A group of businesswomen have found a novel way to exclusively connect women entrepreneurs and buyers across the city — the Women of Wonder Group, or WOW, on the Telegram messenger app.
Started in 2015 by Shilpa Venkat, the exclusive women’s group connected small women entrepreneurs and buyers from all over the city. Over the years, the group has facilitated many stay-at-home mothers to start small businesses. The group has a regular business engagement and members get consistent business orders.
“The group was started with 12 members on WhatsApp after I had an exhibition in Magarpatta city. In the beginning, the members were from the area but later, more and more women joined. That is when I decided to have an exclusive business buyer-seller group where sellers get a chance to promote their products, whereas buyers can have their needs fulfilled in the group itself,” said Venkat.
In 2016, Venkat decided to shift the group from WhatsApp to Telegram. “We now have more than 1,800 members, aged between early 20 years and 60 years. WhatsApp has a limitation on number of members, so instead of creating multiple groups, I decided to shift the group to Telegram. The messaging application allows one-on-one interaction. So, if you are a buyer and need something from the group, you will get a response immediately. In case of Facebook groups, there is no one-on-one conversation as they just mention methods of contact for further details,” she said.
WOW occasionally holds flea markets where group members can sell their products and expand their business. “So far, we have had 14 such flea markets. People from all over Pune visit the flea markets. This not only gives the members a platform to sell their products but also boosts their morale as small businesswomen and entrepreneurs,” she said.
Offline group meets are also organised to facilitate networking between the members.
“Both buyers and sellers participate in these meetings. I request the sellers to bring along samples of their products. One can also mingle and connect with other businesswomen at such meets. We also hold special sessions, like on fitness and healthcare, organised by the members themselves,” added Venkat.
To motivate service providers and buyers, WOW has a monthly highest seller and buyer contest where the prizes are sponsored by different WOW members. WOW also has an e-magazine where the top two sellers are showcased.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines