May 7, 2006: Prakash Mundhra, a 27-year-old MBD graduate from Symbiosis Pune, had just sent out a two-line mail that took him two hours to write. The mail was the outcome of his life’s biggest decision. He was turning down a Rs 6-lakh job offer and instead setting up his own business — of manufacturing Diwali puja kits. It left many shocked. But Mundhra knew what he was doing.
Within a year, his company, Sacred Moments that manufactures ‘Blessingz’ Diwali puja kits, had a turnover of Rs 30 lakh. The kit, which has 32 items, including murti, haldi, roli, honey, gangajal and a vidhi booklet that tells people how to go about the puja, is now a big hit with corporates and in the export market, with orders coming from the US, Canada, the UK, Australia and South Africa.
“It started with the ITC Mera Gaon Mera Desh business plan contest in my first year at SCMHRD, where I chose Mangaldeep agarbattis,” says Mundhra. It didn’t click with ITC. “But I went ahead and participated in Zee TV’s Business Baazigar and won the ‘mini Baazigar’ title,” he says. With the Rs 50,000 Zee TV gave him, he researched the idea and created a designer puja kit. After an initial investment of about Rs 4 lakh, Sacred Moments was born.
By Diwali, he’d sold 10,000 kits. “Strangely, I got 500-odd orders after Diwali from a Punjabi family who wanted to gift the kits to their baraatis!,” says Mundhra. The gross revenues were Rs 35 lakh (Rs 350 per kit).