Story of a Bootstrapped, Offbeat & Awesome Startup That Makes Affordable Design a Reality

Awesome Sauce founder Surbhit left) and Rishi

Entrepreneurs: Rishi Singh & Surbhit Krishna

Business Name: Awesome Sauce Creative

Welcome to Entrepreneurs of India #startupstories episode 139

Design is a crucial aspect of every business. Be it a logo or a creative ad, the first thing that makes an impact is its design. What if you get designs of superlative quality at an affordable price? This is exactly what Awesome Sauce does.

Bootstrapped by a team of youngsters, this design startup strives to bridge the gap between businessmen and practical design services. They also provide an array of services, ranging from identity design to digital reputation management. They wanted their service to be affordable for business owners. That’s why they started with Lucknow, a tier-2 city. 

How does Awesome Sauce stay awesome amid fierce competition? We catch up with its cofounders Rishi Singh and Surbhit Krishna as they stop by to share his story.

1) How did you get your idea for this business?

Rishi & Surbhit

Our idea emerged from personal need. Few months ago, we were looking for suitable Social Media Partners for our first brand, Kosher Designs. Though there are multiple good options in the market to choose from, but none is viable from the point of view of a bootstrapped, non-funded startup.

Hence, with our brushed experience in graphics and digital content creation, we thought of trying our hands at this segment of marketing. And this was the start of a Design and Marketing company, Awesome Sauce Creative. Over time, we gathered experience and a good team to help sustain the tough competition

2) Why is “now” a good time for this idea to exist?

“Now” is the best time to be in this business! In fact, if we were able to, we would have started this business 5 years back when digital media was going through its nascent stage in India. India, as an economy and an early digital market, is the most lucrative place to be at.

There are so many startups springing up each day which have very limited resources and market-reach. With right hand-holding and guidance, these startups could perform way better with higher chances of sustenance. We aim to find such startups and help them with the right mix of design and marketing support.

3)What was the reaction from your family when you first decided to become an entrepreneur?

Designs by Awesome Sauce

Being from a middle class family and Govt. service background, our families were very skeptical about how we would be able to manage ourselves in this business world.

Though, money plays a huge factor in the minds of Govt. servants, but there are multiple pointers, like what are the chances of failure? How would we compete against bigger market players? What is the cash-flow security? How will you get clients? et-cetera.

Catering to these questions and overcoming the constant family demand of a secure job was in itself a hustle and a very important step to gain self-confidence and family support.

4) What was your biggest mistake in business and what did you learn from it?

Our biggest mistake was choosing the wrong people or partners for the business. In our understanding, we can never prejudge a partner or human just by knowing them in a non-business manner. People behave very differently when they are just friends or good friends/acquaintances and when they are partners.

5)What is your biggest obstacle in the next 12 months and how will you overcome it?

Having set up our HO in a Tier-2 city, Lucknow. Our biggest obstacle for the next 12 months is acquiring clients that are really willing to pay in cash.
Also, the introduction of new marketing techniques and mediums have  not been welcomed very open heartedly in many parts of North India.
Hence, along with catering to business opportunities, market education has been a vital part of our customer approach.

6) What habits contribute to your success?

We won’t say habits, but yes, there are certain life-style adjustments that have been done as the founders of the company to make it a success. For example, our work-time is very different from that of an employee. We work from 10 am in the morning till 8 pm at night, which usually gets extended to 12 pm. And yet, we have to be there with the team, the very next day to accomplish the designated tasks.

7) If you had the opportunity to start this business again what would you do differently?

Awesome Sauce – Porfolio

Till date, in this business, we have been in the best form that we could have been.

8) What is your favourite inspirational quote?

“Don’t waste a good mistake! Learn from it!”

9) Where do you find inspiration?

The biggest source of inspiration are people

10) What is your favourite book?

Built to Last – Jim Collins

11) What advice would you give to someone starting out?

The key to a successful business is choosing the right people

EOI Summary

When it comes to startups, all you have to do is plunge when the time comes. Don’t be skeptical about your abilities when you’re rolling up your sleeves to take the less-travelled path of entrepreneurship. Rishi, Surbhit and team had to cross many hurdles to turn their startup dreams into fruition. They learned from their mistakes.

As a business, their turning point was when they placed their brand at the right place in the market. So if you’re an aspiring entrepreneur, you should have an idea about how you place your product or service in the market. That’s how you can be awesome! 

Team Awesome Sauce

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