Satheesh Kumar has made his mark with a saree weaving business. Kumar, who is from Kancheepuram, has empowered women through the business during Covid-19.
When Satheesh Kumar got a low-paying job after finishing his diploma in Mechanical Engineering, he never imagined that he would establish a name for himself via saree weaving rather than engineering. Satheesh Kumar comes from a weavers’ craftsmen family in Kancheepuram, Tamil Nadu, but his father did not want Satheesh to be a part of the family company because he did not want his son to perform ‘labour work.’ His ambition, though, was to sell exquisite sarees like the ones he witnessed his father and grandpa weave.
Who would have guessed that a few years later, Satheesh would prove everyone wrong and launch Shri Bhavi Handloom Silks, a profitable enterprise that sells Kancheepuram silk sarees all over the world?
Kumar says, his father refused to allow him to get into the saree weaving industry because he thought it was primarily manual labour. He wanted Kumar to finish his studies, obtain a degree, and get a good job. But, as Kumar was from a weaving family, his heart was always in the saree weaving industry.
Satheesh finished his BE in 2012, and after a brief career in the automobile sector (2015–2016), he chose to pursue his passion with a meagre investment of Rs 1 lakh. Rather of squandering cash and resources on establishing a factory, Satheesh opted to hire individuals in need of full-time employment who were both competent and enthusiastic in weaving sarees.
Satheesh supplied these individuals and families with all of the necessary tools, organisation, and training. And grew from two families to persons from ten homes working for him. A few years later, Satheesh’s firm is thriving, with over 2,11,000 Facebook followers.
He says that before we went online, both the business and he were limited in their growth. Kumar says, “But today our circle is wide and we manage to generate sales of approximately Rs. 7 lakh each month.”
What began with local orders spread throughout India, and we now offer these exquisite Indian handloom sarees all over the world, including Canada and London.
However, like the rest of the globe, Satheesh’s business was hit hard by the coronavirus epidemic, and his activities were forced to close when the lockdown was enforced across India in March 2020. Much to everyone’s relief, when Covid-cases went down a few months later, India, like the rest of the globe, began to unlock, and so did Satheesh’s business.
Because his company is conducted from the homes of Satheesh’s weaving employees, transportation issues had forced him to close shop.
However, as transportation and courier services were restored, sales of Satheesh’s sarees resumed. However, Satheesh was aware of the situation around him and resolved to do something to assist people who had lost their jobs as a result of Covid-19.
So Satheesh addressed his friends, family, and neighbours in need, and taught individuals who were interested in reselling sarees made by his company.
He enlisted their help in sales and marketing, delivering orders himself and paying the women a percentage depending on sales.
Satheesh adds, “Currently, around 50 women, including two transgender people, vend sarees on WhatsApp and Facebook.”
Although my business was also impacted, offering a source of money to women in need has been beneficial to me.
Satheesh Kumar’s thriving firm has a turnover of Rs 70 lakh, but his objective is to constantly give back to society, adding, “I want to develop my business across India and provide jobs to the needy.”