They also highlighted the other critical factors that have transformed their online business.
Edited excerpts from the interview:
Tell us about how did you started your businesses.
I always used to have a flair for designs and drawings. I realised that I could convert this skill into a profitable business proposition by creating personally-designed jewellery for women all over the world.
Belief in your dreams and trust and support from your partner is all that you need to turn your passion into a business. I was lucky to get both these things.
We set up our first online store, Khanna Jewels, on eBay in July 2003, adopting the global online payment solution, PayPal, to take their business to the world.
What value does online business offer to a women entrepreneur like you?
According to me, running an online business is the perfect solution for the modern Indian woman, who often finds it a challenge to juggle her family responsibilities and work. With an online business, I can work from home and spend more time with my family.
In my case, working together with my husband has made us better partners in life. Spending more time together at work has its ups and downs, but it has made us both more mature at handling work and life as a whole.
What is the key driving force for your business?
In our business, ensuring product availability at the right time and at the right place is the most decisive factor. Secondly, the affordability factor, clubbed with quality, also drives customers to buy from us. Our diamonds and jewellery pieces are high-quality, but affordable. We have found a number of fair-priced courier companies that offer logistical support to us. Best of all, eBay and PayPal have enabled us to set up a business online, which means we have the opportunity of working together and spending more time at home too with our family. These have been some key differentiators for our business.
You have also worked with the conventional offline model in the earlier days of the business. What differences do you note between that and the online model that you use now?
Before taking our business into the online domain, we used to sell our jewellery in the traditional fashion. We used to send samples to interested customers, then try to convince them to buy the products, then wait for their buying decisions to get finalized, and then receive payments for goods. This entire process has many ‘conditions’, and often resulted in delayed payments.
When we were operating offline, we had problems with attracting potential buyers, travelling expenses, debt notes and, most importantly, with time getting wasted in trying to convince non-potential buyers. This has been minimised with the use of the online business model.
Moreover, integrating with PayPal has helped us bring more customers to our online stores. The sale conversion ratio with PayPal users is as high as 99%. Once we established the online store and integrated PayPal, we never faced the problem of delayed payments again.
What is the transaction demography for your business?
This global reach of our online platform has helped us in expanding our business across markets in the US, UK, Canada, Australia and Singapore. 98% of the transactions made by overseas buyers are through PayPal, since PayPal has over 117 million active accounts in 190 markets worldwide and supports payments in up to 25 currencies.
How has your entrepreneurial journey been so far? What are your plans in the near future?
Today, we have a dedicated team of designers, developers and goldsmiths. I personally design my jewellery in-house, and our jewellery is manufactured in factories in Surat, Delhi and Jaipur.
We are now focused on further expansion of our online business.
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