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Thursday, November 22, 2018

This Woman Entrepreneur is Earning Millions Selling on WhatsApp

Shanmuga Priya
Online selling through social media has recently become a popular form of business. Shanmuga Priya, an entrepreneur from India, has become very successful using this technique. She began selling sarees (Indian female garments) in 2014 through the messaging app WhatsApp. Since then, she has earned millions of Indian rupees and has helped thousands of resellers too!
Headquartered in Chennai, India, the sarees Priya sells, which are called Unique Threads, are always a big hit. Every day, Priya sells about 50 to 80 sarees and it even soars to over 100 pieces during festivals like Diwali wherein she earns approximately Rs 22 lakh each month. During the off-season, sales vary from Rs 12 to 15 lakh.

Overall, she has a 7 to 10 percent profit margin. In fact, in the last two years, her revenue amounts to Rs 2.4 crore which is equivalent to over $336,000. Her products reach not only India, but also countries like Australia, UK, and the US through her more than 2,000 resellers.

In 2014, Priya's mother-in-law, who used to sell sarees door-to-door, passed away leaving her with her three-month-old son to take care. She had to quit her job and look for another source of extra income. She thought of selling sarees to her family and friends through their WhatsApp group where she was able to sell 20 sarees only.

"Initially, the response wasn't positive. Even when I would visit my mother I'd carry the bags of sarees along with my baby. People would ask me why I was doing it. But once things took off, people's perception changed. Now they come to me seeking help to get their business started," she told in an interview with YourStory.

Through word-of-mouth marketing, more and more women started buying sarees from her while she gradually built a company of woman resellers. She now manages almost 11 WhatsApp groups and some from Telegram. She also has a team with 8 members who manage a Facebook group where they also accept orders from.

Due to the high demand, the first floor of her house was converted into a godown, or warehouse, where they keep stocks that buyers can check personally. They don't usually sell to individuals, except neighbors and friends. Every day, bulk packages are dispatched at six in the evening via different logistics/courier companies.

Though the competition in the market is stiff, she managed to still be at the top because of her products' top quality. She has two weavers who weave her exclusive designs. She said, "I have learned in the past few years what sells and what colours are in. Based on that I get some of these sarees manufactured. My focus is always on quality and colours."

Moreover, customers keep coming back to her because she offers a flexible product return policy and financial support to resellers. "Sometimes they are not able to pay till they get the money from the customer so I give them that flexibility and that helps me kill the competition because people come back to me and appreciate the gesture," she said.

She also takes pride in the team she has built. "People who started working with me four years ago are still with me. I am glad that I am able to support other women," she said. "I am happy because the business can run without me being around."

For more information about Unique Threads, visit

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