Startup Series| How to build a successful startup: Denver Deo’s MD shares his tips

Nancy Jaiswal
Nancy Jaiswal
Posted on 05 Dec 2022
13:11 PM
Mr. Saurabh Gupta, MD of Denver deodorants

Mr. Saurabh Gupta, MD of Denver deodorants Source: Mr. Saurabh Gupta

“I firmly believe offering great products, along with consistency in communication and messaging to the consumer, and maintaining trade(pricing) and hygiene are the three strong pillars of brand success”
“When we decided to get Saif Ali Khan on board, after which we understood what benefits a celebrity can add to your brand and to your business”

The decision to build a startup is a leap of faith. To be a successful entrepreneur means stepping out of your comfort zone and trying something distinct and new. In the long run it also must be one of those peculiar ideas that excites one. In other words, these are the factors that we see commonly appearing in successful startups.

The Telegraph Online Edugraph recently got into a candid conversation with Mr. Saurabh Gupta, MD of Denver deodorants, to get his take on scaling up a startup, what makes it click, and of course, first getting Saif Ali Khan and then Shahrukh Khan onboard as brand ambassadors. Read on to know more.

  1. How and when did you get the idea or concept for your business?

The idea came in 2005, at the IITF, when we launched our skin care brand. We found a fantastic response from consumers toward our perfumery products, which paved the path for deodorants with the launch of Denver in 2008.

2. From starting small to having Shahrukh Khan on board as a brand ambassador - talk us through the growth of your brand.

We started from the bottom, with no experience in the marketing and distribution space. We started advertising in 2008. Since then, we have witnessed excellent growth, but during 2011 and 2012, we were struggling with our growth because we found that the consumers were still unaware of the brand and the trade still did not have a strong enough faith in us. That is when we decided to get Saif Ali Khan on board, after which we understood what benefits a celebrity can add to your brand and to your business. Finally, we approached Shahrukh Khan in 2017 and soon after GST implementation we released the campaign, which received stellar response. We kept signing celebrities for our potential markets, such as AP/Telangana, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, etc. There was no looking back from then on.

3. What were the strategies you used to first select your employees?

During our beginning days, it was much simpler, since whoever had some experience in our category was good for us. Especially with sales and distribution, people who have been associated with perfumery products were our foremost choice. But eventually that changed as we grew. Later on, we started with other categories, people with strong past records, and recommendations. I believe it's important for one to have a sense of responsibility towards his or her organisation, which separates performers from the rest.

4. Your brand is one of the most loved perfume brands amongst the young generation. How would you describe its success - by its profit or by customer satisfaction?

We truly believe our success lies with our loyal customer base. Their love has brought us where we are today. Time and again, we keep receiving emails from our customers about how much they love our products and their disappointment when we discontinue some fragrances.

There is this one particular incident that I would like to share. We received an email from an Army widow who was not able to find one of our products on the market. It was such an emotional message. She wrote that our fragrance reminded her of her late husband, who died fighting for the country. Such is the power of fragrance, we realised!

5. While revenue is one of the most important factors for a business’s growth, what according to you are a few of the other driving factors behind a brand’s success?

I firmly believe that offering great products along with consistency in communication and messaging to the consumer and maintaining trade (price) and hygiene are the three strong pillars of brand success.

6. What are the 3 most important habits of a successful entrepreneur?

  • Starting the day earlier than the world around you
  • Letting go of responsibilities, i.e., delegating at just the right moment
  • Writing down every conversation

Startups are businesses that go on to play a critical role in the entire economic growth of the country. They not only create more jobs but also relevant ones for a better economy. Furthermore, startups even contribute to overall economic development by fostering innovation and competition. And as our expert, Mr. Saurabh Gupta, says, once you build a product that your customers love and put everything into building up your brand, success is bound to come.

Last updated on 08 Dec 2022
10:20 AM
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