon for a second. I, I mean, I was speechless and I was like, guys, turn around. That’s my audience. I’ll never forget that.
[00:17:28] Chris Edwards: Yeah, that was such a great moment, wasn’t it? I mean, the room was full of Launchpad members and other entrepreneurs that are interested about learning about pitching and learning about from other entrepreneurs. But yeah, that was such a feel good moment, wasn’t it? Because when people quiz you on those pitch festivals, it’s really grilling, isn’t it?
[00:17:46] You don’t know what they’re going to ask and you need to have the answer now, right?
[00:17:51] Rithika Gupta: Absolutely. And you can’t prepare. You can prepare for the pitch. You can practice all you want. You can’t prepare for Q& A. There’s only so much you can prepare for it.
[00:17:59] Chris Edwards: Yeah, that was really great. So tell me, what would you say to an entrepreneur who’s thinking about doing a pitch or applying for the pitch festival that we’ve got coming up in November?
[00:18:09] Rithika Gupta: I would say, know your business really well. Talk to as many people as you can. Like be shameless, have an elevator pitch, talk to people. You will get a lot of feedback. Some of it you won’t care about. And some of it you’ll be surprised at how the little things make a big difference in your thinking.
[00:18:25] Don’t be shy. And also this will give you the confidence that you know what you’re talking about. Metrics, put markers, put real tangible information through because investors listen to so many pitches a day that they have a very short attention span. And our pitch is very easy. You can talk about your business, you can go on and on, but how do you put all of that together and then convey everything you need to convey in five minutes, right?
[00:18:50] And that’s the hard part. So take the feedback, know your audience, know your consumer, because that’s what the investors want to see. They want to see that, you know, your business, you know, who your consumer is, you understand the consumer, uh, because you know, your business is your baby. It’s your passion project.
[00:19:07] So I make, I don’t know, product X and I love it. And I think that everyone loves it, but why will a consumer who has so many options in the market come and buy from you? They don’t know what you do. They don’t know what you’re doing on the insides. They don’t know what you’re putting in the bottle. So how do you make your consumer fall in love with you for which you need to know who your consumer is?
[00:19:28] Is it a child? Is it a mom? Is it, what do they care about? How much time do they have? Where do they shop? What did they look for? And really know your business, know the market sizing, because that’s when the investor sees that, you know, you’re on top of all of this, that’s really what they’re looking for.
[00:19:44] Chris Edwards: Good advice. What impact did the Pitch Festival have for you and your business?
[00:19:51] Rithika Gupta: Personally, for me, it gave me a lot of confidence. That Q& A moment and even after that I had so many people come and tell me that I’ve been using your products and I love it, my daughter loves it, my son doesn’t step out of the house without your mosquito repellent.
[00:20:06] Just hearing these stories because also as a business that doesn’t have a shop of our own, we either consign at stores or we sell online, which means sometimes you’re just shipping products out. And you don’t really get that consumer feedback so much. And these are business owners, right? They don’t like, they don’t faff around.
[00:20:24] They do the same thing. So they know what they’re talking about for them to come and tell me how much they like my product and what, how it’s impacting their lives, I think gives me a lot of confidence that I know I’m doing the right thing, even today at launchpad events, I get people coming up to me.
[00:20:38] Even last time when I met you and I was heading back, I met someone in the lift and she was telling me I was at your pitch festival and I loved what you were doing. After hearing your pitch, I went and I bought your products and I really like them. So this obviously also helps, but also we’ve been speaking to investors.
[00:20:54] Some of them who were judging at the Pitch Festival, but also some contacts I’ve made through them and constantly networked after. I’ve learned so much about the fundraising world since from my conversations with various people. So it’s also a constant world of learning. And this is, you know, the difference in a corporate versus running your own business is this can become a bit lonely.
[00:21:16] And even if you meet other entrepreneurs at a social event, the conversation is usually much more high level. It doesn’t get deep down to, like, I spoke to this person and they mentioned this amount, but I feel like this percentage is low or this percentage is high. You really don’t get that level of feedback all the time unless you’re actively looking, which also is something I need to start working on.
[00:21:40] So this has been a very good learning experience for me.
