A story of a village, an entrepreneurial tailor and how he strives for more – by grabbing opportunities with both hands!
It doesn’t always take a business school to teach business sense!
This is the story of Mahadeva, a 34-year-old man who started his own shop at the age of 18 and since has turned it into a hub for diverse services.
A small tailoring shop in Muttanahalli serves over 70 customers each day, from different villages .. What is he offering that makes him the sole service provider to a long-lasting and faithful customer base for over two decades? Muttanahalli is located in the south of Karnataka in Mandya District and like the rest of the state is rich in culture and flora. Moreover, it is a part of a small cluster of villages between two major cities, Bangalore and Mysore.
Mahadeva did not see any examples of educated youths from his village, who were employed and aiding their family.
Mahadeva was born and brought up here. His uncle introduced him to the art of tailoring; he was taken to meet customers, practice on waste cloth and was more than happy to assist. In his free time, during holidays and such, he perfected the finer details of stitching and local embroidery. At 18, his family persuaded him to leave his education and take up tailoring full time. He was torn about the decision,but Mahadeva did not see any examples of educated youths from his village, who were employed and supporting their family. So he decided that his future lay in his hands, and tailoring would get him to an early start.
Business was rough at the beginning, there wasn’t enough investment or assistance. With help of his mother, he completed the first few orders from his home in the village. He derived inspiration from the Internet and presented new design suggestions to his customers and slowly built a name for quality work. Mahadeva’s effort, skill and people skills, set the business on an upward path. He applied his enterprise and marketing skills to reach customers. Along with a promise of quality and on-time delivery, he printed visiting cards.
While renting a shop, he looked for a strategic location; a place accessible to villages around, so people can visit him conveniently. On their way in and out of the highway, they place and pick up their orders. Within the first year he received his biggest order yet- clothes for an entire family for their daughter’s wedding including the bride’s apparel. His long- standing relationships aided by the quality of his work travel by word of mouth now, after being in the business for almost two decades.
The integration of digital services has also opened doors to a new customer base; villagers are now able to place online orders for personal and household items.
Mahadeva is a successful entrepreneur, but his ambition is to grow and serve his community. His entrepreneurial spirit attracted us to him – and he is now a 1Bridge Advisor providing a range of assisted digital services at his shop.
The integration of digital services has also opened doors to a new customer base; villagers are now able to place online orders for personal and household items. Since people who visit his shop have to travel no further to fulfill their online services needs, his village has become a go-to hub for other villages around the area. Mahadeva has used this opportunity to fuse his two businesses and help each other build. His go-getter spirit and grounded personality are perfect for his line of work. He is patient with his customers while identifying and placing orders on the 1Bridge catalogue. Since his existing costumers trust him, he places orders for items such as watches, TV’s etc. He does recharges for mobile and DTH for his existing customers.
As a last-mile new commerce network , we interact with young men and women, whose stories are inspire us each time. They are people with few opportunities and have no option other than to chose a less travelled path, however; what makes them successful is their customer centricity and resilience. They are truly the Abundance Ambassadors for their villages!