$25K/Month – Building a successful watch brand – Ronnie Teja of Branzio Watches

INTERVIEW VIDEO (Length – 49:30)

PODCAST AUDIO

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Intro

Ronnie Teja, founder of Branzio Watches shares his entrepreneurial journey of going from a corporate career to building a high-quality but affordable watch brand Branzio. Ronnie shares his lessons in branding and setting your products apart in a highly competitive category. 

Episode Summary

Ronnie Teja,” Sushant introduces Ronnie, the founder and CEO of Branzio Watches. Ronnie launched Branzio with a goal to offer high-quality watches at affordable prices and excellent customer service. He drew inspiration from his experiences, including working in blueberries fields in a new country and learning valuable lessons from retail and e-commerce jobs at HSBC and Best Buy. Ronnie faced numerous challenges, such as high expenses in designing and producing his own watches, but ultimately found success through unique marketing strategies and branding. He emphasized the importance of being on the ground in China to learn the watch manufacturing process and build relationships with manufacturers. Ronnie’s watch business relies heavily on marketing innovative ads, capturing email addresses, and converting sales. However, he faces concerns about the high cost and dependence on large tech companies like Facebook, Apple, Google, and Amazon for customer acquisition and sales. Ronnie also shares his considerations about expanding globally, focusing on countries with lower customer service costs, and creating a culture through repetition and belief. He recommends the book “The Billion Dollar Whale” for entrepreneurs and shares his productivity tips, favorite businesses, and best business advice.

  • 00:00:00 In this section of the YouTube video titled “Ronnie Teja”, Sushant introduces Ronnie, the founder and CEO of Branzio Watches. Ronnie started Branzio with a mission to provide high-quality watches at affordable prices and excellent service. He describes his brand as a value-for-money one, where customers can expect a good watch for around $80 to $100. Ronnie shares his entrepreneurial journey, mentioning that this was his first brand and a labor job picking blueberries was his introduction to hard work in a new country. He learned valuable lessons from this experience and went on to work at HSBC and Best Buy, where he gained knowledge in retail and e-commerce. Throughout his journey, Ronnie’s passion for providing value to customers remained the driving force behind his business.
  • 00:05:00 In this section of the YouTube video titled “Ronnie Teja,” the speaker shares his experience of starting a watch business after spending thousands of hours on media buying and feeling unfulfilled with his earnings. He then decided to travel to Hong Kong with only $5,000 to explore opportunities, where he discovered the Canton Fair and ultimately ended up in a watch factory. With no startup capital, the speaker had to learn how watch manufacturing worked and spent days observing the process. Impressed by his determination, the factory owner offered him a payment plan to start selling watches under his own brand using existing designs. This marked the beginning of the speaker’s watch business, which took off through Facebook ads and drop shipping during the early 2010s. Although the process was a bit chaotic, the speaker emphasizes the importance of commitment and taking risks to follow one’s dreams
  • 00:10:00 In this section of the YouTube video titled “Ronnie Teja,” the speaker discusses his early days of starting a watch business and the challenges he faced. He initially purchased OEM watches at a low cost to sell and test the market. However, after finding success, he decided to design and produce his own watches, which came with a much higher price tag. The speaker shares how he encountered unexpected expenses, such as mold fees and branding costs, leading to a significant financial investment of around $110,000. To build a community around his brand, he came up with the narrative of “Brakeless is Timeless” and emphasized the value of kindness. Despite the initial large investment, the speaker is now focused on marketing his unique products to the right audience
  • 00:15:00 In this section of the YouTube video titled “Ronnie Teja,” the entrepreneur shares his unique approach to starting a watch business, which involved traveling to China to visit factories and meet with manufacturers in person. He emphasizes the benefits of being on the ground and learning firsthand, contrasting it with the experience of sitting behind a computer and relying on online resources. However, he warns about the potential risks of dealing with trading houses that pose as factories, resulting in added costs and potential losses. He suggests that while his approach may not be suitable for everyone, being surrounded by intelligent people and gaining educational moments through experiences can lead to personal growth. Ronnie continues to visit China occasionally for business, clarifying that Hong Kong is not the same as China
  • 00:20:00 In this section of the YouTube video titled “Ronnie Teja,” the speaker discusses his experiences with acquiring customers and building a team for his business, which revolves around selling watches. When he started out, he relied heavily on Facebook ads and hired people to help him build a website, but made mistakes in hiring the wrong individuals. He spent his first five years making bad decisions and the next five years trying to find the right people to join his team. As a marketing-focused CEO, he finds it challenging to delegate tasks, but aims to let go of some responsibilities to focus on higher-level tasks. The competition in the watch market is intense, with numerous brands offering similar products, and the speaker emphasizes the importance of branding and storytelling to differentiate oneself. He admits that competition is inevitable, but encourages individuals to focus on telling a better story and reaching the velocity of sales they aspire to, rather than relying solely on copying someone else’s idea
  • 00:25:00 In this section of the YouTube video titled “Ronnie Teja,” the speakers discuss the customer journey for their products, focusing on marketing strategies for one-time sales and conversions. They acknowledge that their marketing is more of an interruption method, attracting potential customers through creative ads on platforms like Facebook. Once on the website, they attempt to keep customers engaged and convert sales through follow-up emails and offers. The conversion rate from the first visit is around 5 to 8%, and they aim to capture email addresses for future marketing efforts. They emphasize the importance of email marketing and lead capture techniques for those who do not make a purchase initially. They also mention that sales drop significantly after 48 hours and younger consumers are more likely to make purchases this way. Looking back on their marketing journey, they’ve seen significant changes due to increased competition and rising ad costs. They mention that Facebook ads have become much more expensive while Google ads have become 10 times the cost than before. They also share concerns about being dependent on large tech companies like Facebook, Apple, Google, and Amazon for customer acquisition and sales, as their decisions can significantly impact their businesses. They express frustration over how first-party data has become crucial, and organic social media’s monetization has made it challenging for businesses to reach their audience. They lament the lack of control in a world where these companies have significant market power and can make decisions that impact businesses at will. They ponder over the potential impact of AI on this paradigm and hope for changes that may level the playing field for smaller businesses.
  • 00:30:00 In this section of the YouTube video titled “Ronnie Teja,” the speaker discusses the challenges of running business operations on social media platforms like Facebook. He highlights the need for moderation and policy enforcement while acknowledging the benefits of e-commerce and passive income. The speaker, who has experienced both sides, mentions the potential risks of illegitimate businesses and the consequences of non-compliance with regulations. He shares his personal experience of managing a business from different parts of the world and the transition from his previous project to a new Software as a Service (SAS) company called Truly Office, an alternative to Microsoft Office with added benefits.
  • 00:35:00 In this section of the YouTube video titled “Ronnie Teja,” the speaker expresses concerns about privacy and the high cost of productivity tools like Google Docs and Microsoft Office. He argues that users should have the right to own their data and not be subject to mass surveillance, as is the case with free tools like Google Docs. The speaker also criticizes the shift from one-time purchase software to subscription models and argues that these companies are charging excessively. He touts his own product, which offers basic office productivity tools at an affordable price, and explains that it is designed for digital nomads, freelancers, and small businesses. The goal is to provide an alternative to more expensive options and to prioritize privacy for users
  • 00:40:00 In this section of the YouTube video titled “Ronnie Teja,” the entrepreneur discusses his watch business and the challenges he faced in expanding globally. He explains that 80% of his revenue comes from North America, and he had difficulties in markets like India and Brazil due to high customer service costs, especially with warranties. As a result, he decided to focus on countries where servicing costs were lower, like Australia, the UK, Canada, and the US. In terms of fulfillment, Ronnie relies on third-party logistics services to outsource the troubles and minimize headaches, even though it costs an additional 10%. His business is not present on Amazon due to Amazon’s warranty policy and the high costs involved. For the future, Ronnie considers selling the watch business and reinvesting the proceeds into a new company, acknowledging the challenges of managing multiple companies at the same time, and sharing his past experience of not delegating and communicating effectively enough
  • 00:45:00 In this section of the YouTube video titled “Ronnie Teja,” Ronnie shares his thoughts on creating a culture through repetition and belief, recommends the book “The Billion Dollar Whale” for entrepreneurs, endorses the productivity software Telly and productivity tip of outsourcing tasks, mentions Meo and Base Camp as inspiring businesses, and expresses appreciation for his mother’s work ethic. He also shares the best business advice he has received, which is to pay for the convenience of hiring someone else to do tasks for less than your hourly rate. Ronnie concludes the segment by urging viewers to reach out to him on LinkedIn or visit br.com to purchase his watches

