Recently we sat down and interviewed with Mr. Gurjyot Singh Narang the founder of Epiphany Watch Accessories in India. He is kindly tehlling his entrepreneurial story on how and why he started Epiphany Watch Accessories. Please feel free to share this interview article on social media.
Mr. Gurjyot, the Epiphany wooden boxes are beautifully hand crafted and hand carved in India, tell us how and why you get this specific business idea? We’d love to share your story.
Well, the roots for this goes back to 2017 when I had recently learnt about the intricacy involved in mechanical timepieces and how timekeeping evolved when I saw the video “The Story of Jaeger LeCoultre”. That video struck a chord with me and surfaced my newfound love for mechanical timepieces and the intricacy involved in making an automatic watch. Eventually, I further educated myself about how timekeeping evolved, historic brands, the quartz crisis, etc. through YouTube and I was hooked onto the hobby of watch collection. As my collection grew, I started looking around for a watch-box. There were many on Amazon but none of them quite resonated with me. Every watch in my collection was special, they all had their own story, their own meaning and they all brought out certain emotion when I looked at them. But when I saw those generic watch storage boxes online, I felt nothing. Those boxes, were just boxes. They did their work of keeping the watches organized, but that’s it. And how long they would last, no one knows. I wanted a watch box as special and as meaningful as my watches. A watch-box that had a story of its own, that was intricately made, just like my watches. Which is what led me to getting my own watch box made.
There are some very specific communities here in India who have been into wood carving for centuries and the art has been passed down from one generation to another. But as modern day needs shifted from laborious intricate hand-work to mass-produced generic items, the need for their skills and their artwork decreased. This eventually led to the carvers picking up some odd-off jobs to fulfil their basic needs and a slow decline in the demand of hand-carved items. I decided to take a chance with my watch-box and got it touch with the carvers for making, what would eventually become, the very first Epiphany Watch Box. I got a watch box completely personalized for myself with a design of my choice and with my name carved on it.
The box brought a smile on my face every time I looked at it. The whole experience of opening the box with vintage styled latches and seeing light slowly fill in the dark space, illuminating the watches, was simply mesmerizing even after months of use. I simply loved this watch box and so did my other fellow watch-enthusiast friends. I got intrigued by the ideas everyone shared of how they would get it customized if they would get one made for themselves. This is when I felt that I should share this creation with all the other fellow watch enthusiasts around the world. I wanted everyone to be able to get a watch-box that is as personal and as meaningful to them as their watches, without breaking their bank. I wanted to provide everyone the option to get a watch box made that they would want to hand down to the next generation, along with their watches. And in doing so, we would also be able to help a community live a more fulfilling life, by allowing them to do what they are best at, instead of picking up any odd-off jobs. Which is what led to the creation of The Epiphany Watch-Box, a personalized hand carved wooden watch box, on which everyone can get their own designs hand carved by some of the highly skilled carvers in India.
Sophisticated watch collectors love unique and high-quality watch storage boxes, your company will provide such solutions. Are you supplying these wooden watch boxes worldwide? When do we expect the production?
Yes. We will be shipping worldwide through some of the best courier services like DHL, FedEx and UPS so as to make sure everyone gets it in pristine condition and at the earliest. We have already started production for the orders received through Kickstarter and we will be accepting new orders directly through our website www.epiphany.co.in once we have fulfilled the current batch of pre-orders received through Kickstarter.
We noticed that you are now raising crowdfunding on Kickstarter now, how is it?
Yes. Being a startup, we had our own limitations. Which is why we opted for crowdfunding via Kickstarter. It helped us gauge how interested everyone is in our product and get the initial seed money for starting production for a global market.
Tell us how the customers place their order with your company? What is the typical process?
So far the ordering process was only through Kickstarter. We are already working on setting up our own online store on our website www.epiphany.co.in where everyone can order directly. Once the online store is set up on our website, users can simply place order directly and share their design with us over mail. They can also share their designs before placing the order if they want to discuss about how it can be done and how it will look if they are not sure about their designs
Finally, is it easy for young entrepreneurs to start their own business in India? What are the challenges?
I think every country has its own set of challenges and advantages. Some might have raw resources for their advantage, some might have technology for their advantage. In my opinion, for anyone who is starting new, no matter which country they are located in, the most important thing is to work towards materializing the ideas and taking a chance by betting on yourself. I think if one does this, they can find a way around any challenges or problems that come along the way, no matter which country they belong to.
Thank you for sharing your story with us!