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A Blooming Story from Bengal

The story of two young entrepreneurs who, when the world had shut down, chose to defy odds and start a business.



Features

Nikeeta Shah and Priya Choudhury(right).

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Bengaluru: The months-long nation-wide lockdown owing to the global pandemic severely affected the lives of people across the country, what with millions losing their livelihood. Businesses suffered, many migrant workers lost their lives and multitudes did not know where their next meal would come from. The situation was so grim that it looked as though all hope was lost. However, even as the humanitarian crisis was mounting, some found a ray of hope, experimented and stood out as shining examples of grit and determination.

Nikeeta Shah (22), an event-management student from a college in Mumbai, and Priya Choudhury (23), a law student from Jalpaiguri, started a unique business of plants and called their enterprise Bloomey’s with just Rs. 500 in their pockets. Nikeeta says, “lockdown gave us an opportunity to think of a new business concept. If we hadn’t stayed at home for so long, we wouldn’t have got so much time to come up with this idea.” They claim that plants are friends of people and when we gift a plant to someone, we gift a future. When they planned this business, they did not have any backup, but their idea was appreciated by the public and they started getting orders. They were confident that their plants would see them through. It was challenging in the initial days to get to the dealers as it was the lockdown time and it was difficult to get saplings and planters.

They like to keep their stock of plants decorated

Nikeeta and Priya working together

They first introduced varieties such as spiders, snake, bonsai, and succulent plants in their online venture as these plants had a long life and minimum maintenance. They soon discovered that the low-maintenance plants were in high demand in the market. Bonsai was in big public demand and sold out the most. The positive feedback from the people helped them improve their turnover from the initial Rs 500 to a considerable Rs 50,000.

When they started the business, they expected their customers to be from within the town and had not even figured out how they would courier plants if they ever got orders from outside. It was a big surprise to them when they got orders from Jodhpur, Bangalore, Mumbai, and Visakhapatnam within a month of their start-up. Priya says, “it is overwhelming not only to get a good response but also to receive great ideas for our business.” They plan to bring in new varieties of plants and flowers such as peace lily and hydrangea. The two young entrepreneurs urge the people to gift themselves a plant, which will serve as a companion and will help them especially to overcome stress.


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