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It seldom happens that we notice the people behind the brands that motivate us. Today, we are in conversation with one such guy – Sumit Ranka, whose brainchild is Thinkpot. He calls it a “one-stop happiness and motivation store.” Once he completed his B.E., he joined Ernst & Young as an analyst but quit in a few months to help his father set up an online business. Heading off to Harvard once this was done was a decision that helped seed the idea of Thinkpot in his mind.
1) How did Thinkpot happen to you and what made you follow your creative instinct?
In 2014, when my co-founder, Ritesh, and I were looking for motivational posters and frames for our individual offices, we could not find anything meeting the requirements. If there was something, it wasn’t well designed and if it was, it wasn’t affordable. We bought a few designs, printed and framed them, and got them put up in our offices. A day later, we saw one of our delivery boys clicking a picture of one particular frame – the print read “Work Hard, Dream Big.”. When I asked him what he would do with it, he said it would be his mobile wallpaper and display picture on social media. That was the moment when we knew we were on the right track. Thinkpot was launched with 400 SKUs and 40+ designs, and there has been no looking back.
2) From engineering to entrepreneurship, how did you bridge the gap? Did you ever dream of being an entrepreneur?
It wasn’t a gap, we were just connecting the dots. Entrepreneurship is something that runs through my veins. My journey began in the 3rd year of Engineering, when I was appointed as the Cultural Head of my College. With a team of 100+ talented individuals, we set new benchmarks.
3) We totally love your products! What inspires the designs, colours, and vibe behind each product?
There’s a very popular quote by Steve Jobs, “The only way to do great work is to love what you do.” That’s exactly the vibe behind every design. Each quote, each design, each color, and each product has a passionate story. It goes through a panel of 3 amazingly creative mentors at Thinkpot. The idea is to bring that smile on someone’s face when they see it every day.
4) Share an anecdote that motivated you in life to be so inspirational and optimistic.
I remember seeing my father start each day at 9:30 am and ending at 8 pm. I told him one day, “Dad, Its okay if you go late – the work is automated anyway.” He replied, “There is no such thing as ‘automated’. Innovation ends when you depend on automation. You need to constantly ensure the set of systems is working. A problem or an opportunity will never come with a warning – you need to be ready for it. ” My father has always been my biggest inspiration. I inherited a lot of things from him – most importantly, a calm and optimistic attitude at all times.
PS: Today, I start my day before him and end after him. 🙂
5) What #GetsYouHigh?
I get my high when I see hundreds of packed boxes ready to be shipped out daily from our warehouse. I sit right in the center of the warehouse so that I can get my piece of motivation every second.
I’ve always believed that “ If you want to go fast, walk alone, but if you want to go far, walk together”. It’s always been MORE about WE and LESS of ME.
8) Name 5 of your personal favourite Thinkpot products.
It’s the toughest question people ask me, but these are what you’ll find on my desk at all times.