From Mahesh Abeyewardene and News Desk
Kamaj Silva, a young Sri Lankan-born entrepreneur from Mississauga, Ontario, was able to convince a panel of investors in the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s (CBC) national show Dragons’ Den to invest in his business known as the “Sneakertub” for some percentage of the business.
In a rare case on the show, he was offered multiple offers, and walked away with joint offer between four dragons (investors).
Silva who is the sole founder of the business “Sneakertub” amazed the dragons with the story of how he started his business with just $700 after being laid off from his earlier job as a marketer.
He attributed hard work and confidence to his successful pitch on Dragons Den, in an interview with lankareporter.com.
Sneakertub was a product of Silva’s idea of combining the two things that he loved (sneakers and subscription boxes) and selling them online as a single package. He started off by creating a website within just two days which – in his own words – “blew up”.
Without any connections or direct contact with any popular sneaker brands at early stages of the business, the sneaker fanatic would always dial-up numbers of some of the famous Sneaker brands just to close a deal with them, but he was turned down on every occasion. He was later able to close a deal with one popular brand and a few more followed on.
Silva thanked his wife, family and friends for their support through the journey of his company, which received a significant boost from Dragons’ Den.
Influencer marketing was one of the medium of promotion which Silva used in getting his business out there. He would send subscriptions boxes to some famous YouTube influencer and would get unboxing videos in return.
Silva went on to tell the investors why he needed the money; which was to scale up the influencer marketing – which in his own words – “would cost a little more than free” and to stock up on inventory.
With just $700 Silva has been able to raise his new business venture revenue up to $200,000 within a year, and he personally makes a profit of $45,000 – $50,000! Which left the investors amazed and eager to bet on him.
Silva came on the show with an initial proposal of $50,000 for 20% of the business, and he ended up getting a deal from four investors for 40% of his business, which is a very solid offer especially for a growing business venture such as his.
He arrived in Canada less than 10 years ago after studying in England.
Silva is an Old Boy of S. Thomas’ College, who is proud of his roots and loves to attend the Big Match between rivals Royal College whenever he can.
Sri Lankan signer Lahiru Perera was spotted with Sneakertub shoes when he visited Toronto recently.