National Handloom Day: Celebrating small business marvels triumphing with grit and ingenuity

On National Handloom Day, we celebrate entrepreneurship by focusing on the small businesses helmed by Pritam Dey Chandra, Sadik Hussain, and Captain Indraani Singh. Their journeys, filled with resilience, innovation, and determination, are a source of inspiration to all.

National Handloom Day: Celebrating small business marvels triumphing with grit and ingenuity

Monday August 07, 2023,

6 min Read

In the fast-paced corporate world, the resilience and determination of small business owners can go unnoticed. These individuals embody the true spirit of entrepreneurship, overcoming obstacles and finding innovative solutions to thrive in a competitive landscape.

On National Handloom Day, let us explore the inspiring stories of three extraordinary small business owners who have defied the odds and achieved remarkable success. Flipkart Samarth supports the handloom sector, providing a platform for artisans to showcase their creations nationally, preserving India's heritage. Their journeys, intertwined with the support of the Flipkart Samarth programme, reveal the power of grit and ingenuity in conquering challenges.

From books to handloom sarees: How a young entrepreneur preserved India's heritage through handloom sarees

In the quaint town of Kalyani Nadia, West Bengal, a young dreamer named Pritam Dey Chandra embarked on a journey that would transform his life and the lives of many others. Though financial constraints stood in his way, Pritam's unwavering passion for entrepreneurship endured. "I always wanted to do something to generate more income," he recalled, reminiscing about the early days when he sold books on Flipkart to make ends meet. Little did he know that this humble beginning would lead him to an extraordinary venture that celebrated India's rich heritage.

With every book sold, Chandra's savings grew, and his aspirations soared. His unwavering spirit led him to explore the vast potential of the apparel sector. After extensive research, he discovered a niche market for handloom sarees, where the essence of Bengal's culture and tradition could be beautifully preserved. "I saw an opportunity to showcase the craftsmanship of Bengal through handloom sarees," Chandra shared, his eyes shining with determination.

As demand for his handloom sarees surged on Flipkart, he faced a pivotal choice between continuing his studies or dedicating himself entirely to the business. "It was a tough decision, but my passion for entrepreneurship won me over. I dropped out of college to pursue my dream," he said, recalling the moment he took the leap of faith.

With an initial investment of Rs 3 lakh, Chandra set his dreams in motion, gradually building a network of artisans and suppliers. However, the turning point in his journey came in 2021 when he joined the Flipkart Samarth program. "Samarth doubled my handloom count and enabled me to give work to so many talented artisans," he shared. Today, Pritam's venture has grown exponentially, empowering around 1,500 artisans and achieving nationwide reach. "Flipkart understood my dreams and supported my vision better than anyone else. I am grateful for the opportunity," Pritam concluded.

Defying physical challenges and going online: Sadik Hussain’s journey of triumph

In the bustling city of Jaipur, a small business owner named Sadik Hussain ran Comfort Zone, a mattress manufacturing company. For over 18 years, Hussain had been manufacturing mattresses and selling them through traditional means. He would spend his days traveling from store to store to sell his products. It was a tiring routine, but he had grown accustomed to it over the years. His daily orders averaged around 4-5 pieces, and he carried on, committed to his craft.

What made Hussain's journey even more remarkable was the fact that he was disabled. Despite facing physical challenges, he never let his disability hinder his entrepreneurial spirit. With sheer determination, he overcame obstacles and built a successful business from scratch.

One day, an idea emerged from an unexpected source: Hussain’s son. He suggested a new path for their business - taking it online. This intrigued Hussain. Recognising the potential, he recalls, "It made good sense because then I would not have to travel or climb stairs."

During The Big Billion Days, Hussain happened to meet the Flipkart team. They introduced him to the Flipkart Samarth programme, which supported small indigenous businesses and sellers. Seeing the potential, he wasted no time and completed the necessary formalities to become a Samarth seller.

Selling under the banner of Flipkart Samarth brought a whole new level of visibility to Hussain’s products. His sales improved significantly, and he now sold around 40 pieces every day. What's more, almost 80% of his business came from Flipkart. The online platform opened up a pan-India market, with most orders pouring in from South India. The demand was so high that he had to hire 12-13 staff members to help him with the increased workload.

With the success came new opportunities. Hussain expanded his product range and started selling three-fold mattresses and sofa-cum-beds. The Flipkart Assured programme, which ensured the quality of the products, further boosted the demand and allowed him to sell at a premium.

"I come from a humble family, and now that I'm doing so well, I feel respected in society," Hussain declared proudly. His story serves as a reminder that disabilities do not define a person's capabilities. With the right support and determination, anyone can overcome challenges and achieve success.

Hussain stands as an inspiration, not only to other entrepreneurs but to anyone facing adversity. His journey demonstrates that with unwavering passion and resilience, even the greatest obstacles can be conquered.

Monetising talent and changing lives: Indha Crafts' impact on communities

In a different part of the country, Captain Indraani Singh, a renowned aviator, was making a difference in underserved communities. The first woman in Asia to fly the Airbus A320 and the world’s first woman commander on the wide-bodied Airbus A300, Singh has various feathers in her cap. Alongside her aviation career, she founded Indha Crafts, a social enterprise that provided vocational training and upskilling to women artisans. Singh was passionate about empowering these women and helping them become self-reliant.

To expand their market reach, Singh even presented herself in her captain's uniform to drive home the message of women's empowerment. She believed that India had a vast talent pool of skilled people, but opportunities to showcase their abilities were limited.

With the support of Flipkart Samarth, Indha Crafts found a platform to monetise talent and create sustainable incomes. It marketed products to over 200 million potential customers, tapping into a vast customer base.

"Working with Flipkart, we feel cared for," she said. The support provided by Flipkart in marketing, promotions, and B2B sales played a pivotal role in the success of Indha Crafts. Sales rose while the positive impact on artisans and their communities was immeasurable.

The women of Indha Crafts had written a whole new chapter in their lives, contributing to their household income and supporting healthcare, education, and independence in their communities.

The stories of Chandra, Hussain, and Captain Singh highlight the extraordinary journeys of small business owners who overcame challenges on the back of pure determination and out-of-the-box thinking. The Flipkart Samarth programme played a supportive role in their endeavours, but it was their unwavering belief and willingness to adapt that truly propelled them to success. These tales of resilience and achievement serve as a reminder that with a strong resolve, imagination, and the right support, small businesses can overcome any obstacle and achieve great heights.