Imagine you set up your dream business online and just as the business begins to start and grow, a pandemic hits the whole nation. Ajoobaa.in, a crochet kidswear brand, did not let a lockdown impact their business and even empowered several workers during the time.
” Our main goal was to ensure that our employees still had their jobs.” – Ajoobaa team
Founded by husband and wife duo Tarishi Jain and Nivesh Arora, Ajoobaa is a startup selling wool crochet and hand-knitted dresses for kids.
We got in touch with Nivesh and Tarishi to know more about their business and how they persevered during a tough time.
Giving birth to a business idea
Tarishi had the idea to set up her crochet business when she was pregnant with her first child. She took to knitting outfits for her baby and soon, demand began to pour in from neighbours, friends, and family.
Seeing an opportunity, Nivesh and Tarishi left their full-time jobs to set up and grow their business. Tarishi focuses on the production, design and sourcing of the material and Nivesh, a former Amazon employee, takes care of the operations, marketing and finance.
How to keep business going in a pandemic
Ajoobaa sells handmade wool crochet and knitted wear for children up to four years. Based out of Sonipat in Haryana, the business has provided job opportunities for over 250 women in rural areas since 2018.
Reaching out to rural artisans and sourcing wool for crochets was not easy. Fortunately, Tarishi helped the artisans every step of the way. She sent marked patterns and designs to the workers and ensured all designs and samples were checked.
“ We would collect the samples, wash the material to make sure it does not get ruined, and once the quality check is done, we will give the green signal for the frock or dress to be made.” – Nivesh
Post this, the couple upload photos of the products on their website and market it on their social media and network. The couple also hired a head artisan in each cluster around Sonipat to independently manage the other workers.
Setting an example for businesses everywhere
Nivesh and Tarishi did not let a slow economic lockdown and COVID get in the way of their business. Sensing that demand is low, they continued to pay their artisans and give them material to knit and pack orders.
“ It was a classic crisis management plan. We knew demand would come back sooner or later. We just did not want the women working for us to be out of a job.” – Nivesh
Website vs Marketplace – What Ajoobaa wants other small businesses to know
Ajoobaa initially sold their crocheted outfits only via large marketplaces. And before that, they got their orders via Instagram.
View this post on Instagram
“ Before we set up our website, we sold on marketplaces and once the pandemic hit, a lot of these marketplaces shut down delivery and we had to find an alternative.” – Nivesh
Since the lockdown led to slow demand and delayed orders, the Ajoobaa team came up with a different strategy and went about creating a website.
“ We needed to collect payments online for our increasing orders. Instamojo was the first payment gateway we knew of. It’s popularity among our network encouraged us to integrate Instamojo’s payment gateway to our website.” – Nivesh
Ajoobaa prefers selling on their own independent store than selling on a large marketplace. This is simply because while any payment made via Instamojo payment gateway was credited exactly within 3 days to the team; they had to wait for 15 days to receive payments made on the marketplace.
“ We are selling mostly through our website now and want to grow our business there. The payment process on Instamojo has been super easy with no tension on getting the payouts.” – Nivesh
A small business making it big!
The company gets a minimum of 4000 orders in a month! There are over 300 frock designs, 100 different designs of booties, and scarves stocked in their collection centre. The Ajoobaa team is positive that their business will see more orders, and will also empower women artisans in tier 3 towns in India to set up their own businesses one day. This is what Tarishi has to say to aspiring entrepreneurs with a business idea:
“Always keep experimenting and you may never know a small idea can lead to something great. Never lose hope and just keep working hard, everything else will follow,” – Tarishi, for Better India magazine.
We couldn’t agree more! If you have a business idea, do not let anything stop you; even a pandemic! Set up your business online with the Instamojo online store and collect payments quickly with zero hassle. Our online store offers affordable plans, premium themes and features so that your brand stands out.