Every year, millions of young people in India leave their hometowns in search of education, livelihoods, or better career opportunities in big cities. It is not easy and they often leave a part of them behind. But life can be even harder for those who stay back. They live with the burden of carrying forward their family businesses and family traditions, and end up putting their personal dreams and entrepreneurial ambitions on the backburner.
I was free spirited and not at all keen on spending my entire life inside a shop. I needed to do something more exciting, something bigger
Breaking away from that mould is never easy, made harder because of fewer resources and smaller business networks in small town India. But some do manage to find a way to pursue their own dreams and aspirations. This is the story of one such man, Manish Jain of Ahmedabad, Gujarat. The Jain family traded in electronic retail for generations and Manish too was expected to follow suit. “I was free spirited and not at all keen on spending my entire life inside a shop. I needed to do something more exciting, something bigger,” he says.
How Herbs & Crops was born from a 200sq feet office
All Manish had was a 200 sq ft office and the tenacity to research, dive deep, and bring an idea to life. After much thought and research on the opportunities for small businesses and the gaps that existed in the market, Manish zeroed in on trading natural herbs. Markets around the world were opening up for everything natural and organic and Manish knew that natural herbs had a huge demand in multiple industries including beauty, healthcare, and food. That’s how Herb & Crops Overseas was born in 2013. Six months into the company, Manish received his first export inquiry. He singlehandedly managed the entire order - from packing and documentation to delivery logistics. But after the initial luck, business got slow and things started to get difficult for Manish. It didn’t help that he had little support from his family – they were unable to see the value in his venture. Amidst all of this, Manish’s mother remained his staunchest supporter, ensuring that in the joint family set up, Manish was allowed to fully explore his idea and his personal aspirations. Manish too had faith in the unique proposition of Herbs & Crops and knew his product would do exceedingly well not just in India but also abroad.
Growth all the way
With tremendous faith in his idea, Manish signed up with Amazon in 2016. The first few months saw about 2-3 orders per day, which was already an improvement from pre-Amazon days. But after signing up with the Fulfilled by Amazon (FBA) program, Herbs & Crops’ sales soared, especially on Amazon.com’s Cyber Monday and Black Friday sales periods. Two years since Herbs & Crops partnered with Amazon, the company has had 200% growth in business. Herbs & Crops has also expanded its presence to not only India and the US but also Japan and UK. “I couldn’t be happier that I was able to prove my family wrong and make my mother proud. I have been able to singlehandedly turnaround my business and create an internationally sought after natural herbs brand in the bargain, thanks to Amazon!” Manish concludes.