International Women’s Day is a global day, celebrated each year on 8th March to embrace the achievements of women all around the world. Not only does the day raise awareness about gender equality, but also motivates women to make the most out of their potential.
To acknowledge the #IWD2021, ANS Commerce, India’s #1 full-stack e-commerce enabler, shares the conversation with Sonali Lalvani, Founder & CEO, Toniq – Fashion accessories brand in India. From the struggles she had to build this brand to the one thing that motivated her constantly, you’ll hear everything as she made her way into the entrepreneur ecosystem.
“ANS Commerce strives to raise awareness of gender equality and bring a change in the society.”
Theme for International Women’s Day 2021 | #ChooseToChallenge
This year the theme ‘Choose to Challenge’ outlines the courage and strength to take up a challenge eliminating gender bias and inequality. From challenge comes the change, thus the theme motivates people irrespective of gender to spread gender awareness while choosing to take up a challenge!
#HearHerJourney featuring Sonali Lalvani
To make women celebrate their worth with well-priced and beautifully designed fashion accessories, Toniq began its journey 10 years ago when there was a massive gap in the Jewelry category. But Sonali was determined and chose to take up the challenge, fulfilling this gap. Today, Toniq has 200 Store-within-Store and also building out their online presence to reach a wider female audience.
Sonali Lalvani, CEO & Founder, Toniq, shares her journey as an entrepreneur with us. Not only did she face difficulties operating her business, but also lived through the judgements of many people. Explaining the challenges, she said, “Being a women entrepreneur and living in a fairly conservative city, Chennai, I have faced many issues. From the landlord refusing to sign the document without a male presence to the staff expecting a male to make the final decision of recruitment, I have witnessed many difficulties. In one of those instances, there was this priest during the Diwali Pooja, who got shocked when he learned that I am the CEO.”
After facing such challenges, Sonali is trying to make her company’s work culture healthy and comfortable for women. Sonali said, “ We are taking considerable steps in making our workplace extremely women-centric. In fact, our current workforce comprises 70% of the women.” Practicing the aspects of gender equality, Toniq promotes their people solely on the basis of performance. “The workplace must realize that both men and women should feel safe to speak their minds”, she added.
For Sonali, the last year was very challenging as there was a strict guideline to close all the physical stores all across the country. But she didn’t lose hope and continue to scale her business online. She said, “Scaling up the e-commerce side of the business was my best decision ever as it has helped us a lot to boost our sales.”
Sonali Lalvani said she lives by the dictum – “Work today for your tomorrow.”
Today, our nation needs more women entrepreneurs like Sonali, to bring a change in the society’s patriarchal mindset. In fact, a woman entrepreneur not only motivates a woman herself but also inspires men of society to celebrate and embrace her passion and worth. “Women bring in a different perspective, and considering for us at Toniq our audience is women it just makes sense to have it more women-driven.”
Addressing all the women who want to start their own business Sonali says, “Do your homework. If you are looking at a business in fashion, it’s definitely not glamourous and the hours can be brutal. Always do it because you truly want to make a difference in your customs life.”
How is ANS Commerce helping Toniq?
ANS Commerce is assisting Toniq with its full-stack e-commerce solutions. From providing performance marketing to brandstore tech to warehousing & fulfillment to marketplace management, we strive to support Sonali’s business by broadening the brand’s online presence. Inspired by her journey? Want to start your own e-commerce business? Request your free DEMO now!
We hope that Sonali’s inspirational journey has motivated all the women out there. With that, team ANS Commerce wishes you a very happy women’s day! Let’s all #ChooseToChallenge this #IWD2021.
Among other necessities for a woman to live a confident life, there are certain things we can’t afford to miss on. At the top of the list is ‘What we wear”. Apparels are indeed an important part of our lives, making us feel comfortable and confident, particularly lingerie and sleepwear. While the former boosts your confidence, the latter gives you a goodnight’s sleep, balancing the various aspects of life.
Initially, when e-commerce in itself was a new term, there was no lingerie and sleepwear brand online. Not only women had to visit offline stores but also had to compromise on hygiene. What was the solution to all this? Enters the Secret Wish.
About the brand: Secret Wish
Secret Wish is India’s leading lingerie and sleepwear brand, providing solutions to fashion fit issues while helping women feel confident and comfortable throughout the day.
With an aim to sell chic & girly lingerie in the finest quality for women across the nation, Secret Wish was founded by Sushant Puri in 2014. The founding team of the brand includes Chandan Singh and Roopkiran Kaur Sandhu who helped Sushant build the brand from scratch. Later on, Sushant’s elder brother, Prashant Puri, came into the business as co-founder and started managing Secret Wish.
