THE TWO FINAL TRADE FAIRS:-

We tried selling the maximum number of products at both the trade fairs and it was a very nice experience to be actually selling our product at a marketplace to a larger customer base and we did well, and after that, we also won awards such as best team and best innovative product award.

THANKYOU

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MOCK AND FINAL DRAGON’S DEN:-

We again made improvisations in our presentation by this time and also to our product and had prepared statistics and business details and we crossed the mock and final dragons den with ease but didn’t expect it to pass that easily and without many bad remarks, but things had got a bit too serious by then and we had to start selling our product as we were ready with the final handmade products and were waiting for the final trade fair where we could sell our product at a marketplace and the other university campus. Here are some memories of the dragon’s den :

Nidhi’s Reflective Essay:-

So here we come to an end of our entrepreneurial journey as a curriculum, there is a pool of things I would like to talk about at this moment as it has been an overwhelming experience to be a part of all this. The experiences and learnings we have received through this is of an unimaginable extent as we were absolutely naive of how to go about a business but here we are today as professionals, successful owners of a company and product of our own, indulging in all aspects of business and entrepreneurship under this course, going through all the steps as a startup company, faced all the up’s and down’s of business, all the stress and pressure all the profits and losses the trying and testing the deciding and concluding the buying and selling and everything else, we have learnt so so much from this particular project that is going to stay with us as an experience throughout our lives and who knows all of us would someday become great entrepreneurs in life but we would never be able to forget the platform we got under this course.

We have been fortunate enough to have received such an opportunity in life that will help us throughout our lives. All the help and support and knowledge provided to us by our Professor Alice Comi, during our coursework had been commendable and we can’t thank her enough for it, and Kingston University for supporting us too. Not many people in life get a chance as big as this to explore themselves and to live their dream but we have been fortunate enough.

The beginning of the course was a bit difficult for me for sure as I have been from a completely different background, and being a Lawyer I had no clue about business or entrepreneurship but I definitely wanted to do something of my own and I always wished to be an employer rather than an employee, my purpose was to serve the society in any way possible and by giving people jobs and a way of earning their living was one of my ways of returning to the society that has given us our identity.

I felt so strongly about this course as I knew I will get to learn not just business but also life lessons which would shape my brain for the future. So here I was in the very first class with our professor and we were instructed as to what the coursework would be like and how do we go about it and also that we need to keep an updated blog page which we need to write in order to reflect our progress, work and learnings on a regular basis and also that this was a marked process that we need to follow. I still remember we were made to sign up for our blog pages in class. I was very new to the idea of blogging and didn’t know what to write but eventually, I got the hang of it and then I got comfortable in writing blogs.

The journey throughout has been extremely overwhelming. We started with simple and easy daily class activities to encourage teamwork and awaken all the creative and innovative brains present in the class.  These activities were the best part of the class every week and we were learning while performing these activities without even realizing that our minds were being pushed to a certain direction and that we had no clue about. The activities gave us all a chance to know each other better and it created a friendly and fun environment in the class among the students and the professor as well, unlike all the other classes where only basic introduction was conducted.

As time passed we were getting close to all the marked assignments and tasks that we had to carry out throughout the term time and hence at the very beginning we were asked to form teams for our group project and participating in bright ideas competition and we were supposed to form a company and develop an innovative product and finally run a business around it for the term time. It was horrifying to know that we had to do so much in the beginning as we were still unaware of the personalities and specialization and actual background of all the classmates and we had to form teams. It was a stressful task as we had very little time to do so and if a single member of the team proved unsuitable the team might have dissolved or we could have severe difficulties while working so it was a very crucial decision and we had to figure out the right people in the given time period and we actually did. All of us spoke to each other and tried knowing each other better and our ideas of work and accordingly we all made teams. All the students in the class had teams by the deadline.

I formed my team as well and we were five members of the team namely :

  1. Nidhi Vijay
  2. Mais Tibi
  3. Celine
  4. Sai Charan
  5. Josiah Haroon

All of us being from different backgrounds, we thought it would be best to have a diverse pool of knowledge so each member could help the team in their own way and there would be no conflicts in the team as everyone will be best at their work and I must say we were absolutely correct in thinking so as we as team have always been very supportive of each other and we have never even once in the whole term time, had a single conflict within the team. We have been an amazing team throughout and that is the reason I suppose we could win soo many awards throughout and succeeded every time with every step, our team has been extremely hard working and ambitious and always ready to help going beyond limits even after our hectic class schedules.

