Karan Singh asked me to give him a moment so that he could go in and check his face in the mirror. This was because I told him that I will take his picture along with what he was selling.
While roaming around in the Sector 14 of Gurgaon, I noticed a huge pile of idols, vases and hanging decorations in one of the shop. When asked to tell about how he manages his business, Karan detailed almost everything.
He gets the idols from Kolkata (West Bengal), Gorakhpur (Uttar Pradesh) and Mewat (Harayana) area. These idols are made of sand and are not colored. He said that the price incurred by him and the paint cost leaves him with a margin of around Rs. 50 per idol (big size) on average basis. He says that he manages to earn around Rs. 400-500 on daily basis. The smaller pieces are sold for Rs. 60 while he himself spends around Rs. 40 on them.
The order is placed on phone but he pointed that he visits the suppliers if he has to buy some new pieces because it is not easy to get the feel of the product on phone. When asked about the longevity of these idols, he mentioned that he has customers who had been using these idols for 6-7 years. These customers come to him during festivals, get the old idols colored for around Rs. 200. This paint takes around half an hour of Karanâ€™s time and it takes around 2-3 to dry in good sun.
He mentioned that the sale during Diwali is a stand-out for him. He went on to say that his sale of six months equals the sale during Diwali days.
The main selling items include small idols of gods, goddesses and some decorative pieces (big-size). Karan mentioned that it requires around Rs. 50,000 to start a business in this field given that the person has substantial amount of space to keep the items.
Owning this business beside his house, Karan gives a good example of home-based entrepreneurship that makes money from sand!