Srijan Bhardwaj is a Digital Marketing Expert & Internet Entrepreneur who has been training, helping, and consulting business owners and entrepreneurs on how to build scalable and profitable businesses. He’s the author of 2 international bestselling books and his businesses have grossed 40 Crore Rupees in sales in the last few years using digital marketing. Today we got a chance to interview him let’s know more about him & his journey.
We hope this can inspire you to become a successful person too! It is worth listening to a successful entrepreneur or to people who share their success stories? We can significantly learn many things from the experiences of them, by listening to their story.
Excerpts from our exclusive interview with him:
Q1) Tell us a little bit about your start-up and your journey, please;
On 1st July 2015, I started my startup Blisstro along with 3 of my friends. We faced losses for the first 1.5 years and had to take several loans to keep the business running. In this time, we’d rapidly launched around 10-12 products and services and had zeroed in on 2 of them.
Finally, we got profitable after 1.5 years but we all felt that we’d a different calling. So I and my college best friend picked one of those services and our friends parted ways with the other service.
In the next 3.5 years, we did Product Launches, eCommerce, Affiliate Marketing, Digital Products, Trainings, Consulting, Coaching Programs, Events, and Webinars.
As of now, we do 3 things – eCommerce, Digital Products (Online Training Programs), Brand Consulting. We’ve grossed over Rs. 40 Crores in sales in the last couple of years for all our products and services combined. Right now, we have a team of 12 people and we’re just gearing up to scale to hit the next goals.
Q2) How did the idea for your business/startup come about?
I’m an engineering graduate from Maharaja Agrasen Institute of Technology, IP University. When I entered college for the first time, I’d just 1 dream – Be the most popular guy. So I started networking with my college seniors and asked them for opportunities. Through the opportunities they shared with me, I started selling community and membership passes. Then, I started selling party passes to other college students.
Gradually, I started raising college sponsorships and by the time I had completed my first year, I was already working 6-8 hours a day along with attending my college and playing sports. Since most of my side hustle was based around marketing and sales, I’d to move around a lot and spent a significant amount of time commuting and prospecting. This was pushing me towards a burn out and I asked one of my college seniors for help.
He suggested that I create a website and that’s how I got started with Internet Marketing. For the next 3 years, I tried various things like Website Development, SEO, Blogging, Review Sites, Affiliate Marketing but nothing worked for me. There weren’t a lot of Internet Marketers, especially Indians in those times (2012-15), but luckily, one day, I met a guy from Delhi who helped me make my first money with Self publishing through Kindle books.
In April 2015, I self published my first Kindle book and made Rs. 3,000 and that gave me the confidence to start my journey.
Q3) What was your key driving force to become an entrepreneur?
Great question! I feel my unquenching thirst for solving problems keeps me going. I started selling community passes because I’d a problem – I wasn’t famous. I started learning how to build a website because I’d a problem – I was spending too much time commuting and prospecting. I started interning with big brands like United Nations, Freecharge, Nokia, Channel V etc. because I’d a problem – my growth had stagnated.
I did Kindle publishing because I’d a problem – I wasn’t making any money with Internet Marketing. In terms of my career, whatever I’ve done is to solve problems, mine and that of others and I feel I’m getting pretty good at it. I enjoy this process and I want to constantly push myself and test my limits by solving bigger and more complex problems.
Q4) How did you come up with the name for your business/startup?
Through a random name generator. True story. In the beginning, there were 4 of us, co-founders, and 2 of us were really spiritual (not me). So my 2 friends started putting words like happiness, peace, serenity into the name generator. Unhappy with the results, one of my friends put the word bliss in the name generator. And yada, we got Blisstro. We liked the name and instantly chose it as our brand name.
Q5) What service(s) or product(s) do you offer/manufacture?
We have do mainly 3 things –
- 1. E-commerce Print on Demand where we primarily sell t-shirts to people in the US, UK, Canada, and Australia
- 2. Create Animated Explainer Videos which is a B2B service also majorly catering to Western companies
- 3. Online Training Programs and Consultancy on how to build, grow and scale profitable online businesses that we provide to both the Western countries and in the Indian space
Q6) Why should people choose your product/services?
We deliver results and we care tremendously and exceptionally for our customers. So far we’ve served over 2,50,000+ customers and have received massive positive feedback. People love our stuff because we overdeliver on what we promise. Period.
Q7) How do you market your business, and which tactics have been most successful?
We majorly market our business through paid advertisements. We spend a lot of money on running ads on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Google, and YouTube. 80% of our revenue comes from the ads that we run.
