Economic Times, November 03, 2021
Several entrepreneurs have seen a challenging time, especially in the past few years, with businesses taking a hit due to pandemic induced economic slowdown. From labour shortage, disrupted supply chains to lack of market access, logistic blocks and cash flow problems, roadblocks have made it extremely difficult for small-time business owners across the country to find accessible opportunities to grow. Yet, history is testimony to the fact that those who have taken any challenge head-on with grit and determination, re-strategised and innovated according to the changing times and consumer preferences, have always risen from the ashes to grow their business not just domestically but across the borders.
If you have been reading this space, we have covered several such success stories,
where e-Bay has emerged as the common export marketplace for small business owners, to easily sell their indigenous products by simplifying and reducing their business costs. And exposing them to buyers across 190+ markets. Here is yet another inspiring story – that of sisters Aditi and Ashwini who started their family jewellery business from scratch in a bedroom office back in 2013 and are today international sellers on eBay
Heavily burdened with educational loans after completing her master’s in London, Aditi found herself in a fix. So did her sister Ashwini who had just become a mother. All at a time when the family was going through a major financial crisis. But the sorrows were short-lived as challenging times soon paved the way for a bright future for the family when both the sisters decided to kick-start their jewellery business. They recall how being women in male-dominated fields turned out to be the most challenging part while building Adastra Jewelry.
“People refused to work with us because we were women. Most of our employees were men with only two women in the whole company,” says Aditi.
Today, Adastra Jewelry has over 70 employees with 70% female staff and they take pride in supporting local artisans. Aditi is the marketing genius, while Ashwini handles the finance department. Hear the full story of how these womenpreneurs have scripted their success story:
Several local sellers like Aditi and Ashwini have been empowered by eBay with new skills and capabilities, account management, product promotions and technical insights, third-party logistics service and robust customer support, and a seamless post-transaction experience. The platform has also helped in getting its sellers optimal shipping rates from global logistic providers.
The story of a Million Dollar entrepreneur
Milan Patel began his digital journey when he launched his company Jalsha Online in 2018. Export was a challenging field to tread into for him. Initially, it was his aspiration to take his business online that helped him overcome his inhibitions. He came to know of eBay through his friends and colleagues and soon started as a seller on the platform with an inventory of 1,000 items achieving a GMV of $4,500 in 2018.
eBay, he says, was instrumental in helping him understand buyer preferences, cultivating awareness on what would make his product stand out in the crowd and which countries to focus on while exporting his products. With undying determination, constant assistance and a hunger to learn online retail export, Milan saw a steep rise in the number of views for his listed products in no time. And hence, what started as a small business in Maharashtra soon translated to a global export venture.
“Today, I am confident of doubling my business in a span of a few months based on the seamless integration that eBay has provided. With eBay’s streamlined processes and end-to-end support, it has become easier for me to reach the global audience,” he shares.
The story of a top-rated eBay seller
Similar is the story of entrepreneur Ricky Garg, another million-dollar businessman who is based in Delhi. He ran a family business of fine jewellery, Jisha Jewels, which he joined right after graduation. Both visibility and footfall were low owing to the business being located in a small locality in Delhi. He then came across an eBay ad with details about global selling opportunities for Indian sellers and decided to bring his venture onboard.
Ricky shares how eBay’s account managers assisted him in preparing a detailed and high-quality product catalogue, reducing product returns, handling customer concerns, and undertaking product shoot in-house all of which helped him to notch up his sales unlike ever before.
Today, he is achieving consistent YoY growth from the USA, the UK, Australia, and Germany markets. Ricky is also looking to expand his product portfolio and improve manufacturing capabilities to support his plan for catering to buyers in Italy, France and Spain markets. Ask him how his endeavour to become a top-rated seller was fulfilled, and he attributes it to three key qualities — an appetite for risk, an ability to forecast, and an eye for profitable investments.
Commencing operations in the unfamiliar landscape of a digital marketplace have not just been daunting for Milan and Ricky, but scores of entrepreneurs across the country fearing complexities and uncertainty. What has helped those who have tasted success is their unparalleled conviction and resilience to broaden their approach, rethink their business strategy, explore and adopt cross border e-commerce as a channel and ultimately pave a way for themselves to become
‘Sirf Local Nahi, International Sellers’.
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