Dhruvin Patel is an Optometrist & Founder of Ocushield. A screen protector designed and developed to protect your eyes, sleep and device screens. They were founded in 2015 and now process over 2,000 orders a month, and have sold over 100,000 products direct to consumer as well as though wholesale to retailers such as Selfridges and urban outfitters. They’ve also worked with the Wales International Rugby Team and West Ham Utd Football club to improve player gameday performance.
Dhruvin was studying Optometry at University between the years of 2013 and 2015. During that time he was doing some research about blue light and quickly realized that screens were only going to get bigger and brighter.
He wanted to create a product to protect people from blue light so he began developing products that would do the job properly—and he knew eCommerce was the best way to spread the word and the product. Ocushield is a medically rated company. In the UK, the MHRA (like the FDA) has approved the product.
About the Business
- Based in the UK
- Largest MArkets UK and USA
- Selling Globally—Over 65 countries last year
- WordPress with WooCommerce
When Dhruvin started the business he was still at University and has always had to retain staff in order to run the business and attend to his other responsibilities. 6 core members and 3 part timers make up the team and everyone is remote.
A third party handles all the orders, packing and shipping. Dhruvin emphasizes that remote working can be an incredibly positive experience especially for a growing business trying to stay lean.
There is a lot of great talent in areas outside of large, expensive cities and with a little bit of looking Dhruvin says you can put together an excellent team.
Another benefit is the accountability that goes along with contractors. Ocushield weekly meetings are highly focused and aren’t disrupted by office politics.
Saving Eyes Mission
Creating the best product for customers has always been Dhruvins goal. Even though the company has been around for years, just this January, the team finally perfected their core product (screen protectors) and are finally ready to push marketing.
This extended R&D allows the business to grow a quality product sustainability. It has also allowed them to become a thought leader in the field. Because they have developed medical grade products and were early innovators in blue light research, their online presence has benefitted and Dhruvin points out that it’s great for backlinks as well.
Ocushield started getting inbound requests for retailing their products and Dhruvin says they stretched to meet them.
He recognizes that there is a mix and match between online and in person depending on the customer’s needs and Ocushield wants to be at every possible touch point.
Purpose over Profit
Wellbeing drives the brand more than sales. For Dhruvin, saving as many eyes as possible was the crucial underpinning for the brand.
He consciously built the business online first to maximize margins and cash flows so that the reach down the line could be bigger and better. As part of this long term plan, he has remained fully in control of their Amazon page so they can keep their brand strong and expand into retail/wholesale markets when they are ready.
Dhruvin started working with two sales agents who were able to sell the product into the consumer electronic space before the trade show and 70%-80% of the people who came by the stand were a product of that early work.
eCommerce Book Top Tip
- Traction: A Startup Guide to Getting Customers by Gabriel Weinberg and Justin Mares
eCommerce Traffic Top Tip
- Whatever you are doing—whatever your niche is—people are talking about it—so spend 30 minutes a day trying to speak to people who are talking about it. Try and be helpful to people who are writing about your topic of interest.
Tool Top Tip
- MoneyPenny answering service
Growth Top Tip
- Free up your time. Look at what you are doing a lot of—if it’s not business development—try to outsource it.
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- Shifting from Wholesale to D2C with Finlay London’s David Lochhead and Dane Butler
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