Jyoti Wadhwa (founder ,Sanskriti Vintage) is the recipient of the prestigious “Niryat Shree Award” from the Honorable president of India.She is a housewife turned entrepreneur who started her online selling business with merely Rs 50,000 and today she is sending products to more than 50 countries across the world and her company is now generating around Rs 10 crore annual revenue.
“I founded Sanskriti Vintage in 2011. I am a Delhiite with keen eye for Indian fabrics and apparel. My passion led me to open a boutique in 2009. On a chance trip to Janpath, I figured out demand for vintage trims and screes by foreign tourists and I quickly became the top seller on eBay for such products within a couple of years of launch.My firm Sanskriti India has been serving international markets for past 7 years. Our products ship to more than 50 countries. More than 70% of our customers are repeat buyers which imply international class service.
“Sanskriti India was started in 2011 by me after sensing an opportunity in embroidered apparels after noticing foreign buyers on Jan path. I was able to access these customers using eBay platform and was able to quickly become the premium seller in sarees and related apparel based handicrafts. We became platinum seller on eBay in 2013. Today Sanskriti India account on eBay has more than 20000 positive feedbacks with 99.9% happy transactions.”By then, the industry was booming which was when the President of India himself conferred upon me with the “Niryat Shree Award” – 2016 for being the Best E-Commerce Export Women Entrepreneur.”Jyoti Says.
Jyoti was impelled to take a deep plunge into business due to domestic situations.However there was something more for her in trump cards, her eBay store, Sanskriti Vintage, which she started with mere Rs 50,000 turned into a Rs 10 crore turnover company in less than a decade, by selling indigenous apparel and jewellery products abroad.
Presently,38 year old Jyoti Wadhwa bansal started her career as a trainee in an insurance company just after she completed her class 12 at the prestigious Tagore International School in Delhi.
Coming from an business background Jyoti Wadhwa’s ancestors were migrated from Pakistan to Delhi. Jyoti grown up in a very life-learning environment.Her Father was a businessmen and she had an elder brother who was excellent in sports.He used to always encourage her younger sister.
How Sanskriti Vintage Started
Way back in 2010, Jyoti Wadhwa was an typical Indian housewife and mother of a two year old baby girl.Her husband Anshul Bansal was working as an investment banker and he was the only earning person of the family.
One day, Jyoti became completely clueless when suddenly Anshul disclosed that he want to quit the job and start something of his own.This came as full of confusion for Jyoti and she realised that If Anshul takes the risk of giving up his settle job then her family’s financial situation will be compromised.So she has to do something to earn money to contribute to her family’s financial situation .
However earlier in 2006 She was doing job as a Trainee in Insurance Company but She was away from the job for a long time after getting marriage.
“Anshul declared that he does not want to continue working anymore, but start his own thing. I felt helpless and scared as he was the sole bread winner of the family,” Jyoti Bansal recalls.
“I figured I have to do something but at the same time, I had taken a long break from work, so finding a job wouldn’t be easy.I did not want to leave my daughter in a playschool. So I decided to start something from home. I had to stand up for the family,” says Jyoti, who worked in the HR and Admin department of an Multi National Company for three years before getting married in 2006.
Jyoti wadhwa was absolutely novice to online selling although she just had heard from some relatives that one could earn from online businesses ;One can earn good money selling products online with a minimal initial investment. She had heard from some relatives that one could earn from online businesses; they had also suggested that selling vintage sarees online could be a good option. Since learning about the possible opportunity, Jyoti researched the market for five to six hours every day, trying to understand what customers were buying and where they were. She was also trying to zero in on the amount of investment needed.
“I only had Rs 50,000 to invest ,so I had to be very selective and wise,” she says.Her husband Anshul had Rs 1 lakh in his saving account which he decided to divide in to two equal parts evenly for his business and Jyoti’s. .The Rs 50,000 startup money came from Anshul. While Anshul focused on setting up his IT services business, Jyoti involved herself with full dedication in creating an online business for selling vintage sarees.
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,”
“In 2008 I had my first daughter and my entire world revolved around her. She had bronchitis so she needed extra care and for a while, I forgot all about chasing my own dreams,” Jyoti recalls.