Secret Wish provides a seamless and hassle-free shopping experience with their direct-to-customer business approach, making it affordable and feasible for people to purchase. They have multiple categories including, nightwear, bathrobe, swimwear, and lingerie, under the convenience of a single roof.
Bridging the gap between online and offline shopping
Female hygiene has always been a concern – given the fact many female-related issues are still not communicated openly. In the early era of the 2010s, buying lingerie openly was taboo. Not to mention, people were not much aware of female hygiene issues and didn’t understand the importance of supreme quality intimate wear. In fact for lingerie and sleepwear, there was a common notion of buying cheaper options.
Not only women used to compromise on the quality, but also the whole process of going to a local market and buying sleepwear and lingerie was hectic. “We realized this social issue in the year 2014 and noticed that there are no nightwear brands on online marketplaces. Moreover, women were buying from local markets. But we were determined to bridge that gap between offline and online, resulting in the inception of ‘Secret Wish’” said Prashant Puri.
“Cotton and hosiery comfort wear were being sold in the nooks of Gandhi Nagar – a small district in Delhi. I thought to take the whole idea online as there was not a single lingerie and sleepwear brand on marketplaces such as Amazon, Flipkart, etc.” said Prashant.
Overcoming the D2C challenges
Direct-to-consumer is an approach in which a business doesn’t rely on the middlemen and sells directly to the consumers. The D2C model is beneficial for consumers and manufacturers as it cut down the cost of an intermediary
Secret Wish was one of the first few brands who adopted this – now highly hyped – approach of selling products. But before any brand begins with this approach, it’s important to understand the relevance of online.
For a D2C brand, everything has to happen online. From managing accounts on marketplaces to managing traffic on the individual brandstore, a D2C brand has to keep a hawk’s eye to fuel the business. “Be it following the right standards to checking if the order dispatch is happening on time, it’s important to observe each and every detail keenly. So we had to go figure out these things while keeping a look at whether the proper quality is maintained or not,” he added. “Moreover, for a fashion brand especially in the sleepwear category, it’s essential to have a large assortment of collections. Mere 4-5 options don’t do the job, you have to maintain 40-50 different varieties in a single product category. But with growing demands, we became determined to improve our customers’ experience with valued services.”
Scaling business amid the Pandemic
The new normal times had been considered good for e-commerce businesses across the nation. To practice the mandatory guidelines issued by the government of India, people became more conscious and switched the traditional buying methods to online shopping. For Secret Wish, the unprecedented times have actually proven to be good – given the fact, people were forced to stay at home, increasing the need to wear comfortable clothes such as shorts, nightgowns, etc.
Talking about the trends amid the pandemic, Prashant highlighted the fact that people from both tier 1 and tier 2 cities came online, leading to a boost in their sales numbers. “More than 40% orders came from non-metro cities. Women who were initially dependent on offline stores, switched to online websites and marketplaces such as Myntra and Amazon, leading to an increase in online penetration.”
Finding expertise in ANS Commerce
Started their journey with ANS Commerce in 2017, Secret Wish became its full-stack partner. “Ever since we started with ANS Commerce we have seen an impressive boost in the sales. The rising penetration of online shopping and digital adoption post pandemic has increased our order volumes more than 200%, Prashant said.”
“Highlighting their warehousing and fulfilment solution, I would like to say that we have definitely saved the cost of warehousing and distribution channels. This money was used in brand visibility and marketing,” he said.
“Right from the moment we got associated with the team of ANS Commerce, we experienced incredible services. Be it their performance marketing solution or marketplace management or warehousing & fulfilment, I would definitely like to appreciate the entire team for their constant support,” Prashant said.
Since the website of Secret Wish is fully-designed and managed by ANS Commerce, to explain the experience of the brand in brandstore tech, he added, “Not to mention our website is fully-powered by Kartify – their brandstore tech. Kartify has optimized the performance of our online store as it loads faster and has actually helped us reduce the cart abandonment rate. Talking about their refund manager – an in-built feature of Kartify – it has helped us process refunds faster with more ease.”
“Moreover, we have efficiently overcome the challenge of account management and reconciliation on marketplaces with the help of ANS Commerce.”
“We look forward to continuing ANS Commerce’s e-commerce solutions and would recommend other D2C brands to seek their assistance as well.”
About ANS Commerce
ANS Commerce is India’s #1 full-stack e-commerce enabler helping brands sell online. We offer brandstore tech, performance marketing, marketplace management, and e-commerce warehousing & fulfilment.
