Interview Aug, 02 2016

The 30 Billion Spiritual Opportunity

In one of its kind initiatives, Pujashoppe has proved to be an idea that was thought from the other side. Lets hear the story of this innovative brainchild from its inceptor, Amushree Jha, Co Founder, PujaShoppe

By Deepankar Hemnani
The 30 Billion Spiritual Opportunity

Share your entrepreneurial journey and discuss the challenges you faced and how did you overcome these issues?

After the completion of my Masters in Journalism and while pursuing my doctoral studies in English, I worked for a few years in companies like The Telegraph, TOI and Edelman India, a multi-national PR firm. I wanted to start something of my own and gave up my job and started a PR firm with offices based in Delhi and Ranchi, that is fortunately my home town.

I was doing well, but wanted to do something more exciting. While having an unofficial meeting with Dr. Tapas Mallick who happens to be the founder of the venture, the idea of starting a business with complete portfolio of products and services suddenly came up and we both agreed to work on the venture together.

There was some initial resistance from my family as I was giving up a decent job to start a venture without any prior experience. Socially there were no issues as today there are a lot of examples of women entrepreneurs who are really doing well even in India. With my kind of educational background, everyone knew that I could go back to working for a company if the venture failed. Fortunately that did not happen.

Share the USP of your business. What are the factors that pull you back while expanding your business?

We started by adopting a hybrid model - a combination of e-Commerce supported by offline stores.We have been pioneers in offering superior quality puja kits, divine gifts and priest and other allied religious services under a single platform. We found an opportunity in the rapidly growing spiritual market for Indian communities comprising of a large population of Hindus, Sikhs, Jains which is estimated to be around US$30 billion annually and almost the entire market is being catered by unorganised and firms. We are presently having more than twelve offline stores located at Delhi, Gurgaon, Noida, Ranchi, Bilaspur and Bangalore. We have plans to open offline stores in all major towns and cities in the country.

Share the potential this industry has in the near future?

The spiritual industry undoubtedly has huge untapped potential. Rapidly growing spiritual market for Indian communities comprising of a large population of Hindus, Sikhs, Jains is estimated to be around US$30 billion which translates to a whopping Rs. 1,95,000 Crore of annually and almost the entire market is being catered by unorganised and small firms.

One Stop Solutions

  • Company would provide one stop solutions to its customers for all spirituals / puja needs which would facilitate easy and hassle free rituals
  • Authentic Products

  • Superior and authentic product quality
  • Exquisitely designed product and services
  • Divine gifts and customized corporate gifts
  • Local Presence
  • Company aims at opening its distribution points/sales outlets in all major cities and towns which would enhance customer confidence
  • 4 Hour Delivery
  • Company aims to achieve a delivery time of maximum 4 hour in every cities/ towns it has physical presence
  • Please elaborate about your franchising model? What do you offer to a potential female who wishes to follow your footsteps and become your franchisee?BASIC TERMS FRANCHISE:

    The franchise program has been developed with the following objectives:

    a)Brand creation and quick expansion

    b)Experimentation with a capital light model for expansion in brick and mortar segment.

    c)Use these outlets as local distribution points for online sales

    d)Obtain primary data to have better insight of the market and consumer behaviour as the business as there is hardly any authentic market data available.

    Currently we are following the following basic models:

    • 1.FOCO: Franchise owned/ company operated
    • 2.FOFO: Franchise owned and Franchise operated.
    • 3.COFO: Company owned and Franchise operated.

    Our aim is to have more and more FOFO model of franchises wherein we have no initial set up costs or fixed running costs. However being a nascent brand with limited marketing initiatives taken so far (due to fund constraints), we are being a little flexible in handling franchise enquiries.

    Company looks for passionate and enthusiastic entrepreneurs to join hands with following basic criteria:

    Location: Store space at prominent location such as malls or high street stores registering high footfall.

    Capital: Entrepreneurs with adequate financial bandwidth to start and sustain the business for a while.

    Ability: Ability to look after the day to day functioning of the business with great networking skills.

    Experience: Should have hands on experience on running and managing the retail business.

    Share a message for all of the aspiring mothers who wish to become an entrepreneur and how franchising can help in acting as a growth booster?

    My advice to all perspective women entrepreneurs is that plan as much as you can well in advance and think ten times before taking the plunge. However, if you do decide to take the plunge, never look back and do whatever it takes ethically to remain afloat and prosper. If you have this die hard attitude success will just be a bi product. And if you want to grow rapidly there is nothing better than franchising out. India is the land of opportunity if you learn how to ride the wave.

    Franchise facts:

    • Monthly Revenue Projection : 2.5 Lakh
    • RoI: 70%
    • Investment: 10 Lakh
    • Existing outlets (company-owned & franchise): 16(8 Company owned and 8 franchised)
    • Area: 100 -200 SFT
    • Breakeven: 2 years
    • Target cities: All Tier 1 and Tier2 cities of India
    • Preferred location: Upscale market place and Malls
    • Year of starting franchise operations: 2015
    • Year of inception: 2015

    Related: Teachers are our biggest assets: Jeanie N Aibara

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