When her mother-in-law passed away, Shanmuga Priya P. – “Priya” to her friends – had to leave her job to come home and take care of her family. Looking for a way to earn extra income, she bought a bag of sarees and began selling her stock on WhatsApp groups with family and friends in 2014.
Priya’s sarees sold quickly, and she noticed that many of her buyers wanted to resell them. It seemed fitting. Her late mother-in-law used to buy sarees and sell them in nearby villages too. This became the catalyst for her business, Unique Threads Sarees, which today, designs, produces and sells over USD 400,000 worth of sarees and textiles to more than 2,500 resellers based locally and as far as the United States and Australia.
Describing her business' dramatic growth, Priya says, “We went from a bag of sarees to a business.” Unique Threads Sarees can be run from Priya's home because all their business transactions happen over WhatsApp. In 2018, Priya transitioned all of her business operations from her personal account to the WhatsApp Business app.
To ensure constant customer engagement and manage the huge volume of inquiries, Unique Threads Sarees uses the WhatsApp Business app’s quick replies and automated messages features with all of her resellers. Priya also employs the labels feature to group and identify the status of each order.
Priya's customers love interacting with her on WhatsApp.
K. Saraswathy Janane receives Priya's product updates everyday. “They post their products and I post the same to my customers. If my customers place an order, I’ll connect with Unique Threads Sarees through WhatsApp.”
N. Sakthi Dhevi, another customer, swears by the service. “I can inquire about — and confirm — orders via WhatsApp. It’s very useful and I can use it efficiently,” she says.
With a reliable tool in the WhatsApp Business app, Priya's successful home business has created opportunities for others with an entrepreneurial spirit. Becoming an entrepreneur is now a very real — and lucrative — possibility for them.