15 Nov 2018: This Chennai woman earns millions by selling sarees on WhatsApp
The world may not be able to decide if social media is a boon or curse, but Chennai-based Shanmuga Priya can.
Priya, who sells sarees on WhatsApp, is a shining example of social media marketing.
In three years, she has sold sarees worth over Rs. 2.5 crore.
Her company, Unique Threads, has become a respected supplier to resellers in India and abroad.
Here's her story.
Inspiration: Priya was inspired by mother-in-law, who sold sarees door-to-door
Priya got the inspiration from her mother-in-law who used to sell sarees door to door.
In 2014, when Priya's mother-in-law died, she quit her job to take care of the family.
But, when the family needed more money, she decided to continue her mother-in-law's work.
However, this time she decided to give social media a chance as well, and it certainly didn't disappoint her.
Marketing: Priya used social media right and it rewarded her
It was a trial-and-error experiment at WhatsApp initially, where Priya would sell sarees to family members and friends.
As word spread, more and more women started buying sarees directly from her and would then sell them themselves.
In the process, Priya didn't realize that she was simultaneously creating many resellers.
Competition: Priya handled competition, ensured top quality product, respected her resellers
Although Priya's business was running good, there was an exponential rise in resellers and she had to up her game.
To tackle the competition, she ensured her products are of top quality.
She dealt with customers' grievances and gave the option to return products.
She made patience her defining quality, and waited for payments until her resellers got money from their customers.
Distribution: Company joined hands with different courier companies
Today, the first floor of Priya's house is a godown. It has a separate entrance for buyers to check out the stock.
Once the orders are placed, her team gets into action and packages are sent out every evening at 6 PM.
For distribution, Unique Threads has signed up with different logistics/courier companies based on their services in different geographical locations.
Shining example: There is so much to learn from her
It takes more than just hard work, potential, and energy to develop an idea into a business. And Priya has given it all.
She has not only been running a business but at the same time, has empowered many women to become financially independent.
While we keep debating about the 'vice' that is social media, Priya has turned it around for her.