How Ashish became his own boss: He who thinks he can
Mired in penury and unfortunate circumstances, with no option left to make the ends meet, Delhi’s Ashish Kukreja took the decision of taking up a job as a computer operator at the tender age of 17 in Karol Bagh. In 2005, when his father’s business shut down he decided to take up this job on a meagre salary of Rs.2000 per month, not only to help his family but also to pay his fees for an NIIT course.
In a span of 5 years, he changed 7-8 jobs but could only reach a salary of Rs.14000 per month. It was during his employment at his last job that he began thinking about doing something of his own. He realised that he has already reached a position from where the next level seemed way too difficult.
Previously, while working for an IT firm in Delhi, he thought of trying his luck in online selling because e-commerce sector was booming at that time. With a meagre amount of Rs.10000, he purchased 10-12 designs of sweatshirts and listed them on various e-commerce platforms. After a few months when he realised that the category of sweatshirts is seasonal, he got in touch with few of his friends who used to manufacture shoes. The shoes’ category left an indelible mark on his mind because it wasn’t a seasonal product and he could easily source it from his friends.
‘When you start a business, not only you need money but also full support of your family to be able to take that risk’, says a shy Ashish whose then-girlfriend (now wife) lent him about a lakh to start his online business on Amazon. With his sister and mother helping him pack and dispatch orders, Ashish started selling from home under the brand name of ‘Kraasa’, meaning ‘happy’ in Russian. After crossing a century of orders from home, his trust in Amazon strengthened and he rented a place in Dilshad Garden to expand his operations.
From doing everything on his own to hiring a staff of more than four dozen, he has come a long way. He has mentored 15 sellers who are now selling ‘Kraasa’ products on Amazon and are collectively employing more than 250 people. “Being able to generate employment is a blessing and I’m grateful to Amazon that it is helping me do so in a scenario where jobs are unpredictable and many are well-educated but unemployed.”
Seeing his beaming face and composed demeanour, you would never guess that Ashish is now doing a business of over 1.3 crore per month on Amazon. He proudly says that his sister is the one who has helped him reach him where he is today. He goes on to say that as a lower middle-class family, we had never thought of owning a house, or a car. “After starting an online business with Amazon, I now own a house, a car, a warehouse in Delhi and ‘Kraasa’ will soon start its operations from Bengaluru.”
Ashish Kukreja: Kraasa