Rakesh Gupta was the master of his family and the mastermind of his business. He ran a ‘farsan’ shop in the heart of Vadodara, Gujarat. Farsan is a Gujarati snack, a medley of fried, dried, fresh or steamed snacks—a hot mixture so to speak—well enjoyed with chai.
Mr Gupta’s shop, Mahavir Snacks, had a range of farsan that was well known. Its fame had spread through positive word of mouth. Rakesh was satisfied with his shop and thought he had no need for more. His customers were loyal; he had no wastage, his employees were well managed. He had it all figured out.
Rakesh didn’t have everything a successful businessman boasts like a vacation home or an expensive car. Nevertheless, he led a comfortable life. Money was never a big concern.
Then the digital revolution came to India.
A former employee, Bhavin Rathod, decided to copy Rakesh’s business model to achieve success on his own. He opened a store Rathod Candies and created a range of Indian sweets that were not too different from the ones at Mahavir Snacks. He drew in customers easily since his products were top quality — Rakesh had been an excellent instructor.
Rakesh heard of Bhavin’s success, so he decided to visit Bhavin’s store to congratulate him. He did not consider his former employee a competitor, Bhavin’s store was on the other side of town.
When he arrived, he was surprised by the number of customers in a line outside of the Bhavin’s store. Once inside he noticed the phone did not stop ringing, and the kitchen helpers had to work as delivery boys at times. Bhavin explained Rakesh that he was considering running kitchen operations overnight to keep up with the demand.
“In, Vadodara?” Rakesh asked. Not even during Navratri he had as many customers as Bhavin now had. How could he have so many clients?
“Most of my business isn’t local,” Bhavin explained. Rathod Candies supplied to stores all over Gujarat. They even had enquiries for delivery to the UK.
“It took me thirty years to get to the place I am,” Rakesh replied. “How did you do it so fast?”
“I created a website,” Bhavin replied. Rakesh noticed Bhavin’s expensive-looking watch. “I hired someone to help me with social media and email campaigns.”
“I have a website too,” Rakesh replied.
Bhavin laughed. He knew that Rakesh hadn’t updated his website in ten years and it didn’t even load properly on mobile devices.
“You need more than a website,” he explained. “You need to optimise your web presence. Customers need to be able to find you. If you’re not out there, you don’t exist.”
On the way back to his shop, Ramesh decided he learnt something new that day and it was time he relooked at his business model and came up with a strategy for updating his website and social media channels to help increase his business and be able to cater to his customers better in this time of the “Digital Revolution“.
Want to know more about web presence optimisation? Read our blog post, How to Gain More Business by Improving Your Web Presence.