[00:21:43] Chris Edwards: I love that. Yeah. And I do think getting up on stage and I was about 120 people in the room that night and they were all really invested in you and they, they, they’re listening and they’re, you know, they basically come to hear five business owners tell their story of what they’re doing and why people should invest in their business.
[00:22:01] Like it’s a really compelling shark tank style evening and we had such great feedback from the event. But yeah, it is a really great. platform for you to build that groundswell of, you know, passionate consumers that go on and tell their friends or, you know, that really start that grassroots marketing, which I think is really powerful and often overlooked.
[00:22:26] You know, I think everyone just thinks I’ll run Facebook ads or I’ll, you know, do social media or a bit of LinkedIn, or maybe I’ll have a great landing page, but you really actually do need to get just word of mouth happening about your business. So I really love that. Okay. So tell me since then, have your plans changed much?
[00:22:46] I don’t know if you can recall, but what your forecast was in revenue and whether you’re doing what, like, I’d be really interested to know, like, what’s your growth rate? What were you expecting to do back then? And are you on track or. How is business?
[00:23:03] Rithika Gupta:So it’s been a difficult year for retail. The macroeconomic condition has been what it is.
[00:23:09] It’s been difficult here for fundraising. The valuation multiples have come down. So all of that has happened. I’ve raised some money, but I continue to seek investment and I need valuation to grow. I need the company to grow and we are doing better. Our numbers have gone up, not at the level of what I had predicted.
[00:23:27] But I’m very happy with what we’ve done, given the circumstances and given the situation. Actually, what has happened since then is our home care range has been receiving great feedback. So while we did more essential oils in the past, and then we did a lot of self care products like a sleep spray and a repellent and things like that.
[00:23:48] Yoga mat sanitizers, the hand wash, the dish soap, surface cleaners, all of that has been receiving great feedback. And we recently launched a wardrobe freshener. We’ll be launching some more products later this year. You said you would be coming for boutique, so it’ll be fun to see you. And, uh, I’d love to show you the new products as well.
[00:24:07] So there’s a lot of pivot in terms of what we’ve been doing. Also, the usage styles of these products are very different from like your essential oils and your aromatherapy products. We are going to be launching, I think I’m answering a lot more than what you asked, but I’m just excited. Uh, refill bags will be launching soon as well.
[00:24:26] So yeah, a lot in the works for Ollie. Numbers are doing well and we’re hoping to end the year with a really, really happy number.
[00:24:36] Chris Edwards: I like that. I like that. We all want happy numbers. Rithika, what advice would you give to someone who is thinking about applying for the Pitch Festival?
[00:24:46] Rithika Gupta: I’d say go for it.
[00:24:47] Like you never know when an opportunity comes your way. So like I said earlier, don’t be shy. Reach out. Launchpad is a great group with some fantastic business owners who are there, who are willing to help. So take all the help you need. I know of a few people who are considering it, who couldn’t make it to last time’s pitch festival.
[00:25:06] Some of them who didn’t make it into the top five, some of them who were just out of town and for various reasons, right, like to all of them. I say, apply, do it. You have nothing to lose. Really. It’s a fantastic platform. So, and you will guaranteed 100 percent come back with more learning than you expected.
[00:25:25] Chris Edwards:Oh, I love that. I love that. Yeah.
[00:25:27] Rithika Gupta: Put your deck together, even if you don’t plan to raise, right? Just put your deck together, go through the process because it’s so out of your comfort zone. It forces you to look at your business. The process is so eyeopening and it’s a massive learning. And especially if you’re not from the investment world and you’re not from the MBA world, I mean, today, everyone’s talking about all sorts of investment related numbers and jargon.
[00:25:50] And I know that there are people out there who don’t understand a lot of this. Don’t feel like you’re being left behind because this, this is the perfect experience to learn all of this. Like for me, putting my deck together, I think was like almost a year long experience because it sounds like it’s just a presentation, but you put a few slides together.
[00:26:08] And then as I was tweaking the slides, I realized that, oh, wait, I think it’d be nice to have. Like, I don’t know, like a B to B, whatever in your sales. And then I realized I don’t have enough of that. So I go back and then I sort of work on my business. I incorporate those details and then I come back. And if I’m looking at, say, a slide on metrics, I realize that I don’t have numbers around my average order value or I don’t have numbers around my customer acquisition cost.
