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Naaree Interviews Entrepreneur Sumati Parmar of Bharatsthali

Sumati Parmar is a young co-founder on the cusp of a sustainable fashion breakthrough. Her startup, Bharatsthali, is a conscious and contemporary approach to get handloom sarees to your doorstep.

A saree is often seen as a byword for cumbersome affair in the times of slide in and get moving clothing. At Bharatsthali, she is trying to make sarees a part of day-to-day life for those for it isn’t. She aims to make sarees fashionable and feasible by bringing utility and aesthetics together for the quintessential women of today.

Naaree caught up with her to find out about her motivations, vision and learnings from her startup experience.

Please describe the vision for your startup, Bharatsthali.

I think about the saree in a contemporary way. Before Bharatsthali, I would ask myself if I was buying an original handloom saree or was paying the right price?

In fact, there were times, I would like to buy a handloom saree but there were no means to buy it. Unless of course, you travel to the place and get it personally. Not exactly a pocket-friendly and sensible idea.

We have collaborated and partnered with artists and weavers directly to bring the best in natural fabric. We are transforming a saree, maintaining its traditional connotations while asking women to adopt it as a fashion trend– just like any other outfit.

That’s the only way forward to strike a balance between traditional and modern sensibility. It is 2018 already. Don’t you think it is high time to bring forth a change?

We are asking women to think of a saree as an outfit that embraces them as they are and is perfect for Indian weather. While we are proud of its being a cultural icon, there is much more to a saree than just representing India on a global stage.

As far as offering sarees are concerned, we ask for a price that the work and art deserves. No middle channels between us and the artists mean that we have a robust framework in place that governs the quality and financial well-being of the artists. This fair trade is what makes us unique.

We believe if our work model is harming anybody’s interest along the value chain, our purpose is defeated. Therefore, our customer pays the reasonable price and the artists/weavers get the best value for their work as well.

What does Bharatsthali offer and why is it unique?

We want people to understand the value of a handloom sarees – especially the kind of efforts and perseverance that goes into it.

We want the buyers to know how a weaver sits and manually weaves for 8 hours a day for a month or two, to bring you a saree that is forever and for generations to come.

Our exclusivity lies in the fact that we have partnered with weavers and artists directly to promote a fair and ethical marketplace. We have the direct control of the quality whereas the weavers get what their art deserves.

We see sarees from a woman’s point of view. The sarees at Bharatsthali are handpicked by women. Issues like a fabric being too sheer and not apt for a workplace or an event are eliminated.

This is an important process because we are introducing the saree in their lifestyle. If they are facing a problem as small as stitching a fall to the saree and getting a tailor-fit blouse, we can’t do that. Therefore, we have everything for them as a one-stop destination for saree shopping.

The landscape of a saree is beyond the 9-yards and GI tags. It is extensive and volatile. A lane beyond the said address and you can’t have the GI tag to ensure the purity and originality of the yarn.

This makes it very tricky because if you don’t know the processes, understand the technicalities and have a thorough knowledge of what you are bringing to the fore, you lose your exclusivity and originality.

Bharatsthali silk sarees have recognized by Silk Mark India for their purity and authenticity. The sarees on the portal are the result of our extensive travels through the handloom villages and communities all over the country. So, we know what we are talking about.

What inspired your achievements?

The risk and potential of calling something of my own! My husband made sure that I do because I think more than me, he believed in what I can be. I am glad that I mustered the courage and tried it out! I guess, it has turned out really well!

What are some challenges that you faced initially when you started out? Please share specific examples with advice to other women on overcoming their challenges?

Don’t try to have it all! There will be some testing times when you would need to set your priorities all over again. So be it.

Women tend to feel guilty when they can’t strike a balance between their family and professional life and my advice to them is – don’t. You can’t have it all, so there is no point to bother about it. If there is a PTA you can’t make it to, owing to your pressing schedule, ask your spouse to fill in for you.

