In the bustling streets of Kolkata, an entrepreneur with a keen eye for opportunity has been quietly reshaping the retail landscape of East India. Driven by a desire to offer something unique to consumers, he was constantly looking for untapped opportunities in the market. Recognising a gap in the market, Vijay Dugar, founder of iDestiny, in 2017 unveiled a premium Apple store in East India. Starting with just three stores in Kolkata, Bihar and Jharkhand, iDestiny has become the largest and only Apple premium partner in the region. In 2019, iDestiny expanded its reach by opening the first Apple premium reseller in Bhubaneswar’s Esplanade Mall. His journey exemplifies the spirit of entrepreneurship and innovation, demonstrating how a thoughtful approach to business can make a meaningful impact on the community. In an interaction with Orissa POST, Dugar shares his experience.

How is the demand for premium phones in the Odisha Market?

Odisha market has evolved significantly when it comes to premium smartphones. Consumers here are highly tech-savvy, well-versed with the latest gadgets, features, and updates. Particularly, there’s a strong affinity for Apple products, reflecting the state’s penchant for high-quality brands.

iPhone sales are touching record heights in the country. Do you see any rise in customer base in the state?

Absolutely, the growth trajectory for Apple products is remarkable in India, and Odisha is no exception. We’ve witnessed a steady rise in our customer base year on year. In fact, we took the initiative to introduce the full Apple experience to Odisha back in 2019, with our Apple Premium Reseller store at Esplanade Mall in Bhubaneswar. Over the past five years, we’ve expanded our presence with two additional stores (Janpath and Patia) ensuring accessibility and top-notch service for our customers. With flexible payment options like easy EMI through credit cards and financing, we’ve made owning an Apple product more attainable for Odisha’s consumers.

As the one stop solution for all Apple products. What challenges do you face the most? Do you think e-commerce platforms affect your share of sales?

Our main challenge lies in dispelling the misconception among some customers that our store might be more expensive, which isn’t the case. In fact, we offer the most competitive prices for Apple products in the market. Both ecommerce and brick-and-mortar channels have their respective customer bases. However, when it comes to truly experiencing the Apple brand, nothing beats the personal touch and immersive experience of our stores. Unlike the transactional nature of e-commerce, our brick-and-mortar stores offer handson interactions, allow customers to try out the products and accessories before making a purchase. This tactile experience coupled with the assurance of seeing and testing products in person, sets us apart from online platforms.

With the growth of the flagship brand, do you have any expansion plans in mind?

Odisha remains a focal point for our expansion strategy. We’re keen to delve deeper into the state, particularly targeting smaller cities where there’s a burgeoning demand for premium products. Our aim is to enhance accessibility and ensure that every customer, regardless of their location, can easily access and experience the Apple brand. Stay tuned for exciting developments in 2024!

As a young successful entrepreneur, what advice do you have for the new entrants in this business?

My journey in entrepreneurship has taught me the importance of embracing new challenges and pushing past comfort zones. There was a time when I hesitated to explore beyond my familiar territory, but venturing into new avenues has been instrumental in my growth. Additionally, I can’t stress enough the significance of building strong teams. While individual efforts are valuable, it’s through collective collaboration and synergy that remarkable achievements are made. So, to all aspiring entrepreneurs, dare to explore, and remember, teamwork makes the dream work.

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