Bhubaneswar: If you are living in Odisha capital or on its outskirts then getting your desired flowers for pujas and other festive occasions must have been one of your early morning tensions. Don’t worry as it now can be sorted with just a phone call or at the click of a mouse!
Nrusingha Charan Barik, an MBA graduate, left his high-paying corporate job to make the process hassle-free for city denizens with his online start-up, ‘Morning Flower’. This idea hit him when he saw people spending sleepless nights worrying about the daily supply of flowers.
He rang in the New Year with this venture of his and has so far earned 250 clients in the city and response till date has been very good, he informed.
He supplies rajnigandha, tagar, aparajita, jasmine, mandara (hibiscus), malli, kaniara (yellow oleander), arakh, basil and belpatra and make sure that these reach people between 5 am and 8 am.
For home deliveries and packaging, he has hired about 23 people. “There are 15 boys employed for delivery while the other three pack flowers,” Nrusingh said.
One can get a packet of around 20-25 flowers supplied every day for a month by paying Rs 300 without any delivery charges, he said.
Explaining in detail about what prompted him to take the plunge, Nrusingh said: “When in Hyderabad and Bengaluru, I had witnessed my neighbours face problems while arranging flowers of morning puja and how, many such start-ups cashed in on this, filling the gap. I thought of replicating the same in my own city (Bhubaneswar) as the story here was no different.”
Like any other business, running online, flower delivery service comes with its own set of risks and the biggest among them are convincing people that it is genuine and getting flowers abundantly from local farmers.
“Since floriculture is not being taken up in a big way in Odisha, we order fresh flowers from Kolkata and Bengaluru, where the rate varies from time to time,” said Nrusingh, adding logistics is a major headache for them as there is always a risk of damage in transportation.
Following the good response to the venture in a few days, which he expects to grow in future, the young entrepreneur is planning to provide finance to some local farmers who are willing to take up flower cultivation seriously.
“We have already identified some farmers and talks are on to convince them taking up flower production commercially with the assurance that we would procure flowers from them throughout the year,” he said, adding this will bring down the procurement cost and the flowers too would be fresh.
When asked whether he has any plans of delivering flowers for birthday parties, marriages and other such special occasions, Nrusingh replied in negative.
“Our main focus is on providing flowers only for morning pujas and capturing the entire Bhubaneswar market as there is a huge demand in this segment,” he said.
The 12-member company is betting big on digital marketing for its promotion and Twitter, Facebook and other social media platforms are proving immensely helpful for the new venture.
“Now everybody has mobile phone with internet connection and almost all are active on different social media platforms. Therefore, we are trying to reach out to more and more people using this marketing tool,” Nrusingh signed off.