Generally, 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 have 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 reside a zero-waste life, the duo thought, ‘what higher method 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 ‘one of the best platform to purchase a site’, Jayanti discovered Shopify. With its easy-to-learn interface and self-study assets, 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 test.
Whereas on the lookout for methods to get their model on the map, Jayanti serendipitously stumbled upon a Shark Tank India commercial within the Financial Occasions.
With out placing a lot thought into it, she crammed out the registration kind 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 position Shopify performed in it.
to know extra? Then, learn on.
Additionally learn: Our detailed case research in regards to 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 questioned if it was too early for them to use. They took a leap of religion although they have been conscious of the misconceptions hooked up to their star ingredient.
Jayanti revealed that the applying course of was exhaustive proper from the beginning. The applying kind itself was 18 to twenty pages lengthy. The model had to supply 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 have been shortlisted, and solely 97 manufacturers’ pitch was telecasted.
“It took numerous grit, laborious work and luck to have the ability to make it to the televised rounds. But it surely was an expertise of a lifetime”, Jayanti exclaimed.
With restrictions on internet marketing for hemp, the model needed to discover offline advertising techniques 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 value crores of rupees.
Whereas elevating capital was undoubtedly on their minds, one other key cause 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 making 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 beneath 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 greatest as she may.
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 greatest 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 just lately 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 tremendously 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 all the pieces she mentioned about hemp on TV.
Within the tank, the Sharks had never-ending questions in regards to the model and hemp normally. Aman Gupta (Co-founder and Chief Advertising 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 along 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 properly knowledgeable about all the advantages of hemp. It was an incredible expertise to be to pitch to her”, Jayanti mentioned.
When requested why she declined Namita’s supply, 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 brilliant lights, it is rather simple to succumb and settle for a suggestion, however as hemp is a rising trade we wished 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 supply, it was needed. 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 supply.
Turning down the supply labored out within the model’s favour. “I’m glad we held our personal because it resulted in numerous real curiosity for the model”. India Hemp has been receiving numerous queries from prospects on the lookout for a wholesome different in addition to from traders globally after their Shark Tank look.
As a model, India Hemp & Co. needs to develop by constructing a neighborhood that wholeheartedly trusts them and their model. To ascertain that stage 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 in reality, they personally comply with up with all prospects to work together with them and handle all their considerations and doubts.
Wish to get natural visitors and construct a neighborhood to your model? Listed below are some assets that will help you get began:
The Ripple Impact
Each entrepreneur on Shark Tank India has gone house with one thing invaluable – the expertise and community they construct with traders and fellow entrepreneurs! The funding gives and publicity helped a fantastic deal too.
Jayanti expressed her gratitude to Sony and Shark Tank India workforce for airing the model’s pitch on TV. She remembers how the Shark Tank India workforce instructed being ready for elevated visitors publish the published.
Fortunately, Shopify’s buyer help 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 help”, she claimed.
After the episode aired, India Hemp & Co noticed round a 500% enhance 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 websites crashing and switched to Shopify based mostly 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 spanking 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 may 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 considerations 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 they’d entry to detailed stories by means of Shopify analytics.
- Put together for the publicity: So long as your pitch is televised, you possibly can anticipate a rise in your attain. The publicity your model may 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 enthusiastic about what you do, and by no means cease believing in your model’s true potential. You symbolize your workforce and neighborhood alongside together with your model. It’s important to simply accept a suggestion that resembles your unique valuation and advantages all.
In search of extra assets to improve your entrepreneurial expertise? Chances are you’ll discover these attention-grabbing:
Going towards the grain, responsibly
From beginning a hemp-powered kitchen to being a finalist on Shark Tank India and scaling the enterprise by means of 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 help the concept of a more healthy, sustainable world.
Although accessible on virtually 30 marketplaces, the model continues to have a improbable 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 help you want when all the pieces else is falling aside,” Jayanti shares.
When you’ve got a novel enterprise thought and are on the lookout for a dependable accomplice that will help you set up a web based retailer, look no additional. Shopify supplies you with instruments and assets to create your retailer with little to no tech expertise.
Kickstart your on-line enterprise journey with Shopify’s 14-day free trial.