rediff.com

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  

Rediff News  All News 
Rediff.com  » Business » How to start a business for less than Rs 50,000!

How to start a business for less than Rs 50,000!

Last updated on: January 3, 2011 14:20 IST

How to start a business for less than Rs 50,000!

     Next

Next
Prasanna D Zore


Two Delhi-based young women show how entrepreneurship can be unleashed even with as less as Rs 50,000.

The only thing you need, their enterprises reveal, is a lot of creativity and confidence in your own ability.

"There is nothing like I will work for five more years and then work on my own business idea," says Subhatra Priyadarshini, owner of Delhi-based start-up Choc Of The Town, which is into selling chocolates online, about those entrepreneurs who dilly dally in executing their ideas.

"If you have that mindset, you will never quit your job and start on your own," says Subhatra who had to quit a software firm in Bengaluru, GridSolv, to accompany her husband who was transferred to Delhi.

Instead of letting this transfer dampen her spirits, Subhatra converted it into an opportunity to start her own venture which she wanted to start ever since she graduated as an engineer in 2007.

While in Delhi she enrolled for a two-month management programme for women entrepreneurs at IIM Bangalore that cost her Rs 33,000, including her hostel stay at the campus.

Click NEXT to read on . . . 


Image: Subhatra Priyadarshini, owner of Delhi-based start-up Choc Of The Town.
Photographs: Prasanna D Zore
     Next

How to start a business for less than Rs 50,000!

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

"After marriage I needed flexible working hours. Also, I wanted to work for myself after a year of experience at GridSolv where I worked on Java and web development," says Subhatra, who has a BTech in Information Technology from Anna University.

"Just because you are a woman it should not stop you from doing business. I wanted to unleash my own creativity and Choc Of The Town has done just that for me," she says.

"The best part of my business is I managed to start it for less than Rs 50,000, including my course fee at IIM-Bangalore and Rs 4,000 that I spent in learning the nuances of making chocolates," she adds.

Today, Subhatra makes cocoa-based, dark and soft centre-filled chocolates in 15 different flavours using nuts, fruits, coconut, etc for different occasions.

While she makes only two kilograms of chocolates per day she wants to scale up fast as she has been getting orders for her products from across the country.

And like many young entrepreneurs like her who do business online she has been making smart use of social networking websites.

Click NEXT to read on . . . 



Prev     Next

How to start a business for less than Rs 50,000!

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Ever since she posted her company's profile on Facebook she has been getting orders from different parts of the country.

"I have almost 150 people following me on Facebook and that has helped me get more orders from different parts of India. We have tied up with First Flight couriers for delivering our products at our customers' doorstep in all cities and towns that are connected to Delhi by flight," she says.

The fact that her products come at an appealing price point has also helped her business grow.

"We have different price points for different products that we make. As of today Choc Of The Town is selling standard variety of chocolates at Rs 650 per kg. "That comes out to Rs 7 to Rs 8 per piece," says Subhatra.

"This year we did brisk business during Rakhi, Diwali, Christmas and the New Year's eve as our customers wanted to express their love and affection with chocolates," says Subhatra about how she has been ramping up her sales in the absence of any offline presence.

Ask Subhatra why she preferred the online route and she reasons: "During my engineering days I knew that online businesses were getting very popular. I wanted to start my business with a small capital, wanted to test the market first and understand customer preferences for products like chocolates."

"I wanted to be very flexible when I started. In online businesses rigidity doesn't help," she says, speaking from the lessons she has learnt in less than a year of her company's existence.

Click NEXT to read on how Shivani Chawla did it too . . . 



Prev     Next

How to start a business for less than Rs 50,000!

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

If Subhatra invested a little less than Rs 50,000 to start her chocolate enterprise, Shivani Chawla, another Delhi-based entrepreneur who follows a similar online model, Exotic Delight, at almost no seed capital.

She along with her mother have successfully converted Shivani's childhood hobby of making cakes, cheesecakes, donuts, desserts and mousses into a full-time business.

"I had a passion for making cakes, chocolates and mousses from my childhood days. My mother just encouraged me to convert my passion and art into a business venture," Shivani says.

"One can literally start with no investment at all," Shivani says when asked how much she invested in her business. "To get started I had my own oven, microwave and refrigerator," says this Philosophy graduate from Miranda House, Delhi.

The only investments that she makes on a day-to-day and order-to-order basis is in buying fresh ingredients to make cakes and sundry other products. "I make only on orders and have made a small investment in buying moulds of different shapes and small equipment," says Shivani.

As of date she has been getting at least two orders of cakes per day from Delhi for which she doesn't spend more than four hours a day "from the comfort of my own home".

Click NEXT to read on . . . 



Prev     Next

How to start a business for less than Rs 50,000!

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

But then there are umpteen bakeries making all the products Shivani makes in Delhi and why should anybody buy her products?

Shivani agrees. "Anybody can make cakes and chocolates. Every colony in Delhi has a bakery. How am I different from them?" she asks the questions of herself and then begins explaining.

"Creativity and customisation is what customers are demanding today while buying products like chocolates and cakes. They also look at how you can customise such products as per their needs and care a lot for neatness and hygiene," she says.

"And Exotic Delight offers all this at one place. We also customise our products and packaging according to events and festivals. That's what sets us apart," she says.

Continuing her 'how am I different' theme, she says that she is a specialist in making eggless cakes and they are quite in demand for those who are vegetarians these days.

As somebody who believes in constant innovation to make products that suit different taste buds and health profiles, Shivani is currently experimenting with sugarless products that she has found out are also in great demand in Delhi.

Click NEXT to read on . . . 



Prev     Next

How to start a business for less than Rs 50,000!

Prev     More
Prev

More

"I'm experimenting with Stevia herbs that is a very good substitute for sugar," she says. Very soon, she says, she will be selling sugar-free cakes and chocolates to people who demand such products.

But then for Shivani and her mother there are risks too in their business. The most common loss they make is when their cake breaks, burns or over-bakes. But then they are also enjoying what they are doing.

"Every cake is a new experiment. You learn something new," quips Shivani.

Like Subhatra, she too had done the two-month management programme for women entrepreneurs from IIM Bangalore at the same time. And like Subhatra she too is into expansion mode.

"We are looking for hotel management graduates with a one-year specialisation in bakery and confectionery," she says and adds that she plans to start a bakery of her own as soon as she gets the right people to man the bakery.

Ask her about the lessons she has learnt in less than a year of her enterprise and she says: "You will have a market if you are confident about your products and packaging. You can demand whatever you want if 'your hand is good' and your creativity exceptional."



Prev     More