Atreyi Basu is the founder of Myverduracare.com , an online marketplace for concept-oriented sustainable, handmade fashion & baby products. Before turning into a Woman Entrepreneur, Atreyi is a marketing professional who has led and managed high profile marketing and communication projects across diverse industries, working with various renowned brands across the world. In a mission to start something of her own and to empower women like her, she began MyVerduracare.com. Atreyi shares more about her education, experience and business story with WomenpreneursOfIndia – WOI.
Never let others convince you that your idea is not good enough. If your gut is telling you can do it, then just go with it. And, never try to be the biggest brand in the first year of business, as very few can do that. Set manageable and realistic targets and one step at a time towards achieving them!
During my growing years, I travelled across various cities in India and finally settled in Kolkata. I grew up in a nuclear family with my mother, father and younger sister. I used to be a very mischievous, and in some ways, a very inquisitive child. Unlike girls of my age, I was always either playing soccer, cricket, and table tennis or experimenting with my toys. Sports Day was my favourite day in school, as I would bring home plenty of prizes. I was an average student in school. However, I always had a very good memory and went on to be among the top scorers in our college and the entire University, when I graduated with Sociology Honours. I enrolled for my masters in Sociology but at the back of my mind, I was always keen on to pursue business studies. So, I listened to my gut, left my masters in its first semester, wrote my management entrance exams and completed MBA with specialization in Marketing. Beside my MBA degree, I am also a MCIM with Chartered Institute of Marketing, England and a member of American Marketing Association.
My journey in the corporate world started with my management internship at Hindustan Unilever and continued with my successful journeys in Kotak Mahindra Bank, Times of India Group and Motilal Oswal Securities in India. I moved to Qatar in 2010, leaving a very successful career in The Times of India’s Brand Capital division. That was the beginning of a new journey in a completely foreign land without an extended family.
My remarkable assignments in Qatar were with Qatar Railways Company, Commercial Bank of Qatar, Qatar Today media group, P&G, Pepsi, Monoprix and several other luxury, hospitality and media brands. We moved to Bahrain for a year, and there I joined BFC Group there as a Group Marketing Manager overseeing 5 countries in their portfolio. We stayed in Bahrain for a very short period and returned to Qatar and that is when few business ideas started playing in my mind.
I always wanted to do something of my own, work for myself and create value in society through my work. I always dreamed of generating employment and be an entrepreneur with a purpose. Whenever I visited India on vacations to meet my family, my country always amazed me. And, we have brilliant women who have donned the hat of entrepreneurship and are coming with unique products that are of excellent quality and craftsmanship. So, I thought of bringing women power together and thus MyVerduraCare.com was conceived.
‘Verdura’ means green and our primary focus is on sustainable and eco-friendly baby and fashion products. We have tied up with partners whom we are proud to be associated with. Our partners are mostly brands led by women who are making premium quality products with a difference. We only tie up with partners whom we are confident of, share our vision, and strongly stand with us behind each product we showcase.
It took me days of market research, brain storming, sleepless nights and hard work to put the business plan and concept together. I used to do my day job, come home, spend time with my family, and then sit with my laptop researching. It was passion which I wanted to materialize. MyVerduraCare.com is a self-funded start up which I started with my own personal investments. So, every step I took or take has had to be a very well thought out after evaluating in detail the pros and cons. In general, I am a very optimistic and positive person. I always try to look at the optimistic side of life. Positivity not only makes me better but makes the lives of people around me better as well.
We soft launched our online platform towards end of last year catering mainly to Qatar and Middle Eastern markets. This year we are looking into penetrating the Indian market heavily and bring in a bouquet of unique sustainable products on our platform. In the last few months, we have gained a loyal customer base from India, Qatar, Kuwait, UAE, Singapore and UK who keep coming back to us for our products and customer service. We have a tie up with renowned international logistics provider and a well-known domestic logistics provider in India who takes care of our entire logistic system. So, to build up an efficient and effective process from scratch took us months to bring it where it is today.
Our team now comprises of our technical and IT team which handles our website which is one of the most important features of our brand. I can confidently say that we are building one of the most unique and concept-oriented platforms which is a new entrant of its kind in the market. Our team works 24×7 to maintain the website free of technical glitches, highly secured, fast and user friendly. We keep working on new concepts and technologies every day to provide our users a unique and unmatched experience. We have plans for the coming months which we will keep bringing on for the benefit of our partners and customers. Our graphic designers, digital marketing team, our accounting firm and legal beside our other board members put in all their efforts and support to build MyVerduraCare.com.
