28 Dec 2020, 09:45 — 5 min read
‘An idea can change your life’ was the tagline of a popular telecom brand but it could also well be the tagline for 21-year-old Sandeep Kumar Sen’s business journey. Sen hails from Prayagraj (Allahabad) and his idea to open a neighbourhood café and then start selling online during the pandemic, has transformed his life for the better.
The concept of opening a café came to Sen in his final year of school. He recounts, “A friend of mine had started a restaurant that was doing really well, and this inspired me to get into the food business. Since there was no eating joint for youngsters in my locality, I was confident that a café would work well”.
Coming from a humble family, Sen vividly remembers a time when buying a 4000-rupee smartphone was next to impossible. Limited means never came in the way of dreaming big. “Believe it or not, I started with only 2000 rupees. This was the amount my father had asked me to deposit in the bank, but I decided to invest it in my café instead,” Sen shares with a grin.
Sen spent hours with his friends scouting for a location, planning out the menu and other details. “My friends who are like my brothers, helped me a lot in this entire process and that’s why I decided to call my restaurant Brothers Café.”
By 2018, Brothers Café was up and running and become an instant hit with youngsters in the area. Business was steadily increasing, and Sen was happy. But then in early 2020, with the pandemic and the subsequent lockdown, customers started dwindling. This was when Sen read in the newspaper that GlobalLinker, in partnership with the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIIT) and the Uttar Pradesh government was helping businesses create online stores for free.
With GlobalLinker’s eCommerce platform, LINKER.store, Sen was able to quickly create an online store for his cakes, snacks, namkeen and other specialty items. “GlobalLinker’s representatives really helped us create our online store in a matter of days. We soon started getting a good number of orders online and this gave us the motivation to change our business from offline to online.”
The response has been so good. Earlier we used to get customers within a radius of 2-3 kilometres. Now customers are ordering online, and I am selling across the whole of Prayagraj. Online sales now account for 60%–70% of our revenue.
The Brothers Café online store boasts of bold and catchy banners, delicious product images, clear pricing details, a simple and intuitive payment gateway and is integrated with efficient logistics. Sen happily shares, “The response has been so good. Earlier we used to get customers within a radius of 2 - 3 kilometres. Now customers are ordering online, and I am selling across the whole of Prayagraj. Online sales now account for 60% – 70% of our revenue. We even decided to host the online store on our own domain www.brothercafe.in”.
Sen shares that the experience of taking his business online has been seamless. He shares, “It’s been a superb journey for us to create an online store with GlobalLinker and they have been a great support. I was pleasantly surprised when on the first day of launching the online store we received around 50 orders. That’s when I realised the value of selling online”.
The pandemic has been a blessing in disguise for Sen as it has led him to harness the power of online retail and expand his geographic reach. Sen’s parting advice to entrepreneurs is crystal clear, “If your business is not online, then you are out of the market”.
Visit Brothers Cafe - www.brothercafe.in
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Posted byGlobalLinker Staff
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22 Mar 2021, 13:38