Wishing you and your loved ones a very happy new year! I hope this year you grow and prosper as your friends and family root for you and also, keep trusting us with your oral health.
Thank you to everyone who checked upon us to ask if all was fine since their inbox missed the Sunday Newsletter. I am beyond grateful for all the love you have showered upon us and this year, as a team, we have resolved to ensure we write newsletters more consistently and share what is going through our minds & hearts.
During the past week, one thing that every entrepreneur / founder is talking about (either on social media or in their respective networks) is the pitch of Ganesh Balakrishnan, founder of Flatheads, who appeared on Shark Tank India with the objective of raising some capital for the survival of his brand.
Honestly, I have seen the same episode multiple times because it has really made me think deeply about our journey while building Perfora. With the onset of Shark Tank India, entrepreneurship is becoming mainstream in India and people have started celebrating the spirit of starting up and building something from the ground up.
However, one thing that isn’t talked about enough are the failures that one experiences in the process of building a company. Ganesh’s pitch was a true reflection of the fact that it isn’t easy to build a brand / company. It takes a lot of guts / courage, blood, sweat, tears and infinite sleepless nights to create something meaningful.
Without a doubt, the journey of an entrepreneur is very tough and sometimes, lonely to an extent.
One thing that I realised last week and something that I have been introspecting while reflecting on the year gone by is that we need to accept and recognise our failures and shortcomings.
Today, I want to very candidly share with you a few things that we failed at during 2022 -
1. Streamlining Supply Chain: The love for our products and brand was extremely encouraging and as a result, some of our products were out of stock at regular intervals. Despite the planning, we fell short of fulfilling the consumer demand for some of our products. Every month something went out of stock, we saw disappointed messages from our customers and that broke our hearts.
2. Product Failure: Our R&D team works very hard in the research and development of any new product and very closely monitors the manufacturing process. However, with all the stringent controls in place, one of the production batches for our toothpaste had a foaming issue and despite everything we could not avert it. Another product that we failed at was our Smart Water Flosser that faced technical errors and this error couldn't be identified during the quality inspection. A lot of our customers reached out highlighting the malfunctioning of the product and that is when we went back to the drawing board to fix all these errors and launch an upgraded and better version of our water flosser. In case you are facing any issues, please reach out to us and we will make sure this concern is addressed on priority.
3. Team: We are grateful for everyone who is a part of our team however for the first 6 months of the year, we really struggled in getting like-minded people on board as a part of our mission. We started the year with only 4 of us and till June could only hire 4 more people. There was a point when all our early team members were working 14-16 hours a day and were taking care of multiple roles, beyond their KRAs and JDs. In the hindsight, we all grew professionally but also realised the importance of having more resources.
4. Distribution: For the most part of the year, we weren't able to expand our distribution footprint and to some extent, we faced a lot of challenges in terms of growing our existing revenue channels. We would spend hours forming strategies, discussing plans but would always fall short in terms of factoring all market scenarios leading to one or the other road block. It hasn't been easy but we are glad that things are starting to fall into place.
While these are just some of the bigger failures that we faced last year, we have failed innumerable times in day to day operations.
One important realisation and learning has been that whether it is failure or success, it is interlinked. One failure does impact the probability of another thing being successful.
Life is more than a P&L of failures and successes. It is the ability to acknowledge, admit and ascend.
As a brand, 2022 will always be the year that we will remember for pulling above our weight and accomplishing a few things. It was our very first full calendar every year and while we went through a lot of failures, we did cross a few milestones.
Thank you for being a part of this journey with us, for looking over our mistakes and always trusting us to do better, for never losing faith and for making us believe that we can elevate the everyday oral care of a million of Indians just like you.