Rahul Goel founded Woodman as an online android car stereo brand. He had a tough entrepreneurship journey and now runs a Rs 5 cr turnover business.
Rahul Goel was still a student at Amity University in Noida when he began assisting his father in his vehicle accessories business in Karol Bagh, New Delhi.
While working at their office one day, he discovered that his father owns a registered trademark for the brand ‘Woodman’ but has never used it. Rahul already had a passion for entrepreneurship, so starting a new firm came naturally to him.
In 2015, he approached ecommerce firms such as Flipkart and Amazon about listing his Android vehicle radio system on their platforms. Flipkart had recently created the car accessory category in 2015, Rahul explains, adding that the demand came in immediately after he listed his products, and within seven months he had done business worth roughly Rs 60 lakh.
In 2016, he was even named his university’s ‘Best Entrepreneur.’ His business, though, had its ups and downs.
Within two years of launching Woodman, Rahul had incurred a massive loss of Rs 1 crore and was deeply in debt.
So, what helped Rahul recover losses and restart a business that is now in such terrific shape that he is hoping for aggressive growth in 2022?
Rahul was making enough progress with Woodman on e-commerce sites that he considered beginning another new firm. I was inspired to start a new business, so I started a food truck in Gurugram.
My hard-earned money from the vehicle accessory business was all squandered here, and I ended up in debt for more than Rs 1 crore.
According to Rahul, selling on e-commerce provides huge opportunities, but it also has drawbacks, particularly when a person is in debt. A ray of hope appeared during this period of despair, when Rahul thought that all doors were closed to him.
In 2019, he hired a freelancer to create a website and began selling his products through his own portal.
Our products, you see, were not inexpensive. It ranges between Rs 10,000 and Rs 60,000.
When a buyer purchases a product in this category, they also conduct their own research on the internet. When they discovered that Woodman also had their own website, they began ordering directly from us, according to Rahul.
Rahul made Rs 1 lakh Gross Merchandise Value (GMV) per day within a month of creating Woodman’s own website. According to Rahul, the website also enticed users with interesting prices and offers, which prompted them to order directly from the website rather than from the marketplace.
Rahul explains, “I also considered starting as a D2C because numerous players, both organised and unorganised, had entered the ecommerce platforms.”
And I was broke, so anyone could have wiped us out. Rahul also began collecting video evaluations from clients and uploading them to YouTube to show the brand’s genuineness, which he claims is also a role in the growing trust factor among customers.
Woodman currently generates Rs 5 crore in income, and Rahul expects the company to conclude March FY 22 at Rs 7.5 crore. Woodman sells all of its products as prepaid orders or partial COD. Woodman sells around 150 different automobile models, with XUVs dominating the market right now. It provides automobile stereo systems, sensors, illumination, a car camera, and steering wheel controls. The items are manufactured locally, with around 80% of the raw components imported.
The market for automotive accessories is very fragmented. According to Rahul, there are numerous unorganised market participants who engage in fraudulent operations or make false assurances to customers.
Players such as Sony, Pioneer, Blaupunkt, and others also dominate the market. But, according to Rahul, what distinguishes Woodman from the majors is the customer assistance it delivers, not the dealer support.
Rahul Goel intends to expand its market presence in 2022 by entering the offline market through franchise and also creating a market/place for acer accessories.