Rhea and Yeshoda Karuturi, founders of Hoovu

The Sisters launch a subscription-based startup Puja Flower Delivery, earning Rs 8 million / year

IIt was just a simple complaint from her mother – about the lack of puja flowers in their area – that first made Yeshoda Karuturi, a resident of Bengaluru, think about how to start Hoovu (‘flowers’ in Kannada) and floral subscriptions.

With her sister Rheou, the 27-year-old girl sat down to explore a huge gap in the flower industry to create a model in which fresh flowers – from roses to chrysanthemums and lotuses – could be delivered to the door every day, as well as a package of milk. or newspaper.

Today, this Bengaluru-based flower startup, which started with an initial investment of $ 10,000 million from an angel investor, has an annual turnover of Rs 8 million.

Beginning in 2019, the sister duo decided to give a “modern flair” to the decades-old traditional flower market by introducing a subscription system. This field was not bad for them because they grew up in a family that owned a thriving florist.

Cover the ten-year gap in the market

“Our father Ram Karuturi owns pink farms in Kenya, Ethiopia and India. In fact, in the 1990s, his Kenyan farm was recognized as the largest rose farm in the world. So we grew up and saw how the cut flower industry has changed dramatically over the years, ”says Rhea.

Rhea and Yeshoda Karuturi, the founders of Hoov

While working in the field of cut flowers, they realized that the potential for the bouquet market is huge worldwide. “But later, when we changed our focus, we found out that Indians don’t really communicate with flowers like that.” Flowers serve a different need in every Indian household, ”says Rhea, adding that the two sisters grew up in Bengaluru and attended schools in Ethiopia.

Yeshoda, a graduate of Washington University in St. Louis, notes: “A huge market gap in the Indian flower industry that has been untouched for decades. Although the flower bouquet market is quite organized and flourishing, the traditional puja flower market was far behind in its growth. ”

Indians use traditional flowers such as jasmine, marigold, chrysanthemum and bud roses in various ways, he says. “In addition to being used for puja, people like to wear them on their hair or hang them in cars, cars, shops and offices.”

“But when it comes to the traditional flower market in India, the supply chain is still incredibly fragmented and disorganized and the waste is huge. These flowers are delivered through several levels of handling after harvest, and before they reach the customer, they lose their freshness, ”he adds.

Enabling small farmers

Meanwhile, when the idea of Hoovu when she first hit Yeshoda, her sister was still in college and was studying at Stanford University. Because they both shared a common interest in the business, Rhea decided to join her sister and start their business.

After a thorough market research, in 2019 they decided to establish a platform that solves the problem on both the demand and supply side.

thus Hoovu he was born.

The Hoov team
The Hoov team

Hoovu means flowers in Kannada. We wanted the name to be in our native language because we felt that when it comes to puja flowers, people would easily find that name if it was in their native language, ”says Rhea.

“IN Hoovu, we work directly with farms. Farmers usually bring their flowers to the local mandi to sell. But we have teamed up directly with the farmers, which reduces the time needed during the sales process, reducing the turnaround time to 12-24 hours, ”says the 25-year-old, adding that they currently work with more than 50 farmers in Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu.

“After buying flowers, we make sure they are properly cleaned to be free of bacteria and moisture. We have implemented a quality packaging process that will keep the flowers fresh longer and extend their shelf life from two to three days to approximately 15 days, ”he explains.

Dr K Rajashekar, a dentist and flower grower from Bengaluru, says: “I supplied chrysanthemums Hoovu from my farm in Kanakapura for over a year. Usually I have to send flowers to the local market, wait for the auction and then withdraw the money. It was a time consuming and tedious process. But here we deliver it directly to them, and based on the quality of the flowers, they pay us. ”

“In this way, they also help a few small farmers who do not know how to market their products,” he adds.

Flowers and agarbattis from Hoov
Flowers and agarbattis from Hoov

From bulk flowers to garlands and various vegetables such as tulsi and darbha grass, Hoovu offers a wide range of products. “We rely on various online platforms such as Big Basket, Grofers, Supr Daily, Zomato, Milkbasket, FTH Daily and Zepto other than through our website,” says Yeshoda.

“We receive over 1,50,000 orders a month from Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Chennai, Mysore, Pune, Mumbai, Gurugram and Noida,” he added.

“Last year we introduced our agarbattis and we are glad that they also proved to be successful,” notes Yeshoda.

(Edited by Divya Sethu)

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