Earlier, our customers were limited to Punjab. But now we get orders not only all over from India but also from overseas as we ship internationally too. Thanks to Zoho Commerce and its ecosystem, we are now planning to scale our business to the next level with a more professional approach.
- Inderjit Singh,
Founder, Adarsh Voile House (AVH) Turban Centre
In 1994, Inderjit Singh started his retail store Adarsh Voile House (AVH) with a basic capital of Rs 10,000 ($130 approx) in Chandigarh, India. Inderjit came from an agricultural family and knew nothing about business, but he knew that there weren't many stores selling turbans of good quality. Today, AVH Turban Centre has a turnover of Rs 15 million.
In the last three decades, AVH has seen massive changes—from an increase in product range and SKUs to new buying patterns and adoption of technology, the business has been through quite a journey.
In 2017, Inderjit's son Abhayjeet Singh joined the business and sensed the need for its digital transformation. But the move towards technology began from accounting. "We sold our products only offline and we maintained our books in the traditional method with a pen and paper," Inderjit says. "In 2017, we opted for Zoho Books."
A big challenge in getting online was getting the color and variants accurate. "Turbans are quite different as a product from other apparel categories like shirts, pants, and sarees—they have no standard size," Inderjit says. "We first decided upon the sizes to be offered online. Secondly, we wanted to ensure that the color of the turban shown in the e-store should be exactly the same as what one sees in real life." In 2020, they decided to launch their ecommerce store.
AVH Turban House website
AVH wanted to reach out to the huge Punjabi diaspora spread across the globe. Building an online store seemed to be a sure shot way to get there. Soon they began looking for solutions and came across Woocommerce and Shopify. "Woocommerce required us to engage developers for the task," Inderjit says. "There were also issues to getting the colors and size accurate. Shopify did not seem an economically viable option for an Indian business like ours. We wasted more than Rs 60,000 in these trials."
When the pandemic arrived, AVH opted for a trial of the newly launched Zoho Commerce. "I was familiar with Zoho since I was using Zoho Books," he says. "We felt Zoho Commerce would be a good option since we would not have to hire third-party developers, which we had tried and failed. It would also give us complete control over the online store."
There were strong economic considerations too. "The pricing of Zoho Commerce gives us value for money. It’s easy to set up, and we are able to make changes with very basic technical knowledge. Right from getting SSL certification and integrating payment gateways to adding categories and sub-categories, it is all fairly simple. Besides, Zoho Support is fantastic."
Benefits and ROI
Adopting technology and starting an ecommerce store with Zoho Commerce brought about many positive changes for AVH. "Firstly, we have been able to take our business to the next level," Inderjit says. "Earlier, our customers were limited to Punjab. But now we get orders not only all over from India but also from overseas as we ship internationally too. Secondly, it broadens our vision for marketing our brand because of Zoho's ecosystem of various apps like Zoho CRM and Marketing Automation. Easy integration with apps like Zoho SalesIQ gives us data on customers' queries and demand patterns. Thanks to Zoho Commerce and its ecosystem, we are now planning to scale our business to the next level with a more professional approach."
Zoho has helped AVH improve its business processes, which has also helped in improving the experience of its customers. "As mentioned earlier, we have integrated SalesIQ for customer chat support, which proved very beneficial in helping customers. Also, Zoho Books, which we were using even before opting for Zoho Commerce, has made our accounting and invoicing process hassle-free. For payments, we use Razor Pay payment gateway, which has enabled us to carry on with our business internationally."
The Road Ahead
Currently, AVH has around seven major and 13 sub-categories, and it's planning to add more in coming months. "We cater to a niche segment, but it has a huge demand in countries with a sizable Sikh and Punjabi population, such as the US, UK, and Canada," Inderjit says. "We plan to ramp up our marketing internationally via Zoho."
There are plans to scale up the business in the coming years by opting for more Zoho apps like Zoho CRM, Marketing Automation for digital marketing, and PageSense to get things right for their website. "It’s just a beginning, and several opportunities are waiting for us. We are targeting and annual revenue of Rs 50 million, and we will surely use Zoho to become the best turban store globally."