Saumitra Kabra started MyBageecha in back in 2015 to cater needs of masses wanting to decorate their interiors with unique products in
lead to starting your MyBageecha ?
It was my father, Shishir Kabra who thought about the idea of myBageecha. He’s an avid gardener himself – he had problems looking for new and innovative things when it came to gardening. There are not enough things coming up online when you search for something related to that in India. This is what sparked the idea to come up with a store. I come from a design background and saw a lot of potential in trying to bring out new products where the urban masses get to actually decorate their home with nature, and not just keep one plant in their balcony.
How much did you do in sales when you started off and what does it look like now?
We did INR 71,612(~$1000) in sales the first month when we started. Last year we did more than INR 2.5 Crore (~$350,000) – suffice to say we’ve been growing nice and steady.
How did you approach marketing & how did you manage to grow, back when you started vs. now?
Digital marketing is still relatively new and I feel there are a lot of opportunities for creativity. For now, we’re focusing on creating beautiful and simple ads for our target audience to understand the essence of our brand. Back when we started, we had a very limited budget in hand to try out new things. As the business has grown over the years, that has changed and we tend to experiment with Ad platforms. I focus and learn from each ad type we run on every platform and keep on learning what kind of ads do best on each of these platforms. For people who’re just starting out – be wary of your Ad spends and constantly be monitoring your returns(ROAS) for every campaign. If not kept in check, it can be a huge drain for your resources which could have been spent on more crucial things.
How much on average do you spend on ads monthly?
On average we spend about INR 2,30,000 (~$3300) on all platforms combined, which adds up to 10% of our monthly sales.
Are your sales in some way proportional to your ad spend? Why/Why not?
They are now. To be honest, we ended up spending a lot of money initially on Ads that didn’t convert into much and gave us low ROAS. It took some time carefully reviewing and studying the results on our campaigns over time before we figured out what works for us – which as I mentioned is to put out creatives that would appeal to your target audience while communicating your brand’s ethos. This helps with bringing repeat customers on your platform and not just one time buyers.
Any problems faced in terms of Marketing/Sales? What’s seems to be causing it/is stopping you from fixing it?
As we sell on an online platform and not by traditional brick-and-mortar means – new customers are fairly averse to the idea of buying plants and gardening essentials online. There’s are some misconceptions/doubts regarding the logistics involved in getting products delivered. In such cases, trust is something that builds over time slowly with word of mouth and reviews. There is no easy way out but to stick it out and be out there for a couple of years. As we deal in perishable goods like plants, gaining trust is the most important measure.
What is something that just works for your business now, something you wish you/everyone knew?
I can’t really lay a hand on it – But bringing creative and innovative products onto your store and offering it to customers is something that has worked for me and will keep doing for the foreseeable future.
What would you have differently if you were to build your store again?
I would have been more proactive and bringing in new products and also looking out for good social media strategies to promote MyBageecha more aggressively. We would have been at a different place today had we moved more quickly during the initial years when we started to grow.
Any advice for fellow entrepreneurs?
Everything takes time to build. There will be very few people reaching profitability and success in a short span of time. If your idea and product is good, you sometimes need to just stick it out and keep at it, no matter how frustrating it might be. Always keep an eye out as to where you can cut costs and be more efficient.