We then were supposed to decide on names for the teams and then register our companies with Young Enterprise, the organisation helping students to set up businesses in the UK . and we all met together to decide on the team name and after spending long hours and trying to come to a collective conclusion and agreement, we setteled at the name “ QUINTET “, the meaning of which is a group of 5 people doing something together, and I thought nothing could describe our company better as we are a team of five, and then we all agreed on this name and we finally registered our company. Then it was the turn to come up with a product and we did sit and discuss as to what are the problems people face in their daily lives and in some days we setteled with the problems of people who wear glasses and hence we thought of making a multi functional glasses case and named it BOXIE, which would take up less space in the bags and is east to carry and is foldable into a flat structure when not in use and had 2 comaprtments to store 2 glasses at a time or a pair of glasses and lenses case at the same time in one box.

We moved forward with our idea and days passed and we kept researching and developing and improving our product and its functionality and we won many awards for our product and we did a pretty decent business with the product and we earned profits as well, and that was the basic need for a business.

This has taught us more than we expected and this whole memory that I try to recall all the months we have spent working on this product that bring tears to my eyes as it has been such an enriching experience and I can literally feel the change in me as a person and the level of knowledge and understanding of business and market that I have at present. This has only been possible because of this course and this subject that made us become such intellectual and experienced individuals, and as this comes to an end I would like to say that it is very difficult to accept that this is finally over and we won’t get to continue with this project anymore but still what has to happen will happen, so instead of crying over it I will try to move ahead in life and bring all my learnings to use in the future and hopefully I am able to become an entrepreneur someday.

Thanking Kingston University our professor, Alice Comi and all the fellow mates from class and my wonderful Team at last for the immense support and help throughout the term time.

Thankyou all.

 

Blogs published as :

myentrepreneurialjourneynidhi.wordpress.com

 

INSIGHTS FROM A PROFESSIONAL(on growth mindset):-

While at the networking event we met an amazing person who showed interest in our product and gave us very useful insights as to what all we could do with our product and that we could achieve a lot with this one product he made us feel really positive and enthusiastic about our own product. Talking to him was an eye opener to us about how actually the market functions. He was Mr. Azmat Ali, who flew down from the US especially for the bright ideas finals in Kingston University one of the judges.

He almost manipulated us to reveal our fears regarding the product and as a team and what all we think we could do with our company and product and he thoroughly understood our knowledge level of the industry and asked us to attend his lecture the other day on GROWTH MINDSET. I as a representative of our team went the next day to attend the lecture as everyone else had classes.

This was the best brain shaking lecture I’ve ever attended. There I learned the importance of positive thinking and always thinking about how to grow in life. He talked about the difference in a growth mindset and fixed mindset and what kind of people have such mindsets and how does it affect them in their daily lives and in the long run.

Some very strong points he made during his lecture were that :

Mindset affects how we experience change and difficulty, change your threats into challenges and this way you will succeed he also said that our mindset determines how negativity affects you, it either derail’s or inspires you.

Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you are right.

If you’re not good at something, it does not mean you cant do it, instead, it means you cant do it yet.

and very briefly explaining as to YET here is a very important word, as it means you still have hope left for improvement.

So these were the wise words that inspired me to work harder for BOXIE and also in life and taught me to stay positive about the hard work an efforts we put in for our company. It was a great learning experience.

BRIGHT IDEAS FINALS ( winners of the golden ticket award):-

So next up was the Bright Ideas finals, and we were all very enthusiastic with whatever we had prepared and achieved till date. We all reached the Kingston business school before time so we could all practice our presentation well and tried to cover up all the loopholes we thought we could figure out in order to again win awards for BOXIE.

