MADMASK is not a result of a single person’s efforts rather it’s a story of a venture started by a bunch of Intrapreneurs from CreaUpkar Sagar Sharma, founder of Crea.
Crea is a specialist manufacturer of Bags and Travel accessories. They are in the business of making bags and travel accessories for over 8 years now. And over the course, they have had the opportunity to supply brands that include the likes of GAP, Tommy Hilfiger, Aeropostale, Jack and Jones, Vero Moda, Only, United Colours of Benetton, and more.
When the pandemic hit, their regular business was affected. Within three days of the announcement of lockdown in India, the team at Crea got into a virtual huddle. They explored various options of being able to use their facility in making goods that would aid in tackling the pandemic.
Within 5 days, Crea made their first PPE and got approval from the government to open their manufacturing facility to start making and supplying PPEs to authorities across the country. Just 3 days post the announcement of lockdown in India, they were trying to explore opportunities using bag materials. Within the crisis, Crea found an opportunity to pivot their business vertical. They even launched a totally new vertical, when the entire country was in lockdown.
While PPEs became the main production line within the company, Crea also realized that there is a genuine dearth of great-looking, comfortable Masks in the country.
Here comes the idea of MADMASK
Almost majority of the masks that were available were neither good looking nor breathable. Sensing an opportunity there, the bunch of Intrapreneurs got together and got working towards launching a hip mask brand called MADMASK.
The team at Crea realized that exhalation valves are a strict no-no for a mask, as they can only make matters worse. This fact was later confirmed by the authorities too. The team got towards making comfortable and easy to breathe great looking masks, which also helped in ensuring the protection guidelines are closely followed.
If masks are now mandatory, why not make them great looking? Why not create masks that reflect each individual’s personality? Crea was clear from Day 1 that MADMASK would have a plethora of designs to choose from and each MADMASK would be carefully curated with utmost hygiene standards, keeping user comfort and safety at its core.
MADMASK was created by a bunch of Intrapreneurs.
MADMASK is a 100% in-house brand of Crea. And from day 1, the company has been very clear that no part of MADMASK would be handled by any external agency. Right from the website creation to product designs to social media, the entire process has been done in-house, by the existing team of intrapreneurs at Crea.
Each and every individual at Crea put on their entrepreneur hat and dove straight into developing MADMASK into what it is todayPraveen Premkumar, Director at Crea.
An employee who is given the freedom and financial support to create new products, services, and systems who does not have to follow company’s usual routines and protocolsRichard Branson
100% bootstrapped, MADMASK was launched with limited resources and capabilities but with unlimited ambition.
Each and every team member donned a specific hat. The design team ably led by Kanchan Singh, a senior product designer at Crea. Website development was led by product designer Alex who was developing a website for the first time. Priyanka Parswani, head of business development at Crea, handled all of the operations. Social media strategy and management was led by Ipsa Bansal.
The team was clear, that they did not want MADMASK to be just about any other brand.
They wanted to ensure that MADMASK will be a hip and fun brand. They wanted the brand to target the right audience with the right solutions. The team went all out in creating a brand mascot, ‘Tobey’, who is featured in the brand’s logo. And all of the brand’s communication has been crafted around it.
MADMASK was initially set out to target an audience in the 20-30 age bracket. However, over the initial months, they realized that MADMASK is appealing to a larger and wider audience. And the work was now even more interesting for the team at MADMASK. They were creating great looking masks and communicating these masks with quirky creatives.
MADMASK to the team is more than just a brand
The team at MADMASK created the brand with the objective of creating a fun brand with an optimum product catering to the right target audience. They have always valued their customers and have always ensured that customers not only gets a great product but also gets world class service, when they buy a MADMASK.
When Covid hit, and our primary line of making bags and travel accessories was suffering, creating this brand and running it has provided that extra impetus to the team to keep moving in this journeyPriyanka Parswani, Head Business Development.
The social media strategy is simple – to create quirk communication with our mascot Tobey. Ipsa Bansal, who leads the Communication and Social Media strategy said, “word of mouth marketing is what we wanted to achieve, and a kind of a testament to our consumers liking the mask was when we started receiving pictures of our clients wearing a MADMASK within a few months of launch.”
Soon MADMASK, started posting pictures of happy customers wearing their masks. This line of communication worked for MADMASK, as it brought in a high level of customer authenticity and a real connection with customers. To date, customers are more than happy to send in their pictures to MADMASK.
Amazing Marketing Strategy of MADMASK
The only strategy that Madmask applied is Word of Mouth Marketing Strategy one can say. The company is spending some basic amount on Instagram. That’s it!
The company has a philosophy of growing organically. That’s why they are trying to utilize every avenue to grow organically. While they do not approach social media influencers directly. They have been lucky enough to be getting influencers buying and promoting MADMASK themselves, including a Bollywood celebrity.
The team at MADMASK are a bunch of animal lovers, and a part of the proceeds from a MADMASK purchase is donated to animal shelters from across the country. Recently, the entire team visited an Animal shelter, and they not only donated masks, food and medicines, but the team also spent some quality time with the animals in that shelter.
How MadMask managed operations during Covid situation?
MADMASK follows a just-in-time model when it comes to the production of a mask. The moment an order is received, the mask goes into production and is ready to be dispatched in 24 to 36 hours from receiving the order. With this, MADMASK has been able to keep its costs low, with minimum stock investments.
MADMASK uses third-party logistics providers for shipping. It has an option to choose from a variety of shipping providers for any dispatch.
Third-party logistics (abbreviated as 3PL, or TPL) in logistics and supply chain management is an organization’s use of third-party businesses to outsource elements of its distribution, warehousing, and fulfillment services.Wikipedia
MADMASK sells close to 50-100 masks a day at an average price of INR 300/mask. The average ticket sale value is around INR 1000, with most of the consumers on an average buying 3 masks. MADMASK has done around 25 lakhs of business in 4 months of operation, and they are currently en-route to increasing this by introducing more collections and are even contemplating a product extension route too.
The consumer complaints have been next to negligible, and we have not received a single complaint on quality as yet from any of the MADMASK consumers.Priyanka
A pat on the shoulder for the entire team at MADMASK.
What started off as a fun project, has now blossomed into a full blown brand. And Crea is going all out to ensure the brand MADMASK is here to stay and grow.
Lastly, we asked Praveen Premkumar (Director at Crea) for any learnings for our entrepreneur readers
- Start with something. One may not get instant benefits or even ever but believe in yourself and give it a start. Feel good factor of putting efforts is important!
- Have a team that complements each other. Not everyone can do everything.
- Adaptability as an entrepreneur is very important. Being a bag manufacturer, adaptability helped us to manufacture and market PPEs and masks within a few days of the country going into a lockdown
Just the other day, the team at MADMASK received a customer query, of whether embedding crystals on the mask is an option. While this is not an option we can explore currently, the team is happy that enthusiastic consumers are reaching out to the brand to help provide solutions to their needs.
Interested in reading more such exciting stories of entrepreneurs. Check out our Startup Strategies Section.
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