Vinita and Dushyant Baravkar are passionate about creating positive social impact. In 2017, they founded Bhumi to pursue this passion. With Bhumi, they have created a range of premium products, made from organically grown and ethically made cotton.
However, getting the right material for their products has proved a big challenge for their business as it requires a lot of capital. They considered bringing on investors to provide this capital, but were worried it might impact their ability to deliver social impact.
Working with Wayflyer has allowed them to get the capital they needed to source their products, without giving up any ownership, or control. Vinita and Dushyant have grown their sales 3x in one year and are in a better position than ever to deliver positive social impact for people and the planet.
When Dushyant and Vinita moved from New York to Australia in 2010 they were already passionate about living sustainable lives and being ethical consumers. A few years later, they launched Bhumi to provide ethically sourced, premium, organic cotton products. After they launched, they started visiting small markets and stores where they found a huge demand from local customers.
Neither Dushyant nor Vinita had experience in eCommerce, but after a few years of success selling their products through physical stores, they eventually opened their first online store with Shopify.
Bhumi started to grow quickly online. Dushyant came from a career in finance and so he was well aware of the challenges he would face when trying to scale Bhumi. “This is a very capital intensive business” says Dushyant. Bhumi’s suppliers required 30% upfront payment for all stock, and at the pace they were growing, they always needed to purchase more stock than they had the cash for; “we often missed out on potential sales as we didn’t have the stock to sell to customers who were ready to buy” says Dushyant.
Managing cash for both inventory and marketing is a tough balance to strike: “the two biggest issues for cash flow are related to inventory and spending on marketing. You have to have both of these humming in parallel”, says Dushyant.
Dushyant and Vinita explored the option of bringing on investors but were worried that giving up control of their company would hodl them back from delivering on their social impact mission. “We wanted to grow organically, not taking on investors who would dilute the value of our brand and challenge our ethos”, says Dushyant. However, their need for capital did not go away “if we don't get the funding we need, at the right time, it would be a big issue” tells Dushyant.
The Bhumi team approached Wayflyer to discuss how they could find a solution to this problem. What appealed to them about Wayflyer’s offering was the ability to get the funds they needed to grow, without having to give up any control or ownership. Bhumi decided to take capital from Wayflyer to fund their inventory purchases, and have gone on to take multiple rounds of funding for each order they make.
Dushyant and Vinita have had incredible success during the last year, driven by their ability to run highly successful marketing campaigns and to use Wayflyer’s funding to better manage their inventory. “It’s a critical part of the solution to have access to finance for inventory from Wayflyer”, says Dushyant.
“We tripled our sales last year, we simply could not have done this without access to the right capital”, says Dushyant. This growth has also given a huge boost to the social impact they deliver. Every Bhumi sale has a positive environmental and social impact, helping to fix many of the problems that currently exist in the textile industry. More sales for Bhumi, means more social impact delivered for people and the planet.
In 2020, Dushyant finally left his job in finance to focus full time on Bhumi. He wishes more businesses explored the other ways they can get funding for their business, without giving up ownership of their company; “a lot of businesses are not aware of the other options that are out there to fund their growth”, says Dushyant. Exploring these options may mean finding a solution like Wayflyer, which allows you to achieve all your growth objections without having to give up ownership, just like Bhumi have done so successfully.