Over the past decades, India has witnessed a rise in migration – both within the country and abroad – due to factors such as employment, education, and marriage. In a report published on international migration trends last year, United Nations stated that the Indian diaspora population is perhaps the largest in the world. According to fresh Census data, 4 out of 10 Indians have left their original place of residence to settle down in either fast-growing Indian cities such as Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Pune, Delhi, Kolkata, and Mumbai or abroad. This has created a market gap with migrant populations not being able to get their hometown specialities where they live.

The website at the end of the tunnel

Salebhai.com has thus stepped in to fill this gap by catering to these migrant Indians with a plethora of regional products to take them back to their roots. While doing so, it has also become a trusted site for the discovery of regional products for customers looking to try something new.

With their back-to-roots philosophy and dual objectives, this e-commerce marketplace has become the go-to site for curated regional products: from the hottest chilli of Tezpur, the finest peanuts from Bharuch, 100% organic dry fruits of Kashmir to the best halwa from Tirunelveli and more.

So, what is SaleBhai all about?

Salebhai.com is an Indian e-commerce portal that enables people living away from home to order a range of specialties directly from their hometowns. It is also a one-stop solution for those who wish to #DiscoverTheOregional India, i.e original regional products from across the country. Focusing on the requirements of over 17 diaspora communities living in big Indian cities and abroad, the idea is to provide anything and everything that migrants miss from their hometowns.

It offers a wide variety of delicious consumable items such as sweets, namkeen, chocolates, bakery, spices, dry fruits, beverages, and pickles. It also offers handicrafts, paintings, puja items, handloom goods, herbal products, wellness items, and a host of seasonal and festive products such as mangoes, prasad for Janmashtami and Shivratri, modaks for Ganesh Chaturthi, jalebi-fafda during Dussehra and so on.

The site boasts around 9000 authentic handpicked products from 300 plus reputed vendors in over 100 cities: each product carefully selected for either fulfilling a migrant requirement, possessing a GI tag, being unique, or enjoying popularity. Once a product is identified, the three best sellers from that region are cherry-picked to bring it on board – thus assuring customers of originality and quality without any lingering doubts.

Birds of a feather start up together

The unique enterprise was launched in 2015 by Vishwa Vijay Singh, Purba Kalita, and Pramod Rao, after they identified the market gap led by people migrating within Indian and abroad and goods representing their culture being mostly in short supply.

The co-founders are friends who came together after years of pursuing different careers with the common desire to do something extraordinary – Singh had over 15 years of experience in marketing and sales; Purba had spent 12 years as a journalist, also in TOI, and was part of the team that launched Flipkart Marketplace; Rao had helped develop several software products for international clients.

They had grown up away from their native places with parents having transferable jobs. The only chance they got to visit their hometowns, cities, and villages was during vacations. That was the time when they connected with their roots and discovered unique things – food, festivities, customs, traditions, etc. The trend of an annual visit continued as they entered their different professions. They strongly missed specialities of their native places in other cities and towns. This longing brought them together and gave rise to SaleBhai.

Coming from different professional fields with specialised skills and abilities, the core team is a perfect amalgamation of multi-faceted experience and talent. Singh handles the overall functioning of the company with direct involvement in marketing, logistics, and product categories, while Kalita plays a vital role in content, communication, PR, and business development. Rao helped set up the website from scratch with his technical prowess.

Starting at the roots, branching out thereon

What started out as a platform catering to 17 communities has now grown from strength to strength to now serve customers across 195 countries, with special focus on US, West and South Africa, Middle East, Australia, and UK. From individual or household migrant requirements, SaleBhai is now fast becoming the go-to site for corporate gifting as well. From being a portal of discovery of India for Indians, it has now widened its horizons to let curious and nostalgic foreigners also experience the treats and treasures of this vast country. And it is only getting started.

Team THS

Team THS

Team THS at The Hacker Street
The Hacker Street is an online media publishing platform working with the early stage Indian startups and visionary entrepreneurs. With a mission to help and nurture the startup ecosystem in India.
Team THS