Sakina Wagh’s start-up, Quench, was born out of the need to offer businesses a way out of the current world of advertising clutter. And hearing about other young entrepreneurs only furthered her aspiration to work towards something of her own. That is how, along with her school friend Mokhtar Yaveri, she conceptualised the plan of advertising on a medium which is widely accessible and available to all stakeholders – bottled water.

The entrepreneur who has an MBA in Retail Management and Marketing proceeded to pursue a regular corporate job after her master’s. However, hailing from the Bohra community (popularly known as a business community) she was keen to start something of her own.

Managing to self-fund her startup, Sakina says the biggest challenge was to change the industry’s mindset about adopting a different method of advertising and customization.

“We faced a tough time explaining to people how this medium can be more effective than traditional media and that anticipated, personal and relevant advertising always does better than unsolicited junk. However, a lot of people have been positive and overwhelmed by this medium of promotion.”

Also, the labels that we see on regular bottles are shrink labels which are made in very large quantities. We had to find a way to produce smaller quantities of labels because the demand for customised bottles could be anywhere between 500 to 1,00,000 so we had to find a way to accommodate every type of customer right from a boutique to a
hotel.”

The duo did a lot of ground research like looking for different paper options, printing options, etc. and came up with innovative solutions. They pursued their idea with gusto as these challenges also pushed them beyond their comfort zones. Consequently,
Quench has created an impact in several industries for which communicating with and pampering customers is vital.

Sakina adds, “The exhibition and events industry has welcomed Quench’s innovation whole-heartedly. The clothing industry and other retail outlets have been early adopters’ of Quench’s custom-bottled water to pamper their customers the moment they enter their showrooms… As, in the hospitality sector almost everything comes personalised – so why leave water behind in hotels, clubs and restaurants. We have also received a great response from many hospitals chains, corporate and government offices for the 20-litre jars and also for 200ml bottles for their conferences.”

Although their competition comes from regular water brands in terms of price points, Sakina feels that potential clients who understand the importance of customisation and brand individuality will always choose Quench over a regular brand of water.

Although their competition comes from regular water brands in terms of price points, Sakina feels that potential clients who understand the importance of customization and brand individuality will always choose Quench over a regular brand of water.

Consistently assisted by their mentor Francois Bertschy, encouraging the team with all his experience and expertise, Sakina stresses on the importance of mentorship for any aspiring entrepreneur. She quotes Bertschy, “In a start-up or any new business we get very attached to our venture. It is very important for every entrepreneur to step back and look from a third person’s perspective whether your business is really adding value monetarily as well as adding value to the society and to yourself as a person. If not, it is not a bad thing to quit and start something new. The experience you gain through your entrepreneurial journey is more valuable than anything else. It is important to make that decision at the right time and move on.”

Read More by Amrita Paul