13 Mar 2020, 10:00 — 4 min read
Enterprise: Sharma International
Founder: Neeta Sharma
Industry: Gifts, Handicrafts & Cottage Industry
Year it was founded: 2006
Location: Agra, India
The pristine beauty of the Taj Mahal often inspires visitors to purchase marble artefacts that feature workmanship reminiscent of the iconic monument of love. Neeta Sharma, a resident of Agra, realised that there was a huge market for such products not just in her city but in fact the world over. In 2006, she established Sharma International as a unit that manufactures and globally exports handicrafts items made of marble, alabaster, stone and wood. Her products have found loyal patrons across the world.
Neeta Sharma shared business journey in conversation with GlobalLinker (GL).
GL: Tell us about your business.
Neeta: We originally started by selling our creations to tourists visiting the iconic Taj Mahal in Agra. In 2006 we formally established the company and started exporting various items made of marble, stone and wood. These include Oil Burners, Aroma Lamps, Candle Holders, Incense Holders, Bath Accessories, Animal Figures, Table Tops etc. We now have four production centres in Agra to cater to the increasing demand for our products. We have been awarded several top export awards by the Uttar Pradesh state government and the Government of India.
Also read: Vandita Vijayvergiya, Founder, Clay County
GL: What is your USP?
Neeta: I firmly believe that our craftsmanship, unique design and quality of our products sets us apart on the global stage. We employ some of the best craftsmen and have a team of 400 working with us. Innovative products at competitive prices is our secret for thriving and being relevant in the export market.
We focus on exporting products that are specialties of Agra and nearby areas. Innovative products at competitive prices is our secret for thriving and being relevant in the export market.
GL: How do you identify export products?
Neeta: We focus on exporting products that are specialties of Agra and nearby areas. We rely on market surveys and our own experience to ensure that our products meet international standards. We also attend various exhibitions to keep track of current trends.
We have greatly benefitted from the various services provided by FIEO (Federation of Indian Export Orgnanisations), including events and exhibitions organised by them as well as a host of export related information.
Also read: Sangeeta Agarwal, Director, Countertops & Cabinets (India) Pvt Ltd
GL: What is the greatest challenge you face?
Neeta: Lack of skilled workmen is always a challenge. Also, one has to regularly acquire the latest equipment, and this entails considerable investment.
GL: Your big business dream?
Neeta: My goal is very clear. We are working towards being a 100-crore export company by 2025.
GL: What is your message to aspiring entrepreneurs?
Neeta: There is great potential for developing a crafts business in India. Based on my experience I can say that craft export business is highly creative and has immense scope for growth and employment generation.
Also read: Woman exporter puts ceramic tiles from Gujarat on the global map
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Posted bySupriya Mathur
As part of the editorial team on GlobalLinker, I shine the spotlight on business owners who are doing exciting and innovative work by featuring them as part of our 'SME...