Netai's association with Amazon has been longer than just his experience of selling on Amazon's India platform.
As a young boy, Netai had always dreamt of becoming a doctor. But, due to financial difficulties he had to forgo his dreams and take to the street to find methods of earning a livelihood. After having struggled a lot and for many years, Netai set up a grocery store near his residence in Dakhineswar.
The grocery store was doing really well untill he started to realise more such stores were coming up and there was tough competion. Netai being an emotional and jovial shop keeper amidst the crude business minded shop onwers had to slowly close down his grocery store. He went out to look for an alternate job option and found something almost 30 kilometers away from Dakhineswar. The role was of an Internet Cafe maintainence person and Netai grabbed on to the oppurtunity. He was always inclined to learn about the computers.
As he continued with his job at the internet cafe he self taught himelf various softwares like PHP, Visual Basic etc. He learnt how to make website designs and started selling them at really nominal cost to international clients. The good days were back and Netai's life was changed. He was a quick learner and self taught himself all the latest softwares to keep up with the trend until his Paypal account was deactivated. Due to a small misunderstanding and delayed response from Netai, Paypal didn't just hold on to his pending payment but also never allowed him to set up a new account.
Life seemed to go back to square one. He now had a family of his, a little boy who needed to be sent to an english medium school. As he felt helpless he also developed a knee pain. The doctors recommended him to set up a terrace garden so he keeps climbing the stairs up the terrace that will help with some knee excerise and likely cure the knee issue. As he set up his garden, he thought to himself that he can try selling seeds. He didn't have a shop anymore and the past experience wasn't great either. So he decided to sell online, on Amazon.
At first he started with one but slowly realised the potential of an online business and started listing live plants. He is now a well established businessman and he credits Amazon's existence in india for all his achievments.
'Since childhood, I had always wanted to become a doctor. But, after high school due to some financial problems I couldn’t complete my studies. So, from that time onwards I started to try to earn money in many ways. I mean, a desk job was never my cup of tea.
I earned in many ways, sold rexine on the footapath, some I sold newspapers. Did a lot of small jobs here and there.
In 1992, I started a grocery shop and it was doing quite well. When I started my shop in 1992 is also when I met my wife for the first time. Then a time came when I couldn’t run the grocery shop anymore. I almost had to shut the grocery shop down, and then I went on to find new jobs.
There was a time when I didn’t know how to run my family and household anymore.
Then I developed certain problems, certain knee problems. The doctors advised me to take up gardening, to have enough body movements. Doctors told me that gardening could help fix my knee problems.
To have my knee problems solved, I started buying seeds and started gardening. One day, I had this thought that I could also sell these seeds. I tried once and it was sold. Then another, then again another. By doing this, now I am a full time plant seller. Amazon gave me full support and helped me in listing my items, adding photos, putting keywords and everything was done by the staff of Amazon.
Today I am selling various kinds of seeds and live plants. Then came the pots, various kinds of pots. I hired a good number of staff. Today, at the age of 50 I am an established business man.
Age is not a factor, your financial position is not a factor, if you have five rupees as I started, then you can also do anything. But, you have to take action. If you don’t take action, nobody can reach anywhere.’’
Netai Roy: Indian Gardening