There might be several people trying to explain things that you know about and work with. How crazy it might seem, but you need to maintain your calm. This calmness is going to take you a long way.

What are all the things that an entrepreneur/achiever in your industry needs to keep in mind? Apart from your great idea, what do you need to be armed
with?

Perseverance and common sense! You need to think contemporary that has a reflection of times ahead. You can’t be working on an idea that might be dead within five years. That is a sheer waste of time and resources.

There is no substitute for knowledge. A great idea, when combined with knowledge becomes unstoppable and invincible.

Did you have a mentor to guide you through your journey? 

Throughout this, my mentor has been my husband. He encouraged me to explore my entrepreneurial side and it is still unravelling!

While the decision-making and core management is my KRA, I seek out his advice when I am stuck and need a fresh pair of eyes to look into something that is troubling me or I can’t find a solution of.

How did you recruit your first team? What advice do you have for building and nurturing teams in your startup?

A team that is as passionate about sarees as I am and is bursting with energy.

We are a bootstrapped startup and we need to understand that no matter how hard we try we have certain limitations and our energy, zeal and desire to create something awesome can’t replace the money.

We needed a team that looks up at the stars and keeps feet on the ground. I got lucky, I would say.

Please describe some successes and failures you have experienced as an
entrepreneur.

I still have trouble putting forth the idea that handloom sarees are supposed to be worth a fortune – literally and figuratively. They are going to be a treasure trove for you, as well as cost you extra. You are paying for a human connection and efforts here and that can’t be bargained with.

My success is the reason I am here. We have put together sarees from every state of India in one place. Our extensive travel and research has brought artists and weavers and drove such an unorganized industry to a digital stability.

What are 3 key lessons that you have learned as an entrepreneur? 

  • Your mind matters and so does your point of view to see things. Never underestimate your perspective to look at and understand things.
  • Learn to take everything in your stride, be it bouquets or brickbats, success or failure. You don’t have the time or energy to stop midway and take everything to the heart. If feedback is constructive, take it and implement it but don’t overthink anything.
  • Start seeing your business and time in terms of money. I know this is something that you have been advised against all your life and that, money can’t buy you everything, but if you value your time and others’, this advice is going to have your back in long run.

Third Eye: Feminism Through The Lens Of Fashion

Style is about a woman, who is 5’1 and wears flats to a party. ~ Sabyasachi Mukherjee

Feminism is a school of thought that focuses on gender equality and liberation, with the aim of establishing equal opportunities for woman.

When observing the feminist movement through the eye of fashion, the sentence might sound like a paradox to some. The fashion industry has been considered an industry which showcases women as objects and props.

In fact, many critics believe advocates of the feminist movement should have zero fashion sense. Elaine Showalter, the prominent American critic, and feminist, once said her love for fashion is considered a shameful secret by many people.

People have a notion that feminism is all about serious issues and objectives for women, rather than trivial matter like beauty and fashion. A feminist cannot look beautiful, because she has more important matters to deal with.

But, who decides what a feminist wants? Isn’t it the primary objective of the whole movement to give the women the right to do the things they want to do?   Isn’t judging women on their look and appearance just the opposite of what feminism holds dear?

People tend to overlook the fact that the perspective of society decides the movement of the culture. If people cannot change their attitudes, their judgment is going to affect the way women dress and look.

However, if feminists ignore the fashion and beauty industry, it is going to continue showcasing the very stereotypes feminists detest so much.

The Feminist Movement And The Influence Of Fashion

If one looks back into history, while women were fighting for suffrage in the early twentieth century, they used style as their tool of protest. The suffragists wore jewellery in green, white and violet to make a statement.

The first letter of colour G, W, V became an acronym for giving women votes. Another example of women using fashion to make a statement in a patriarchal society was seen in the 1980s. This time the women started wearing men’s clothing to get better opportunities in the socio-political sector.

