GE 286: How Rahul Gandhi Turned a Personal Hurricane Disaster into a Better Storage Experience with Make Space (podcast) With Rahul Gandhi

Rahul Gandhi, CEO and Co-Founder of Make Space

Hey everyone! In today’s episode, I share the mic with Rahul Gandhi, CEO and Co-Founder of Make Space, a New York-based storage solution company.

Tune in to hear how Hurricane Sandy changed the course of Rahul’s career, how they got their first 1,000 customers, and why different locations create different needs.

Time-Stamped Show Notes:

  • [00:38]  Before we jump into today’s interview, please rate, review, and subscribe to the Growth Everywhere Podcast!
  • [01:45] Entrepreneurship runs in Rahul’s family.
  • [01:50] His father ran a restaurant and got to see highs and lows of running a business first-hand.
  • [02:38] After Hurricane Sandy, Rahul had to put all his stuff in storage, but he couldn’t find affordable options.
  • [03:32] He wanted to create a customer-first experience.
  • [04:30] Make Space is currently in five markets in the United States.
  • [04:40] They have stored north of 1 million items.
  • [06:02] Make Space will pick up your items and inventory them for you.
  • [06:20] Ideally, you won’t pay for more than you need to store.
  • [07:00] They charge a recurring monthly fee.
  • [08:20] When Make Space started, they got their first customer after they launched their Yelp page.
  • [09:05] Brute force, press coverage, and digital marketing helped them gain their first 1000 customers. Referrals were also key.
  • [11:10] When coming up with names, they wanted it to be one word, but Make Space rose to the top.
  • [12:40] They worked hard to use tech to streamline their pick-ups and drop-off’s.
  • [14:45] Rahul knew that getting the business off the ground would be rough and that he needed to be fully entrenched to understand the business’s needs.
  • [15:40] In the early days, they had a lot of false positives.
  • [15:52] They realized that what was needed in NYC might not be the same needs for Chicago.
  • [16:30] Make Space saw great success over the first two years, but when they attempted to expand to other cities, they found they didn’t have the same impact or success.
  • [17:00] Rahul found that it was important to know what your different customer’s needs are and what each market required.
  • [19:40] Rahul found that they faced similar challenges that Netflix faced when taking on Blockbuster.
  • [21:33] The Make Space team found it was helpful to be hands-on in order to figure out what was needed to make the business a success.
  • [22:30] The tools that Rahul thinks have added value to his life are time-management tools. He’s a single dad and CEO, so it’s important to have a solid schedule. Evernote has proven useful in terms of note-taking, as well.
  • [25:25] Rahul recommends the book Principles: Life and Work by Ray Dalio.

Resources from the interview:

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