When and how did you start? How did you come up with the idea?
Your inspiration moment
Nativebag– A flag bearer of Indian nativity was started in August 2017 by two US returned corporate long-timers, who terribly felt homesick in a foreign land.
The founders(Bharath & Ravi) could easily visualize the migrant’s needs, their pain to cope up with food, the culture shock, not finding an appropriate place of worship, inability to celebrate their holy festivals in a way they did at their motherland. Loss of familial food was also a huge challenge though these products are available in supermarkets, immigrants typically miss the local markets and fresh produce of their homeland.
Back home, they were fascinated with the idea of bringing Indian traditional products and experiences into a single platform so that they can cater to every migrant’s need. It wasn’t an easy task, every day for two years the founders tirelessly voyaged from one town of India to another in search of those hidden local products and local festivals, forgotten games, and recreation.
Brief about the organization and founding members
” Nativebag provides a completely native experience; we arrange major Indian festival events to all sizes ranging from small businesses, multinational corporate, communities, groups and individuals. Beside this, we are an international B2B marketplace for Indian traditional and native products. We also provide native recreational activities services like native games to the startups which acts as a great stress buster from them”Explains, Mr. Ravishankar Singaram The Co-Founder of Nativebag.
We did not grow when things were easy for us, we excelled when challenges were mounting, and each member became a team in themselves. These are people from different disciplines and ethnicity having the same passion to set out to be great leaders and make a difference. They didn’t worry about the role but cared about the goal. Mr. Ravishankar Singaram has 14+ years of experience in travel domain IT sector. Before starting Nativebag he was a Technical Product Manager in Amadeus, Infosys. Mr. Bharath has supply Chain Management/ERP expertise and has worked as a program manager at Infosys, Wipro, Deloitte, PWC. Their passion is to bring in the sustainable change in the Native Manufacturing industry.
Video Credit/ Source: Nativebag
The detailed journey, like what all you want to share with readers.
We both had to quit our lucrative careers at the peak after bearing the brunts of corporate life. This was the biggest decision in our lives and we did that with the single objective to make an impact in the world we live in. We pitched our idea to our friends and families (significant of them are migrants themselves), who liked the idea greatly and helped us bootstrap. After finding good success in sourcing and selling regional special products all over India, we intended to go global. That’s when we partnered with Commence Mint, who funded us with the pre-seed money as they believed our business model can scale globally.
About funding, plans on growth
We have been pre-seed funded by Commence Mint and looking to raise the next round of funding from an institutional investor. The money that we raise will help us in taking the Native experience to our international customers. We are looking mainly at the USA (as 25% of the Indian diaspora live here).
Challenges and Opportunities/ Marketing Strategies
Native experience is a new concept and there are no customers who are searching for it now. But once this reaches more people, this will become an increasing need as the need comes out of awareness. This is our biggest challenge, taking the idea to the migrants. SThe service sector in established markets like the USA is growing and is a great opportunity for us. We see ourselves as a “Native Experience serving as a Product” company. Our strategy is to tie up with Indian restaurants to provide this experience as a B2B option as there is a Win-Win situation for Restaurants. This model has worked in India for us.
Future plans and funding
There are 2 natural extensions of this idea. Native experiences of all the countries (majorly migrating ones) to their migrants and extending the native experiences to ceremonies like Wedding, betrothal, housewarming etc.
A quote from the founder on the journey, or dealing with the challenge, or any inspiring moment.
I believe in this quote and it drives me, “Entrepreneurs are one who does things that others don’t normally do, but they finally achieve things that others cant”. One of the most inspiring moments is when an Italian online store ordered products from us to serve native Indian products to Italian customers. This fueled our thoughts of making the world a special place in exchanging and appreciating the best of each and every region. Sunita who is a literature expert, active COWAI/TIE member got to know about our idea and showed interest in joining the team. She had refused multiple offers to lead firms in India and is continuing to support us.
Video Credit/ Source: Nativebag
Founder’s advice to budding entrepreneurs
“We took so much time to fail, by the time we realized it, it was very late and we almost broke. The fast you fail, the fast you learn”. A startup is all about hare story, there is no tortoise here. Think about what your customers want all the time, instead of what you can do”, says Mr. Ravishankar Singaram.
Provide some statistics like revenue or client acquisitions
We have around 500 registered B2B suppliers and partners who supply/provide Indian traditional products/ experience in the international market. Our B2B customers are mainly from Europe. We have successfully organized regional new year and IPL fan club events in association with restaurants in the recent past. We believe in growing business together. In addition, we deliver 300 orders per month of special items all over India and abroad. We are one of the 20 officially recognized e-commerce partners of IHB (a Ministry of Textiles brand).
Your website / apps / and contact details
Address: 184, 9th Main Rd, Sector 7, HSR Layout,
Bengaluru, Karnataka 560102| Phone: 080 3045 9900|
Email: [email protected]