The shift to e-commerce and going digital became imperative for all businesses. How did you make the transition for your business?
This was the need of the hour. The pandemic pushed us online. People were also prioritizing convenience—no one wanted to step out of their homes. Earlier, shopping online for a rakhi was unheard of, but in 2020, the situation warranted it. Our products are now being sent to different parts of the country and delivered straight to homes. I don’t know how long this will last but I see it as something progressive. It’s a two-way relationship—we are helping the society and the society is helping us.
How did your customers react to the changes?
They’ve been very supportive and ready for the changes. We had to do some hand-holding but once they understood the process, they were keen to partner with us. The trust factor worked for us as most of them have been our customers for years. We did get some new customers through word of mouth.
The second wave of the pandemic is not over yet. Please share your thoughts/strategies on coping with this and the plans you have for the future.
Right now, for the e-commerce site, we are working on a scheme where we have a different theme every month—it could be the celebration of a color or a festival and highlighting products that go with the theme of the month. We are also trying to amalgamate two kinds of arts together, so we are showcasing Ikkat and Chikankari bags, masks, etc. We are focused on making products that are useful in these times. The aim is to make artifacts that are required as opposed to a product that is always there.
Would you say that mental resilience played a role in helping you through this difficult time? Please share any other tips on how to tackle business struggles during the pandemic.
Resilience is the key to survive and thrive in this time. Think innovative and don’t let yourself down. Push yourself every single day. Do not think that this will not work; be positive and keep moving ahead. Yes, you will make mistakes, but you will learn from those mistakes. If you stop, you will not know how to go ahead and get out of a difficult situation. You have to carry on, and you must. Don’t let the pandemic stop you. I view it as a corridor and you keep walking along till you find your way out.
Adaptability is another trait that you must keep in mind. Change according to the situation—and quickly. You must also be strong to lead others out of this situation.
Remember that a crisis also yields opportunities to grow.