Sisters launch Puja Flower subscription startup to make Rs 8 crore a year

A generationIt was just a simple complaint from her mother – about the lack of Puja flowers in their area – This first got Bengaluru resident Yeshoda Karuturi thinking about starting Hu Wu (“flowers” in Kannada) and flower subscriptions.

The 27-year-old sat down with her sister Rhea to explore the huge market gap in the flower industry, building a model that would allow flowers – from roses to chrysanthemums and lotuses – to be delivered to your door every day, like a pack of milk or a serving newspaper.

Today, the Bengaluru-based flower startup has an annual turnover of Rs 80 crore with an initial investment of $1 million by an angel investor.

Starting in 2019, the sister duo decided to bring a “modern twist” to the decades-old traditional flower market by introducing a subscription system. The field wasn’t for them, and they grew up in a family with a thriving flower business.

Filling a decade-long market gap

“Our father Ram Karuturi owned rose farms in Kenya, Ethiopia and India. In fact, in the 90’s his farm in Kenya was recognized as the largest rose farm in the world. So we grew up seeing the cut flower industry for many years The big changes that will take place in the future,” Rhea said.

Hoovu founders Rhea and Yeshoda Karuturi
Hoovu founders Rhea and Yeshoda Karuturi

While in the cut flower business, they realized bouquet flower market Worldwide is huge. “But then, when we changed our focus, we found that Indians don’t actually interact with flowers that way. Flowers meet the different needs of every Indian family,” said Rhea, adding that the sisters both grew up in Bangalore. and went to school in Ethiopia.

Yeshoda, a graduate student at Washington University in St. Louis, points out: “There is a huge market gap in India’s flower industry that has remained untouched for decades. While the bouquet market is fairly organized and prosperous, the traditional puja flower market is far behind. .”

Indians use traditional flowers like jasmine, marigold, chrysanthemum and roses in different ways, she said. “In addition to using them for pujas, people like to wear them on their hair or hang them in cars, cars, shops and offices.”

“But when it comes to the traditional flower market in India, the supply chain is still very fragmented and disorganized, with huge waste. The flowers are delivered through multiple layers of processing after harvest, and when they reach the customer, they lose their freshness,” she said. added.

Empowering Smallholders

At the same time, when Hu Wu Playing Yeshoda for the first time, her sister is still in college, pursuing a degree at Stanford University. Since the two shared a common interest in running a business, Rhea decided to start their business with her sister.

After in-depth research on the market, in 2019, they decided to build a platform to solve this problem from both the demand side and the supply side.

so, Hu Wu born in.

Hu Wu team
Hu Wu team

Hu Wu It means flower in Kannada.We want this name to be our native language because we feel like when it comes to puja flowersif it was in their native language, people would easily associate the name,” Rhea said.

“exist Hu Wu, we work directly with the farm. Often, farmers bring flowers to the local mandi for sale. But we work directly with farmers, which reduces the time in the sales process, which reduces turnaround time to 12-24 hours,” said the 25-year-old, adding that they currently work with farmers from more than 50 farmer cards Nataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu.

“When flowers are sourced, we make sure they are properly cleaned to make sure they don’t grow bacteria and moisture. We have a quality packaging process that keeps flowers fresh longer, taking their shelf life from two to three days Extended to about 15 days,” she explained further.

Dr K Rajashekar, a dentist and flower grower from Bangalore, said: “I have been Hu Wu I have been working on the farm in Kanakapura for over a year. Usually, I have to send the flowers to the local market, wait for the auction to happen, and then collect the money. This is a time-consuming and tiring process. But here, we supply them directly, and depending on the quality of the flowers, they pay us. “

“In this way, they also help some small farmers who don’t know how to sell their products,” he added.

Flowers and Agabatis in Hoovu
Flowers and Agabatis in Hoovu

From loose flowers to garlands and different greens like tulsi and darbha grass, Hu Wu Offers a wide range of products. “We rely on different online platforms such as Big Basket, Grofers, Supr Daily, Zomato, Milkbasket, FTH Daily and Zepto, not through our website,” Yeshoda said.

“We receive over 1,50,000 orders per month from Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Chennai, Mysore, Pune, Mumbai, Gurugram and Noida,” she added.

“Last year, we launched our agarbattis and are happy that even those have been successful,” notes Yeshoda.

(Edited by Divya Sethu)

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