In early twenties, when most people are unsure about their career choices, this born entrepreneur is making a dent in social entrepreneurship in India. An NIFT alumni, Niharika Choudhary found her inspiration in handicrafts products, at the tender age of 22. She won a college contest where she excelled under the category of handicrafts products design; causing a spark that triggered her entrepreneurial journey.
It was the auspicious day of Basant Panchami — a day of colour yellow, hope, and new beginnings. Motivated by her win, Niharika had put up a handicrafts stall at an exhibition for the first time in her college and inspired by Basant Panchami she named her stall Peeli Dori. The stall was a success.
During her first college project, Niharika had worked with artisans from rural India and was immensely impressed by their art and creativity. She decided to promote them. The idea of incorporating tradition art with advanced technology hit her. Soon, she decided to take her products to the masses.
In 2015, she launched her e-commerce site Peeli Dori. Niharika’s venture is a lifestyle brand inspired by the traditions and aesthetics of India. It’s a platform that connects rural communities with the urban market and aims to sharpen their skills in contemporary design. Peeli Dori collaborates with artisans and self-help groups (SHG) to create exclusive collections of lifestyle products and apparels.
Essentially, its Indo-chic lifestyle products include apparel, home decor, and furnishings.
Niharika tells KenFolios, “The road to a successful business has a few hurdles, too. Because the village artisans are so simple and far from the greed of making money, it was initially hard to convince them but they agreed after some persuasion. There was no turning back since then.” She says, to enter and sustain an organised business in such an unorganised sector is a challenge.
Today, Niharika has a team of 10 members and till date, she has worked with over 200 skilled craftsmen.After two years of launching and successfully running the website Niharika took a step ahead, and in August 2017, opened its first concept store at Shahpur Jat, Delhi.
Peeli Dori has witnessed a growth of 10 percent month-on-month, with average monthly sales in their offline venture ranging from Rs 90,000-1,00,000 and online sales for Rs 50,000-60,000. It has a profit-sharing model with the artisans it shares a percentage of profits with them to have their equal involvement and responsibility towards the product.
Niharika wishes to collaborate with central government’s various training workshops for rural artisans in future. Peeli Dori plans to work with more craft clusters to offer the indigenous art of India in a contemporary product line. It provides every craftsman their due recognition and all products come with a tag telling the story of the artisan behind its making.
At the age of 22, Niharika has a vision to take Indian handicrafts to greater heights and working hard towards her vision. We wish this young entrepreneur become inspiration for many.