Case study

Entrepreneur — Dhruv Jain

Dhruv launched his business, PrintOctopus, soon after finishing his MSc in Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the University of Warwick

Tell us about your business…

It's an e-commerce platform that lets artists showcase and monetise their work through on-demand printed merchandise such as t-shirts, phone covers, canvases and gadget sleeves.

People can also use the site to create something unique for themselves using its own design tool.

Why did you choose an MSc in Innovation and Entrepreneurship?

I came up with my business idea during my undergraduate studies. I wanted to make it easier for people in the artistic community to do what they love, but also get them the money and the recognition they deserve.

After completing my Bachelors degree, it soon became clear that I needed to refine my business idea and learn more about the many disciplines involved in starting a successful business.

I heard about the Masters in Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Warwick and when I looked into it, the course seemed ideal for me. It turned out to be the best decision of my life.

How did you benefit from the MSc course?

There was so much I didn't know about setting up a business. Things like cash flow management, financial modelling, e-commerce processes, transaction management and site optimisation for example, as well as leadership. I took it for granted that I'd be able to handle HR and manage people without a problem. I realise now how completely wrong I was.

To be able to step back and learn about all of the areas that I needed to know about was massively valuable. What's great is that the course can be customised, so I was able to choose elective modules that were relevant to my business area.

What does the course involve?

Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG) is a department strongly linked with industry, which was incredibly beneficial. My supervisor worked as an e-commerce consultant, so what I was learning was real and practical. I could bounce ideas off him and he kept me thoroughly grounded.

Also, we had alumni as visiting lecturers. That was very useful. Having the opportunity to hear from people who've actually been out there and started something was totally inspirational.

The course really focuses on the essentials. What's really interesting is how my business plan evolved during the year. By the end of the course it was completely different to when I started.

The business simulations that I did throughout the course have also really helped me. Today, if I'm working through an issue with my business, I treat it like a simulation in the classroom at WMG and I get immersed in solving the problem.

I love every day, doing what I really enjoy and seeing my idea grow into something amazing. I have WMG to thank for that and I will never forget my time there.

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