Typically, the answer to a private downside may encourage you to begin a enterprise. That’s what occurred when sister-duo Jayanti and Shalini Bhattacharya found the advantages of hemp.
The sisters had been looking out for more healthy options for Shalini’s again ache once they stumbled upon hemp, a sustainable plant. At all times striving to stay a zero-waste life, the duo thought, ‘what higher means of making a sustainable world than to advertise a planet-friendly plant?’
Cue – the inception of their hemp-based meals model, ‘India Hemp & Co’.
India Hemp & Co is a Bangalore-based hemp model that strives to supply excessive diet merchandise and construct a neighborhood round it. When the duo got here up with their enterprise thought, they knew that having a web based retailer was a no brainer. However with so many platforms to select from, how do you discover your excellent match?
After an intensive google seek for ‘the perfect platform to purchase a website’, Jayanti discovered Shopify. With its easy-to-learn interface and self-study sources, she constructed the model’s on-line retailer on her personal.
As soon as the shop was arrange, the sisters centered their efforts on branding and advertising their merchandise. This wasn’t simple as paid promoting wasn’t accessible to hemp manufacturers even once they had all of the licences in verify.
Whereas searching for methods to get their model on the map, Jayanti serendipitously stumbled upon a Shark Tank India commercial within the Financial Instances.
With out placing a lot thought into it, she stuffed out the registration type for Shark Tank India. And the remaining, as all Shark Tank viewers know, is historical past.
We talked to Jayanti, one-half of the founding duo of India Hemp & Co, about their Shark Tank India journey and the function Shopify performed in it.
to know extra? Then, learn on.
Additionally learn: Our detailed case research concerning the model’s inception and the way they constructed a neighborhood by elevating consciousness about hemp.
Kicking off the journey and busting myths on Shark Tank India
Followers of Shark Tank, the sister-duo puzzled if it was too early for them to use. They took a leap of religion although they had been conscious of the misconceptions connected to their star ingredient.
Jayanti revealed that the applying course of was exhaustive proper from the beginning. The appliance type itself was 18 to twenty pages lengthy. The model had to offer 3 years of a number of monetary metrics and knowledge factors in the course of the course of, and located Shopify stories and Shopify analytics extraordinarily helpful for fetching the related numbers and conducting evaluation.
After making use of for the present, the model had a number of on-line and face-to-face interviews together with submitting documentation and certifications for verification.
Roughly 66,000 manufacturers utilized for the primary season, out of which solely 198 had been shortlisted, and solely 97 manufacturers’ pitch was telecasted.
“It took a whole lot of grit, exhausting work and luck to have the ability to make it to the televised rounds. Nevertheless it was an expertise of a lifetime”, Jayanti exclaimed.
With restrictions on internet marketing for hemp, the model needed to discover offline advertising ways to succeed in its viewers. The duo knew that taking India Hemp & Co on nationwide TV would do wonders in boosting its attain.
Not solely was this a nationwide platform, however entrepreneurs additionally had the chance to showcase their manufacturers in a primetime slot, which might in any other case price crores of rupees.
Whereas elevating capital was undoubtedly on their minds, one other key motive for showing on Shark Tank India was to bust hemp-related misconceptions and make clear hemp’s well being advantages and supply publicity to India Hemp’s merchandise.
The hardest half for Jayanti whereas getting ready for the pitch was explaining hemp and its advantages given its complexities. And doing that in Hindi was an added problem.
Jayanti shares that her fluency in Hindi was under common, however Shark Tank India requires Hindi pitches because of the tv viewership. Jayanti recognised the language’s nationwide attain and brushed up on her Hindi expertise to clarify hemp’s worth as finest as she might.
The Shark Tank workforce helped her put together a powerful pitch in Hindi inside simply three days.. That’s how invested the workforce was in making certain that the entrepreneurs gave their finest shot in entrance of the sharks.
One other problem for India Hemp & Co was how each assertion of Jayanti’s pitch was scrutinised and verified earlier than it was televised by Shark Tank’s authorized workforce. Hemp has not too long ago been categorised as meals by FSSAI, which signifies that hemp-based merchandise can now be offered conventionally like different meals merchandise.
Certain, hemp manufacturers would enormously profit from this, but it surely takes time for individuals to familiarise themselves with a change. That is why Jayanti needed to submit quite a few paperwork to again up every part she stated about hemp on TV.
Within the tank, the Sharks had endless questions concerning the model and hemp on the whole. Aman Gupta (Co-founder and Chief Advertising and marketing Officer of boAt) even questioned if hemp might be offered in markets. Jayanti outlined the model’s stance, shared hemp’s advantages and cleared hemp-related misconceptions together with her pitch.
Although the opposite Sharks backed out, Namita Thapar (Govt Director of Emcure Prescription drugs) was impressed with India Hemp & Co’s branding.
“Namita Thapar is an unimaginable individual, she actually walks the discuss and was very nicely knowledgeable about all the advantages of hemp. It was an incredible expertise to be to pitch to her”, Jayanti stated.