People & Resources Mentioned in the Episode

Book: Billion Dollar Whale by Tom Wright and Bradley Hope

What You’ll Learn

Interview with Ronnie Teja of Branzio Watches

[00:00:08] Introducing TrepTalks with Sushant Misra
[00:00:24] Welcoming Ronnie Teja of Branzio Watches
[00:00:46] Gratitude and Starting the Conversation
[00:01:08] Defining Branzio’s Brand Philosophy
[00:01:54] Ronnie Teja’s Journey to Entrepreneurship
[00:04:00] Transitioning from Jobs to Entrepreneurship
[00:07:00] Ronnie’s Bold Move: Immersing in Watch Manufacturing
[00:09:00] Product Development Strategy: OEM and Beyond
[00:11:52] Watch Variants & Design Inspiration
[00:12:31] Unexpected Logo Challenge
[00:13:31] Costs & Strategic Adjustments
[00:14:06] Brand Philosophy & Community Building
[00:15:00] Product Selection & Market Strategy
[00:15:57] Entrepreneurial Approach: China & Lessons
[00:17:25] Challenges in China & In-Person Learning
[00:19:09] Continual Learning and Team Building
[00:20:25] Early Success: Facebook Ads & Resourcefulness
[00:22:24] Competitive Market and Branding Importance
[00:23:53] Protecting Designs & Manufacturing Strategy
[00:25:09] One-Time Sales Nature & Customer Journey
[00:25:25] Marketing Strategies and Customer Engagement
[00:26:00] Customer Conversion Tactics and Strategies
[00:27:00] Evolution of Marketing and Impact of Competition
[00:28:00] Challenges with Platform Dependence and Policy Enforcement
[00:29:00] Corporate Control and Platform Impact
[00:30:00] Moderation Challenges and Platform Responsibilities
[00:31:00] Promises vs. Realities of E-commerce
[00:37:49] Transition to Subscription Models
[00:38:25] Data Privacy and Scams
[00:39:33] Building a Competitor to Microsoft Office
[00:40:15] Acquiring Companies for Product Development
[00:40:53] Global Market Expansion Challenges
[00:41:27] Outsourcing Logistics and Cost Considerations
[00:42:05] Challenges with Amazon Platform
[00:43:00] The Vision and Future of the Watch Business
[00:48:25] Entrepreneurial Advice and Letting Go
[00:49:00] Conclusion and Contact Information

Rapid Fire

In this segment, the guest will answer a few questions quickly in one or two sentences.

Ronnie Teja of Branzio Watches

  1. Book recommendation that you would make to entrepreneurs or business professionals (Response: Billion Dollar Whale by Tom Wright and Bradley Hope)
  2. An innovative product or idea in the current e-commerce retail or tech landscape that you feel excited about (Response:)
  3. A business or productivity tool or software that you would recommend/Productivity Tip. (Response: Hire an Assistant)
  4. A startup or business (in ecommerce, retail, or tech) that you think is currently doing great things. (Response: MIRO, Basecamp)
  5. A peer entrepreneur or businessperson whom you look up to or someone who inspires you (Response: His Mother)
  6. One networking tip or building and sustaining valuable professional relationships.
  7. Best business advice you ever received (Response:  Outsource your business.)

Interview Transcript

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Hey, entrepreneurs. My name is Sushant and welcome to TrepTalks. This is a show where I interview successful e commerce entrepreneurs, business executives, and thought leaders and ask them questions about their business story and also dive deep into some of the strategies and tactics that they have used to start and grow their businesses.

And today I’m really excited to welcome Ronnie Teja to the show. Ronnie is the founder and CEO of Branzio watches. Ronnie started Branzio with an inspiration to provide men and women quality watches for a good price with the best service possible. And today I’m going to ask Ronnie a few questions about his entrepreneur journey and some of the strategies and tactics that he has used to start and grow his business.

So Ronnie, thank you so much for joining me today. I really appreciate your time and looking forward to

Ronnie Teja of Branzio: talking to you. Oh, thanks, buddy. Appreciate it. I’m looking forward to it.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: So was that a good introduction? Is that how you would describe your brand as well, that, [00:01:00] you know, it’s, uh, you’re providing men and women quality watches for a good price with the best service possible or do you have a different way

Ronnie Teja of Branzio: of describing it?

Let’s get back to our Indian roots here, man. I’m a value for money guy. Right . The idea, the idea behind this, this, this brand was essentially to, to give the, the best amount of quality, but the for the lowest price possible, right? So sort of that mentality was if, if, if you’re looking for something that’s about 80 to a hundred dollars sits on your wrist, a quartz watch, and if it provides a value that it needs to be providing, uh, for the least cost possible, that was basically the, uh, the thought process behind this.

Okay.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: So, and, and you were mentioning a little bit before we started recording that you kind of got your start in the entrepreneurial journey through this project, right? Starting

Ronnie Teja of Branzio: this project. This was my first brand, man. This was, this was it. This is my, it’s my first love. It’s my only love.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: So what, can you share a little bit about your story?

Like what were you doing before this and how did you come to entrepreneurship and what really [00:02:00] motivated you to start like a watch

Ronnie Teja of Branzio: brand? Well, my, my, my life is sort of a rollercoaster man, uh, in, in, in a few things. So, um, I’m born, I was born in India. I mean, I guess I’m born Indian. Unfortunately, as you know, our country does not allow two citizenships.

