At the time when everyone is busy thinking out-of-the-box, Kabir Siddiq found his Big Idea inside a box, literally. Founder and CEO of SleepyCat, a company disrupting the mattress market with innovative solutions, Kabir has travelled a long way to offer the people of India a sound sleep.
Being a graduate from the Indiana University, USA, with a double major in Economics and Telecommunications, coupled with an experience of almost five years in Investment Banking, Kabir’s thought process is simple – why a buyer should face difficulties in buying a product when the same can be done with a much simpler process. It is this though that brought him into the entrepreneurship role. He shares his journey with Team RealtyMyths.Com on the inception of this idea and his vision. Here are the excerpts:
How did Sleepy Cat happen? What triggered this idea of innovative box mattresses?
The Journey of SleepyCat began when I entered the old and unchanged mattress Industry. I realized a big gap existed in the market between manufacturing a mattress and eventually delivering it to a consumer. This long chain; mostly distribution, logistics, warehousing, and retail, severely inflated the price of a mattress without reason. In addition, the quality and structure of a mattress being sold at a price like that were nowhere close to being comparable or justified! To top it all, mattress shopping was troublesome with so many unnecessary choices. We wanted to simplify this and make the process of mattress-shopping fun and easy while delivering a world-class product through just four simple clicks!
Do you think there is an appetite for box mattresses in India? How is the response so far?
Absolutely, SleepyCat is just a few months old, it’s a disruptive model to the current traditional mattress industry. It changes the way people shop for a mattress. We make it simple, way cheaper, fun, and all this while providing a great quality product in a box! And we eliminate any risk of buying a mattress online by providing a 30-night risk-free trial :)These are the massive pain points each consumer faces today while shopping for a mattress.
Response has been great! Everything is now available online and we have made this possible for mattresses too. Without any risk! Mattress-in-a-box is simple solution with speedy delivery to the otherwise cluttered traditional industry.
You have brought in a disruption in the way people used to choose a mattress. This is like asking for a behavioral change in a market where sleep disturbance is yet to get attention. How do you plan to tackle these issues? What all markets you are targeting, to start with?
People are realising the need for better quality mattresses and importance of investing in a product which provides good health and sleep. With income levels rising and more people being aware, the importance of sleep is already getting attention and we have found an easy way for customers to achieve their sleep goals. Everyone is seeking luxury and better quality items, and we make it achievable.
Now everyone, for example, moving to Pune for College, Bangalore for work, A family that shifted to Gurgaon, they just come online and shop from SleepyCat. We make shopping for a mattress online possible. And frankly when we solve all the pain points and provide a better quality mattress at a better price, people just come and find us! They are looking for a company like ours that helps them and makes mattress shopping easier! And now we have a great demand from all over the country we are trying to keep up with.
64% of the population is under the age of 34. They growing middle class and younger generations are the ones realising the need for better sleep. So there is a massive target market.
Tell us about your retail marketing plans. What challenges are you facing logistically?
Currently, we are only online, direct from the factory. We are currently really looking to expand our digital footprint through exciting campaigns, videos, ads, SEO, social media posts etc.
Logistics and timely delivery are very important to us too. Many people ordering a mattress have just moved in to somewhere new and need it immediately. A mattress in a box is a setup to help solve the logistic issues related to mattresses. Which are otherwise delivered in its massive bulky state and cost a lot for labor and delivery? But the customer service of these logistics companies and their professionalism is always a major issue. Our customers do fuss about how unprofessional the end delivery person is too sometimes.. With respect too timing, delivery, etc. So following up and coordinating deliveries are definitely a challenge.
How difficult is it to wear an entrepreneur’s shoes? What changes you had to bring in your routine to suit this profile?
Getting out of college back then everyone was looking to pursue a career in Finance and Banking. So I found myself following the crowd. I literally just read the Vault guide to finance interviews and went to Bombay to interview with a few Institutions. I spent a majority of my time there with Deutsche Bank in the Investment Banking division.
Though I thoroughly enjoyed my time there, I always had the itch for something more. I always wanted to pursue the Entrepreneurial route, and build something meaningful, something I enjoy working on. I didn’t want to stick to a traditional job throughout life. I really wanted to create, Innovate and try new things. It really excited me.
But it is definitely a massive change. Working at a bank means Monday to Friday and taking no work home. Now your brain never stops working. From the moment you get up till you sleep. If you don’t do it, someone else will. You got to keep going. Being non-stop and wholly responsible for leading the business and a team is massively exciting, but you don’t have fancy-free time anymore 🙂