These women wore tailored suits just like men, to prove their point. Their style was the replica of the male fashion. However, these clothes too had a definite feminine touch to it.

The addition of pearls and lace were incorporated into the dresses to show that women could be powerful without losing their feminine touch.

The Stereotyping Of Women

According to Dr Newman, a prominent psychoanalyst, women wearing pantsuits in the 80s were considered strong, opinionated, and hot-headed. They were viewed as feminist, and back then, it was not a compliment.

The situation has changed a bit, but women are still stereotyped. In many parts of the world, they have the freedom to wear what they want, but the judgment they endure as a result can be daunting.

For example, Hilary Clinton has received the most negative media attention for her attire. The media has continuously been obsessed with what she wears, rather than what she says.

In Asian cultures, the same judgmental attitudes exist. The stereotyping of women continues to prevail in modern times.

Fashion And Women’s Expression

Fashion, as a medium, helps women express their thoughts, ideas and identity, while the fashion industry helps women to decide what to wear.

Earlier the industry was dominated by the men who were unaware of the needs, choices, and requirements of women. However, this changed around the 1960s and 70s.

During this time, women finally started taking charge of their attire and were now buying merchandise and mixing them to create a new look. Fashion houses like Calvin Klein and Ralston took notice and started bringing out clothing lines that matched women’s needs.

A prominent fashion designer once said that the way a woman dresses up shows her thought processes and ideologies. Women with confidence and élan can carry off a bright hair colour in vibrant shades. She can dictate fashion and beauty according to her sensibilities.

In the mid 70’s when the women were slowly becoming conscious about equality and better opportunity in the professional life, they started choosing men’s wear as preferred clothing.

Calvin Klein understood this shift in preference and 1977 launched their clothing line. The clothes were based on the style of men’s clothing and used elements of menswear.

They launched jackets, shirts, and skirts in softer fabrics like cashmere, Carmeuse or thin velvets. These clothes reflected the dominant side of the women who wore them and wanted to be seen as equal to male co-workers.

Fashion With Practical Sense

In the late 70’s, Diane von Fürstenberg started her clothing line with practical and comfortable clothes. These dresses helped working women get the job done quickly.

These outfits are still fashionable among women. The suit was the combination of practicality and conservative in nature. Women looked powerful in these clothes, but never too intimidating.

Women’s clothes have always been designed to showcase the body of the wearer. Women themselves have consciously or unconsciously promoted this idea.

For example, the corset dresses worn by women in the Victorian Era. These dresses had a firm orthopaedic support, over which layers and layers of fabric were laid.

In these dresses, women could not run, had breathing difficulties and could not eat freely. These dresses were the true representative of the ideas and notions of the society in which they lived.

However, with increasing awareness of women rights and the women’s movement, these tight dresses were eliminated from a women’s closet, and in their place, more comfortable and practical clothing was restored.

Here are some of the qualities of practical clothes that attracted the attention of women:

  1. Non-interfering

The dresses were comfortable to wear and did not need any assistance in wearing them. They required a minimum amount of accessories. While wearing them, women were not expected to sport a high heels sandal or a clutch.

Such practical dresses gave women the independence to move freely. Also, these dresses were lightweight and made of natural fabric. They ensured comfort as well as style. It was for this reason that many working women took to wearing these dresses at work.

  1. Can be worn for any occasion

Modern fashions have an easy day to night transaction. Women can wear them comfortably at formal or casual events without feeling out of place.

These outfits gave women the confidence to carry out tasks they needed to. They could wear them while attending their daily chores or could team it with minimal accessories for special occasions.

  1. Suitable for the weather

Dresses such as Kurtis were ideal for the climate of the location they were work in. Women felt more comfortable in them during hot summer days or cold winter nights.

In the old days, fashion did not incorporate these ideals. It created heavy and layered dresses that were very uncomfortable to wear.