So, so I call myself a Canadian now, but what’s your passport? So for an Indo-Canadian as we are fondly called or like to be called, uh, my family, uh, born in Yolanda, uh, grew up in India, moved to the UK to do my master’s, and then I, my family immigrated to Canada in 2007, 2008. And the first job that I had when I got off the plane, I think I got off, got off the plane on the 13th of, uh, may.

And the 14th of May, I had a job lined up my first job, believe it or not, was going to pick blueberries. So, yeah, yeah. So, uh, you know, we had a family of four, we’d moved into a rented basement, somebody’s rented basement for I think 500 a month. Okay. And it [00:03:00] was pretty hard, you know, coming from like a decent, like a nice middle class, uh, background in India.

And then all of a sudden you go to Canada and you’re like, Oh shit. You know, we’re poor then. Whoa. So what, what does that essentially mean? And it was kind of, it was kind of hard for the first six, eight months, because, you know, first of all, I’d never done, uh, labor. Uh, if you, if you looked up my resume until then, there was nothing that said, Oh, uh, uh, labor job, or, you know, I’m going to be, to be, to be frankly, I hadn’t even mowed a lawn.

Right. I mean, you have people who do that in India because they was quite cheap. Um, so yeah, that, that’s where I got started. And, you know, every morning I used to go out. Get up at what, 4. get picked up in this like, you know, this van with all these old immigrant families, old, old uncles and aunties, you know, uh, people’s grandparents and they used to go to this as a side hustle.

So I used to go and do the same and, uh, uh, I’m very happy to, to share with you that I’m not a good blueberry picker. So these guys used to make about 150 a day. And I used to make about 50 bucks a day. [00:04:00] But it was a very humbling experience, because it told me it taught me what not, what I didn’t want.

Right. So what I didn’t want to do was do these kind of things, although money looked really good. I don’t, I mean, it wasn’t necessarily where my passion, my passion was, you know, Uh, then I came across, uh, I think Larry Kim’s blog, uh, Larry Kim’s blog back in the day. Was it BBC here or was it, uh, another one?

Oh, WordStream. WordStream is where I get Google ads from. Okay. And then I applied for my first job working at HHPC. Got in there. Uh, my second job was at Best Buy, where I learned about retail, which is phenomenal. Uh, I love. I love, I love Best Buy. I love Best Buy because I was working 10 to 12 hours. It’s a good washing machine, but it was a good washing machine in the sense that it taught me retail more so than retail.

It taught me retail because I was, I was Best Buyers. Best Buy had a brand back then in Canada called Feature Shop. And I used to be a point guy for Feature Shop in Canada. So I used to handle all the [00:05:00] media buying. So it was one guy with a 5 million budget managing all the media buying, basically we’ve been tracking Facebook ads, display ads.

Google ads, social ads, all that kind of stuff. So, you know, um, my, my 10, 000 hours, I’d say half of my 10, 000 hours were done at best by over two years, which was really interesting. Right. And I loved, and to be, to be rather frank, I kind of like a very prosperous environment. So it really was what I, what I wanted, but then kinda, you know, you kind of look at how much money you’re making other people and you can have a look at yourself.

And he said, you know, I, I owe myself a chance to sort of, Take a, take a crack at something. Uh, what I wanted to start? Well, I didn’t know. Number two, I tried to open an ad agency, failed miserably. Uh, then I read somewhere that, you know, uh, the margins on quartz watches about 75%. So that, you know, piqued my interest.

I’m like, I know online marketing. Uh, [00:06:00] I know that I like my, that I like money, but I don’t know how to connect, you know, how do you connect to do what the simulation. So then I started researching as to where in the world a watch is made and where in the world, particularly a quartz watch is made. So quartz watches are made in Shenzhen in China, and they have a really big event once a year in, in, uh, Guangzhou.

Uh, no, not Guangzhou in, in Hong Kong. Sorry. Uh, Guangzhou is the Canton Fair and I ended up there for a week. I caught a one way flight, right? I was like, whatever happens, we’ll see how this goes. But I had about like 5, 000 in my pocket and I said, okay, let’s check it out. So I didn’t even have startup capital to be, to be honest with you.

Uh, one way flight was what? 600 bucks? Uh, landed there, called a friend, you know. So why, why, why

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: one way flight? Like you didn’t… Have plans to come back?

Ronnie Teja of Branzio: No, it was more like you have to, you have to burn some bridges, man. You have to have that commitment and dedication to saying, okay, look, I don’t want to come back to [00:07:00] the time.

I have something, something solid in hand.

And it kind of ended up at this clock fair, what’s the Hong Kong watching clock and every day in the morning, I would wake up at like seven, 8am. And then it’s about seven floors. And I would go from one end of one end of The floor all the way, all seven floors and at 6 p. m. I’d go meet a couple of people who had met and then go out and discuss notes and all that.

So I was basically the guy who was the dumbest guy on the table trying to learn from the smartest guys at the table, right? Who knew how to do this. Back then there was guys at DW, there was guys at Movement Watchers, there was all these. You know, guys who are out in the, in the industry on day seven, which is the last day, this, this guy approached me and says, do you know much about watches?

I said, I have zero clue how watches are made. He says, do you know, do you want to see how watches are made? I said, yeah, I’d love that. So he invited me to his factory gentlemen. And, uh, and I proceeded to stay with them for a couple of weeks. And every day he would wake up at 5 AM [00:08:00] and he would take me to the factory and I would spend a day at the factory then I would look at how watches are made in and out every day.

And at the end, uh, I basically asked him for a loan. I said, would you be willing to give, take a chance on me and give me like some sort of a production loan if possible? He says, this is China. Unfortunately, we don’t. Um, but he says, what I can do is I can give you a payment plan. Right. Put 30 percent upfront.

I said, I only have 30%. Why are you here then? I said, well, I’ll figure it out. Don’t worry. So I gave him a, so he said, I’ll tell you what I delay your first payment by 30 days, but he had to make a 5, 000 payment. And which is what I had at the time. Right. Okay. So basically what we did was we went ahead and I’ve been, I’ve been to a website on Shopify.

And, and I put up a pre sale page, sell watches, right? This is the, this is 2012, 2013, right? So it was the heydays of dropshipping. So I said, what, well, let’s try it out. See what happens. And long story short, uh, the pre sale [00:09:00] picked up. Facebook ads were cheap. Uh, combination of a few different lucky strokes, uh, including this man’s generosity, uh, is how we got started.

Uh, yeah. So that’s, that’s how I got started, man. Uh, a bit of a rollercoaster, a bit of like, uh, you know, nothing, nothing, nothing’s linear. So to

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: say. So I’m assuming that, I mean, the factory that you started working with or the manufacturer, um, Was it really an exercise of, you know, the products that they’re already making, um, they’re branding it with the name that you came up with and, you know, you, you probably came up with, okay, I like this style.

I like this style. I like this style. Or was, or was there, um, a process where you kind of, uh, went through, uh, some sort of a product design process where you said, you OEM watches.

