But a young entrepeneur has put his heart and soul into finding a solution to the problem. His online start-up ‘phulawala.com’ offers buyers a wide variety of flowers to choose from including marigold, basil, stone apple (bail), rajnigandha, tagar, aparajita, jasmine, hibiscus (mandara), malli, kaniara (yellow oleander), and arakh. On Mondays the site offers lotus flowers and on Thursdays only roses. Four months into its launch, the site has had more than 5,750 customers.
“The idea of this start-up is to provide flowers for worship at the doorsteps of the customers. One major problem is cities is for people to get fresh flowers. We are noticing good demand which indicates that people were in need of such a service,” Ashwini Kumar Biswal, the 28-year-old founder of phulwala, said.
Ashwini, who completed B tech from IACR, Rayagada and was working in the telecom sector, left the job to start the business. “I wanted to do something new. The idea for this business struck me and my family supported my decision. My brother helps me with this business.”
To make home deliveries in the mornings, Biswal has hired about 80 youngsters. “We make sure that flowers reach customers between 5am and 8am and we don’t charge for home delivery. There are 20 others employed in packing of flowers,” Ashwini says.
Besides flowers, the site offers services such as arranging priests for special pujas. The delivery at present is done within Bhubaneswar alone. Charges are collected on monthly basis and comes to about Rs199. According to Ashwin, the flowers are collected from local areas and some are brought from cities such as Kolkata.
“The production of marigold is poor here. So we need to bring them from Kolkata. During festival times we provides flowers and leaves that are required such as mango leaves and stone apple leaves,” he added.
The start-up now also plans to cater to customers in need of flowers for birthday parties, marriages and such other special occasions.
“I will include other varieties of flowers that are specially required in parties and marriages. Imported flowers for other decorations, too, will be brought from Bangalore and Kolkata,” he said.
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