Businesses should not be built on model, but out of passion: Peyush Bansal

Speaking at Startup Mahakumbh, Peyush Bansal, CEO of Lenskart, responded to a question on omnichannel company strategy by saying that he does not believe in all these terms

   
Peyush Bansal speaks on businesses and strategies

Businesses should not be built on a model or channel but rather out of a problem or passion, Lenskart co-founder and CEO Peyush Bansal said on Monday.

Responding to a question on omnichannel business strategy, the famous Shark Tank investor said that he does not believe in all these buzzwords.

“I feel that industry picks up these things. Now the buzzword is omni channel, when we opened stores, we didn’t even know the word omni channel. Now, the buzzword is AI (artificial intelligence), now everybody is talking about AI.

“Now somebody says deep tech…I was trained at Microsoft and they only know customers. Customers don’t walk away with a channel, they walk away with a product,” he said at the Startup Mahakumbh 2024.

Know what business you are in, Bansal said, and what is the service that you are providing, telling entrepreneurs to cut out the rest.

One needs to observe what is needed in their product’s category, he added, saying that businesses should not be built from the model, but from a problem, or a passion.

“Ask yourself two simple questions, why are people who are buying? And why are people who are not buying? Then go ten layers deep into understanding, and then try solutions, then you may build the next buzzword for the next ten years,” he further noted.

Channels will change, he said. Entrepreneurs should not become slaves to channels but instead remain in touch with the customer to know what is happening and adapt, he said.

Talking about the zero-to-one journey of building a consumer brand, Bansal said, “The initial journey at least for me particularly was not so much about chasing an ARR (Annual Recurring Revenue)… I didn’t go to an MBA school, so my business wasn’t driven so much by a business plan, as much it was driven by love for consumers.

The zero-to-one journey, he said, was not so much about hitting a target, but it was about serving the customer.

“The journey was not about: okay, we have to hit this target this month, I think all that corruption happens later, where your mind gets polluted.

Talking about premiumisation and Indian consumers wanting to spend more, Bansal said people want to elevate their quality of life and it’s not a new phenomenon. People have aspirations, and aspirations in India are high, thanks to the government.

“We have to understand that a brand is not advertising. A brand is a promise. It’s a trust, or it’s some proposition of design. A lot of times you feel now that I’m advertising I should be able to charge a premium. But that’s not necessary”.

Asked what it takes to succeed in Shark Tank, Bansal said the founder should well articulate the problem that they are solving and the solution. “You should know your business well in terms of economics.

“And you have to be humble enough to listen… it should come across as coachable. Because you have come to Shark Tank not for money, but for someone to help you. If you are demonstrating that you cannot be helped, then there is no point,” he said.

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