Other than that, we do a lot of organic marketing on major social media platforms. We’ve FB Groups with over 20,000+ people, IG communities with almost 55,000+ people, a 20,000+ email list, and a lot of other assets that we’ve built over a long period of time and nurtured with a lot of efforts.
The most successful strategy for us has been acquiring customers at a loss (initially). We use the concept of sales funnel because of which we are able to acquire for a customer at a loss and still be profitable.
Let me tell you how.
When you go to McDonalds and order a McAaloo Ticki Burger, let’s say for Rs. 40, do you know that McD actually incurs a loss on this?
Most people would say that’s stupid. But hey, McDonalds is a billion-dollar company. It can’t be stupid. The reason why they incur a loss is that they make profitable upsets. When you order a burger, they ask you, would you like to add some fries and coke to it? Would you like to convert it into a meal? Would you like a coffee with it? Would you also like ice cream?
On average, 50%+ people end up taking one or more such offers. And so, instead of spending just Rs. 40, they end up spending a lot more money. That too on products where McDonalds have over 60% margin.
That’s how McDonalds make profit and that’s how sales funnels work in a nutshell.
We use the same strategies. Let’s say when someone purchases an Rs. 499 product from us, we’re happy to pay even Rs. 1500 as an acquisition cost since we know we’ll cover it up through our sales funnel.
There, I just shared our Million Dollar secret with you. 😉
Q8) What risks are you facing?
The biggest risk we’re facing is the risk of not expanding and creating a bigger impact aggressively. See, I believe in work is worship. I believe that the work we do creates a positive impact on society. It helps a lot of people in generating more revenue in their business, making more money, having more freedom, living a better life. When you’re on a journey like that, the biggest risk is not being able to help more people and create more impact.
Q9) Did pandemic (COVID 19) affected your business? if yes how?
Absolutely yes. COVID 19 started from Wuhan. Until 2019, 80% of our revenue was being generated from eCommerce and Dropshipping. And the vendor we were working with was based in Wuhan. This lead to a huge crisis. We’d thousands of orders stuck in China. We started getting them created in India and processed some orders and then the lockdown happened to result in more loss.
This leads to a huge loss and depleted our savings and our safety nets. We were in a massive loss and financial crunch. Our eCommerce business was shut for a few months now and there was nothing we could do about it. But this also turned out to be a blessing since we started focusing on our online training programs and started expanding it.
This year, we have been able to achieve 300% growth in our digital product business and our now working to replicating the same growth next year.
There’s another side to this too. Thanks to COVID19, we’ve ensured that we start working from home and have learned and trained ourselves and helped each other to increase our efficiency and output.
We’re also spending a lot of time understanding how the behavioral dynamics of our customers change so we can continue to serve the shit out of them at the highest level.
We’re communicating obsessively and are ensuring everyone’s mental health is good. If anyone feels any discomfort or stress and pressure, we ask them to take a day off and do the same for themselves.
Q10) Have you considered any alliance/partnership/funding?
Any man who learns digital advertising and the skill of spending Rs. 1 and making back Rs. 2 will never be short of money. We haven’t really considered any funding because we generate Rs. 6-7 on every Rs. 1 that we spent. We’re bootstrapping profitably and successfully for 5 years and have no plans of raising funds any time soon.
Other than that, we do some strategic promotional partnerships every now and then.
Q11) What are your responsibilities as the business owner?
I consider myself the Chief Growth Office in my company which means I’m the go-to person to grow our company. Other than that, my responsibilities range from managing finances, building better systems, taking care of operations, running marketing and promotion, scaling ads, etc.
Q12) How many hours a day do you work on average & can you describe/outline your typical day?
Great question. I used to be a workaholic and work 12-13 hours a day, 6-7 days a week until March this year. I was doing it for almost 4.5 years. Then I’d a very rough few weeks due to some events in my personal life which forced me to not work for a couple of months.
That really gave me a lot of perspectives and I realized I don’t want to be a workaholic. I want to work efficiently and get done with my work in 6-8 hours a day at maximum. So I changed my strategy accordingly.
These days, I wake up around 7-7:30 and then do my morning routine which is basically taking a walk, doing stretching and Yoga, and some breathing exercises. I also make sure to read at least 30-40 minutes during this time and meditate too. I don’t touch my phone before 9:30-10.
I start working around 10 and work in 2-3 hour slots. My first slot is for myself where I focus on getting my shit done in 2-3 hours. The next slot is for catching up with my team, acquaintances, networking with other people, and completing tasks that I’m co-performing with others. My final evening slot is again for myself.