“I pursued BA in correspondence while working and later took an MBA from Amity in 2003. Then I worked for three years in an MNC, earning Rs 25,000 per month.”
Initially as a new entrepreneur she started with eBay. She selected some items sourced from local market and uploaded them on eBay. As a result Sanskriti Vintage came to existence very first. However in the beginning Jyoti faced a lot of difficulties uploading products to the listing page on eBay. She was getting fewer orders initially but she put every effort from listing optimisation to customer experience generation for good feedback and rating. As a result her listings began appearing on first pages and she was able to obtain more orders.
However for first two months, she did not get a single order. But what kept her going was the feedback she received from people who visited her store. “Some visitors would email me saying that Sanskriti Vintage store is like a museum, which they liked to visit every day to see the new stock.”
“They also gave me suggestions on the pricing and free shipping, to gain high visibility. And that worked,” explains Jyoti Bansal about her humble beginnings.
“Never have I faced losses with any product. The risk taking factor that I learnt from my father proved a blessing to me and the business,” she adds.
She focused on products that were popular with the US customers such as handcrafted sarees in silk, ikat, chikankari, crepe, batik, jaipuri prints and various other types of fabric and variety of embroidery work like luukhnowi chikan, zari, zardozi, and hand embroidered phulkari.
“They appreciate handwork embroidery and are always interested in the history behind a particular fabric or work,” says Jyoti Bansal.
“They want to understand the hardships behind the work. And these products are very popular during Indian festivals when people want to dress up in traditional attires. Most of the clients have written back to me with great appreciation.”
During the first two years she hardly took any break and worked day and night. “I could only work while my daughter was sleeping. There was this one occasion when I had an eye infection and the doctor had clearly said that I should rest.
“But I was so determined to not miss out on work that I finished it,” she recounts the hard work she put in during the initial years.
Her efforts paid off as she achieved sales of Rs 15 lakh in the first year and also got an employee on board.
“I had started from a single room in my house, where I had an almirah to keep an inventory. Within six months I hired a girl to deal with the regular mailing of products as I couldn’t afford to stand in queues as well as look for new products and buy them,” she shares.
Within two years, business flourished and she had to move to the rented factory in Noida from where they are operating now with a staff of 30 people.
“We have in-house photographers, who do regular photo-shoots of products. A dedicated staff ensures that every product is free defect. Quality control and quality check is top priority and it reflects on our eBay store, where we have 99.9% positive reviews,” says Jyoti Bansal.
As business scaled up, it became difficult for her to handle the warehouse as well as the customs issues with the company receiving various notices from different departments.
In 2011,Her husband Anshul joined her as his business wasn’t running well. Anshul took over all the financial issues of Sanskriti India Proprietorship.Since the Anshul joins the business, she could now focus on products. Anshul also implemented his computing skills by creating a software ‘Stomp Market’ which has automated the listings of products.
“Now after the new software installation ,the best-selling product or other similar information required can be accessed with the click of the mouse,” says Jyoti Wadhwa Bansal, who takes care of purchase and deals with the suppliers directly.
Jyoti Bansal, who started by herself and had just one employee in the first year, today heads a team of 30 people.
“I ensure that the quality of sarees and saree borders is export quality and the prices are competitive. I never buy in bulk. That way the products are premium and exclusive and I have never faced losses because of stocking.”
Extending the business:
In 2016 she launched in jewellery segment and started Zaphire, a fashion brand dealing with curated jewellery, which became an instant hit on Amazon. Simultaneously Jyoti also put forward another brand ‘Bridal Mary’ in hand- made trim crafts which are appliques that can be used on products such as designer skirts, hats, and it is primarily a B2B portal where designers were customers.
Jyoti Wadhwa Bansal is the real leading entrepreneur, whose eye for detail and intuition makes her pick the best products. After getting a good recognition and a healthy turnover now she dream to do an exhibition in the US and Europe, where her priority is to reaching out to more people. Although it is a fact that her store is already successful in the international markets but she never deviated from her basics which she has in India. Jyoti Wadhwa is an example of women Entrepreneurial capability and a live Inspiration for millions of housewives and entrepreneurs who want to start in eCommerce or online selling business. Sanskriti Vintage story is inspiring Startup-Story.