We want our brand partners to focus on their brand and product and leave ‘all-things-e-commerce’ to us. We help brands acquire consumers, power brandstore, and jumpstart marketplace operations in no time. With us, brands can offer fast & reliable order fulfilment to your marketplace & brandstore consumers. Our extensive experience across product, e-commerce, retail, and marketing helps the brand achieve higher sales and stronger brand differentiation.
Having worked with 90+ established and challenger brands, we aim to help them sell on their brandstores along with 15+ marketplaces. ANS Commerce enumerates Jack & Jones, Vero Moda, Portico, Piramal, CEAT, Marico, Bath & Body Works, and ITC amongst its client partners. It is integrated with 60+ partners such as Fynd, Unicommerce, Netcore, Arvind, Delhivery, Increff, Razorpay, and many more to simplify e-commerce in India.
India’s tourism never fails to amaze us with its diverse nature. From cool mountain roads to sun-kissed foreshores, the rich heritage offers great attractions to tourists all around the world. And to celebrate the beauty of it, January 25th is celebrated as the National Tourism Day around the nation.
The tourism industry of the country has been one of the largest contributors to the nation’s GDP in recent years. But the outbreak of the COVID-19 has badly impacted the industry. Sectors such as hotels/lodging, recreation, and entertainment, transportation, etc. have been severely affected by the onslaught of the pandemic as traveling and vacationing was on a complete halt.
The National tourism day 2021 can in time help us move afar the pandemic by letting us invest in our nation’s rich heritage and culture. While keeping a few things in mind, you can jump on the adventurous short trip for the love of Indian Tourism!
Are you an avid traveler, needing a day to yourself to freshen your mind and soul? We have curated a list of essentials you must keep when you plan to go on a trip. All these products mentioned below are offered by ANS Commerce’s partner brands!
Mind you, this list is created keeping the precautions in check. So let’s just snag our buddies and get ready for a short trip?
10 essentials to carry while traveling post COVID-19!
1. Face masks by Being Human
Starting from the mandatory yet the most important thing. Face masks have become a go-to aid no matter when we plan to step out of our homes. Not only does it protect you from the virus but also prevents others from getting infected. Keeping the vogue factor on point, Being Human has popped up with the most amazing collection we can’t take our eyes off. With a plethora of designs, the brand has an amazing combo of masks. You can choose from pastel shades to quirky designs matching your outfit. If you have a love for unique motifs, you definitely need to get your hand on these.
The next most important thing you can’t afford to miss is a bottle of pocket sanitizer. They might be staged at almost every public place, but it’s always important to keep a personal bottle to reduce the chances of spreading the virus. Keeping your hygiene in check, Bath & Body Works comes with two different variants of hand gel. Most sanitizers make skin dry and chipped, leaving you annoyed and itchy. Infused with soothing fragrance, Bath & Body Works sanitizer won’t just protect you from viruses but also nourish your hands on-the-go.
When you go on a trip, you can’t avoid using public property, leading to the spread of germs and bacteria. But if you carry a surface disinfectant, you can wipe the surroundings, making it clean to sit. Be it sitting on a chair, or eating a meal at a public restaurant, a surface disinfectant often comes in handy. Having a strong formula to kill germs, Savlon’s surface disinfectant is all you need. Be it a virus, bacteria, or molds & fungi, you can go anywhere carelessly if you have a tiny bottle in your backpack. And it’s #1 in the Disinfectant Sprays and Liquid category on Amazon. So why don’t you get your hands on it?
With an increase in the levels of pollution, face wipes have become an essential part of our life. To keep your face refreshed and hydrated throughout the journey, you must keep a packet of face wipes with you. And if you have acne-prone skin, you surely need to get your hands on this. Kaya Youth’s Oxy-infusion face wipes are suitable for all skin types, adding a bit more freshness and adventure to your day.
A towel is a bit too personal bathing essential. During the tough times of the pandemic, you can’t neglect the hygiene factor and use a towel provided by the place you’re staying at. While buying a towel, don’t forget to buy the one in cotton, as it folds easily, giving you plenty of space to adjust other essentials. With Pure Home + Living’s combed cotton towel, you get a variety of color options to choose from. Also, it’s quite soft and easy to fold in your small backpack.
If you are going for an adventurous sport such as hiking or trekking, make sure to pack some good quality runners or sports sneakers. It’s always good to wear the most comfortable walking shoes to save your day. Khadim’s collection of sports sneakers is great for the times when you don’t want to spend too much money. With dirt-cheap prices, Khadim’s footwear comes in many different sizes and colors, giving you a variety of options.