Ronnie Teja of Branzio: Give me your logo. I’m going to slap it on. Give me your brand. I’ll slap it on. [00:10:00] And because that was the, that was the way I could keep my costs low. And back then it was like 3 to 5 just to get a piece out of the door today. That same cost is about 15, 20, right? So keep in mind, and these are the OEM pieces.

So then if you said, look, we make this for a bunch of different brands, how would I give you, I’ll allocate you a hundred pieces of each type. Uh, if you can tell them well and good, you know, otherwise you got to pay up. for the cost of these watches. So I said, okay, let’s try it out. And the OEM watches resulted in something bigger, which is essentially that we got to, then after we got some cashflow going on, we said, look, we’re going to design our own products.

We’re going to go and design our own type of watches, which was another 20, 000, 30, 000 bet seven years ago. It’s not a 30, 000 bet. Now it’s probably 150, 000 bet. Um, uh, because prices have risen, uh, COVID been COVID put everything through the roof. So there’s a few different factors in it. So if everybody thinks like, you know, you need 30 grand, the cost of, I [00:11:00] guess, breaching the space is much higher.

Facebook ads are expensive at the same time. Um, I mean, I can give you, I can give you a lot of, uh, hope, but I can also give you a lot of realism in terms of numbers as to what it would cost today.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Yeah. And I mean, I, I definitely want to talk a little bit more about the marketing side of things. Um, So you, you had a bit of a testing process where you started with those OEM watches and you kind of tested the market to see, you know, can you run Facebook ads to sell these watches?

And can you actually make money? And then once you had that kind of a market validation, then you, you know, you start started, um, Have you had your own designs and so forth? Can you talk a little bit about your product selection right now? You know what kind of watches you have and what’s available to purchase for the consumers right now?

Ronnie Teja of Branzio: Well, yeah, I mean look the way the watch is made by virtue of me being from Vancouver There’s a there’s a there’s there’s two types of watches, right? [00:12:00] There’s the aviator black which is the bestseller, right? Most of these watches that you see on the site come come with narrow straps and leather straps Right.

What, what the idea behind it was, you know, from, from the city to the mountains within half an hour. Uh, Vancouver is a city that’s nestled in the mountains. Uh, so most of my friends who are from Vancouver and who’ve grown up there, they love to go skiing or snowboarding. Right. So every time it rains or, you know, or it’s summer people out on the mountains, they’re hiking, they’re boarding, they’re doing all these kinds of things.

Right. Um, the interesting part is. Uh, when, when, when we looked at these watches and we looked at the brand, I think the first, the first logo that we had, for example, was Twin Peaks because the cityscape of Vancouver, whenever you look at it, there were two peaks, uh, that you look at it, uh, Grouse Mountain and Cypress.

And when we sort of first launched the product, we found out somebody on Kickstarter, who’s from Vancouver, who I didn’t [00:13:00] even know, who had the same, got the same logo. So imagine us, we’re trying to get something out of the door. And then, you know, we see some, some other Kickstarter campaign going on with the same logo.

And you’re like, holy shit. We worked, we worked on this product for maybe three months. And then all of a sudden, you have to go back and, you know, do the redesign, because what happens is, When you go to the factory, the factory is going to charge you by mold. So they’re not, they don’t have the product ready, but they will make a mold for you, which is 500.

And then you’ll pay say a hundred, 200 per watch. Yeah. So we, by the, by then we, we were about 3, 000 deep into this product minus. Plus the cost of branding, plus the cost of design, plus the cost of everything else. Um, and you know, so you look, you look at it all in all, it’s about a six to 10, 10, 000 hit.

And you’re like, holy shit, what do you do? So you have to change your strategy a little bit. Right. And that’s when we thought of like, you know, what do, what do we name our watches? What, how do we come up with the, with the [00:14:00] different names? Right. It’s, it’s basically the Seafair or the Or, or the Aviator. So it’s, it’s depending on the kind of lifestyle that people want.

The outdoorsmen, right? Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. So something that is more related to people who want to be outdoorsy. People who, you know, believe in challenges, people who believe in, you know, um, kindness. So we then we came up, what, what is the crux of who brands you is, right? Uh, and then we found out, uh, a tagline, which is kind less as time.

Right. So to be kind doesn’t take much. Uh, and what we wanted to do was create a community of people who, uh, you know, kindness could be something as little as helping a lady across the street. Right. So it’s quite, quite interesting from that perspective. So when you’re trying to build a community, when you’re trying to build a brand, when you’re trying to give a narrative of who your brand is, what they stand for, what they’re supposed to be, It all, it all is a culmination of a few different things.

Uh, so you asked me about the marketing of the brand, if I’m not mistaken, right? Well, I was asking

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: you about, uh, you know, what your, uh, your [00:15:00] product selection really. Um, and, uh, I think, I think you kind of answered that. So you’re, you know, your target market and, um, but you know, how many SKUs do you have right now?

Um, how many kinds of watches about 30? Okay. Okay. Yeah. And that’s really,

Ronnie Teja of Branzio: we don’t, we don’t go more than 38, man. I mean, it’s, we tried a hundred skews at one point in time and it’s always the, the, the, uh, pretty low 80, 20 principle. We usually tested every watch that is launched with the audience. Uh, we, we phase out the watches that don’t sell.

Uh, we phase in about two different models a year. That’s it.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Okay. No, I think, I think that’s a pretty good approach. Um, I wanted to ask you about, you know, you kind of took a very unique approach to entrepreneurship, right? So you decided that you want to do something for yourself and, you know, you’ve, you settled on a certain idea or a product, you know, it’s going to be watches.

And then you took a one way ticket to China [00:16:00] and you kind of said, okay, let me go and see what I can do. Um, do you kind of, uh, recommend that approach to all entrepreneurs, um, you know, or anybody who’s starting out now. So let’s say, you know, I want to create, create an e commerce business. I mean, uh, I think it’s, it’s a good approach, you know, so, you know, some people or some entrepreneurs it’s like, they will go Alibaba route, right.

Or they’ll go contact people through, um, to online means because they don’t want to go to China and, you know, do that thing. You know, of course there are, there is probably benefit to be, to being in the place and talking to people and, you know, seeing things with their own eyes. You know, as you said, you, you got the opportunity to go to the factory to see how these watches are made and things like that.

So there’s definitely a lot of benefit to that. Um, what are the pros and cons? Like, do you, um, if you were starting the same thing now, like, would you do the same thing? Uh, what would you recommend to other entrepreneurs?

Ronnie Teja of Branzio: I tried the Alibaba [00:17:00] route and I failed miserably, right? The thing about, the thing about China that you have to be sort of careful with is a few things, right?

Number one is you’ve got to be careful of, uh, people who call themselves factories. They are not essentially factories, they’re trading houses and they’re… It exposes factories to, to, to Westerners or to people who don’t know the business. So you will go in there and you will look at these guys and they’re like, yes, sir, we have a big factory.

Come look at these pictures. But when you go and inspect the offices, it’s literally a trading house who are reselling the factories, uh, some other factory stocks. So they’re making about 15, 20 percent margin in the middle. So the cost of goods that you have is about another, like tack on a 20%, you know, margin on top of it.

