A year ago, when 28-year-old Soma Chatterjee Maiti started using mobile messaging app WhatsApp, she did not know that one day the platform would economically empower her.
Living in a small town, Maiti is a school teacher and sells suits and sarees via her WhatsApp group during her spare time. She informed her friends about the idea and they helped her get more customers.
“The group currently comprises 30 people belonging to different cities like Delhi, Bangalore and in West Bengal. Moreover, it’s been just six months since I started this business. Every now and then, my friends introduce me to new members to whom my products can be sold.”.
Creating a group is not where her job ends. Maiti has to make sure that the group remains active, for which she keeps on following up, like asking the members if the package was delivered properly. Besides, she keeps on posting the pictures of her products in the group, so that the sales do not slow down.
“Whatever material I have, I click its pictures and post it. If a person likes a product, she directly contacts me over phone and the deal is taken further,” Maiti added.
WhatsApp is a social community tool and these days it is becoming an opportunity for homemakers to earn as well as stand on their feet, while not restricting themselves to just being “homemakers”.
Just like Maiti, 30-year-old Pooja Srivastava, who lives in Ghaziabad, has also created a group on WhatsApp called “Bend the Trend”. The name suggests breaking the general trend of shopping in the malls or via online portals, through a daily-use app, making the process easier.
“With about four years of using WhatsApp, I thought of starting my own business this year. I was aware that this app is quite popular and has every feature I needed to kick-start my business,” Srivastava said.
There are 76 members in the group who hail from various metros of India, along with some belonging to countries like Canada, Singapore and the US. Her group also exists on Facebook which helps her get customers from abroad.