Eight students step into the world of entrepreneurship with success.

A group of year-12 students from Dubai College have beaten the odds and penetrated Dubai's competitive market with their product label "DO-ORganise It." These students have not only managed to create their own brand and slogan, but have also carved a name for themselves in the industry by creating a marketing strategy that has allowed them to successfully sell their brand and their product in the real world.

As participants of the Young Enterprise Scheme, a UK based concept that encourages high-school students to create an innovative product, a group of eight students, with the support of their business mentor and economics teacher C. Agent, created the 'door organiser.' The concept is simple — it is a product that is designed to hang on the back of a door handle with pockets made to fit anything from stationery to remote controls.

With their slogan "organisation you can handle," these students went soaring to success. However, no one ever said achievement comes served on a silver platter. No — these students went through a series of obstacles that put their will to the test. Perhaps the most obvious one is coming up with a product that is simple to produce as a flourishing brand, yet useful to the market.

Coming up with the idea

During the initial decision-making process, each student was required to come up with two ideas for products or services that the group could pursue. For Anushka Chugani, public relations and production director of the DO-ORganise It crew, the idea was simple.

"I thought personal organisation was a great market to target, as it pretty much involves people from all walks of life," Anushka said. "From this point, it was all about finding a device that would help people get organised in the most creative way possible."

Her teammates agreed: who couldn't use a little more organisation in their life?

"After a thorough discussion on the idea, we concluded that it would be something really refreshing and unique for everyone here in Dubai and it would be ideal to suit the busy nature of the city," said Anish Bhatnagar, webmaster and assistant finance manager of DO-Organise It.

Doing the research

As with the launch of any product, research needs to be done in terms of competitors, the cost and the general scheme of the market — and that's exactly what these young entrepreneurs did.

"In order to market our product effectively, we needed to come up with packaging that was attractive, cost-effective and original whilst allowing the purchaser to see exactly what they were buying and provide information about our company," said Richard Holly, marketing director of the company.

Holly added that it was important to focus on the needs of the target audience, as in how this particular product would benefit them, rather than on the strategic aims of the company.

"We researched our target market using questionnaires, and with this information we came up with the idea to simply tie tags that display our logo and details of the product," he said. "We felt this met all the criteria required and in effect expanded our potential market by making the DO-ORganiser a great gift option."

With their research, students found that simplicity can often be the key to success.

Facing the challenges

So with the idea at hand and the strategy to implement it, these young risk-takers took a huge leap forward. Each member of the group was assigned a position and all the responsibilities that came with it, whether it was marketing, public relations, finance or production.

However, despite the number of precautionary measures taken to make sure everything works as smoothly as possible, entrepreneurship will always be a bumpy ride.

"I think the biggest challenge, besides juggling our A-levels at the same time, was dealing with our suppliers," Anushka said. "We were never really provided with definite delivery guarantees, making it really difficult to plan future moves for the company."

Neha Choudhary, finance director of DO-ORganise it, also mentioned other obstacles.

"The indefinite deadlines also meant we lost out on several selling opportunities at local school fairs," she said. "We also found it hard to determine the price of our product as everyone in the group held a different opinion. Therefore, we carried out some market research and made a survey where we asked a sample of our target audience what they would be willing to pay for such a product before making our final decision."

Nevertheless, students understood that risk-taking is what entrepreneurship is all about and that they can only achieve success if they confront these challenges rather than give up.

"I think as a team we've managed to cross these hurdles quite effectively and everything seems to be running more smoothly now," Anushka said.

A new experience

Students said that this opportunity provided them with the backbone to any future endeavours they may pursue. By establishing their own brand in the market, students were required to use skills that are necessary in the business world. Among them are communication skills and teamwork.

"Communicating with people as an employee is a very new experience, and we all learned how to interact with the different types of people we had to work with, including customers, potential buyers, suppliers, etc…" said Riddhi Cidambi, communications director of DO-ORganise It. "We also learned how to work in a group and professional environment where we had to check on and help each other, not just ourselves."

Advice to the aspirers

These students realise that they are not alone in wanting to make their dreams come true. However, one message they would like to relay to the world of young dreamers is that true achievement only comes with hard work.

"It may be easy to come up with a business idea, but the real challenge is in executing it as efficiently as possible," said Bhatnagar.
Nevertheless, students asserted that will power, faith and drive are the ingredients to success.

Daniel Fernandes, IT director of DO-ORganise It, said, "I think as long as you are interested in running your own business and have a strong mind in order to make it profitable, you will succeed."

Students noted that success often comes at the cost of mistakes. However, one should not look at these errors as failures — rather they should be approached as opportunities to grow. The key is to stay determined through thick and thin.

"I have learnt that you have to use your own initiative to reach where you want," Anushka said. "Success will never just come to you if you just sit there waiting for it to happen. At the end of the day life and enterprise are all about chasing opportunities and taking chances. If you make a mistake, learn from it!"

- To view their website, visit www.doorganiseit.tk