In between these 3 slots, I take 2 breaks of 15-20 minutes and a 1-hour lunch break where I either spend time with my family or watching some educational or entertainment stuff. I get free mostly by 6:30 and then go for a walk and do 20-30 minutes of a workout.
Post that, I focus on spending my time with my family and friends. I also keep aside an hour or two to invest in my social media and then another hour to learn something new.
I finally hit bed around 12-12:30. That pretty much sums up my day.
Q13) What is your greatest fear, and how do you manage fear?
My greatest fear is the fear of not living. Yeah, it may sound weird but I really feel blessed and lucky to have this gift of life. I know I’m going to die someday and I don’t get to pick the day.
And that is why I’m extremely motivated to live my life to the fullest. I constantly do things that help me do better and become a better version of myself. Whether it’s pushing my limits physically and mentally or learning new things, I manage my fear by being in motion.
Q14) What comes first for you money or emotions?
Honestly, it’s a balance of both. I work because I like solving problems and thus I never feel I’m working. It just feels that I’m playing a game the entire day.
For me, the money I make is directly proportional to the value I’m adding to people’s lives and the impact I’m creating. And honestly, I’m never that worried about money since I know that the work I’m doing is solving major problems and that people are always willing to pay if someone can solve their problems.
Now, I also have very strict Work Ethics since I believe that the success of my business is the mirror reflection of my internal success, i.e. how much I’ve grown as a person internally.
We have a policy in our company – If we don’t help you achieve tangible results or don’t deliver at least 10x the value for which you’re paying, we’ll refund you without a question.
On top of that, we periodically identify and refund people who are not a good fit for our training programs. Our customers are always surprised by this and they tell us that they’ve never seen any Indian company doing this.
I’m also a firm believer in being 100% authentic and honest.
Q15) Tell us about your early life & How has being an entrepreneur affected your family life?
I was born and brought up in Delhi. I come from a middle-class family. My parents are government employees and the first 10-12 years were really tough for us. Yet, my parents ensured that I did my schooling from one of the best schools – Hans Raj Model School.
I was extremely shy and introverted since my childhood. Growing up, I was always fond of reading and writing, and sports. I’d read hundreds of comics, history books, freedom fighter biographies, and the ancient culture by the time I’d entered my 10th grade.
I loved playing cricket and football and played it daily for hours throughout my 8th standard to 1st year of college.
Fast forward a few years. When I was in my final year of engineering, I’d got placed in 3 companies. I was considered to be really lucky and my parents wanted me to go for a job. But I wanted to start a startup. So I told them I’ll go for a job when I’m called for one (which was supposedly gonna be in 12 months after my college ended), until then, let me do my thing. My parents agreed to it saying if I could make the same money from my startup that I would make from my job, they’re fine with it. This conversation happened in July’15.
Sadly, things took a different turn and in August’15 I got a call to join the company. And from here, started the most stressful period for me and my family. I kept stalling my parents by asking for extensions from the companies. My parents were furious about it.
They wanted me to go for a job or do a Masters’s. I stalled them for over a year and in that year, I faced a loss. We’d taken 3 loans to fill that loss. In October my grandfather passed away and 2 of my partners also left the company to do something else. This left me and my college best friend to run the company that was practically standing at 0, 1.5 years after its inception.
The pressure was enormous since everyone was getting promoted or my friends were going to different countries for education and job. This was 1 phase of my life where it was me v/s my family and the world. Thankfully it started declining in 1.5 years and finally ended after another year and a half.
Now my parents can see the work I’m doing, the financial success and the impact and they are very proud and happy about it.
Q16) What piece of advice would you give to college graduates who want to become entrepreneurs??
I have 3 pieces of advice for those who want to start a business and want to be an entrepreneur:-
1. Don’t start if you want to make money or want to achieve a particular social status.
2. Don’t start if you’re passionate about something because passion will run out one day.
3. Only start a business if you like solving problems because the key to any successful business is whether the business can solve problems at a scale (of millions) or not
Follow Him @
|Personal YouTube Channel||https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCvUj0kpOriHAuuOT7IqgLJg|
|2nd YouTube Channel||https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y-PflYOzSFo|
His Facebook Groups (Which you can join)
|Social Media Group||https://www.facebook.com/groups/6FigureExpertsAcademy/|
|Indian Ecom Group||https://www.facebook.com/groups/digitaldukaandaar/|
|International Ecom Group||https://www.facebook.com/groups/ecomsuccesstv/|
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