We strive to make the entire customer experience easy and joyful starting from selecting an item, learning about its quality parameters, placing the order on our website to the delivery and continuing with the after sales service. These days, with a variety of choices, the supply-demand paradigms need to be dynamic. Although we can’t tell our customers what they want, we try to understand their particular preferences, cater to their needs by ensuring the uniqueness and creativity in the products on offer. We internally undertake regular market research to gauge the needs of our target audience so that we are always aware of the current trends. This makes each person who makes a purchase on our platform very special to us. Thus, our two-pronged motto at MyVerduraCare.com is to grow hand-in-hand with our partners and to provide an ultimate retailing experience to customers – only, “because we care”. This is our tagline and we work hard each day to stay true to it.
Each customer who buys from us is very special to us. I personally keep a track of our entire customer database and we make sure that we stay in touch with them. Our first sale from our website on the launch month was made by one of my friends. In the same week, another friend of mine bought our unique and limited-edition diaper bag to gift her expecting friend. Since then, we have many other customers who have loved our platform, products and friendly customer service and above all the whole experience at Myverduracare.com. To culminate this into a long-lasting trustful relationship, we make it a point to reach out to our customers from time to time.
We have recently launched our loyalty program with special benefits and loyalty card with lifelong validity for all our customers. We are approachable 24×7 through our website, chat and social media platforms to address any queries. We strive to make it the best experience for our customers as they are the stakeholders who will help develop our brand and make it stronger. I believe one happy customer who trusts us is much better than having 100 unsatisfied one-time customers.
Entrepreneurship is not an easy job. It sounds very glamorous but, it is probably one of the toughest and most exhausting jobs where your work doesn’t stop with the day. At the beginning, it’s almost 24×7 and round the clock. Being a woman, it is even tougher. You have a family and household chores to take care of, and you have your business. All are equally important to you and form integral parts of your life. So, time management and your ability to multi-task play major roles here.
Any major name which holds a remarkable brand value took time and enormous amount of hard work to get to where it is today. Being a brand and marketing person all my life, I would say we are now in our growing years where I along with my team work hard each day to nourish it, so tomorrow our company can grow into the strong and respectable brand that we and all our partners could be proud of.
A society or country whose women are empowered is a truly advanced society. And, for me – My family has been my biggest support providing me with all the strength to carry on. I feel blessed to have the most amazing men in my family who truly believe in empowering their women. My husband is my biggest strength; he encourages me in every step of my life and stands beside me during my highs and lows. My father is my inspiration; he is a man of ethics and rock-solid moral values. My mother is the most kind-hearted and honest woman. She always tells us to be good, work hard, and have gratitude. My sister, who is my best friend and guide, has always been there whenever I need her through thick and thin. My father-in-law is a wonderful human being and my mother-in-law is a very strong independent woman working for society through various NGOs. I am extremely indebted to all these wonderful people in my life who stand beside me and give me the strength to carry on.
Lastly, I would say – In entrepreneurship, do not expect to be loaded with profits immediately. I am here because it is my passion. Entrepreneurship is a long journey and we must do better and better with each passing day. The most challenging part is to keep developing and be dynamic. You need to keep evolving and act fast in this ever-changing world, where every day your customers are experiencing a new service or product and their needs keep changing. It is a journey which is tenacious, difficult with its own highs and lows. Every failure and success is yours. You should own up to each, study them and work on it. Have confidence and go ahead. Put your thoughts together on what exactly drives you and makes you happy. Prepare your plan, do your research by starting with your inner circle and dive into it. Success doesn’t come overnight. So, be there and hang on. Don’t get flustered by lows and failures as that is part of every entrepreneurial journey.
We need more and more talented and inspiring Indian women to come forward and build an empowered society and empower themselves. I welcome all Indian women entrepreneurs who are into unique and innovative products of high quality to join us at my MyVerduraCare.com as partners and together let’s make this journey an enjoyable and empowering one. You are most welcome to reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org and be a part of our journey. You can also follow us on Instagram, Facebook & Youtube. Finally, I would like to wish the Team of WOI the very best and congratulations for the great work you are doing. -says Atreyi.
Thankyou Atreyi. You are an Inspiring Womenpreneur striving to provide value through your products and services, empowering other women alongside. WOI wishes you all the best for your future endeavours. Keep Inspiring!
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