Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a system for delivering fresh flowers to your doorstep, like the morning papers or milk packets? This thought struck two sisters, Yeshoda and Rhea Karuturi, and pushed them to explore the market gap in the floral industry.
And soon, in 2019, they introduced a system to deliver fresh traditional flowers to the customer’s doorstep. through its commissioning, HoovuWhat does flower mean in Kannada?
On a mission to put a “modern spin” on the decades-old traditional flower market, the sisters also introduced a subscription delivery model.
This Bangalore-based floral startup, launched with an initial investment of Rs 10 lakh from an angel investor, records a turnover of Rs 8 crore a year.
A modern twist on the traditional market
Growing up in a family that owned a thriving flower business, the sisters were not new to the field. Her father, Ram Karuturi, owns rose farms in Kenya, Ethiopia and India. His farm in Kenya was recognized as the world’s largest rose farm in the 1990s. So the sisters grew up watching the cut flower industry change dramatically over the years.
While they were part of the cut flower industry, they realized that while the market potential for bouquets was huge around the world, flowers filled a very different need in Indian homes.
“In addition to using them for puja (worship), people love to wear them in their hair or hang them in their cars, cars, stores and offices,” says Yeshoda, who has a graduate degree from Washington University in St. Louis.
In addition, he points out: “Although the market for bouquets of flowers is quite organized and flourishing, the traditional puja flowers market she was far behind in her growth. The supply chain is still incredibly fragmented and disorganized, and the waste is enormous. Flowers are supplied through multiple levels of handling after harvest, and by the time they reach the customer, they lose their freshness.”
Therefore, after extensive research on the market, the sisters established a platform that fixed the problem from both the demand and supply sides. The startup partners directly with more than 50 farmers from states like Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu.
“We’ve partnered directly with the farmers as it would cut down on the time, which would bring the response time down to 12-24 hours,” says Rhea, who is a graduate of Stanford University.
Once the flowers are obtained, they are cleaned so that they are free of bacteria and moisture. A quality packaging process follows to keep the flowers fresh for longer, extending their shelf life from two to three days to around 15 days.
From loose flowers to garlands and different greens like tulsi (holy basil) and darbha (half herb), Hoovu offers a wide range of products. In addition to the subscription system, their products are also available on different online platforms like Big Basket, Grofers, Supr Daily, Zomato, Milkbasket, FTH Daily, and Zepto, as well as on their own website.
“We receive more than 150,000 orders per month from cities like Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Chennai, Mysore, Pune, Mumbai, Gurugram and Noida. Last year we presented our agarbattis (incense sticks) and we are happy that even those turned out to be a success,” adds Yeshoda.
If you are interested in starting a business like this, learn all about it from Yeshoda herself. In this videoYeshoda shares his business secrets, the do’s and don’ts of starting a business, and his biggest mantra for becoming a successful entrepreneur. Find more details here.
Edited by Pranita Bhat