Samachar Live

‘We are making India ready for its own ‘Starbucks.’ – Founder of Rolling Banners – Mr Amit Bansal

When I first talked to Mr Bansal about his business, I was pretty fascinated that such businesses exist that help different businesses to build chains of stores across the country. Rolling Banners is one such company that helps different businesses to establish their chain of stores across the country smoothly.

Let us take a look at what Rolling Banners is all about with Mr Amit Bansal himself.

  • Tell us more about your company Rolling Banners?

Rolling Banners helps organize retail chains in building new stores and maintaining existing ones at the click of a button. The company has built a controlled marketplace of furniture, branding, civil work vendors and mobilizes them via a project management AI. A brand saves up to 15% in project costs and can roll out new stores 30% faster with Rolling Banners. Also, there is no upper limit to the number of projects you can run in parallel, which enables a lightning-fast expansion for retailers.

McDonald’s took 50 years to build 10,000 outlets, Starbucks did it in 13 years. The next one will probably take 5 years or less. We are making India ready for its own ‘Starbucks.’

  • How did you get your idea or concept for this business?

I co-founded in 2015 with an idea to create an Uber for mini trucks for material transport within a city. We were battling with bad unit economics in Quifers and burned all the capital we raised within the first 12 months. To survive, we decided to monetize everything we’ve got. We had an inventory of aggregated trucks and we started selling those containers’ external walls as advertisement space. That’s why the name Rolling Banners. This went on for a while and we made reasonable profits with which we didn’t just survive, but also pivoted Quifers business model into logistics SaaS (eventually had a successful exit in Quifers in May 2021).

For executing the advertising campaigns, we curated a network of printers, fabricators and such suppliers. Around Mar 2018, we started digging into what else these suppliers could offer us and found out that their major bread and butter is from contributing their part in retail projects. With little more research, all the boxes got ticked and we realized that we just found a big market with an unorganized supply ecosystem waiting to get organized. To our advantage, I and my co-founders had a perfect cumulative skill-set to solve this. I & Puneet Bansal are Civil Engineers and worked in the structural and MEP design domain, and I & Amit Mishra have built a successful SaaS business. Solving this problem required a little bit of both i.e. enterprise tech product know-how as well as subject matter expertise of construction management. In Aug 2018, we decided that we will let go of all truck branding activities and focus only on solving for Retail Expansion. It has been an exciting journey since then.

●        How do you face the competition in the market in the retail industry?

We are the front-runner in organizing supply ecosystems specific to B2B projects. However, we compete with traditional companies like Cheil, Multiplier Brands etc. which have a very relation-driven approach towards this problem.

Also, India’s B2C construction tech Startups organizing home interiors; e.g. LivSpace, HomeLane, Inframarket are doing well. In future, these companies may enter into the B2B micro-projects market as well.

  • After all this success, what do you struggle with now?

I am continuously trying to unlearn a lot of hacks that have helped us to get to the current stage and learn new ones to get going. Networking with people who’ve ‘been there done that’ helps a lot. It is especially true for founders like myself who started right after campus.

  • Who is your role model and why?

There are quite a few. I admire the founders and core team of Urban Company (especially Mukund) and LivSpace (especially Saurabh). In general, I love to learn from the experiences of people and read biographies of MK Gandhi, Elon Musk, Steve Jobs, Phil Knight, Richard Branson, and others. I think all of this has shaped my viewpoint of business and life in general.

  • How do you plan to expand your business?

For us, the biggest lever of growth is to deploy our technology stack in the supplier ecosystem as fast as we can. It’s entirely a supply market we are operating in. E.G. if Chai point starts deploying new stores at 10x faster speed and starts swooping in all hot retail properties and franchise partners, it would be quite difficult for Chaayos to ignore that and not work with Rolling Banners 🙂
In the longer run, we would like to tap into the adjacent use-cases of retail expansion as well i.e. Property identification, Retailing operations, and warehouse development (D2C is blasting). Idea is to create an end-to-end expansion platform for retailers.

  • What in your opinion will be your biggest achievement?

It is yet to come.

  • Have you learnt about leadership and entrepreneurship after becoming an entrepreneur? What have you learnt?

I have high regard for entrepreneurs and attribute the comforts of modern society to their ingenuity. I believe we all are put in this world for a specific purpose and we must do that truthfully. For an entrepreneur, it is very important to have a problem-solving mindset. Whatever you are solving for, do justice to it.

  • If you had one piece of advice to someone who is just starting his or her business, what would it be?

There is a luck-ladder for all of us out there. You won’t find it if you give up. There is no standard playbook, so don’t be afraid of experimenting.

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