A Success Story in the Making
The year 2020 has been one of the most polarizing years for brands and businesses. While many individuals were left without work and considered ‘unessential’ in the time of a crisis such as the pandemic, several others found that small beginnings in industries are vital at all times to find success. Many people adapted to the pressing times and found that they could invest in their passions to make a living while working from home. Whether or not this was the trajectory predicted by Raj Kumar Mahato is unknown to us but his story and struggle are awe-inspiring.
Sharvi Technologies provides technology solutions in the field of electronics, electronic components, and solutions. Founded under the name ‘Sharvi Technologies’ only in 2019, the company is a new player in the industry and enjoys a strong foundation laid by its Founder and CEO Raj Kumar Mahato.
Raj was in college when he dreamt of starting his own business. It was a dream born out of fascination and love for electronics combined with Raj’s desire to be his own boss. He desired to build his skills and venture into an industry that he felt was made for his passionate side. Unfortunately, humble beginnings are exactly that; humble. In today’s day and age starting one’s own business requires a lot of capital investment and a steady eye to see returns. With the determination to earn funding amount on his own, Raj stepped into the corporate world and worked a day job until he was confident he could begin his entrepreneurial journey.
The business, Sharvi Technologies, saw its inception in the year 2013. With Raj and his former partner handling responsibilities together, the dream seemed achievable.
With Raj taking the help of technical work and responsibilities, handling the business end of things was his partner’s responsibility. Unfortunately, Raj and his associate had to part ways due to unforeseen circumstances, and he was left with only the tech expertise and no knowledge of running the business.
“Learning the valuable lesson that trust must be established with your brain and not your heart is something that I will never forget”, says Raj. He further adds, “I fell behind a few years. But now the business seems to be running well.” At the time, the problems that arose were related to the lack of vendor partnerships with the business, most of the vendors were brought in by Raj’s former associate and had switched over to their business instead.
The struggle went on until early 2019. It wasn’t until March 2019 that the company began seeing relevant turnovers. But the story of the growth of the company lies in how Sharvi Technologies adapted to new ways of building a business in today’s times and the value that emerged during an important time such as the Covid-19 pandemic.
Greatness from small beginnings
We further spoke to Raj about how his brand and business has moved on from past difficulties to achieve excellent growth. He began by sharing with us his journey that left us inspired and showed us that true grit, passion, and a lateral form of thinking can make any business successful.
When asked about the initial days of Sharvi Technologies, Raj spoke with humility in his voice, “My background is of a farming community. My father was and is still a farmer. All he wanted to do was make sure we got the right kind of education and if we wished, even a higher education despite the troubles he had to go through. This is where I found my love for electronics. I was very fascinated with electronics, making new things, looking up, and researching new things online, finding out how things work. I still have that intent to learn more as I grow, and I do every day! Getting to where I am has been very difficult. I had to convince my parents and family that I wanted to start my very own business. The fact that I come from a background that has nothing to do with the line of business that I am now into, was initially met with a lot of skepticism. Yes, it was hard, but I convinced them that I would build my business and work at a day job, at least part-time, and that’s when they understood.”
He further continues, “When I started, it was with barely 30,000 Rupees. All of this money was used for building our online shop and sourcing the basic components that we could sell directly to customers just with online listings. I used to send WhatsApp texts and put up statuses to convince customers to buy my products. This seemed to work initially, but the lockdown had us lose a few customers because of the lack of demand.”
“We knew if we had to succeed, we must go online. Seeing how much professionals charge to create websites, I decided to build the website myself, with my team, all of this during the pandemic. We faced a lot of challenges this year, but I cannot say we haven’t found success in 2020. We wanted to open a warehouse, but because of restrictions, we couldn’t. It came as a surprise that somehow we obtained permission and opened a warehouse with the help of one of our vendors this year. Their support means a lot to us”, he concludes with a confident tone in his voice.
“Despite our initial failures, we never let our morale and motivation go down. We’ve worked constantly for 16 hours a day to build this organization,” says Raj.
“We have only 13 people working at our organization, each of whom has contributed to our growth. Our staff works in material purchases, sales, development, product listings, product features, studying new products, etc. It’s funny… today, those same vendors that joined my former associate when we split up; they are coming back to me asking for my business!”
The trajectory of a successful startup
Sharvi Technologies has grown in the past year, and today they sell components that serve critical purposes in electronics. Integrated Circuits (ICs), MOSFETs, Semiconductor Devices, Modules, and Boards for computational applications such as Raspberry-Pi and Arduino have become their mainstay.
They are also manufacturers of these components, therefore procuring the best raw materials and making the finished goods to sell them directly to the consumer through their online channels. While a large part of their business still caters to the B2B market, Sharvi Technologies has also started delivering necessary products in the B2C fashion category. Their focus on both facets of the business is different, and learning the importance of servicing both groups has netted them profit growth.
Today they have diversified into 4000 products that rake in the profits. Their end-user products like equipment that facilitate IoT (Internet of Things) functionality, electronics, software, gateway sensors, parking solutions, street light solutions, and sensors are in growing demand. The importance of these is highly-neglected and in times of the pandemic quality of life improvements in every sector and even everyone’s livelihood.
