Amit Bhardwaj. Tenacious. Focused. In for the long haul. 6Degree. At one of our first conversations Amit and I got into a long drawn out argument on how to grow our businesses. Over the course of three nights and very vociferous conversations, we finally found an equilibrium. Amit is one of those rare souls who is willing to argue and discuss all aspects of a point of view before settling into a more comfortable well thought out stand.
I met Amit at the Beach House Project in march last month at an idyllic week long residency in Fort Kochi. You can read about that trip here. Late nights over good music and even better conversation can get people to bond pretty fast. And that is exactly what happened. Amit is next in my series of Effortless Friendships. Read on to find out more about him.
What did you study in college?
I did my MBA (Telecom) from Symbiosis Institute of Telecom Management, Pune. I finished in MBA in 2008.
How did the jump to fashion happen?
We started 6Degree for the Music industry initially but there were lot of IP issues in this industry. Following advice from a few mentors we decided to explore the Fashion ecosystem. After a 3/4th survey and meeting a lot of fashion professionals, we decided to apply our 6Degree concept to the fashion industry. Since the fashion industry is very unstructured, the concept of bringing the ecosystem on a platform made perfect sense.
What is your company called and why?
My startup is called 6Degree. Six degrees of separation is the idea that all living things and everything else in the world is six or fewer steps away from each other so that a chain of “a friend of a friend” statements can be made to connect any two people in a maximum of six steps. The idea behind naming our startup as 6Degree was because we want to connect the entire fashion ecosystem.
What are some of the challenges you face?
There were lot of challenges we faced in our initial phase, but I would like to mention few:
– Not being from the industry: It took us a lot of time to fully understand the industry and thus our time to market took a long time.
– Building trust: The fashion industry is very flexible & value driven and as we were very new to the fashion industry our prospective/new clients took a lot of time to trust us.
– Funding: As our concept was unique & there are very few companies like us in the world, it look time for investors to understand our business model & believe that it is an investment worthy startup.
Could you share a typical work day with us?
Well we are a very flexible startup which is driven by goals & values. This reflects in my typical work day. I generally reach office by 10AM & start with green tea and checking mails. Next thing I do is checking our previous day’s social media performance of our posts. Work continues till lunch. We generally have lunch together as a team & have a lot of laughs over it. Post lunch its a routine to have a 10 min walk to get fresh air. I close my day by 5:30/6 PM & take an Uber home ????
What is your process/thinking/philosophy?
I am a free thinker who believe in equality for all. All my product thoughts are around usability & multi-operability.
What is the next step you see for your business? Expansion plans?
We plan to launch an app that will form the “digital backbone” of the entire fashion ecosystem. We also plan to build an international footprint. One line answer – “Be the Google of Fashion the Ecosystem”. Thus all of you looking for your fashion business – 6Degree is the answer.
Favorite drink/ movie/book/go to place?
Movie: Invictus & The Terminal
Book: The Prodigal Daughter
Place: My village