Jyoti Wadhwa was concerned when her husband Anshul decided to quit his job as an investment banker and start something on his own. Anshul Bansal was the sole earning member of the family and Jyoti knew that considering the risk her husband was going to take, she had to contribute financially as well.
“I figured I have to do something but at the same time, I did not want to leave my daughter in a playschool. I was looking for options where I could work from home,” Jyoti was quoted as saying by Yourstory.com.
Jyoti had worked in the HR and admin departments of an MNC for three years before her marriage, and so was not totally unaware about work culture. He had provided her Rs 50,000 from his saving of Rs 1 lakh. Jyoti’s relatives suggested that selling vintage sarees online would be a viable option.
Jyoti studied the market for five to six hours every day, trying to understand customer behaviour. She knew that with her Rs 50,000 corpus, she had to be selective and prudent. She found that there was a demand for printed pure silk fabrics and soon came across handcrafted sarees. She selected some products and uploaded them on eBay and it led to the establishment of her brand Sanskriti Vintage.
Initially, Jyoti had to do the shipping from the postal services herself, standing in queues with her young daughter for three-four hours. Though pure silk embroidered sarees were being sold online, none of her rivals sold hand-crafted embroidered sarees, and that proved to be the differentiator for her business. Her rivals were acquiring old sarees and selling them at a small margin. Realising that she can’t compete in the price game, Jyoti decided to stick to premium products, investing in good photography, lights, and a DSLR camera.
What has also worked for Jyoti is her adaptability and flexibility of approach. When after three-four years, her eBay market plateaued, she moved over to Amazon in 2013. However, she soon understood that it was not the platform for her existing products. That led her to start a fashion jewellery line called Zephyrr, which soon became a “best seller” on Amazon.
What started with an investment of Rs 50,000 soon became a Rs 10 crore business and from running the show all by herself, Jyoti has come a long way today, employing 30 people, most of them being women. In 2015, she was given the Niryat Shree award from the President of India. It is given to 50 chosen exporters every two years for contribution to exports from India.
What started as an effort to support the family has grown into a flourishing business that supports many other families and the country’s exports.