Pallavi Jain started Green Somethings, a retail venture promoting gifting of plants less than a year back. In a candid conversation she talks about the venture and its growth.
Neha Malhotra (NM): Can you brief us about the inception of Green Somethings?
Pallavi Jain (PJ): Green Somethings was launched in September of 2008 as a brand of Gokul Organics, a producer and wholesaler of Vermicompost (organic fertilizer) based in Chandigarh. Green Somethings is an online venture and its website GreenSomethings.com allows people to gift a plant to their friends and family across the country. We promote ‘green’ concepts and plan to diversify our portfolio with more interesting and unique product offerings.
NM: What are the products available for customers?
PJ: Customers can gift plants across India through logging in on our website. We have recently launched a range of home-made soaps under the Green Somethings label – over 30 variants of soaps are available. All these soaps are home-made and chemical-free.
We also retail Haathi Chaap or elephant poop paper products. The elephant poop paper is eco-friendly, as it is made by a unique process to make it user-friendly. The entire process of cleaning the dung, removing the useless fibre, turning into pulp and finally producing beautiful sheets of paper is all done by hand.
NM:Who all are your target customers?
PJ: Eco-conscious people are the primary target market. People who make conscious choices about the environmental impact of the food they eat, the clothes they wear and the products they purchase are most likely to appreciate the environment friendly element of gifting a plant. However, young people who love to try different things are also our target customers as their willingness to make online transactions, entrusting a new brand like Green Somethings and appreciating the uniqueness of our products is preferred.
NM: What strategies have you planned for promoting your brand?
PJ: We engage both online and offline media for promoting Green Somethings. We heavily rely on most online marketing tools like social networking and Search Engine Optimisation activities and have tied up with few other websites to sell our products; in the offline world we focus on increasing our brand visibility via popular events and exhibitions.
We continue to rely on viral marketing especially in the online world. Our regularly updated blog is visited by more than 3,000 people every month with almost 70 per cent visitors from India. We have our presence at social networking websites too. Promoting our brand with more articles, achievements and events via these online networking sites will remain a focus.
NM: Are you also planning to open exclusive offline stores?
PJ: Building a strong presence in the eCommerce industry will remain our focus for the next four to five years. But we have tie-ups with offline stores in New Delhi for retailing our products.
NM: What kind of response are you getting from your customers?
PJ: People have regularly commended us on the idea and sales that have been increasing by almost 20 per cent each month since the inception on Green Somethings. The more eco-conscious people have particularly loved this idea and many customers have come back to us every time they wish to send a gift to their friends or family.
NM: Your concept is one of its kind. What future do you forsee for Green Somethings?
PJ: The tremendous response over the past few months has encouraged us to push out the idea of gifting a plant on a much wider scale. Appreciating the aesthetics of indoor plants is one thing, but leading people to become habituated in maintaining plants at their homes and offices is our goal. Once this happens, it will not only drive up our sales but ultimately lead to greener homes across the country.