Small cravings come at the weirdest of times. And what could be better than popping a handful of nuts and dry fruits to curb the immediate hunger pangs? They are one of the healthiest ways to keep you active throughout the day without hogging on junk snacks. To satiate your cravings, snag a packet of dried berries from the assorted collection of berries, nuts, dry fruits, and whatnot by Wonderland Foods. From dried berries including Cranberries, Kiwi, Mango, Blueberries, etc. to an assortment of nuts such as walnuts, cashews, almonds, etc. you will get superior quality of food by them.
Who doesn’t love sunglasses, particularly when you actually have a reason to flaunt them off. Maybe a pair of aviators are perfect for a day at a shorefront. Or maybe a pair of wayfarers are perfect for when you are ready to hit a swanky place! And, if you are someone who wears contact lenses, carrying sunglasses while traveling has to be on the top of your list. To help you choose the best sunglasses, Sunglass Hut has a quality collection with some of the top leading brands. From Dolce Gabbana to Gucci to Rayban, you name it and they have it.
Keeping a bottle of fragrance is indeed important while traveling. A good fragrance uplifts your mood every time. While there have been perfumes containing paraben and other harmful chemicals, there are a few having natural scents with the goodness of skin-nourishing agents. Lafz is one of those brands, offering our most favorite oud and attar based fragrances with an inexpensive price range. Ingredients such as dry hay, amber, oakmoss, etc. forming the base give you a unique scent.
A fine afternoon by the beach sounds perfect. But to make your summer vacays a little more instagrammable, complete your #OOTD with a causal cap. Are you looking for one but can’t find one? Drop by Celio to get premium quality caps and hats. From solid Gatsby caps to traditional Fedora hats, to classic Baseball caps, you will find each and everything on their brandstore.
We have tried to include each and every important thing. Stick to these essentials, and you are set to take a short trip this National Tourism Day. Also, don’t forget to practice social distancing to steer clear of the virus. Explore the beauty of nature, and be safe!
The outbreak of pandemic has increased the importance of food and nutrition. Lack of food security, hunger, and malnutrition, are some of the problems that we have failed to register. The UN World Food Programme has proven to combat hunger and has recently won the Noble Peace Prize. The agency helps different countries to fight against hunger and malnutrition by providing food assistance to them. It has helped 88 countries including Yemen, Afghanistan, and South Sudan.
To celebrate and embrace the same, ANS Commerce, India’s #1 full-stack e-commerce enabler, shares the conversation with their 4 curated brand partners, that promote healthy living on 16th October 2020, marking World Food Day, 2020.
“ANS Commerce aims to raise awareness of sustainable food patterns and bring a change in the unhealthy food systems adopted by people all around the nation.”
Theme for #WorldFoodDay2020
This year, the theme ‘Grow, Nourish, Sustain. Together.’ outlines the need to support food heroes- farmers and workers, who make sure that fresh and nutritious food feeds millions of mouths even amidst the global crisis of COVID-19. The theme also reflects the idea of sustainable living, with an agenda of creating awareness of agricultural food that helps people fight back the pandemic. Additionally, it aims to help the entire population, so that their body systems can withstand extreme climate shocks and helps them “build back better”.
4 Curated Brands Which Are Improving Nutrition Patterns
With a thought to reawaken our desires for health and nutritious food, we have talked to our food brand partners who share their path towards success. Let’s delve into their journey.
1. Hea Boosters
Having started off the brand, Hea Booster, in January 2020, Jhoomer Sinha has always believed that nutrition governs health and if it is well taken care of, then so is health. However, she feels that people somehow find nutrition boring and complex and thus ignore it completely. To get the hang of nutrition and how it works, it is essential that you research regularly, understand your body type, and then take an optimum dosage of certain nutrition to check what works and what doesn’t.
“No one likes to do the hard work, which results in common health issues such as obesity, hair fall, skin problems, and lethargy.” – Jhoomer Sinha, CEO Hea Boosters
But she was determined to change this. She started to research more in the domain of health & nutrition. With months of toil and continuous dedication, she came up with the idea of Hea Boosters that take care of the necessary nutrition. They further ensure that the daily diet of the people is not compromised and remains optimum.
Launched the brand amid the onset of COVID-19, Hea Boosters has faced innumerable delays in terms of operations and delivery. But Jhoomer’s determination and efforts didn’t break her spirit and she successfully continued with the process and was able to sail through. Jhoomer Sinha adds, “The pandemic has actually worked as an awakening call to the people as they have become more careful and health-conscious.”
