Sleeping on the job leads to satisfaction

Monash business and engineering graduate Winston Wijeyeratne has turned a frustration with big business into a successful online start-up. His business, Sleeping Duck, has cracked $1M in sales since launching...

Monash business and engineering graduate Winston Wijeyeratne has turned a frustration with big business into a successful online start-up. His business, Sleeping Duck, has cracked $1M in sales since launching in January 2014.

Sleeping Duck, an online mattress retailer, was founded by Winston and his friend, University of Melbourne engineering graduate Selvam Sinnappan, after they met during a graduate program at ANZ.

The duo shared a frustration of the inefficiencies they could see in big business. After several months of brainstorming, they identified a gap in the mattress industry particularly a lack of customer service which saw people spend thousands on a product only to be disappointed with the result.

With Sleeping Duck they have employed a simple yet effective business model which aims to take the hassle out of mattress buying.

Instead of offering a large range of similar products that can make it hard for customers to make the right choice, the two entrepreneurs used their backgrounds in engineering to design an affordable, customisable mattress – the Titan - which they offer for sale from their online store.

Customers are then offered the opportunity to sleep on the mattress for a full 60 nights. If they aren’t satisfied they can return the mattress for a refund or swap it for a different firmness level free of charge.

Winston said the company’s focus on high-level customer service had led to month-on-month growth and he predicts their success will continue.

“If our product is always improving and our customers are genuinely happy then there is no reason our business shouldn't keep growing,” he said.

He said graduating from the top engineering University in the country had helped give Sleeping Duck an edge starting out.

“We didn’t have to pay for R&D – we were able to do most of it ourselves,” he said.

“To this day I still refer to my notes and textbooks from thermodynamic and materials based subjects!”