[00:26:36] So then I go back and I put those processes and those templates in place to measure those things. Then I try and figure out what is a good number and then I see how far am I, how am I off the mark, what can I do to change. So actually, I think the way you look at your business changes drastically as you, especially if you’ve only done it for a short while.
[00:26:55] And this is all still a big learning curve. You realize that you look at your business very differently. Like, yes, it’s a passion project, but it is also a business and you have to look at numbers. Very, very valuable lessons to be learned from just putting your deck together and going out there and presenting to people.
[00:27:09] Chris Edwards: And Rithika, for someone who is in the process of putting their deck together, did you get some advice on it or did you just google what’s required in a pitch festival and like look for resources online or how did you learn how to put the deck
[00:27:24] Rithika Gupta: together? I think a bit of both. You know, Nicole from Next Chapter Raise in Hong Kong.
[00:27:29] She’s fantastic and they’ve gotten a lot of content together to help small business owners. She’s so, so passionate about helping small business owners, female business owners, especially raise money that she will like bend over backwards to help you out. She’s fantastic. So I got a lot of pointers from her.
[00:27:48] It helped me, uh, as I was going through the process, I got some really insightful questions that she asked me that made me think about the business differently, think about the deck and think about the messaging differently. But yeah, I mean, I’d say talk to people who have pitched or who have put a deck together.
[00:28:06] Listen to pitches if you can. Use your network really. And, uh, and there’s always Google. There’s enough and more things out there on the internet, valuable advice on the internet that you can look up. Nice.
[00:28:18] Chris Edwards: And Nicole Denholder is a member of Launchpad and happy to connect for anyone who is a member of Launchpad.
[00:28:24] I can connect you with Nicole for sure. Okay. Fantastic. Thank you, Rithika. That is awesome. You’re great talent and nice to chat to you. Thank you.
Chris Edwards: I just really enjoyed this chat with Rithika. I feel like her personal story about starting with a pizza restaurant and deciding to really shift gears and launch a, I suppose it’s um, a B2C home care range product is such an incredible journey.
[00:28:53] And look, my three key takeaways from this chat today is Firstly, if you’re thinking about applying for the Pitch Festival, just go for it. I mean, you have nothing to lose. It’s not going to cost you anything and you have a whole lot to gain, not just in personal connections, but also in the process of really thinking deeply.
[00:29:17] about your business and your why and communicating that within five minutes to a room full of consumers and investors. So it’s a pretty amazing opportunity to really sharpen your skills as a founder and sharpen your pitch. Every founder needs to have a pitch, whether they’re fundraising or not, really, because you’ve always got to explain what you’re doing and why you’re doing it.
[00:29:44] And this leads to the second point. And that is that, that grass roots activation. Of getting people to learn about you and your story and your product, it really does seed a ripple effect. And you know, Rithika is saying still today, she gets people coming up to her saying, I saw you at the Pitch Festival and it really inspired me, or I saw you at the Pitch Festival and I went and bought your products.
[00:30:11] And that is exactly what you need when you’re a founder. And the last takeaway from today’s conversation is really the power of community. And I loved the story that Rithika shared of people putting their hand up during the pitch festival saying I’m your audience. Having a moment like that, Where you’ve got a room full of entrepreneurs and community members that are saying, I’ve got your back, I buy your products, I’m your consumer, is something that’s quite remarkable for any business owner.
[00:30:44] Yeah, gives me goosebumps thinking about that moment. So anyway, if you are interested in joining Launchpad or learning more about our pitch festival that’s coming up on the 21st of November in Singapore, just go to our website. It’s the launchpad. group and all the information is there under the events tab.
[00:31:06] Thank you for listening to Good Business. Okay, I’m going to let you in on a little secret. Selfishly, I created this podcast for my own personal growth. I really wanted to spend an hour with these amazing entrepreneurs that really inspire me. Of course, I also created it for you, our listeners. and the wider community at Launchpad where we’re a group of entrepreneurs all trying or aspiring rather to create better businesses together.
[00:31:36] If you enjoyed this episode or if you have any feedback, suggestions, or just want to reach out, please do. I’d love to hear from you. You can catch me on email at chris at the honeycombers. com or go to the launchpad. group website and check it out. Thanks for listening and I hope you leave as inspired as I am to create your own good business.