12 Mar 2018, 09:04 — 6 min read
Startup: Wanna Party
Founder: Arpit Maheshwari
Year it was founded: 2011
Based out of: Delhi-NCR
What’s the most preferred way to celebrate a birthday, anniversary or any other special occasion? A party! Be it a small get-together or a large gathering, there is a certain amount of planning required to ensure a successful party, and people are increasingly looking at elaborate theme parties and customised decorations. Arpit Maheshwari is the founder of Wanna Party that provides end-to-end party supplies. So, if you are organising your child’s birthday, friend’s baby shower or a bachelorette, at Wanna Party you will find theme-based decor options among all kinds of party supplies.
Arpit formerly worked with the World Bank in America, but soon came upon the idea to create a niche business in India. He shares, “The idea (for this business) came up in 2009 during a brainstorming session with a friend. For the next two years, my wife and I kept coming to India. Based on research, we did some exhibitions in India. In 2011 we decided to take the plunge and start this business which is very popular in the US already. There are more than a thousand party stores in the US, and we felt the time was ripe to bring this concept to India.”
Wanna Party offers an extensive range of gifts, party supplies and décor items. Arpit explains, “The party business in India is largely dominated by cheap Chinese products. Based on our research, we identified that people do need some good quality party products and that they are ready to pay the price for it. Initially all our products were imported from the US. Now we manufacture our own products as well.”
He further elaborates on his products: “A lot of our products are pre-made and DIY. We also provide a service that when you purchase a product, we send our staff to assemble/ install the products. Our range of products is vast. Depending on their budget, customers can choose whatever they want, and we also help them in installing. It’s a win-win situation for everybody.”
Introducing a new concept in the market can be a challenge. Arpit shares his experience. “Once we opened the store, it took a bit of a time to convince people. But once people started coming in, they liked our products.” He adds, “In the beginning we advertised and reached out to people through exhibitions. Our target audience was young couples with growing kids because a lot of the products were for children’s parties and baby showers. And now we have all kinds of theme party products as well. We kept adding products as time progressed, based on the demands of the people and the response we got.”
Another challenge that was faced was that of innovation. Arpit says, “We have had to innovate constantly. We add new products every 1-3 months. Everybody is looking for new products. When a customer walks in, they want something different for their next party. Constantly adding new products is a challenge but has helped us grow.”
Wanna Party has 12 stores across India, including in Delhi, Mumbai, Indore, Jaipur, Allahabad, Varanasi and Dehradun. While 8 of these stores are self-owned, the rest follow a franchise model. Wanna Party products are also available on leading e-commerce portals such as Amazon, eBay, Flipkart, FirstCry, as well as their own website. They also have a B2B model where they wholesale products to other stores in India.
Arpit shares some insight into the success of their stores across India. “Fortunately, wherever we have opened stores so far, we have got terrific response. We are moving into smaller outlets where the rentals and overheads are less, and we are able get almost the same amount of revenue. Of course, the display is a bit restricted, but people order and wait, so the goods are shipped from our other stores or warehouses.”
Targeting exponential growth in the years to come, Arpit shares, “This year we are targeting to open another 10 stores in India. Even in smaller towns like Allahabad, Benaras and Dehrudun, our stores are doing well. We are able to meet operational cost in all stores from the first month itself.”
Arpit believes that GlobalLinker is a great platform for B2B networking and showcasing the entrepreneurial journey of businesses across the country.
Advice to aspiring entrepreneurs
Arpit’s advise to aspirants is simple: Follow your heart, work hard, and the rest will follow. He shares his own example, “I was working for the World Bank, drawing a salary of 100,000 dollars plus with no clue of what the future held for me. Now I find tremendous value in being an entrepreneur.”
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Posted byGlobalLinker Staff
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