Uh, this does not include QA. QA you have to pay for extra. This does not include like, you know, all the bits and bobs on top. So, you know, your cost is up 20 percent plus you have to tack on another 20%. So your cost is roughly up about 40, [00:18:00] let’s say 35 to 40%. Now, if you were to go and meet some, and when you end up on the ground at a trade show, it’s very easy because, you know, you get the educational moment when you, when you meet other people.

Right. So it’s like when you meet other entrepreneurs, you meet folks like yourself who are also there who have wild dreams to start a business. And some of them are a little bit more, uh, they’ve been around the block, but more than you. So they’ll tell you some of the things to watch out for, to not watch out for what says you sitting behind a computer and watching a YouTube video, right?

Uh, the best experience, uh, is always on the road. Um, I, I think sitting behind a desk, uh, people tend to learn a bit, but they don’t, they won’t learn as much as. You know, being there at the epicenter of it, I mean, point in case is why does everybody go to Silicon Valley have a higher chance of succeeding Hmm.

Than say, living in Vancouver. Right. For sure. Um, that’s a question I would al I would always ask. It’s, [00:19:00] it’s essentially by, even you are the, if you’re the dumbest person in the room, if you’re surrounded by the most intelligent people around, the automatically your level is gonna be elevated. Right. For sure.

Um, Would I suggest a strategy of mine of burning the votes and going straight for the jugular? Probably not. I’m an extreme personality, so please don’t do what I did. Uh, I mean, my fallback was… You know, worst case scenario, I’ll, I’ll probably just take the flight back and go back to my nine to five job, which I didn’t have, but I’ve waited a couple of months to find one.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Do you still visit China often? Like, do you still go there to these? Yeah, I was in Hong Kong two months ago, man.

Ronnie Teja of Branzio: Okay. Not even two months, uh, last month. Okay. Hong Kong is not China, man. Don’t say that.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: But, but isn’t, isn’t it now? I think, I thought China has a more

Ronnie Teja of Branzio: stronghold. China has it right here. Hong Kong is still autonomous.

Okay. Yeah. People, people, you know, it’s just for my love. I [00:20:00] used to live in Hong Kong. So it’s still for me, at least like personally, it’s like, I still like to call it the special administrative region. Okay.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: I, yeah, I know there’s a lot of, uh, there’s a lot of controversy around, around, around this topic. So, um, So, okay.

So, um, in terms of getting your first customer, like you got success really through Facebook ads

Ronnie Teja of Branzio: or were you doing? I knew ads man. That’s the one thing I knew when I was at, when I was at, uh, Best Buy was how to run ads. I knew, I knew paid media. I didn’t know anything else. That’s what I knew. Um, my, my, uh, I didn’t know how to build a website.

I didn’t know how to do anything else. What I did know was how to be resourceful and find people when I needed them to. So I’ve made all the mistakes of hiring the wrong developers. I’ve made all the mistakes of hiring the wrong people. I’ve made all the mistakes of hiring and finding and trusting people too much.

Uh, all this stuff. I think that’s what experience is because I think my first five [00:21:00] years was making all the bad decisions. Uh, my, my next five years was Trying to compound and find the right people to join me in my business. And that’s, and that, that takes time to find the right people to come and join you in your business.

I still, I’m still working on it, but I think I have a very good team. I have an excellent, uh, management team that, that sort of helped me out on it. Um, when, when, when you think about marketing, like all, when you come from a marketing background and you are the CEO of a company or a bunch of companies that are very marketing led here’s the issue.

You tend to micromanage it. So, you know, slowly, but surely my goal is over the next year is to start letting go of these things a little bit so that I can actually, uh, focus on some high level stuff. The problem is letting go of, if you’re a marketer and you let go of marketing, that, that, that transition is quite hard.[00:22:00]

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Okay. Um, one thing that I’m very interested to know About is competition, right? So watches, I think there’s no shortage of what watches in the market, right? You know, if a Chinese company is creating watches, you know, they can do the same thing for, you know, 10, 50 other people. And

Ronnie Teja of Branzio: they are loyal to the dollar, man.

I mean, I’d be loyal to a dollar if I were a customer or a businessman. Sure.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Yeah. So. And, and I know there’s like, there’s no shortage of watches, watches brand now, even like direct to consumer watches. Um, there’s a lot. Yeah. So, so is, does it really come down to, um, who can better brand

Ronnie Teja of Branzio: who can better story?

Look, it depends on what niche you’re in. If it’s mechanical watches. Uh, I think [00:23:00] so watches, quartz watches still remain like I’m on the low end of the spectrum, right? I’m a 50 to 80 product things you look at on Instagram. You don’t need to think twice about, uh, then comes mechanical, right? Automatic and then mechanical automatics.

We have a few brands that do about three to 800, right? And that, that, that sweet spot of three to 800 is very, very competitive. When I say competitive, it’s like, there’s a lot of young guys who are there. There’s a lot of smart, intelligent watchmakers or that they have these crazy ideas, right? You have these insane ideas of making these amazing watches.

Uh, and they go to China, right? But here’s the deal, the same factory that manufactures for. X brand will manufacture for Y brand will manufacture a Z brand. They all know that. But it’s, it’s, it’s a, it’s an open secret. They know where to go. The biggest factories are the ones that provided that what they can do.

And that you have to be careful of is how you preserve your watch is not being knocked off. Right? [00:24:00] So people end up making the dials in one place. They make the, the hands in one place. They’ll make the case backs in one place and the straps in another, and then go to a fifth factory to be assembled.

Because chances of people trying to rip off your whole design and selling it, selling it on Alibaba, AliExpress or Taobao, 100%. So if your brand hits big, chances are they’ll, they’ll, they’ll take it and they’ll be like, well, I see that you’re selling for a thousand bucks. How about I sell this for a hundred bucks?

Knock off your brand, put my own brand on there and sell it on Alibaba. It’s gonna happen. That’s the nature of doing business. For sure. Right? If you, if you’re entering the market, uh, with the thing that somebody is going to copy my idea, then maybe I would, I would, I would ask you to turn that around, right?

In the sense that. It’s okay to copy. I can give you my playbook, but can you reach the, the sort of, uh, Velocity I can in sales, but telling a better [00:25:00] story than you. You can copy the product. China can copy anything. As does India, but can you tell the same story?

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Yeah, for sure. So what is the, what is the customer journey for your products?

Then, um, you know, how do you… It’s a one time sale,

Ronnie Teja of Branzio: man. One time sale, but… So we need to get as many people through the door for one time sales. Okay, okay. Unfortunately, that’s the nature of our product, yes.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Okay, but so so so you your marketing is more of an interruption marketing so people who are you know, scrolling through facebook You you’re you’re uh through that creative you’re telling a story You’re you know, you’re portraying your product in a way so that you know, they click and come to your website and your attempt is You know, on their first

Ronnie Teja of Branzio: visit, you let them go, man.