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All the teams were made to sit in a room and to keep the pressure level low among the students the university had organized games and fun activities for us. our time came and we were asked to head to our respective room where we had to present our product in front of the judges, we were all extremely nervous but we still were confident with our preparation. We stood outside of the room waiting for the other team to get done so we could go in and get done with our’s too. We couldn’t wait as the excitement and nervousness almost was killing us from the inside.

And finally we go in and we started our presentation and it went well, though we tried to cover all the important points and aspects that could raise a question about our product, the judges still had a few questions for us because of course, they know much more than we think we do. We tried to answer all their questions and concerns and all the judges seemed quite impressed and content with our product and presentation and they stated that our’s is a very unique and thoughtful idea and it can actually change people’s lives and this made us happy as BOXIE was our baby we had worked so hard for it.

Then was a little break for networking with the judges before the awards were to be announced. We met many other judges as well while all of the people having snacks in a wonderfully innovative and informative environment making connections and networking. Our product was liked by every one who got to know about it we were overwhelmed and started getting positive about winning.

The award distribution began and all participants and judges joined in the hall and one by one the awards were being announced and all the categories were over and we didnt here BOXIE and that made us nervous, but right then at the end it was announced that there was special award that was to be presented to the product that was liked by most of the judges while the networking event that evening, and there it was… the final announcement, the winners of the GOLDEN TICKET AWARD ( 500 pounds), team QUINTET and that was all we needed to hear at that moment. Never been this happy with our product to date but this meant a lot.

THE TRADE FAIR ( winners of the best product award):-

Here we were at our very first trade fair, which was being held at the Kingston Business School. We were all very nervous as a team as this was the first public display of BOXIE, and more because due to the shortage of time that we lost while finalising the material for the product, we were one of the very less numbers of the total teams who were present there with just their product prototypes, no final product. So all we could do was try n explain people the functionality and usage of BOXIE while demonstrating it with our prototype.

The fair started well, we had huge numbers of students and faculty visiting our table and also there were many local people who visited the fair as well. What really boosted our confidence that day was the feedback we were getting from all the people who saw our product. I must say, there was not a single person who saw our prototype and did not like our idea. In fact, people also placed pre-orders for our product on the same day and we were overwhelmed by such a response.

Since we were at the prototype stage, we displayed all the materials and fabrics that we had collected by then, just to get feedback again from the customers as to what material they would want for such a product, and yes we got different preferences from different customers and we did take account of all the feedback. And also we planned to ask the customers as to what price they would be willing to pay for BOXIE if they were buying it, and by this, we got a close idea as to how much we could sell our product for. We just took advantage of us being at the prototype stage and tried to figure out what the market price of our product could be and according to me, this was a smart move.

So this was it for what happened during the trade fair. Then came an end to it and it was time for the awards for the day. Though we got an amazing response to our idea, we as a team were sure not to receive an award that evening as we couldn’t sell a single product as we didn’t have it ready. But to our surprise, the opposite happened. All the awards were being announced and all of us didn’t move from our table and continued wrapping up, as we were disappointed by our performance and there goes the very last prize announcement and we here QUINTET… It still didn’t strike us that we were called and then people turned to us and called us up saying you guys have won and we got crazy because it was unbelievable.

It was the ” BEST PRODUCT AWARD”, we couldn’t believe it but it was true, our product was the most loved product of the evening. We went up took the prize and then we were even more determined to make this product a success, and from here our journey of constant growth took a new turn.

 

STUDY ON FABRICS :-

After visiting the school of design we learnt about various materials that could be used for our product and hence we went to various store that we were told to visit and we spoke to the store assistants and owners showing them our product and got to see many more different and interesting fabrics and materials that we could use to make our product stronger.

 

We studied all the fabrics carefully and bought some that seemed right to us for BOXIE so we could actually try and test them before making a final decision. There were various fabrics such as Pleather, fake leather, faux leather, velvet etc, that we tried using on our product and after all the trying and testing process we settled on the stick on sheets as they were waterproof and durable and easy to clean and most importantly didn’t increase the weight of the box still keeping it slim, exactly serving the purpose we wanted BOXIE to. So we were happy that we could finally come to terms with the materials to be used for the product, this was the final stage of the production that we cracked after a lot of hard work. We were not extremely happy with how our product looked but we at least did the best we could do for it so we were sort of satisfied with our work.