Chitra Vyas, a seller with Flipkart, is a technician turned entrepreneur. After completing her MTech in electronics, she worked with Infosys for a while before going on her own. Originally from Bikaner, she moved to Hyderabad after her marriage.
Her husband came from a family of entrepreneurs and Chitra wanted to start his own business. In 2011, as e-commerce was starting in India, she decided to sell jewelry, crafts, and a few electronics, as her family owned an e-store, through her own e-commerce website, ShoppingWhopping.
Chitra Vyas with its range of Soft Art products
But sales did not pick up as she had expected. Once she became a Flipkart seller in 2016, growing from 10 to 15 orders per day, sales grew to around 100 orders per day in one week, and with the support of Flipkart, Chitra became one of the Top Performers on Flipkart in Just Three Months. Since then, there has been no turning back.
“Later, on the advice of a friend, I decided to try my hand at selling shoes and integrated popular brands like Relexo, Khadim, Lotto, Bata, Sparks and Liberty, and I started receiving around 1,500 orders per day, âshe says. .
When COVID-19 hit India in 2020 and the country went into lockdown, Chitra correctly predicted that sales in the fashion and footwear category would be low. She immediately decided to turn to sales of dried fruits which would fall under the âessentialâ category. So Sweet art, his brand of dried fruits, was born.
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Chitra Vyas with his team
Things didn’t go well at first. âAlthough we were happy we had another category to tap into, we only got about 20 to 30 orders per day. But with the help of Flipkart, who always helped us with training, customer reviews and feedback every time we launched a new category, sales started to increase, âsays Chitra.
Since its inception last year, Chitra says Soft Art has been multiplied by 5 and is now an established brand of dried fruit. It also recorded over 1,000 orders during the Big Billion Days.
âWe originally sourced from local distributors, but when orders started to flow we started sourcing different products from all over India, from places well known for their production and from wholesalers in Mumbai and India. Delhi, âshe adds.
The dried fruits are sorted in their warehouse and reconditioned under vacuum to maintain their freshness before being ready for delivery. Chitra operates with a team of 25 people in a three-story building covering 7,000 square feet in Hyderabad.
âThe season starts in July, and I hope there will be an increase in the number of orders in all categories. We are focusing on 5x growth with a turnover of Rs 10 crore in the coming year, âsaid Chitra. She declined to comment on operating expenses or net income.
Besides the challenges posed by the lockdown, Chitra says a lot of hard work is required to establish her own brand, in her case, Soft Art.
âThe shoe brands were already well established. But getting people to trust a dried fruit brand online was a challenge. We had to offer products of impeccable quality and affordable. Based on customer feedback and requirements, we have been able to meet these standards, âshe said.
His plans include expanding to other food categories, particularly the wide variety available in his hometown, Bikaner.
âI can’t wait to visit Bikaner and find the best food products available there,â she says.