When Their Love for Indigenous was Conceptualized, it Gave Birth to Indophile- In conversation with the Creators
eCommerce is sometimes a lot more than just business. It is more than just a way to make profits by reaching an online audience. Like in the case of Swetanshu Agarwal and Akshay Jain, it is about the responsibility of giving back to society!
The duo run an online store, Indophile, where they exhibit organic cotton T Shirts for their customers. Using organic material not only helps them bring out exceptional quality products, but also helps them support the cotton farming industry in India, which is going through a rough patch. The two month old startup also supports NGOs like YUWA, in a bid to support women empowerment in the lesser developed parts of the nation.
Here we have a chat with the founders and try to understand their motivation behind running the store and their ambitions for the future. Read on to know more about the engineering graduates who are trying to make a difference while running a sustainable business.
Let’s start with a few questions about Indophile.
1. Before we begin, tell us about your brand, Indophile? What products do you sell?
Indophile is an organic cotton apparel brand. We sell organic cotton tee shirts.
2. What’s the story behind you taking the plunge into e-commerce and starting your own online store?
Our idea was to make products that could showcase India. While doing our research, we got to know about organic cotton and its huge advantages to society. So, we started Indophile with a vision to create an organic cotton apparel brand.
Nowadays, eCommerce stores are taking over retail stores; as they are easy to set up and comfortable for the customers. E-commerce gives a liberty to entrepreneurs like us to execute our ideas in reality.
3. What all online marketing channels have you dabbled into since you started, say blog or social media, etc that have helped increase your sales? Which ones have shown you maximum returns?
We are a two month old brand. For now, we are using Facebook and Twitter as our marketing channels. We are also active on other mediums like Pinterest.
4. Apart from your online store, what are some of your other points of sales? Say, exhibitions, retail outlets, etc. Which ones have worked best for you?
We are present on other ecommerce marketplaces such as GreenGood, MaalGaadi, and SnapDeal. We also have our products in a few retail outlets in Pune and Surat.
5. How has the whole experience of setting up your own online store with Zepo been?
We’ve had an amazing experience with Zepo. We really appreciate the team of Zepo for always providing us solutions in a short span of time. We really love the concept of Zepo, and acknowledge that how easy it has made for all entrepreneurs like us to open up an ecommerce store.
6. Can you tell us about 2 features on the Zepo platform that you absolutely love and can’t do without.
1> Ease of operating the store.
2> Awesome service
And 2 features that you think can do with some improvement?
Mobile layouts can be improved.
Now, some questions for you, as an entrepreneur!
1. What were you doing before you started with Indophile?
Like many other entrepreneurs, we did our engineering without having any idea of what to do in life. Then after engineering one of us was working in the IT sector the other was handling his textile business. Lack of creativity in work led us to change our careers.
2. Keeping the same levels of enthusiasm every day is not easy. What keeps you inspired and motivated every day?
As an entrepreneur, everyday you have a unique experience and you learn something new. The whole process and fun of learning keeps us motivated.
We are an organic brand and the responsibility is huge as we know our growth will help farmers switch to organic cotton and reduce farmer suicides in the country.
Also, every morning we remember the vision of Indophile. To reach our vision is our inspiration. We contribute to the NGO YUWA every month from our sales and as we expand we would like to contribute more and link with more NGOs.
3. What are some of the decisions that have worked best for you in your business?
First decision was to go with the organic cotton as that has become our USP and is part of our vision.
Our second decision to not compromise on quality has led to appreciation of our products. Anyone who touches and feels our T Shirts say these are some of the softest TShirts they have ever seen. As the products are organic, the feel of cotton on the skin gives one a relaxing experience.
4. If you could give one piece of advice to other Internet entrepreneurs who are trying to make money with their online store, what would it be?
Everyone has an idea, but few execute it. I believe a good idea is to simply execute an idea. If you have an idea, please start working on it and filter out all negative thoughts. Once you start and stay focussed rest of things automatically keep happening.
If you really want to have things which only few people in the world have, then you should be willing to do things which only few people do.
You can check out their wonderful services on Indophile.in and connect with them on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you Swetanshu and Akshay for your wonderful time and motivating answers. We wish you all the very best!
India is seeing a shift towards indegineous. Do you own any products which are native to our country? Then why deprive anyone of them. Start your online store and sell all across the country and even abroad.Give Zepo a try and start your online store in the next 5 mins.It has never been easier!