The fashion industry has helped women present their thoughts and ideologies to the world. From the days of advocating for rights to vote, to wearing power suits that helped them lay claim to equality at the professional level, fashion has been both, a women’s constant companion and a reflection of society’s mores.

Author Bio:

Harsh is the co-founder Fynd a first-of-its-kind, e-commerce fashion platform, with a live inventory of 8K plus stores catering to more than 8 million customers. He is an engineer from IIT Bombay and has 7+ years of experience in the field of Fashion Retail, Hospitality, Management Consulting and Human Resources. He is currently working on expanding Fynd’s presence on to the global radar.

Image of Noyonika Chatterji in Sabyasachi Couture by Sou Boyy – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0

Top Hair Care Tips For Mature Women

Whether we realise it or not, our hair is a huge part of how we look and can even affect how we feel about ourselves. Ageing is an emotional process, and as our hair changes with age, it’s easy to see why caring for it to promote healthy, strong hair for longer is so important.

From changes in colour to loss of volume, we can see a number of different changes as we age and while everything from a simple hair dye to the assistance of a hair transplant specialist can help us reverse certain changes, we should be prepared for those we can’t prevent but taking good care of healthy locks is a must regardless.

To find out more about just what age could mean for your hair, and how you can take better care of every strand, read on below.

What Does Age Do To Our Hair?

While hair loss and colour changes are fairly commonly recognised effects of ageing, there are other things that could have to face as the years pass by.

From finer strands that grow much more slowly, to changes in overall texture and a dull look, here are some of the most common, but lesser-known effects, ageing could have on our hair:

  • Hair Loss

Hair loss is a fear for many women, and while some of us could bypass the entire ageing process with a thick head of hair, it isn’t the likely outcome. Thinning hair through hair loss is common, simply because it becomes more brittle and breakable with time.

It can have us reaching for the styling equipment to try and work around the lack of volume we might be experiencing or researching the nearest hair transplant clinic if things get particularly thin on top, but you should never feel any shame in hair loss.

  • Colour Change

As much as we might try and deny it, our hair goes grey with age. Our melatonin levels reduce as we grow older, which results in colourless and lifeless hair and for some of us, this can, unfortunately, kick in early.

In the case of premature greying, it tends to be a genetic issue, however, stress, unhealthy diets, lack of sleep, illness and extreme lifestyles can also have an effect on how fast we ‘go grey’.

  • It Becomes Finer

If you were born with thick, dark hair, then your hair growing finer could show far more than if your hair was thinner from the beginning. Hair gradually begins to grow more finely, making your overall look thinner and feel lighter.

  • It Can Break Easily

As hair loses protein, it becomes more breakable as it loses strength. Keratin protein is what makes our hair able to withstand being tied up, pulled and tossed about, but as these lower, as we grow older, our hair can become much weaker and breaks much more easily.

  • Slow Growth

The growth rate of your hair, just like your growth rate overall, will slow down as you age. Due to the weakened state of the strands, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to grow it as long as you may have once been able to and could result in thinner-looking hair.

  • It Could Change Texture

As protein and nutrient levels change, the texture of your hair could change too. Dead straight hair could start frizzing up, curly hair could go straight, and hair that was once soft without fail could become coarse and difficult to manage.

Grey hair is naturally coarser due to the lower melanin levels, so ensuring that you’re taking good care of it could make it far more manageable.

What Can We Do To Take Better Care Of It?

So, we’ve mentioned that you should be taking care of your hair a lot, but how exactly should you go about that?

Your regular haircare routine might not cut it anymore, and finding a new one could seem like you’re fighting a losing battle. However, as long as you take the following tips into account, it could be far more manageable than you think.

  • Keep It Nourished

Moisture-rich, nourished hair is always going to be easier to handle than coarse strands, but more importantly, nourished hair is healthy hair.

While regular hair treatments are recommended for easier upkeep, picking out products dedicated to replenishing moisture in your hair can be a great way to bridge the gap between appointments and keep everything in a much healthier condition.

