Exclusive Conversation: Saumya Vardhan Founder & CEO, Shubhpuja
Saumya Vardhan , a lady who moved from London to New Delhi in order to launch a unique venture named Shubhpuja in this religious e-commerce industry. With an MBA from from Imperial College, UK Saumya is a seasoned operations and technology consultant and has worked with KPMG and Ernst & Young London. Saumya recalls when one of her close friend’s father passed away in Delhi, with most of the family members lived abroad and by the time they arrived all the arrangements had to be made. She saw that there was no one except the grieving mother to arrange and inform all the relatives. It was very difficult to find any pandit or ask anyone to organize the ceremonies while the family is recuperating. This was certainly Saumya’s moment. Saumya who was living in London for so many years felt that she had no power upon Indian culture dying in the foreign lands and being passed on to Gen Y and Z. She could not just sit back and pray, but she did something more and hence she came back to India with a beautiful venture named Shubhpuja.
Today all the puja arrangements and more are just a click or a phone-call away thanks to Shubhpuja. The one-of-its-kind e-portal which offers an incomparable religious forum that allows people from all walks of life to conduct pujas and rituals on various occasions during happiness and grief, at utmost customer convenience. The company has a policy to go into puja detail and explain the shlokas making the puja easy to understand and for more people to participate. While conducting the puja, Shubhpuja.com pandits give background details on how and why the puja is conducted. To facilitate that they provide complete puja samagri packages saving you the hassle of running around. Pujas/yagnas are conducted for everything ranging from Festivals pujas, corporate pujas, marriage, personal occasions, Antim Sanskar pujas ,Paaths, Japs and Kathas. Here is a small conversation that we had with Saumya:
Shubhpuja was officially launched in last December 2013. Since the inception, we have been actively promoting our company through our portal, by running campaigns on social media channels – Facebook, blog and twitter and ofcourse through word of mouth. We also provide face-to-face consultation services at our offices or at customer’s preferred location. Apart from that we have been participating in various exhibitions, holiday carnivals and festivals for Diwali, New Year, and Valentine’s Day etc. We also hold workshops on Astrology, Vaastu shastra and numerology for big groups of people or corporate that are interested in our services.
2) How has been the business uptake?
So far with God’s grace, we have had a great response from our clients in Delhi NCR. Apart from India, we have had excellent client response and have customers from Russia, USA, Hong Kong, Singapore, UK. In the coming months, we aim to expand in Russia and USA market where we have received great response from people. In the first month itself, we have had over 100 clients from all over.
3) Tell me a bit about the team?
The venture was conceptualized and started by myself. I was working for Ernst & Young I have a 6-member operations team consisting of Graphic designer, content writers, business development manager and Technical developers. Apart from that, we have a network of over 90 pandits/astrologers/vaastu consultants in Delhi NCR from top-most occult science institutes in India (Varanasi, Nasik, Ujjain, Delhi etc.) and planning to double the network in next 3-4 months.
4) How have you funded the company?
At present we are in a bootstrapping mode. I have invested my own capital from my personal savings.
5) What is the estimated market size?
India’s spiritual and religious market size is estimated to be over $30 billion.
Saumya says that it feels great to find solutions and remedies for the customers/devotees every day, relieving them of their worries and insecurities and giving them an inner satisfaction and new confidence and a smile on their faces!
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