Northeast India is renowned for its die hard heavy metal fans who display their affinity towards their preferred genre through either listening to metal music, dressing up to portray their preference for a genre of music or by even forming bands and paying tribute to their favorite artists/bands. But this one person from Guwahati, Assam has a different take on displaying his fan fare! He has opened up a one stop heavy metal store to not only cater to his obsession over Heavy Metal music but to also cater to the desires of fans like him. TNT- The Northeast Today caught up with Sheikh A Rahman and delved deeper into his journey and a unique bond between him and his obsession for heavy metal.
TNT: How did you come up with the idea for selling heavy metal merchandise? What does the name ‘Game Cave’ connotes?
I had grown up in Shillong listening to pop,hard rock and heavy metal music right from my schooling days.In the years that followed, I had always wished to start a business related to heavy metal music but due to lack of resources I started off with a video game parlour on 24th December, 1999 and named it Game Cave. Playing video games have always been one of my biggest hobbies so it was amazing to start a video game parlour for a living. However, the idea of selling heavy metal merchandise was my dream and I wanted to pursue it no matter what.
TNT: What were some of your motivations for starting your business?
I have always been a die hard listener of good music, irrespective of the genre, pop, country, hard rock, heavy metal,grunge and thrash metal, well I couldn’t go beyond that. My passion for music was my main reason that motivated me for starting my business although it does not pay me well at all times as it has a niche market which caters to only those who are equally passionate about such clothing.
TNT: Can you talk about some of the challenges during the early phases of your business?
I had come across a lot of hurdles during the early years of my business right from investments to sourcing the goods from the factories from Thailand and receiving the shipments in Guwahati in just one single day. The challenges are endless and I would prefer not to list them down here which might make it really boring for the readers.
TNT: What age group visits the most in your shop?
I have customers of all ages but mostly youngsters. I do have a few aged customers who love to come and buy T-shirts of their favourite classic rock bands and would even wear the new T-Shirts here and go off to party.
TNT: What is the most demanded product in your shop?
T-Shirts and my personalized gifts.
TNT: How did you get customers into your shop early on?
As I had started the video game parlour, I had a good number of regular customers and when I diversified my business the same group of customers would still visit my shop and the network grew mostly due to word of mouth.
TNT: How have you continued to grow your company? What are the things that you have added to your racks recently?
My business is really small and as far as its growth is concerned, it is all due to the grace of God and the regular support of my customers. My heartiest thanks to them.
TNT: Any advice for would be entrepreneurs out there?
Whatever business you do, do it passionately.
–Interviewed by Ritu Raj Boruahfor TNT- The Northeast Today