  • Keep It Short Or Well-Trimmed

With hair that’s easily breakable or that is thinning out, keeping your hair shorter can actually make things look much thicker and much healthier. As our hair begins to deteriorate in health, it can become thin and wispy at the ends, but with regular haircuts, this can be avoided.

If you want to keep your hair longer, regular trimming can help you avoid this issue too, but make sure that you follow the rest of the steps here to ensure it stays healthy and strong.

  • Protect Weaker Hair

If your hair is naturally weak and none of the strengthening products seems to be working, it could be time to break out protective measures.

Heat-protection sprays can keep your hair from being damaged while blow drying or styling, while certain oils, mousses and moisturisers are designed especially for protecting your hair against whatever the world wants to throw at it!

  • Experiment With Styling

While it’s advisable that you avoid hairdryers, curling irons or straighteners due to the intense heat and the potential for damage, experimenting with your style could help you disguise or limit how thin your hair may look and ultimately increase your confidence.

Mild volumising serums could give a new lease of life to your hair, so you can put away the hair ties and leave it down and feel confident in how you look!

Why not try styling your hair towards your face rather than away from it? Or vice versa! Giving yourself a new look overall will not only help you improve confidence but keeping your hair moving can prevent it from going flat and stiff over time.

  • Be Careful With Colouring

Greying hair can be an uncomfortable point for anyone, and reaching for the nearest box dye is an understandable reaction. However, you need to be careful with what you put on your hair if you want to keep it strong and healthy.

Box dyes are notoriously bad for your hair, and while this often isn’t an issue for women with strong, healthy hair, as we age we need to take every care to keep our hair away from harm.

If you truly want to dye your hair to disguise the greys, opt for visiting the salon instead. They’ll have dyes that are much better for your hair, all the moisturising products that work and a much better understanding of what your hair needs to keep it in good quality.

As we age, our hair will change and coming to terms with these changes is often where we can struggle. From thinning locks to changes in colour, our overall look changes as our hair does and it can be sometimes difficult to come to terms with.

However, with the right care for your hair, you can keep it strong, healthy and easier to manage than you might think.

7 Returnship Programs For Indian Women In Tech

Are you a woman looking to return to work after taking a break? Here are the top 7 returnship programs for Indian women in tech.

Mobility, marriage, and maternity are just some of the reasons why women pause their careers in tech.

After taking these breaks, women face a hard time trying to get back to their careers further acerbating the constraints that hinder women’s professional advancement.

In return, the workforce tends to lose the diversity aspect of a vibrant and promising population. Organizations are increasingly realizing that women at work need to be constantly nurtured.

A fast-moving economy like India cannot take full advantage of the skills possessed by professional women if the women are not facilitated to return to work after taking a break.

In fact, according to an article published on Forbes and authored by Tracy Saunders, it is about time hiring trends shifted to accommodate working mothers.

In an attempt to encourage mothers and women to rejoin the labor force to fill the current talent crunch in tech, various companies have created returnship programs.

Returnee programs are emerging as a progressive way for employers to tap into the potential presented by women, while also offering women a good restart strategy.

The most notable aspect of these programs is the emergence of training and placement programs created to reignite the careers for moms going back to work.

Over the last few years, companies have begun to consider the possibility of facilitating women to get back to work as a way of reducing talent shortage that results from the untimely exit of women from the workforce.

To facilitate such programs, the Indian Government has put in place strict policies for maternity, with recent proposals being made to increase the duration of maternity leave.

While such steps are laudable, there is still need for more companies to facilitate the career progress of women in tech, so that they do not have to compromise careers for family.

This article looks at 7 return to work programs for moms at the top companies with returnship programs in India.

1. The Incredible Intuit Again Returnee Program

The Intuit internship for female returnee programs is a chance for women technologists who had been on a break to resume professional work.

