This Entrepreneurial Story is about Sushma Bhat who Founded ‘Thegrapevines.net’ located in Bangalore, India.
About: Sushma completed Bachelors of Business Management from Jyoti Nivas College, Bangalore and worked for about 6.5 years in IT Recruitment. Loves travelling, gardening, meeting people, and is a huge foodie.
When Started: February 1st 2013
What Motivated you to start your Business?
After having a baby, I did not want to get back to the routine of a 9 to 6 job. I wanted to do something from home, and that’s when my husband Mithun Bhat gave me the idea of starting a website. He said he would help me with everything involved in getting the website up and running. Later, while visiting Flea markets, Exhibitions and Sante’s, I saw many awesome products from talented people in various fields, and I felt that we find out about them only through these events, word of mouth or just by chance. Hence Thegrapevines.net came to life to be the platform for all of the entrepreneurs I had seen and showcase their businesses/Talents.
Tell us about your Business
Thegrapevines.net mission is to bring to light Home-based business, Start ups and Creative Talents. It provides exposure for these ventures to a wider audience by showcasing the entrepreneur’s products and services, providing their interviews, listing the various events they would be participating in and many other ways.
What is a Day in a life of you like?
At the moment I’m still building the site by establishing contact with entrepreneurs so that I can list them on my site. I’ve been featuring one venture a day, along with their interview. My day starts by checking the various mails and facebook messages, coordinating the list of ventures yet to be listed, and to check the technical aspects of the website’s functioning. This is balanced through the day with playing and taking care of my daughter, Ridhi, managing the house, and going out with my husband for a drive in the evening.
One particular skill you got right and gave you best results
I believe my people skills is a huge factor in my strategy and approach. It helps that I am relatively social and open, as it helps others find me approachable and easy to work with.
What have been your biggest challenges in running your Business so far?
My biggest challenge so far is to sustain the momentum that has been generated and to also come up with fresh and new ways to keep people interested and viewing the site.
How did you overcome these challenges?
The solution I came up with, was to constantly come up with new companies, and also to come up with new and interesting features on the websites such as interviews and articles. This not only kept people interested in the site, but also made me feel more enthusiastic about moving and thinking forward consistently
What have you found the most effective way to get new clients?
I believe social media is a huge factor in todays world, when it comes to getting new clients. So far I have only leveraged facebook in the ocean of social media options and have just started out using others like Twitter, Linkedin, Pinterest. Also, going to the events where entrepreneurs participate helps in creating relationships and spreading the word.
What advice do you give to other business owners?
Whether it be customers, partners, employees – always treat them the way you wish to be treated – with love and respect. Always be in touch with them, even if it is just a simple gesture of sending them emails asking them how they’re doing
How did you keep motivated through difficult times?
The feedback that I receive from listed ventures was very motivating. Also when new ventures approached me, their excitement to be featured on my website really made me happy.
Whats Your Marketing, Funding and Team Building Strategy
Marketing: My vision for thegrapevines.net is to be truly a 21st century company, in that a huge part of the marketing would be online. So far almost all marketing done has been online through social networking.
Funding: At the moment thegrapevines.net is completely funded and owned by me, and I’m going to try to keep it that way for as long as possible.
Team Building Strategy: For now the website is operated by me, with the help of my husband.
Your Achievements: We managed to get 100 likes on facebook and 100 companies listed within 38 days of the website going live. As of today we have 374 likes on facebook and 120 companies listed. I’m aiming to make that 200 companies listed by the end of the month.
Whats your favorite quote?
Only do what your heart tells you – Princess Diana
Who inspires you?
My ex Boss (from TVA infotech) – Gautam Sinha!! He is one of the greatest Entrepreneur i have ever met or seen !! Extremely motivating and an Optimist. He is now the Founder at My First Cheque!
Do you have a Business Philosophy?
Take each day as a new start.
Startup Freak wishes Sushma, All the Best!