Starting a new business? Explore the silks of India as a business idea

by Bisakha on 07/08/2018
In its long chequered history, sericulture has passed through phases of prosperity as well as decline. Patronised all throughout the history of India by kings, nawabs and jagirdars, the once blooming Indian silk trade slipped back and lost its worldwide reputation. However, during the Mughal period (1526-1857), the Indian silk industry started flourishing in West Bengal and Kashmir. After the East India Company took over the industry, the silk trade flourished further.

However, since their withdrawal from the silk trade, unregulated imports of raw silk, outbreak of disease as well as due to the competition of Japan and China in the world silk trade, the exports started diminishing drastically from 1872. Later, the Kashmir silk industry was revived during the British rule and that of Bengal after independence during the 19th and early 20th century.

Thus, over thousands of years, silk has become an inseparable part of Indian tradition and culture. No ritual is believed to be complete without silk apparels such as sarees, dhotis or shawls being used. Today, Indian silk is known for its fine quality, radiant sheen and lustrous traditional colours. The masterly designs of Varanasi, the extravagant crepes, elegant georgettes and luxurious chiffons of Karnataka, the tie and dye craft of Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat and Orissa, the delicate silk of Kashmir, sheer brilliant fabrics of Bandhej, the golden yellow muga fabric of Assam and temple silk of Kancheepuram along with a host of other traditional sarees. They have their own charm. In recent years, the tradition of woven fabrics has mingled with eye-catching prints from major printing centres in Varanasi, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Delhi.

Modern fashion and more casual Indian wear used to be preferred by most young women, who’d save the saree for more formal occasions. But things are now changing as more and more young people are discovering how a saree can be recreated into anything from a dress to loose pantaloons or even a gown. If you’re someone who’s in love with the silks and seeking unique business ideas in India, have you considered tapping the potential of such a growing customer base by starting your business with traditional Indian silks yet?

Since you’re reading this blog, chances are that you’ve already thought about starting a new business dealing in silks, you may have already begun seeking ideas to increase sales. There are so many tips for starting a new business of silk garments out there that choosing which ones to follow can be confusing. So, here are three tips that you might not have heard before:

Absorb everything:

Listen to what friends, family or experts have to say. Start working out the idea in your head.

When you tell people about your new silk business, study their body language. Do they seem to genuinely like the business idea? Or, are they being nice or saying that you are heading in the wrong direction? Ask them their choice of silk. Do they love wearing Mysore silk over Kuchai silk? Encourage listeners to be honest while giving you opinions or suggestions. The response you’ll receive will be a reflection of how your customers are likely to react.

Earn while you build:

If you want to start a small business dealing in silks, don't quit your job — yet. The idea is to transition gradually from being an employee to an entrepreneur. Here’s the reality: As a new business owner, it’ll take you some time to fetch a steady income. By keeping your nine-to-five job and working on the business during off hours will fetch you some money during those first, tough phases. Once you have a steady inflow of cash from your business, you can tackle it full time.

Speak up about your business:

One challenge most silk business owners tend to encounter is that they do not know how to sell. You may feel intimidated to share your business with the world, especially when you’re new.

If you constantly think of how people will look at your business, get over it. If you cannot convince potential consumers to buy from you, it is difficult to make money. You can try maintaining a blog and share your ideas; talk about the interesting ways to drape a saree, teaming jackets with blouses, how trousari is a thing today or how to make the pallu a game changer. Open an Instagram account if you do not have one yet. Post pictures along with descriptions of beautiful Sambalpuri sarees or Kanjeevarams that you’re stocking next or have already stocked.

For starting an online business all you have to do is register now on Amazon’s seller portal and simply enjoy the experience. Yes, Amazon simplifies the process of setting up an online store by providing ready access to support services and existing visitors. So, you’ll not have to build your own website or pay a fixed amount to maintain storefront.

Become an Amazon seller today
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