Yeah. Okay. Really? Yeah. 5 to 8%.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Yeah. Well, how, I mean, how, how does that work? Like what, how, and people buy it on their first visit, or are you like trying to capture email addresses and market?

Ronnie Teja of Branzio: Yeah, we have [00:26:00] to, but there’s different ways, man, email, capture, lead, capture quizzes, all this other

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: stuff. Okay. And In what with it, would you say does the customer usually within 24

Ronnie Teja of Branzio: hours, we don’t see any sales after 48 hours.

Okay.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Do you, so, so you, so the customer comes looks at the watches. Has some interest maybe leaves the site and then you follow up with emails or some

Ronnie Teja of Branzio: offers to email opt in offers Discounts, but I would say five to

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: eight percent conversion. It’s really high. Uh,

Ronnie Teja of Branzio: Yeah, I mean look at the end of the day.

It’s like what do you have to give right? This is a this is the Conversion. I mean we were sitting at about three to five percent before But the only way we can increase it is essentially twofold right number one is offering them a free gift Which is scraps or something. So opposite offers.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Okay. [00:27:00] Um, how has the, so you said, you know, initially you really started with the Facebook ads.

Has, of course, now I think there’s so much competition on Facebook also. How has marketing changed? What is working now? And how has marketing evolved for you over time? Like, what is working now and what has become challenging in terms of customer acquisition and making that sale?

Ronnie Teja of Branzio: Well, it’s pretty simple, man.

The DTC market grew tenfold. 2013, there was not as much competition. Google ads cost ten times the money. Facebook CPMs are ten times or twenty times the value. I mean, a good indicator would be looking at the stock. Look at the stock price from ten years ago and look at the stock price today, right? It’s like, there’s a reason why it’s gone up to the way it has.

Somewhere along the way, iOS happened. It killed half our business. Um, uh, That’s also a very interesting sort of journey. Um, [00:28:00] we always worry about the next face, you know, Facebook update because we’ve been bitten by it before. So I’m always very concerned and Mori and I start getting very nervous when the next one rolls around.

We’ve been banned, suspended on Google because of, uh, some that the issue is in this day and age of platform dependent, right? Yeah. One of the fan companies. Decide your fate. So you, you, you are some, somebody is your boss. So unfortunately, I was not allowed to say I’m one of the boss, I’m not. My bosses are Facebook, Apple, Google, Amazon, you know, so it’s, uh, it’s an interesting, it’s an interesting, uh, paradigm.

Uh, first party data is extremely important. So when I talked about emails, when I talked about SEO, when I talk about, you know, uh, social media, organic social media, organic social media is big till about four years ago, then it got monetized. Um, unfortunately, you know, the, the, the nature of the [00:29:00] game has

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: changed a lot.

Yeah. Yeah. I mean, it’s, it’s, it’s so unfortunate that we live in a world where a handful of companies basically, um, dominate the market, have, have the monopoly and, you know, it. You are kind of beholden to them, like you, they can decide your fate in, you know, in one blow. So if YouTube decides, for example, they want to demonetize someone, you know, you’re gone.

Um, if Google decides, or let’s say a payment company decides you can’t accept payments on their platform anymore, PayPal or, you know, any other, um, you, you know, you’re, you’re kind of done, like you’re in,

Ronnie Teja of Branzio: uh, That’s it, man. End of story. Yeah. Bye bye.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: I mean, do you, do you see that changing somehow with

Ronnie Teja of Branzio: AI? I think there’s, I think, I think there’s, there’s, there’s been, I think some companies have made an effort.

Google, I think is always good. They will literally, they’ll get back to you, but they’ll get back to you after two, three weeks. [00:30:00] Facebook’s good now. I think people understand the need to improve the platforms in order to get customers back, right? But customers also use it for very nefarious purposes. Yeah.

Where people, people will run gambling ads when they’re not supposed to, selling cigarettes to young kids when they’re not supposed to. So how do you then come into a platform and question them when… You know, that other people are using it for, for, uh, uh, you know, illegitimate businesses, which I don’t know.

I think there is, there is something to be said. I say I’ve been on both sides. I’ve been on both. No, yeah. And, and it’s, and they do it for the reason of policy enforcement by government. Imagine one fine day you get fined, you know, 50 million because somebody has screenshots of you of some random advertiser running gambling ads on Facebook in a country like Thailand.

Where, uh, gambling is not permitted. Yeah. So what happens then? [00:31:00]

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Yeah. Yeah. There’s definitely a need for moderation. And I mean, they’re, they’re in a tricky business for sure. Um, but I think, I think it’s good if they are kind of at least getting back to you because I think before I, it was even difficult to get them to respond to your question.

Facebook has a

Ronnie Teja of Branzio: live help. Wow. It actually works. Google’s always been good. Facebook, I think, is, uh, getting better.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Okay. So, I mean, you know, the big promise of e commerce is that, you know, um, it’s kind of a passive, you know, the, the, the promise is that, you know, it creates passive income, right? You don’t have to be there.

Ronnie Teja of Branzio: So,

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: yeah, you know, people, it’s like, at least it’s open 24 seven, right? Anybody can go on your website and make the purchase

Ronnie Teja of Branzio: anytime. Yeah, sure. I mean, that’s what people say. I mean, it’s, uh, it’s 9 30 PM right now for me, I’ve been up since. 6 a. m. Oh, wow.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Where are you? Are [00:32:00] you located? And where are you located

Ronnie Teja of Branzio: right now?

I’m in, I’m in Bangkok right now.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Oh, wow. Okay. I didn’t realize I thought you were in Vancouver. So I was thinking maybe you’re joining really early. It’s 7 a. m.

Ronnie Teja of Branzio: No, no. Okay. Yeah. So I mean, and this is, this is, you know, this is probably, I would say the same routine. It’s a very boring dream, but it’s the same routine, probably six days a week, maybe.

So, you know, And I’m 10 years into my business. Imagine what I did when I was started. The promise of easy money of running a passive income store sounds great. Wait till you get into it.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: So, so, so your base, your base is now, your base is now in Thailand because it keeps your operations costs, uh, down. Uh,

Ronnie Teja of Branzio: I just like living remotely, man.

Vancouver is too isolated.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Yeah, for sure. And probably expensive.

Ronnie Teja of Branzio: I have a few houses there, man. I, it doesn’t, the expensive part doesn’t matter. They all, my house is all paid off. I can, I can live there if I want to. The [00:33:00] winters are, the winters are extremely cold and very dark. And I, I’m a, I’m a guy of the sun.

So if I have a remote team and I could choose to live anywhere in the world, why wouldn’t I live in Highline or why wouldn’t I live in Berlin where I used to live? Or why wouldn’t I live in Portugal? Wow. Why would I be holding to one place?

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Very nice. No, that, that definitely makes sense. For sure. Um, So as you were saying a little bit before, you know, when we started, um, this was kind of your project that you started with, but now you have moved more into.

So, I mean, the reason I was asking that question is now to me, it seems like this is kind of on a, you know, uh, autopilot for you, your You’re not spending that much active time because you’ve created the processor. You’ve created the marketing processes. Maybe you have, uh, teams that are kind of, you know, managing all of that.

