Meragarden.com: Delivering plants to your doorstep

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In today’s “WWW” world you can find anything online. Starting from a needle to cars everything is available online. But what about sophisticated products like plants etc??

Yeah, I agree that these products will bring in difficulties in terms of shipping, inventory etc. But, against the odds team “Meragarden.com” saw this as an opportunity.

Meragarden is India’s first and largest online shop to deliver plants directly to your doorstep that is too at very affordable prices.

Techaloo got an opportunity to talk to Mr. Shubham Jain, Founder @ Meragarden. Let peek into his entrepreneurial journey.

 

Techaloo: When did you start your journey?

Actually, this journey started around 2 years back when I got this idea. Since then this idea was at the back of my mind, but the real work started in early June, 2014 and within 30-40 days we went live and since then it has been a roller coaster ride.

 

Techaloo: Where are you based out of?

Currently we are based out of Indirapuram (NCR region).

 

Techaloo: What motivated you to start meragarden.com?

Well I’m really fond of gardening and I feel this is something I have inherited from my grandfather, he use to teach me everything about gardening and I use to water plants every morning and evening. I guess that’s the time I got connected to plants. The main motivation to start meragarden.com was first, definitely to enable and educate people to buy and know about plants online, as one of customers said “I always wanted to fill my balcony with beautiful plants but never got the time to do so”, but we also educate the customer about the plant they are buying. Second was to ensure quality and bring transparency in terms of pricing, as this is a totally unorganized industry with nursery owners selling whatever they have and at whatever price they feel like is justified. When I talk about the potential its every home in India having an internet connection.

 

Techaloo: What was your vision/mission while starting meragarden.com?

Well, the mission is definitely to enable anyone in India to order a whole range of plants and garden accessories. The vision for the company is to be a one-stop-shop for anything related to gardening.

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Techaloo: What hurdles did you face while starting?

Well the biggest hurdle was to deal with the nurseries, since it was tough to establish partnerships as currently we are working on a partnership model. The second was logistics as this is a product unlike any other, you cannot pack it in a parcel and ask DHL to ship it to your customer, also the weight to price ratio for a potted plant is very high, which increases the cost of logistics incredibly.

 

Techaloo: Tell us something about your services.

Current services includes buying a limited range of plants at a flat rate of Rs.149 and Rs.199 with a FREE ceramic pot. But as I have explained this was the pilot and the future services include more option in terms of pots like brass, copper, steel and designer pots, bigger range of plants. The future of meragarden.com deals in going B2B and customized solutions for your home, balconies, offices and terraces, we are also planning to launch services as Maali-on-demand and renting out plants.

 

Techaloo: Which cities are you providing your services in?

Currently only Delhi NCR region.

 

Techaloo: How are you different from your competitors in various segments?

There’s not much competition in this industry, but if there’s one thing which is our point-of-difference is our price and ensured quality vis-à-vis online as well as offline price of plants.

 

Techaloo: Shipping for plants should we difficult? How are you tackling this?

Yes, it is the biggest challenge for us in expanding nationwide. Currently we have our dedicated vehicle which is taking care of the delivery in the city. But soon we’ll be launching products that will solve this problem and enable us to launch nationwide.

 

Techaloo: What about support from your family, while starting?

Our families has been very supportive since the start.

 

Techaloo: How is the response till now?

Response has been mind-blowing, during the pilot stage we use get a few calls from every other city in India, enquiring about when we’ll be launching in their city. There has been numerous proposals regarding franchise and partnerships from different region in India. Customer have been more than satisfied with the quality and price of the plants. Especially the concept of Plant Cards has been really liked by our customers which a card, the size of a visiting card containing the name, basic instructions regarding light and water and if there’s any medicinal or any other kind of benefit from the plant.

 

Techaloo: What are your plans for next 3 years?

As mentioned above plans for the next 3 years include expanding in whole of India which will be enabled by new product innovation, rolling out of franchise model and also raising funds is on our cards as we have been bootstrapping till now.

 

Techaloo: What will be your advice for budding entrepreneurs?

The only advice from our side is be persistent and handwork is the key.

 

Techaloo: What do you think about techaloo.com?

Techaloo.com is a great platform for startups like us to gain recognition and connect to investors. It’s also a gr8 platform for budding entrepreneurs, even for someone having slight interest in startups or what new is happening in the country.

Meet the team:

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Mohit Bansal(23) is B.Tech in Electronics and Communication Engineering from Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad, India. He has interest in business and entrepreneurship and has published couple of research articles. He is also associated with various NGOs. He is with Techaloo when it was just in concept stage. The Techaloo site was not existing even then. Currently Mohit is working with Mu Sigma as a Business Analyst Profile.

One Comment

  1. monika says:

    I have query regarding partnership.what i have to do if i am interested in partnership in this fruitful start.

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