Sep 12 (BAN/CD): Back in 2010, Jyoti Wadhwa, the now founder of Sanksriti Vintage, was looking for ways to contribute to her family’s income after her husband decided to quit his job as an investment banker and do something on his own.
According to success story published by Yourstory before getting married Jyoti worked in the HR and Admin department of an MNC. While weighing her options, she decided she did not want to leave her daughter at playschool so she had to find ways to work from home.
Relatives had suggested looking into online businesses and also suggested selling vintage sarees online. After researching the market for hours together every day and understanding the amount of investment needed to set up her own business, Jyoti fully immersed herself into creating an online business for selling vintage sarees.
Jyoti’s husband Anshul divided his savings of 1 lakh rupees equally between the two of them. Anshul invested the Rs 50,000 in setting up his IT services while Jyoti invested in her vintage sarees venture.
During the course of her research, Jyoti found that printed pure silk fabrics were in demand and started searching for them.
“I came across many handcrafted sarees. When I saw these products I got very excited. I thought I could definitely sell these. I was very impressed and I got the confidence to go ahead,” she says.
While starting out, Jyoti would upload some items on eBay, giving rise to her company Sanskriti Vintage. The early stages of describing the items and listing them online was challenging but she got the hang of things soon. Jyoti also carried out the shipping processes from the postal services herself when she did not have staff.
According to YourStory.com, she explains, “What also helped set us stand out was the fact that nobody was really investing in products at that time. People would acquire old silk sarees, take photos and sell, earning a low margin. They’d buy at Rs 400 and sell for Rs 600. I realised that we can’t play the price game and thus decided to play the premium game. We picked out the most beautiful stuff, which was more expensive. invested in good photography, lights, and a DSLR camera at a time when other sellers were using 2-megapixel phone cameras.”
Since Sanskriti started on the eBay platform, they had no marketing spend. Jyoti focussed her energies on optimisation of listings and figured out how to get on top of them. She was soon selling 500-600 sarees in the range of $15-$40 per piece a day, with a 10-15 percent net margin. Soon, she managed to capture 40-50 percent of the market.
After three to four years the eBay market plateaued. “We got to the top and then there was nothing. We then listed on Amazon.com in 2013 (it was not in India yet). We experimented and realised that it was not the platform for our existing products. And that led to us starting a new range of apparel and fashion jewellery,” Jyoti says.
When Aamzon launched in India, Jyoti launched her fashion brand “Zephyrr”, which soon became a best-seller.
The bootstrapped startup’s investment into the new range came from the margins of the vintage saree selling business. Having broken even in the first year of operations, Jyoti, who started with just Rs 50,000, now has an annual turnover of around Rs 10 core. From running the business singlehandedly in the initial days, she now has a team of 30, most of them women.
In 2015, Jyoti received the Niryat Shree award from the President of India. It is an award that is given to 50 chosen exporters every two years for excelling in exports from India.
Sanskriti is now present on almost all ecommerce platforms, exporting its products across the globe.