And now you have kind of shifted onto a different project, more of a SAS kind of a project. So can you talk a little bit about, you know, [00:34:00] how that transition came for you? What made you decide to start another project and what is that? And, uh, and you know, what are you doing there right now? Well, complacency

Ronnie Teja of Branzio: is definitely the biggest enemy of, of people, people, you don’t want to somehow we’ll, we’ll put ourselves on the deep end.

And for us, we essentially are launching a company called truly office, which is an alternative to Microsoft office. Um, So same, same concept as Microsoft Office, uh, Word, Excel sheets, uh, Word sheets and PowerPoint, right. Comes with an added, uh, benefit of PDF comes with an added benefit of, uh, using, you know, mail and storage and everything else.

So it’s the exact same, uh, product, but in terms of what, what, what I thought and what really sort of struck me personally was in this day and age, you know, I kind of got sick of Um, everything that I do being crawled by Google or Facebook or, you know, using Google [00:35:00] Docs and all that. And, and there’s a couple of things that stood out to me really like quite a lot.

Number one is every people say, okay, you know, Google Docs is free. I said, sure, Google Docs is free. But then I started looking into the, the, the terms and conditions of Google Docs or Office 365. You are subject to U. S. mass surveillance laws. No matter what you put on your computer. So I’m like, wait a second, this is, this is, this is utter BS.

I’m like, I, I don’t want my documentation to be, to be read or to be shared by, by the U. S. government. I’m not, and I’m not talking as a tin hatter, right? It’s, it’s, the, the premise is pretty simple. I said, we as humans deserve some sort of privacy. I mean, every day, uh, what, Facebook has 55 million points of data on you?

Google has probably the same. So it’s like, at least like when I’m working, when I’m running on my last will and testament, I’d like it to be a little bit private and not being read by a third party, right? Uh, the second thing was everything, everything, uh, you know, using that SAS model was [00:36:00] everything today costs less than a cup of coffee, right?

So when you start adding up as a business owner, you start looking at subscriptions, you know, you’ve got probably a hundred cups of coffee. Or 200 cups of coffee, depending on how big your business is lying in front of you. And I’m like, I probably drink a cup of coffee a day, but I don’t drink anything more than that.

So what am I going to do with 200 cups of coffee? That’s worth 10, 000, right? So I firmly believe that you, we, we are able to deliver something that is extremely basic, like an office productivity tool and put it in the hands of the customer for about 34. So what sheets Excel, uh, what, what, uh, what sheets and PowerPoint for about 34 bucks.

That’s what it should cost. Microsoft is charging 150 bucks for the same product. And I said, it shouldn’t be that expensive. It can be cheaper. We’ll make it cheaper. And that’s what we’ve done. Right. Okay. Uh, the beta is out, uh, as of now, um, what we’re working towards and, you know, having a sprint towards essentially trying to scale up.

To for a release sometime in mid mid [00:37:00] October, um, the idea is quite simple, you know, it’s, it’s geared towards digital nomads, it’s geared towards freelancers, it’s geared towards small businesses, uh, for, for the difference of what 70, you know, 34 bucks, uh, that compared to Microsoft, I think it saves you what about 100 and, you know, 100, 115, 115, you probably could go out right on a nice dinner, And, you know, thank truly office the next time, you know, you, you get to enjoy something or you spend a hundred bucks on yourself for a shave for, for shoes or whatever the hell you want.

You don’t have an experience, right? You don’t need to, you don’t need to spend an arm and a leg to be productive. Yeah. I mean.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Yeah. Yeah. I mean, it’s, it’s so interesting that all these software companies that, that used to provide software on a, you know, one time cost basis, like even I’m thinking about all these [00:38:00] Adobe software, like Photoshop and all these, they’re all subscription based now, like you have to pay an annual fee.

Yeah. And, and it’s, it’s truly, for me, it’s a, it’s a deterrent because I mean, I have to do, let’s say one thing or two things, uh, you know, in two months. Um, why, why am I paying monthly fees or annual fees for that? So yeah, there’s definitely, I definitely see a need for that. Yeah,

Ronnie Teja of Branzio: it’s, look, people, it’s like renting houses, buying a house, right?

People love to buy it. Why would you want to rent anything? And my two cents on the situation is quite simple. I just want to give you a simple, straightforward path. On how to how to buy this product See you later, you know, if you, if you need me down the road, when the next version comes out, I’d really appreciate your business, but for two years, you know, catch you later, just have fun, do whatever you want.

I’m not going to be knocking on your door with like all the other things. I’ll probably just be educating on how to protect your privacy. The, the, the [00:39:00] premise is it’s your data and you have the, you have the right. To own your own data. And that’s what a lot of people are very loosely thinking about, right?

Uh, basically, if I were to take somebody like my, my dad or something, my dad actually pretty decent at it, but like a, let’s say a person who’s not very well educated, imagine yourself walking naked down the street because all your data has been stolen, like, this is the kind of people that scammers go after, right?

And the education of. Customers around their data center privacy is extremely important, and not a lot of people are able to do

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: that. Yeah, for sure. Um, I mean, it’s, it’s a, it’s a really great idea. I mean, I am thinking to have to create a SAS company or software products, uh, incompetent. Competitor, a competitor to Microsoft Office, um, I would have thought it would require a, a huge amount of team, you know, large team, huge amount of work and so forth.[00:40:00]

But, um, are you, are you, are you kind of leveraging some of the open source, um, office technology then kind of building your product on top of that, or, or is it like completely built from scratch or you acquired a company?

Ronnie Teja of Branzio: We acquired two companies. Okay? This is where you take your L Gordon gains from, from, uh, from selling watches.

Now, I ha you know, now you have some money, right? So you take your, you know, you, you take the money and you invest into something which is gonna get you bigger, okay?

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Right. All right. Makes sense. Um, Can you talk a little bit about your, uh, fulfillment, uh, and, and markets you’re selling? I mean, to me, it seems like you’re kind of working globally.

Are you, are your watches available to be purchased, uh, all over the world, or it’s mostly your market is North America? 80

Ronnie Teja of Branzio: percent of my revenue is in North America, unfortunately. Okay. We tried to expand in different countries, including India. Uh, [00:41:00] we got gamed very well in India and Brazil, which is basically because we have a two year warranty period.

We same customer sent us back like 20, 30 watches. I was like, nah, man, I’m good. Thanks. So the cost of servicing the customer is quite, quite high, right? So we said, we’re going to focus on countries such as Australia, UK, Canada, US, where the cost of serving the customer is lower, there’s less returns. And you know, that’s, that’s, that’s where we, we, we tend to do well.

And we said, okay, let’s just focus on that and nothing else.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: So in terms of your warehousing and logistics, are you relying on a third party

Ronnie Teja of Branzio: logistics? Everything. Yeah. Okay. The more you can outsource your troubles and start trying to manage it yourself, just do it, man. It’s going to cost you an extra 10%, but it’s not worth the headaches.