When requested why she declined Namita’s provide, Jayanti defined how decreasing your valuation on a platform like Shark Tank India would have an effect on related hemp manufacturers too. “With the grandiose televised setting below all these vivid lights, it is extremely simple to succumb and settle for a proposal, however as hemp is a rising business we needed to do proper by it”.
However the founders have a no-shortcut-to-success coverage that displays in all their endeavours. As difficult because it was to show down Namita’s provide, it was obligatory. Jayanti needed to step out twice to seek the advice of her sister Shalini Bhattacharya and IIMB mentor Gopal Rao Addanki on name earlier than declining the provide.
Turning down the provide labored out within the model’s favour. “I’m glad we held our personal because it resulted in a whole lot of real curiosity for the model”. India Hemp has been receiving a whole lot of queries from prospects searching for a wholesome various in addition to from buyers globally after their Shark Tank look.
As a model, India Hemp & Co. desires to develop by constructing a neighborhood that wholeheartedly trusts them and their model. To ascertain that degree of belief, Jayanti believes that ‘each model must have a face’. That’s why the founders have determined to maintain the human contact intact, and actually, they personally observe up with all prospects to work together with them and handle all their issues and doubts.
Wish to get natural visitors and construct a neighborhood on your model? Listed here are some sources that can assist you get began:
The Ripple Impact
Each entrepreneur on Shark Tank India has gone dwelling with one thing invaluable – the expertise and community they construct with buyers and fellow entrepreneurs! The funding provides and publicity helped an excellent deal too.
Jayanti expressed her gratitude to Sony and Shark Tank India workforce for airing the model’s pitch on TV. She recollects how the Shark Tank India workforce instructed being ready for elevated visitors put up the printed.
Fortunately, Shopify’s buyer assist instantly assured her that the model’s website was in fine condition and would simply deal with the surge in visitors. “We’ve all the time had Shopify’s assist”, she claimed.
After the episode aired, India Hemp & Co noticed round a 500% improve in visitors on the web site. And it stayed like that for a complete month! At the moment, it has been averaging round 2x the quantity of visitors it acquired earlier than Shark Tank.
Jayanti shared that loopholes within the buyer journey got here to the floor because of the spike in visitors, however she was in a position to join with Shopify to repair these points.
India Hemp & Co’s shopify web site didn’t face any glitches or downtime. A number of individuals who had constructed on completely different platforms complained of web sites crashing and switched to Shopify primarily based on Jayanti’s suggestion.
On a private entrance, she was shocked on the quantity of people that acknowledged her on the road after the present. “I believe I underestimated how many individuals watch TV. Even now, I come throughout individuals who have that ‘I’ve seen her someplace’ look.”
Nuggets of knowledge for brand new entrepreneurs
We requested Jayanti if she had any recommendation for budding entrepreneurs who want to apply to Shark Tank India. Right here’s a summarised model of her takeaways:
- Take the shot, it might change your life. : “Everybody ought to apply. Don’t hesitate, as a result of you may get there even if you find yourself nonetheless within the ideation stage of your online business!”
- Be open to studying: You’ll meet some wonderful and enterprising individuals who undergo comparable enterprise issues as you. Plus, the Shark Tank workforce guides you thru each step of the method.
- Know your numbers: You’ll be pitching to specialists who’re open to out-of-the-box concepts, however not irrationality. For India Hemp & Co, getting knowledge for his or her valuation was simpler as that they had entry to detailed stories by Shopify analytics.
- Put together for the publicity: So long as your pitch is televised, you’ll be able to count on a rise in your attain. The publicity your model might get with being on a nationwide TV channel can’t be put in numbers. Jayanti even has her personal meme now!
- Don’t compromise in your/your model’s price: Most significantly, be keen about what you do, and by no means cease believing in your model’s true potential. You characterize your workforce and neighborhood alongside together with your model. It’s important to simply accept a proposal that resembles your authentic valuation and advantages all.
In search of extra sources to improve your entrepreneurial expertise? You might discover these fascinating:
Going towards the grain, responsibly
From beginning a hemp-powered kitchen to being a finalist on Shark Tank India and scaling the enterprise by all of it, India Hemp & Co has skilled super progress as a startup.
The model continues to encourage change by creating plant-based dietary merchandise that assist the concept of a more healthy, sustainable world.
Although accessible on virtually 30 marketplaces, the model continues to have a implausible on-line journey with Shopify. Whether or not it was a number of lockdowns or a visitors surge, India Hemp & Co all the time had a secure platform to depend on. “Shopify is that steadfast assist you want when every part else is falling aside,” Jayanti shares.
When you have a singular enterprise thought and are searching for a dependable companion that can assist you set up a web based retailer, look no additional. Shopify offers you with instruments and sources to create your retailer with little to no tech expertise.
Kickstart your on-line enterprise journey with Shopify’s 14-day free trial.