When Sambavi Subbian moved to the U.S. with her family, her passion for craft coupled with easy access to jewelry tools and materials led her to start Navrabeads.
What started as a hobby soon transformed into a business. When her family had to move back to India in 2014, Sambavi realized that the jewelry tools and accessories sector was fragmented and needed a professional player who could provide quality raw materials, transparent pricing and great customer support.
Today, Navrabeads has become a key marketplace for handmade jewelry, jewelry accessories and tools, with a turnover of Rs 75 lakh.
"We started out in a room in an apartment with a two-member team and an investment of Rs 1 lakh. We had 100+ SKUs and 50 customers in the first month. Today, we are a 10-member team with over 5,000 SKUs and over 18,000 customers. We also opened our first retail store in Chennai in 2018."
WhatsApp has been a key enabler in Navrabeads' growth journey. Sambavi shares, "When we started out in India, most of our business came through Facebook and WhatsApp. Since a fair share of our customers were predominantly U.S.-based, we used WhatsApp as our primary medium for communication and customer support. Over time, this extended to our customers in India as well."
"Features like automated greetings, away message, work location, open/close hours are all extensively used"
Today, about 25 percent of Navrabeads' revenue comes from WhatsApp. Shifting to the WhatsApp Business app made customer interactions easier and more efficient.
"Features like automated greetings, away message, work location, open/close hours are all extensively used," says Sambavi. "Label features like ‘pending payment,' 'order placed,' etc. are used to sort the messages and track them efficiently." The team also extensively leverages the Broadcast feature to communicate with resellers and customers.