After obtaining an MBA in Tourism, Kiran Thakur worked as a business tour consultant in Delhi where he took care of travel arrangements for business travelers. This was when he started thinking of setting up his own business.
When the time came to choose the business, he looked to the place he came from — the Kullu district of Himachal, a well-known tourist destination and also famous for its handloom products such as Kullu shawls and Himachal caps (topis).
HimalayanKraft was born in 2017 and its product range includes hand-woven handloom products from Himachal, especially from the Kullu district, such as woolen shawls, stoles, mufflers, scarves, socks, Himachal caps, jackets and more.
Their customer base spans across over 20 Indian states and countries such as the U.K., the U.S., Germany, the Netherlands and New Zealand.
"One of our biggest challenges was to interact with, and gain the trust of foreign buyers and Indian B2B buyers. This is where WhatsApp [Business] played a key role. We used video calls to show them products. After I started using WhatsApp, my B2B sales increased. Nearly 80% of our product queries and other deal-related aspects are now handled through WhatsApp."
Other than B2B and international clients, Kiran says he also uses WhatsApp to stay connected with his team, member weavers and customers. "HimalayanKraft uses WhatsApp Business to interact with customers and get details about their preferred size through messages, audio and video calls." He adds that the auto reply feature helps create a great first impression.