From acing ecommerce this festive season to scaling up a brand from Gwalior: top stories of the week

This week, SMBStory spoke to Sandip Chhettri on how is connecting distributors with companies and the platform’s impact amidst the pandemic.

The festive season is just around the corner, and shopping sprees have begun across India. 


India’s diverse culture and traditions make this time of the year the busiest for every entrepreneur. The season presents many opportunities for businesses to meet the vast customer demand, increase sales and scale up the enterprise.


In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, almost every business shifted to selling online, and shoppers turned to apps, websites, and social media. The online space is now crowded, with resellers and retailers fighting to grab a piece of the ecommerce pie this festive season. 


SMBStory spoke to industry experts who listed a few important tips and tricks for small sellers to ace this festive season and boost their sales: 

  • Focus on product customisation
  • Roll out festive deals and discounts as offers
  • Make packaging attractive
  • Focus on smooth deliveries and customer experience
  • Up your marketing game to stand out.

Read the full story here.


Until 2010, Nitin Pamnani was an award-winning documentary filmmaker. A few years later, he, along with his wife Jia Pamnani, decided to leave Mumbai and settle in his hometown, Gwalior.


Around the same time, the duo noticed ecommerce picking up steam. They also had several acquaintances who were dealing in handicraft and handmade products, which compelled them to explore a business opportunity in this segment. 

Investing Rs 30 lakh from their savings, they started working on a platform that would sell artisanal products, such as home decor items, printed suit materials, bags, dupattas, neckpieces, cushion covers, and more. In 2012, their project called iTokri finally went live.


With limited resources in hand, Nitin and Jia opened an office and a warehouse facility in their home to launch the business. They initially relied on local delivery mechanisms and partnered with Blue Dart in 2015.


With the number of freight companies on the rise and logistics infrastructure expanding in and around the city, iTokri not just started delivering pan-India but also exported to the US, the UK, Middle East, and Europe.


Today, iTokri, which started with 20 employees, has grown to become a team of more than 200 members.

Read the full story here. 

Other top stories of the week:

The COVID-19-led successive lockdowns imposed across the nation accelerated the pace of digital adoption in almost every sector of the business ecosystem. For small and medium businesses (SMBs), this pivot was crucial. 

As most of the micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) of India and small businesses were running traditionally, the shift to digital operations was quite a challenge. 

A strong distribution network is important for any company that wants to widen its reach. However, companies faced pain points in distributions when it came to quality manpower, channel partners, and consistent service amidst COVID-19. 

On the other hand, distributors, who were searching for new projects, struggled to crack a deal. This is where New Delhi-based B2B marketplace TradeIndia’s platform comes into the picture. 

The virtual platform helps companies expand reach by appointing distributors pan-India, enabling companies who want to be a distributor to connect easily with the brand.

In an interaction with SMBStory, Sandip Chhettri, CEO of TradeIndia, unpacks, how it connects distributors with companies, and the platform’s impact amid the pandemic. 

Read the full story here.

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Edited by Suman Singh