The amazingly successful program not only offers a chance for the professionals to work for one of the top-ranked tech companies in India, but also offers technical and other forms of training to sharpen the candidates’ professional skills.

According to the center for women in technology, a critical aspect of returnee internships, like the one offered by Intuit, is that such reskilling programs are meant to enhance a women-friendly workplace.

In fact, such programs are characteristically geared towards professionals who are taking a second shot at their careers after taking a long break to focus on personal commitments.

As part of the talent enhancement program, returnees are allowed to work on projects, which draw on their experiences and existing skills. The Intuit internships allow employees to rebuild their skills and confidence in a supportive environment.

The company’s 6-month returnship program also offers mentoring, training, and access to cooperate networks. Such an environment gives, to moms, a chance to assess the role and see whether they would like to get back into the cooperate world.

2. Back to Work program at GHC India

For Indian women looking for a second chance to reignite their tech career, The Grace Hopper Celebration India (GHCI) conferences offer appealing job opportunities.

Through the program, returning professionals get a chance to connect with various organizations, build their skills, and reignite their self-confidence.

The GHCI back to work program also offers a chance for candidates to learn and network as they kick-start their journey back to the cooperate world. During the conference, candidates can expect:

  • Workshops that are tailored to the unique needs of participants
  • Panel discussions that feature professionals who have successfully resumed their careers
  • Great working opportunities
  • Soft and technical skills sessions

To take advantage of the opportunities, applicants are required to submit a resume to the GHCI database, even when unable to take part in the conference.

This is because top tech firms have access to the resume database and can reach out to applicants with job offers.

3. IBM Bring Her Back Program for Mid-Career Women

One of the few companies that offer comprehensive returnship programs for Indian women is IBM.

Faced with a staggering number of women in the STEM areas who leave the workforce in the middle of their career, many employers in the tech sector, including IBM have been searching for ways to bring back these talented women back to the labour force.

IBM’s tech re-entry program for mid-career women is aimed at addressing the overall skill shortages in the tech sector, while also enhancing inclusion and diversity.

Women targeted by the IBM program are typically mothers who have exited the professional scene to raise their children or in response to a workplace culture that does not permit balancing of career and family.

While these women do not intend to exit the professional scene completely, a career gap in the fast-paced tech sector can make re-entry difficult.

In the case of IBM, the re-entry program is a 12-week internship that begins with an orientation for three days, followed by chance to be placed in one of IBM workplaces.

Returnees get actual work experience, whether in programming or data analytics. The main idea here is to generate a smooth transition for returnees before they can be actively hired.

4. Rekindle with Amazon India Returnships

Another incredible tech giants internships program for women returnees is provided by Amazon India.

The Rekindle program is an initiative aimed at encouraging women who had hitherto been on a professional break to reenter the workforce. As part of the program, the firm offers focused mentoring, structured onboarding, on the job learning, and flexible work arrangement for candidates.

5. PayPal Recharge for Women Returning to Work in Tech

In an impressive attempt to bridge the gender disparity in workplace composition, PayPal in India initiated its Recharge Program in 2015, with the goal of assisting women technologists to come re-start career after a long career break.

The program, which runs for 6 weeks, seeks to eliminate the stigma in India, which comes with taking a career break to focus on family.

6. Vapasi’s ThoughtWorks Mid-Career Internships

Vapasi, which means “come back” or “return”, in Hindi, is an impressive program targeting women technologists, particularly developers.

The program, which is spread over a period of four weeks, assists returning women developers to sharpen their programming skills through object-oriented programming practices.

After going through the program, candidates are better placed to access good jobs for moms returning to the workforce.

7. Microsoft’s Springboard for Women in Tech Industry

In 2014, Microsoft India initiated its Women in Tech program, which together with the springboard program, is geared towards bringing more women into the IT industry.

The Springboard program is designed to help women on a sabbatical get back to their tech paths. The program is particularly attractive due to its flexibility, where candidates are free to choose their preferred projects.

