“Have a Goal, Be Agile, Keep Going!”
Ahalya is well-known in Tamil Nadu for making the traditional handloom textiles and jewellery of Tamil Nadu popular through her outlet Parisera. She has successfully used the Facebook interface to popularise the fabled traditional textiles and jewellery so much that she gets orders from many countries outside India. She speaks to the DQ Channels in this interview.
Q – Please tell us about your background.
I have been involved with connecting fine hand-woven premium silk textiles to a wide audience for many years. My work helps not only the weavers, but also clients in understanding the exquisite fineness of this textile for which India has been a major manufacturing centre for thousands of years. My work has reached a wide audience. I extend fine silks and jewellery of Tamil Nadu to my clients.
Q – Do you export your products only in India or also abroad?
We have clients all over India and also in many foreign countries. We export to more than 35 countries, including to the US, which is a major import centre of our products, Malaysia, Sharjah, Dubai, UK etc.
Q – Are your clients only people of Indian origins or also foreigners?
Majority of my clients are people of Indian origin, but we also get orders from foreigners. They usually order garments such as stoles and they are interested in our jewellery.
Q – Do you face any problems in exporting your material abroad, in terms of rules and regulations?
No, I have faced no problems in exporting my goods abroad. We only have to ensure the quality of the products, work with the logistics such as safe and timely delivery and we have to pay the custom duty involved.
Q – You have a Facebook page where you promote your products and take orders from your clients. How does Facebook help you?
We have a store in Chennai in addition to our Facebook page. We do direct marketing of our products as well. Facebook helps in widening our clientele not only in India, but also in other countries. It helps in increasing awareness of our products among the general public and it has also widened our clients base.
Q – In which directions do you plan to expand in future?
We are planning to expand in décor items made by artisans and crafts persons of India and made by hand using completely natural materials.
Q – Being a woman do you feel that you have faced any major challenges in doing this work?
No, I have not faced any major challenges in this because of being a woman.
Q – There are also other similar organizations selling similar products on Facebook. How do you meet the challenge of competing against them?
We have a brand name of Parisera and we sell special quality products. It is this brand name and emphasis on quality that helps us.
Q – Do you directly deal with the weavers or do you use mediators to get silk garments from them?
We directly deal with them and also use mediators.
Q – What is your motto for success?
“Have a goal, Be Agile, Keep Going.”
Q – Thanks very much Ahalya. It was very nice talking to you.
Thank you too.