My love for electric cars is historic and dates back sometime before my avid interest in Tesla began. Even when I was a teenager I preferred the electric battery operated remote control cars to petrol-fuelled ones. In fact, this passion is what led me to my first start-up when I was fifteen years old. It all began when I needed to purchase an upgraded battery for the electric remote control car, and I found this website called eBay (ring a bell). At the time it was quite new so I was pessimistic about purchasing online from a stranger. I went for it anyway, and a week later I received the battery. It was from then onward I could see how incredible it is to purchase items that are not locally available online. So I decided to open my own eBay store and sell leftover items from around my room.
Looking back thirteen years ago when I was in high school to the start of my experience with e-Commerce I can see how it contained concepts that I still use today. At the time platforms like eBay were beginning to widely adopted in Australia. A few years passed and I established K2 Car Audio (K2 stems from my initials), a venture that saw me purchasing car audio equipment at wholesale, packaging it into out of the box solutions and selling them online.
Similar to Devika, I started my first business with a home office, however, this time was my bedroom in my parent’s house. In my office, I would buy products, list items and once they were sold I would go down to the local post office and ship them off.
I also had to learn how to scale. Once I told my dad about my operation he helped me acquire more stock and to ship my product. This meant I had to create a more efficient process which I learned to perfect while I was in year 11 and 12 of high school.
It might seem quite basic compared to what I’ve achieved whilst working at Speedmaster and Devika but I had a lot of moving parts that I had to bring together. To make it work I had to design the brand, build the website, and create the eBay store.
After scaling effectively, the business I started in my bedroom became the top seller on eBay for the car audio category. This taught me a lot about business and changed the course of my career. Originally I aimed to study commerce at university, however, I pivoted and ended up studying Information Technology at the University of Wollongong majoring in e-Business. This decision was made because it allowed me to learn about defining processes and implementing the tools that are required to centralize information, which helps to communicate to staff and customers. These skills seemed essential to creating waves in business in the 21st century.
All good things come to an end and I wrapped up operating my first business when I finished the HSC I decided not to order any more stock and I moved on to other ventures. This progression was due to an oversaturated market and the new challenge beginning university which laid ahead.
However, it’s funny how much my early eBay success came in handy a few years later at Speedmaster. I had to try to get 100 employees on the one system and used fundamental learnings from when I started K2 when I was 15. The principles of my younger self-combined with what I learned from studying e-Business, both helped move a family business into one of the top 100 online retailers and push Speedmaster to be the top automotive car parts retailer in Australia.
I look back fondly at K2 Car Audio and grateful for its learning curve, but I’m even more excited about the future for Devika. If any young entrepreneurs would like any questions answered; feel free to touch base.