Wednesday, April 10, 2013
Sparkling Success Story
Ambesh and Reena Khanna aren't just partners in business, but in life too. The husband-wife duo today operates three successful online jewellery stores.
Reena Khanna has always had a flair for drawing. She realized that she could convert this skill into a profitable business proposition by creating personally designed jewellery for women all over the world. Her husband, Ambesh, was supportive of helping her make her dream a reality. “To believe in your dreams and receive that trust & support from your partner is all that you need to turn your passion into a business.” says Reena. Ambesh & Reena set up their first online store 'Khanna Jewels' on eBay, the world's largest online marketplace, back in July 2003, adopting global online payment solution, PayPal to take their business to the world.
Reena believes that running an online business is the perfect solution for the modern Indian woman who often finds it a challenge to juggle the responsibilities of both family and work. “Because we have an online business, I'm able to work from home and spend more time with our family”, she says. It has also strengthened her relationship with her husband, Ambesh. “Working together has made us better partners in life. Spending more time together at work has its ups and downs but it has made us more mature at handling work and life as a whole.” As partners, they rely on their respective strengths to make their business work. Reena conceptualises and designs their jewellery, and oversees jewellery production. Ambesh oversees the operations, logistics and financial matters.
When asked about the secret to their success, Reena says “It is about making right product available at the right time and at the right place. Our diamonds and jewellery pieces are high-quality but affordable. We found a number of fair-priced courier companies that offer logistical support in delivery. Best of all, eBay and PayPal have enabled us to set up a business online which means we have an opportunity to work together and spend more time at home too with our family.”
Before taking their business online, Reena and Ambesh sold their jewellery in a more traditional fashion - sending samples to interested customers, waiting for their decisions to buy and then receiving payments for goods, often resulting in payments delayed for months. They found that setting up a PayPal account was easy and convenient, with no hidden costs or sign-up fees, and most importantly it made collecting payments a breeze. Once they set up their store online and integrated PayPal, they never faced the problem of delayed payments again.
Ambesh finds that using PayPal has helped to simplify their entire business process. “When we were operating offline, we had problems with attracting potential buyers, maintaining payment credit cycles, order procurements, travelling expenses and debt notes. Integrating PayPal has helped us to bring more customers to our online stores. The sale conversion ratio with PayPal users is as high as 99%.”
In addition, using a trusted payment solution like PayPal also created sense of confidence amongst their potential overseas customers. “As a woman who loves jewellery, I understand the apprehension of purchasing jewellery online when you may not be able to ensure the authenticity of what you buy.” Reena acknowledges. “However, the eBay and PayPal brand bring credibility and trust, removing any concerns that the buyer has. Moreover, we have never faced any fraudulent activity thanks to PayPal's screening & verification processes. They lead industry standards in terms of security.”
PayPal has over 117 million active accounts in 190 markets worldwide and supports payments in up to 25 currencies. This global reach has helped Ambesh and Reena expand their business across markets in the US, UK, Canada, Australia and Singapore. 98% of transactions made by overseas buyers are made through PayPal. They have also been able to build trust and trade with buyers from smaller, traditionally untapped markets like Finland, Norway and Belgium which contribute significantly to their revenues.
Over time, their business has evolved and expanded across other categories of diamond products. Today, the couple's business partnership has paid off and they now run three stores on eBay selling their jewellery across the globe. These three online stores specialise in three different areas. Khannajewels comprises of diamond jewellery, cocktail rings, and high end luxurious jewels while Solitaireworld sells solitaire earrings/studs and solitaire rings. Estatejewelles sells estate & Victorian-inspired jewellery.
Today, the Khanna's have a dedicated team of designers, developers, goldsmiths. Reena designs her jewellery in-house and their jewellery is manufactured in factories in Surat, Delhi and Jaipur. Ambesh and Reena are now focused on further expanding their thriving online business.
Ambesh is proud of the business his wife inspired. “My wife's passion for jewels has no boundaries! She has an uncanny ability to conceptualize and create jewellery that is a perfect fusion of Indian ethnicity and contemporary trends.” He says, “eBay and PayPal have helped us take her designs to the world. It's also given us the opportunity to work together and maintain a good work-life balance which has been great for the family! eBay and PayPal enable e-commerce, helping young entrepreneurial couples like us dream big!”