‘Saral’ Helping Women Elevating Their Businesses
Saral -- A platform that enables homepreneurs to sell their produce in local markets, is empowering women by building their businesses. The company started its business in Raipur and Nagpur markets and now stepping up to expand it in five additional cities. Through this, they have successfully onboarded over 50 vendors in Raipur and Nagpur, with an MRR of INR 4 Lakhs.
Sharing their story of the business journey, co-founders of the company spoke with Opportunity India.
When Did You Start This Business And How Did The Very Idea Come Up?
Kamal Anandani: One-stop B2B platform for women homepreneurs to have easy access to the local market, along with packaging and delivery assistance. We started these offerings from Aug'21 in Nagpur (Maharashtra) Later, we expanded to Raipur (C.G) in Feb'22 followed by Bhilai (C.G) in Aug'22 and Indore (M.P) in Oct'22. Upcoming Cities are Bhopal (M.P) and Vasai/Virar (Maharashtra). Currently, we deal in FMCG products only and have more than 25 staff and growing. Saral as a brand is part of the legal entity Fiducia Labs Private Limited which was incorporated in Jan '18. Saral, as the very name, means being "Easy". We observed around and found that women in urban areas have tremendous opportunities to thrive and succeed in life but rural women are still struggling to find those opportunities to sustain themselves and their families. The initiatives run by the government are well established in every nook and corner but are not sufficient enough to reach every woman and support her vision and ideas. This is how we planned and emerged this idea to empower women and their business ideas with our team of experts.
How Do You Support Businesswomen In The Industry?
Amitesh Sahu: We reach out to women in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities like Raipur, Nagpur and Indore. We communicate our messaging through radio channels or print publications about the initiative. Then, these women contact us with their business plans and ideas and then we provide them with viable solutions to help them market their products and help them earn profits with ease of doing business without getting into the complexities of paperwork.
How Does This Business Model Work?
Amitesh Sahu: The Saral model is absolutely simple and adaptive according to the markets. It is divided into six basic steps:
Step 1: Onboarding the Local vendor (women entrepreneur)
Step 2: Onboarding of Shop Outlet
Step 3: Sales network is formed connecting local vendors to shop outlets
Step 4: B2B order is placed by shop outlets to local vendors
Step 5: Saral Picks up the orders
Step 6: Saral delivers the order with proper packaging
Saral participates actively in the entire process to ensure value is being delivered to all the key players and a smooth flow of the same. From planning to execution, Saral is there to support end-to-end to run the business smoothly.
What Type Of Services Your Company Is Providing To Entrepreneurs?
Kamal Anandani: Saral is helping and encouraging home-run businesses. Women doing home-run businesses have noticed an increase in sales. Saral is trying to build a community where all homepreneurs can reach more and more customers. The main motive is to empower women by helping them run smooth businesses and helping them market their products.
What Is The Lesson Learnt So Far In This Journey?
Kamal Anandani: The lessons learned so far are understanding their challenges and situations, and boosting them to run the business.
On-Boarding Women Entrepreneurs: Women are sceptical initially due to a lack of education and understanding of business and hence, they resist taking any initiative but we at Saral aim to bring change and help support women in their business journey.
Women Lacking Knowledge Of Business And Financial Education: The lives of rural women are already quite challenging and they get little to no help from any source. Hence, being a mediator empowers them and helps them tackle all business-related issues. As we educate them about their business and potential as well as regarding their profit earning aspect too.
Being Considerate Of Their Situation: Since these women are full-time homemakers and part-time business owners or contributing somehow to businesses to provide for their families and livelihood. Any unforeseen circumstances might occur and hence we are always prepared to help them with possible solutions so that neither the business is hampered nor the vendors.
Make Them Digitally Sound: We live in an era where digital presence matters a lot. Hence, we educate these women to use their smartphones and computers with basic level skills to help them understand the market and business better and help them grow and be ready for the upcoming future.
Help Them Build A Network: These women even after mastering and tackling all the above-mentioned challenges face the biggest challenge of networking. Networking is of utmost importance while running a business to expand in the market and know about the business market in general. It will also help to better understand the demand-supply chain, and association with partners and collaborators to boost the business in the longer run.
Are You Planning To Foray Into The Retail Business Or Come Up With Your Own E-Commerce Marketplace?
Amitesh Sahu: Saral is an offline first brand, and company wants to build a solid presence before exploring more avenues. We are planning on expanding to different parts of India. We are ready to expand in Tier2 and Tier3 cities in the coming months and hence expanding the vendors and helping women across Saral’s journey.
Saral brings an ecosystem where homepreneurs can get assistance for selling their products nearby in the local markets. It is helping encourage home-run businesses. As in the past years, women leading home businesses have seen the great potential and an increase in sales. Saral is trying to build a community where all homepreneurs can reach more and more customers. They provide support with logistics management, immediate payment, branding, and packaging assistance. It has clocked over GMV of INR 26 Lakhs, fulfilling over 8,600 deliveries to date.