For sure. And are you, are you 10 percent saved but like people people like when I started out we used to be like it’s 10 percent safe Now i’m like it’s 10 percent well spent because you can sleep at night and the stresses of it are quite different

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Yeah, I think that I think that makes [00:42:00] complete sense Are you also on amazon or that is not something that uh,

Ronnie Teja of Branzio: we are on amazon.

Yes. Yes. Yes, we are Uh, we have to try again to be honest the issue the issue with amazon is quite simple amazon, uh will not ensure gift, uh jewelry Or what is So the warranty period of Amazon for watches is two years. So at any point in time within the two year period, anything happens to your watch, it’s a refund.

It hits your Amazon rating, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. So we just want to be extremely careful with that. So we were on Amazon, we got ourselves out because Amazon takes 40 cents on the dollar as well. Uh, anything 40 cents to the dollar is cheap, right? Most people will spend about 50 cents. So you need serious margins to be able to do business on Amazon, uh, because you have Amazon ads, 3PL, blah, blah, blah.

Different story, right?

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: For sure. Um, what does Do you have a future vision for your business, for this watch business or [00:43:00] your vision really is? Selling it off.

Ronnie Teja of Branzio: Hmm? Selling it off. Really?

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Because, um, I thought, you know, this, this, this business kind of, you know, is probably a consistent cashflow for you or do you,

Ronnie Teja of Branzio: are you seeing?

Yeah, I mean, I could, it’s consistent cashflow, it’s good, but I’d rather sell it off and, you know, take the money and reinvest it into this new company. Okay. Running it sounds very easy to say, you know, it’s a cash cow and then, you know, you want to keep it going. But trust me, running about three companies at the same time is not easy.

not everybody’s in needle on Musk, for sure. Um, in every, I try done three companies and try and juggle three priorities at the same time. Impossible. Yeah, you’ll burn out, man. I burnt out, like I burnt out. Like th twice in the last, like six months

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: in every entrepreneur’s journey, there’s always mistakes made, lessons learned, failures. Um, I’m sure you know. Uh, you have quite a few of them. Um, [00:44:00] can you share, you know, one or two big experiences, learning experiences where, you know, um, you, you made a mistake or, you know, you had a failure that you, you know, now you think, you know, you could have done without, what was the lesson that you learned and what can other entrepreneurs learn from your mistakes?

Oh, there’s a few, man.

Ronnie Teja of Branzio: I’ve made more than a few mistakes. I think number one was probably, uh, not delegating quickly. Um, uh, which I still have, you know, I’ve told you before, I still have sometimes issues with that. I think I should have should be better delegating. I think it makes more sense. Uh, communications, uh, sometimes I expect people to read my mind.

Uh, my teams, now that they’ve worked with me for a while, they kind of understand it, but I can be a better communicator for sure. Like 100%, right? If your communication isn’t clear, if you’re not replaying the narrative of why we’re here, what we’re doing. What is what that we want to achieve in the next [00:45:00] 5, 10, 15 years, chances are those people around you don’t want to believe in it if you yourself don’t believe in it, it’s the, it’s the vision, it’s a repetition, it’s hammering it and again and again, that’s how you create a culture.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Definitely. Now we’re going to move on to our rapid fire segment. In this segment, I’m going to ask you a few quick questions and you have to answer them maybe in a couple of words or a sentence or so. The first one is. Um, I don’t know if you read a lot of books, one book recommendation for entrepreneurs.

Um, and billion dollar, billion dollar,

Ronnie Teja of Branzio: it’s called the billion dollar whale.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: And why? What’s the

Ronnie Teja of Branzio: message there? I don’t know. I, I, it’s. For me, it’s, it’s away from entrepreneurship. It’s about the guy who took the 1MDB fund in Malaysia for 13 billion. It’s pretty interesting. It’s how cash exchanges hands, money launderers exchange hands all around the world.

It’s interesting.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: An innovative product or idea in the current e commerce, retail or tech landscape that you feel [00:46:00] excited about?

Ronnie Teja of Branzio: Can I say pass? Sure, sure. Very, very exciting. Okay.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Um, I guess the next one can be truly office also, but, uh, I’ll ask you anyways, a business or productivity tool or software that you would recommend or a productivity tip.

Ronnie Teja of Branzio: 100 percent truly office. Wow. What a great software. Can’t go wrong with it, man, but, uh, any productivity

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: tip, uh, I mean, given that you’re running three companies.

Ronnie Teja of Branzio: Productivity tip, hire an assistant. Okay. Best decision ever made. A

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: remote assistant or? Yeah. Okay. Uh, a startup or business in e commerce, retail or tech that you think is currently doing great things besides yours, of course.

Ronnie Teja of Branzio: No, I don’t think so. I’m doing great things. I mean, long chat, man. What are you talking about?

Uh, who is doing a good job? Miro. I heard, I heard [00:47:00] a really, I’ve read this really good article about Miro that’s scaled from 3 million to 60 million users. post COVID. And I’m like, holy shit. They must have done something right. Uh, another one that I always love and I admire is Basecamp. Basecamp. Okay.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Yeah.

A peer entrepreneur, business person whom you look up to, or someone who inspires you?

Ronnie Teja of Branzio: I don’t know. My mom, I’m no word of a lie, man. She’s 60, she’s 63. She does like, she works seven days a week. She runs two businesses and does a full time job. She’s a counselor. Yeah, she’s 63, man. Yeah, I can’t, yeah, I can’t, I can’t complain about my life if that lady at 63 is doing this, so.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Awesome. Um, final question. One, uh, what is the best business advice that you have ever received or you would give to [00:48:00] other

Ronnie Teja of Branzio: entrepreneurs? Not an advice giver, but I can tell you the one I received. Okay. Let’s pay for the convenience of it, right? If you can hire somebody, uh, to the job for less than what your hourly rate is, find out what the hourly rate is first.

If you find somebody to like delegate that to somebody else for less than what you, you know, what your hourly rate is, you’d be very happy in life. I sincerely believe in that. Outsource your problems.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Yeah. Yeah. I think, I think that’s a great advice. I think that is an advice that. Every entrepreneur either intuitively understands or you know, if anybody is in the entrepreneurship business, they they they come to a realization at one point or another like You can do everything on your own and you have to you have to be willing to let go So that’s that’s definitely one of the best advices Well, ronnie, those were all the questions that I had really interesting talking to you.

Thank you for Sharing your story for sharing some really great. Um Stories and, and business insights and, you know, some of the things that [00:49:00] you’ve done in your own business and, you know, how you’re moving. Um, if anybody wants to get in touch with you or want to purchase your watches, what is the best way they can do that?

Just reach

Ronnie Teja of Branzio: out to me on LinkedIn, Ronnie Teja, or just go to branzio. com. Buy a watch, make me happy. I’d appreciate it. Awesome.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Well, thank you so much again, Ronnie, and wish you all the very best in your business and personal life as well. So thanks again for joining me today at TrepTalks.

Ronnie Teja of Branzio: Thanks, buddy.

Appreciate it. Bye.

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