“Lesser incidences of poor health aim at reduced medical load – financially on the individual and operationally on the country,” says Jhoomer.
Coming over to Hea Boosters, the products are made with the best of science that takes care of micronutrient deficiencies.
Experience with ANS Commerce: “The experience has been very satisfactory. I love the fact that they are very prompt in problem-solving.”
TruMillets began its journey in 2019 with an idea to promote the local food of our nation. “People are aware of millets but they don’t know about how to use it and how to prepare different dishes from it,” says Mamatha N L, Director R&D, Production, TruMillets.
“With the thought to grab this opportunity, we thought of starting TruMillets”, adds Mamatha N L
By observing the trend of ready-made food, they thought to make healthy yet uber tasty TruMillets. It can be cooked just by adding some water. And, the best part about the product is that it is 100% natural, with no added preservatives.
From getting the right equipment to fabricating their own machinery, the brand has faced a major challenge including finding out the right technique for millet processing. Further talking about the post COVID trend, Mamatha believes that people’s inclination towards ready to cook healthy food is increasing.
Experience with ANS Commerce: “Convincing the customer to buy TruMillets was a challenge. ANS Commerce is giving us assistance to market our products online with their optimized services.”
3. Gourmet Garden
Being an avid traveler, a big-time foodie, a passionate sportsman, and a newly minted father to a baby girl, Arjun Balaji has been into management consulting all his life. Feeling bad and annoyed while seeing adulterated and contaminated food, Arjun wanted to feed his family with healthy and sustainable agricultural products.
“While many of us live to eat, very few worry about the source or quality of the veggies and fruits we consume. Farming has for very long focused only on productivity, with little attention to quality, safety, and consistency of veggies offered to consumers. No wonder much of what’s available is quite ordinary: semi-stale, tasteless, and contaminated,” says Arjun Balaji, Founder, Gourmet Garden. Inspired to give people the benefits of Naturoponic farming, Arjun started his journey with Gourmet Garden.
“At Gourmet Garden, our aspiration is to offer the widest range of high quality and safe veggies all year. We do this by following several world-class naturoponic farming practices that not only yield the best veggies for the consumer but are also the most sustainable for the environment.” – Arjun Balaji, Founder, Gourmet Garden
Having seen many innovations, Arjun was surprised to observe that very little meaningful effort has gone into solving the complex problems in food quality. After months of efforts and continuous experiments in protected farming, he finally won huge admiration from his early customers. He still had to design a plan to market his production, so he figured out some ways to offer the highest quality products at meaningful price points.
Coming over to the problems and hurdles that the Gourmet Garden has faced, Arjun highlights that sourcing the seeds was the biggest challenge as they had to conduct experiments with over 600 seeds before they could implement their idea.
“We don’t grow our crops using soil as we use bio/organic pesticides. Our nutrients are specially formulated for each crop and fed adequately to the crop so our consumers are eating the most nutritious produce”, says Arjun
Talking about the post COVID trend, Arjun believes that the pandemic has resulted in more people shifting to an online marketplace because they don’t feel safe stepping out of their homes to crowded local markets.
Currently, they only operate in Bangalore, delivering to over 95 pin codes in the city. But they are planning to expand their production in Mumbai and Delhi within a time span of a year or two.
Watching their family and friends noshing on so-called “healthy snacks”, the sibling duo got frustrated and came over with the idea of making protein-based ice-creams.
“We realized there is no option when it comes to eating ice creams guilt-free. Out of this mission, Get-A-Whey was born.” – Pashmi Shah, Co-founder, Get-A-Whey
Having been instrumental in disrupting consumer behavior, Get-A-Whey has been able to impact the most important thing for a human being which is health without a compromise on taste. “We have extremely high repeat purchase rates and brand loyalists who wait at their doors for our ice cream deliveries. From fulfilling PMS cravings to diabetics who haven’t had desserts for years, we believe our brand has created an influence which cannot be matched by numbers,” says Pashmi Shah, Co-founder, Get-A-Whey.
Made with skimmed milk, whey protein isolate, and premium ingredients, Get-A-Whey ice-creams are naturally low in calories, and high in protein. To all the Keto fans out there, they have also introduced a range which is made with full cream while reducing the carbohydrate content to just under 5.5g per 100g serving. Coming over to the post COVID trend, they believe that health plays a pivotal role in the current scenario for all food categories. It was always prevalent but now coming to the surface since consumers understand its importance.
Lastly, ANS Commerce would recommend you to swear by our local brands because they give you the essence of your childhood flavors while keeping your lifestyle healthy. With that, we wish you a Happy World Food Day. Stay fit, Stay happy!