If there was one dream that Sneha Sirivara had set her heart on since she was a little girl, it was to start a food venture. And she did with Sambar Stories, which makes and sells homemade condiments and masalas.
"A number of my family members lived away from their hometowns. They always complained that they could never find masala and curry powders that reminded them of home. The packaged powders retailed in supermarkets were devoid of the aroma and taste of homemade spice powders," says the 28-year-old.
This, coupled with her love for cooking, saw her dream transpire into Kai Ruchi in 2013, run out of her parents' home in Bengaluru, which supplied traditional spices via an online store.
Kai Ruchi pivoted into Sambar Stories for a wider consumer appeal. Today, Sambar Stories has an exclusive retail outlet in Bengaluru, in addition to having shelf presence in many smaller neighborhood retail shops in the city. The company retails about 700 products a month, with most of the business coming from their own e-commerce site and the retail outlet.
"When WhatsApp Business was launched in India, we began using it instantly," Sneha says. "We observed that shifting to a business account was a good move. It made the conversation more professional and didn’t seem like an intrusion for customers."
"The simplicity of using WhatsApp [Business] for engaging with customers helps us acquire new customers and retain them"
Sneha explains that they capitalized on the WhatsApp Business app mainly to keep customers updated about their order status, send new updates and also receive orders from people who are not comfortable placing orders online.
"The simplicity of using WhatsApp [Business] for engaging with customers helps us acquire new customers and retain them," she says. "We have seen a 5 percent increase in business since using WhatsApp."