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We Are Eyeing For Expansion In Eastern Region: Sandeep & Deepak Sarraf
In a brief interview, the owner shares his journey from a seller to an entrepreneur and his future plans.
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Beginning by taking small footsteps into a road unexplored, the story of Durga Electricals in Bihar’s Patliputra region is no less than an inspiration. Established in the late 80s with a very limited range of products mainly audio cassettes and electrical goods, the shop after 3 decades years is now taking big leaps forward into the manufacturing and import-export segment. In a brief interview, the owner shares his journey from a seller to an entrepreneur and his future plans.
When did you start business?
We made humble beginning and began operations in 1986. We kick started with a very meagre investment. Manoj & Deepak Sarraf (Elder brothers) started the ball rolling and myself, Sandeep Sarraf, joined shortly after with the manufacturing segment. Initially, we used to sell electrical goods and audio cassettes. Within 3-4 years of inception, we earned the dealership of trusted brands like Philips and Anchor in the late 80s or early 90s. This was very prestigious for us back in those days as such dealerships were not easy to obtain especially in our region. Then we started moving fast. Few years later, we also established our manufacturing unit with an investment of just Rs 3500, installed our own machines and started manufacturing. Today, our quality of manufactured goods has earned the trust of end-users and sell like hot cakes.
Please highlight your business growth.
In the last 30-35 years, we made a lot of changes in our policies while expanding our business. We always relied on quality materials due to which our products were costlier. We were advised to produce lower quality for better pricing to enhance sales. But we never shifted our base. We always insisted on quality products and introduced a complete range of products under one roof. We never compromised with quality and sold to very few loyal dealers who patronised the products initially. When the products went to end-customers, our quality products & service became the talk of the town and helped in our business growth. Today, things have become more digital and today we are encouraging digital modes of functioning. We have our own software to run and manage store and works operations. All payment modes are accepted by us.
How did you survive during the pandemic?
The first month of lock down was undoubtedly difficult for us as we had to pay the salaries of our employees. We received support from banks and managed to pay full wages to our workers throughout the lock down phases of the pandemic. Soon after relaxations were made during the lockdown, we started our operations gradually and the business was back to usual.
How are you dealing with e-commerce and online delivery?
Today, ensuring physical presence of customers at shops is a tough challenge from e-commerce platforms. To sustain businesses under these circumstances, we too have decided to go digital to compete with online trade. We are working on it. We have our own e commerce website and our own server. We have 4k-5k products and all the products will be posted on the web portal. We will soon launch it to compete with various e commerce players.
What are your future plans?
We are planning to enter the import-export sector. Today, our network is limited to Bihar and now we are looking forward to expanding to the entire eastern region that includes North-East, Bengal, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, etc. Over the coming years, we will cater to demand from all over India. We are having enquiries from numerous major cities of the country currently owing to our aggressive digital marketing campaign.
In the manufacturing segment, a massive project for PVC Electrical conduits is underway and shall be ready for production in mid-June this year. This will help us further accelerate our growth pace.