Entrepreneurial Story of Ayyadurai M who founded Greenmate Pencil industry located in Sivakasi
- Ayyadurai M, CEO, finished his bachelor degree in computer science but his love towards risk and doing different things made him an entrepreneur. He started his company from nothing, no work experience or guidance from veterans.
When Started: 02/01/2012
What motivated you to start your Business?
Business is my passion and right from childhood I liked doing things in business particularly manufacturing, never repeating tasks and taking on new challenges every day.
Tell us about your Business
Greenmate manufactures pencils from old newspaper and printed waste papers. We collect waste from the printing press and old paper marts and then process those waste papers into a valuable pencil. This pencil is recycled from newspaper, strong enough to compete with traditional wooden pencils and is at an economically lower price than wooden pencils.
Tell us what an average day in your life looks like.
A businessman’s life is not the same all day. When I get up I check my mail and reply to my clients. I check whether I have any new likes or messages on social websites. Then I check personal mails. After 10 I’ll start work as an employee in my factory till 1.30, lunch break. I start again at 4 and work till 10.30. At night I chat with some business clients and few friends and sometimes chats go on till almost 2 am.
One particular skill you got right and gave you best results.
I never give up easily and I don’t accept personal failure at any cost. I change it into success after numerous attempts.
What have been your biggest challenges in running your Business so far? How did you overcome these challenges?
I started my business after borrowing a few lakhs from the bank. At the time I didn’t even have a bike and used to go to the bank by cycle. I had to meet 4 banks in a day for my project. Every time I met them they would say they don’t have enough time or that my project is new. In addition to that some people said I’m a fool because I gave up my MNC job for this project. I was facing very hard times since the day I started approaching for loans till the end of august 2015. After 3 months I got a loan in march 2013 and I was really happy because at the age of 21 I was going to start my own business. Many of my friends were still pursuing their masters degree. I believe only business can give you a good identity and fame. After a month I started my factory and faced some serious problems in machinery import, tin, iec, local approval. But the real difficulty came after that, I couldn’t make a good pencil. I worked day and night to make this successful but it all ended up in a huge loss. I wasted 1.5 years, a few lakhs of money and the good will in society and family circles. After many sleepless nights I remodeled the machines, designed new machines and new manufacturing processes which made my pencil stronger and easy to sharpen, even with old sharpeners. The only thing which drove me was the fear of loss and that I never accepted failure.
What have you found the most effective way to get new clients?
The world is very small if you have a smartphone with wi-fi. Mostly I have never seen my clients or met them, I made contacts through digital marketing and referrals.
What advice do you give to other business owners?
People will criticise you for your failure, don’t listen to them and keep doing something. Surely you will win one day and reach heights where nobody has gone.
How did you keep motivated through difficult times?
You must win else you will be one among common people.
What are your Marketing, Funding, and Team Building Strategy?
Greenmate’s product is a pencil. Its very competitive already and flooded with many varieties and many traditional brands. So we market directly to schools and NGO’s by showing the importance of trees, eco friendliness and recycling. We conduct small competitions under the theme recycling or afforestation or global warming to educate kids and then we introduce our pencils to them.
We are still unnoticed. Kids smile when they sharpen our pencils and that’s worth more than numerous prestigious awards.
What’s your favorite quote?
“Entrepreneurship is jumping from a cliff without any safety and then assembling a parachute mid air to try that shit once again.”
Who inspires you?
Share your Business Philosophy?
Never stop acting towards your dream even if you fail at the first attempt.
Don’t care about others, just do what you think.
Keep an eye on your competitors because they can point out your flaws easily.
Stupid imagination can give you refined thoughts also.