Do Not Be Left Out, Get Qualified Candidates through Returnee Training

Organizing programs for returning professionals is fast becoming a popular hiring strategy for many companies in the tech sector.

By implementing such training as part of your human resource strategy, you not only get to encourage diversity and gender equality in your hiring processes but also get to benefit from the immense wealth of experience brought onboard by these women technologists.

About the author:

Alice Berg is a blogger and a career advisor at Skillroads career builder, who received a degree in Social Work and Applied Social Studies. Now she helps people to find their own way in life, gives career advice and guidance, helps young people to prepare for their careers. You can find Alice on Twitter.

Mobility, marriage, and maternity are just some of the reasons why women pause their careers in tech. Returnee programs are emerging as a progressive way for employers to tap into the potential presented by women, while also offering women a good restart strategy. Are you a woman looking to return to work after taking a break? Here are the top 7 returnship programs for Indian women in tech. #womenintech #technology #careeradvice #India

How Mobile Apps Can Help You Run A Business With 100% Remote Customers

As the world becomes more mobile, more mobile solutions are beginning to develop which are conducive to smaller businesses.

Running an online business can be complicated and simple at the same time. Your primary focus is going to be on developing a platform that is reliable, secure, and profitable.

There are a number of ways to do this, one of the best being the design of an application or app.

Developing The Right Digital Infrastructure

Mobile devices, and their associated apps, have become a prime mover and shaker on the internet today. Cloud computing has a great number of solutions, in this regard – just consider these five cloud apps. Not only can you employ cloud applications to buff up your business, you can also design them.

When your remote clientele interacts with your online app, they may be able to purchase products or services wherever they happen to be, with a minimum of hassle. But where you’ve got to be careful is in terms of utility. If you’ve designed an app that isn’t strong enough to handle the right load, you could severely decrease your clientele.

When your remote clientele interacts with your online app, they may be able to purchase products or services wherever they happen to be, with a minimum of hassle. But where you’ve got to be careful is in terms of utility.

If you’ve designed an app that isn’t strong enough to handle the right load, you could severely decrease your clientele. If you are interested in load testing, you can find more here.

Managing your business

Also, beyond big-ticket apps, you’re sure to find some smaller solutions that can help you more cogently manage specific aspects of operations.

For example, if you can eliminate an internal infrastructural position, you’ll ultimately save money, which increases your profitability going forward. There are many free online applications that can help you process remote clientele as well as remote employees.

Check out this free time card calculator: “Simply enter your employee hours into the calculator and the total hours for payroll are automatically calculated.” Such a time-keeping solution could save you the cost of an accountant.

The Breakdown

Say, for example, you run an entertainment company that consists of you and three others—like a band. You could go online to a bespoke manufacturer that will make and ship merchandise related to your band based on demand.

So if a client wants a t-shirt with your band’s logo and tour dates, you can design one online, put a link up across your varying social media outlets, and see money come pouring in, as the third-party site sends manufacture orders to a plant which then ships them to clients.

For 50% to 75% of the cost of an item, you can generally get things manufactured in this way. Your profit will, of course, depend on what kind of demand you’ve managed to generate.

If the site you use charges Rs 100 to print and send a t-shirt, and you sell them for Rs 150, then you only make Rs 50 per t-shirt. But if you sell them for Rs 200, then you make Rs 100. And if you sell them for Rs 400, you make Rs 300.

But unless you’ve got a very popular entertainment brand, selling a T-shirt at such a high markup will be difficult. That said, you’ll be able to get away with it if your bearing is proper in the digital sense. Your marketing must be strong, and you must have a large consumer base.

One of the chief advantages of running a business which only deals with remote customers is that you can organically scale-out in a very cost-effective way, and startup costs are restricted as well as reasonable.

So what plans do you have to grow your business? And will you use mobile apps to do it?