The company intends to provide a convenient and quick e-commerce platform for customers who have a keen interest in electronics. Sharvi Technologies delivers tenfold in this regard. Today, their platform features around 1 lakh in-stock parts with over 10 categories, 100 sub-categories of electronic components, modules, and projects.
But how are they different?
As technology has entered every realm of business, the market has turned virtual. E-commerce is the very definition of the online marketplace, and a lot of smaller businesses have gained a real sense of convenience and profit. Their idea is to provide a complete experience and commitment to the customer or business that purchases their product. Sharvi Technologies does not just sell products online. It also offers complete assistance to its customers on product usage, features, and services via calls or emails whenever required.
This ease of access to the customer is what makes a business like Sharvi Technologies a valuable one. However, keeping up with these commitments was an initial challenge for the business. Where their services, products, and equipment have always been the best, going online with an unregistered business during a global pandemic seemed to cause a few teething problems in their early stages of selling.
A business that began in an Instant
“When we started in 2019, there was a very shallow pool of customers for us. We were only recognized by Bangalore city, or at the most Karnataka and Tamil Nadu states. That’s when we realized that going online in only a limited area won’t see our growth. We needed to go bigger to meet the needs of electronics at a national level.” Raj states as he thinks back to the day.
We further asked Raj about his growth with online sales, growing his business so quickly, and seeing increased turnover in months. His point to note was the inaccessibility of online payment gateways that exist today, the increased dependency of customers on online payment methods and how Paytm’s Payment Gateway integration through Instant Activation aided him in growing his business from being known in two states to selling all across India.
“Our entire business has been online. In this industry, most people remain offline and choose to pay offline too. That’s just how it’s always been. But with new customers and new businesses, they want everything automatic, instant, fast, electronic. We saw this as a golden opportunity to make things easier for us too!”
| “Paytm has brought us golden opportunities”, says Raj
“We joined hands with Paytm very recently. We used a different payment gateway before and we were very unhappy with the business registration process that took over 3 attempts and still failed! Very difficult, very disappointing. Our switch-over to Paytm was primarily because of our clients recommending it to us. Just the simple question of “Aapko payment Paytm se kar du kya?”, being asked to us every day made us feel inclined to integrate it with our website. We decided to give the customers exactly what they wanted.
They wanted two things that even our business saw as essential for growth and sustenance.
- Faster settlement processes
- Uninterrupted UPI payment option.”
“Paytm gave us the best of the best in just one step. The registration process was instant! We had to upload a PAN Card for ID and Bank details online, and we became a registered business in a day. It did not even take the entire day, it only took a few hours in the day to get us registered. All convenient, fully hassle-free, like a miracle!”
| “Paytm is Indian and so is our business, it feels like this was meant to be!”
Raj exclaims with a dewy-eyed sentiment.
He continued, “The features are great. The settlement process is quick. The UPI feature is a must-have and with netbanking cards and wallet payments, it is easier too! It’s something that we are proud to call our own.
Sharvi Technologies had a history of failed or incomplete payments that led to a loss in business. Their struggle earlier was with UPI payments, wherein their clients would constantly send them emails, informing them of failed payments, delays in transactions, transaction errors, etc. This meant that the business had to constantly keep following up with their clients, bank, and had to keep a check on their business’s finances for any failures in payments.
It seems in the past that the UPI payments from customers would get through. But the business wouldn’t get the ‘Transaction Cleared’ Notification, thus leaving the payment in limbo. They tell us with incredible joy that these issues are now gone ever since the integration of the Paytm Payment Gateway through Instant Activation.
“We’ve noticed a resolution and increase in the use of UPI. Customers have begun using and preferring Paytm more too! We always put Paytm as our first choice for the customers to pay online. If the client wants to choose a payment method, the first and recommended payment option we suggest on our site is always Paytm. We also give clients the option to pay how they want, but the first is always Paytm.” Raj tells us.
“Today our turnover isn’t magnificent, but it is a great turnover nonetheless. 5–7 lakhs per month is something we are proud of, and we couldn’t have done it without Paytm.
We’re better off as a company today, and we’re multiplying with a strong base and our clients are joining us more and more, our old clients are coming back too.”
Paving their way to a brighter future
To bring our conversation with Raj to an end, we asked him how he could summarize his entire experience of building a business from scratch.
“I learnt one thing from starting my own business,” he says, If you’re down, you can’t give up. Don’t worry about the result. Keep doing what you do, and eventually, something will work out, for sure! Trust yourself, you’ll be there at some point. Today we’ve added a few 1000 products over the months and turned Sharvi Electronics into a profitable organization. We’re building software for the future. We’re building on our SEO and advertising. We’re building a mobile application by ourselves. We have a browser, we’re looking to better our application, and we’re getting a marketing team too.”
| “We have so much on the line, and it’s been made possible in large part because Paytm offers Instant Activation of their payment gateway.”
For more such success stories and information on Paytm All-in-One Payments, Instant Activation, and more, visit our website business.paytm.com.