Leena Raizada, one of the co-founders, talks to SupportBiz about The Orange Bicycle, entrepreneurship, competition and more.
Since when has The Orange Bicycle been in operation?
The Orange Bicycle has been in operation since November 2010.
Do you have any other branch except the one at Bangalore?
No, we have only one branch at the moment.
What are the major products that you offer at The Orange Bicycle?
We offer a huge, eclectic mix of lifestyle and fashion products.
Which are your most popular products?
Our quirky and interesting lifestyle and home décor items as well as our stationery seem to be quite popular.
What is your background? What were you doing prior to starting The Orange Bicycle?
I have graduated from NIFT, with many years of work experience in the international (export) fashion industry in India. I moved to the USA 5 years back, and worked in New York for some time while studying at FIT, NYU. Currently, I am enjoying being a full-time mother, at the same time managing The Orange Bicycle.
How did you come up with the idea of starting The Orange Bicycle?
The Orange Bicycle was invented by four riders who come from varied backgrounds from across the country. Essentially, we all came together because we had the same passion of telling a meaningful story - a story that is built on the platform of ideas, creativity and of talent. We wanted to build a place where we can showcase the work of various passionate and talented designers and offer them to the people of Bangalore. That is how The Orange Bicycle came to be.
How did your venture come to be named as The Orange Bicycle?
Essentially, we wanted a name that did not reveal the nature of the store at one go but which, at the same time, would reflect the personality of the store – colourful, creative and quirky! We zeroed in on The Orange Bicycle as it makes you wonder what the store is all about. It catches your attention. Once, of course, you take a look at the logo, you know that it is a store for the free-spirited woman who wants to have the shopping ride of her life.
Why did you choose Bangalore as your base of operations?
It was primarily because three of the partners were based in Bangalore. We also felt that Bangalore had the kind of people who matched our potential client profile.
How big is your team, presently?
Our immediate team is very close-knit, with four partners and two staff members. However, we consider all our designers and vendors, (about 90+) with us together, as one team.
What are your expansion plans in the near future?
With The Orange Bicycle completing more than a year, we do have intentions and some plans for expansion in the future, though it would be too soon to talk about them at the moment. We are keeping our fingers crossed!
What are the major challenges that you face?
The main challenge in this business is finding a winning balance of creativity and price. We always strive to offer our customers something unique at the best price.
How do you cope with competition from similar stores?
Our strength lies in our products and in our vision. We have in our store over 80 different brands from different parts of the country – the work of about seventy designers who put their blind faith in us and believed in us without batting an eyelid. We approached them with a strong concept idea, and convinced them that we had a story to tell when the store was just on paper and in our minds. Today, we are extremely thankful to all of them who decided to trust us with their products and ideas, and we hope we have been able to do justice to their vision. Their products make our vision come true, and that’s what makes The Orange Bicycle unique. We hope that each of these relationships can continue much beyond just business.
What have been your proudest moments as an entrepreneur?
The wonderful reviews and comments from our satisfied customers and reactions from the media make us feel proud of being a part of The Orange Bicycle every day.
What advice would you give to a potential entrepreneur?
Nurture a dream, and then work on it to make it a reality.
Corporate Website: The Orange Bicycle