“It is a place where creative entrepreneurs who do not have stores get visibility,” says Komal Goel, founder of Sarga, a customised fashion accessories brand when she was asked if flea markets benefit new entrepreneurs. The city boasts of a number of flea markets – The Souk - An Eclectic Bazaar, Reuse at Redpoint, Good Seeds Bazaar, Vegan Bazaar and Flea af’FAIR’ by Tree Huggers Club that are held usually during the weekends.
These markets function with an aim to help the new entrepreneurs get visibility and also to provide a platform to brands that do not have a physical space.
With a sharp increase in the number of start-up companies in the last few years, the market is getting competitive for most of these creative entrepreneurs. They either run a service or create their own products. They want visibility more than profits and that is what drags them to these markets.
From organic to vegan products, from cup cakes to fashion accessories, all kinds of products are put up for sale in the 40-50 stalls in the market.
Through her brand Sarga, Komal sells creative jute bags, painted kettles, phone covers, baby rompers and many more creative items and she does not miss a single opportunity to participate in any flea market.
“ I depend only on social networking sites as I do not own a store. Flea markets help me sell my stuff and I have managed to make enough profits till now,” she says.
Also known as Gurjari or Shrukawadi or Juna Bazaar in other parts of India, these markets are also the launch pads for many entrepreneurs. One such is Sachin Shinde who will be launching his brand Prodeio at the upcoming flea market, Summer of Love on March 15. He works along with Dev Bakshi, co-founder of Prodeio.
“After three years of research and working in luxury hotels industry, I understood that every one wants to own luxury items, but not all can afford them. That’s when I decided that I will make cost effective leather products,” says Sachin who specialises in making tote, messenger and sling bags, ruck sacks and tech accessories that include cases for iPhone, iPad and Macbook laptops. He is quite sure that he will be able to create a market as he feels that people in Hyderabad love luxury products.
Though Komal and Sachin are quite positive about the response that flea markets will generate for their products, Disha Bhandari who took part in a number of flea markets till date is not quite happy.
“The markets here in Hyderabad are very dry unlike other cities. There are only 30-40 stalls in every market on average and the buyers and vendors are mostly repetitive,” says Disha who runs an artificial jewellery brand 361 degrees. “I do not make the products myself and hence get a very less margin. I find it difficult to generate enough profit,” she adds.
Akhil Kodamanchili, one of the organisers of Flea af’FAIR’ by Tree Huggers Club says that the flea markets also serve as a platform for many entrepreneurs who are looking to expand their business.
“We have seen many like minded people coming together and taking their ventures a step ahead by collaborating,” he informs adding that they make sure the ambiance is made up for visitors to enjoy shopping.
“We try to make it easy for new entrepreneurs to sell their products as most of the times they lack marketing skills,” he explains.
So what kind of stalls are usually seen in Flea af’FAIR’? “Stalls selling art and craft pieces and textiles are regular.
Apart from that, a few health-oriented stalls and stalls that sell organic products have a good buyer base,” he responds.
People also use it as a platform to promote their services like Oye Happy. “They do not sell any products. They plan surprises for people. They too make use of the market to get visibility,” explains Akhil.
They also have an open stage for performers where people at the venue are free to showcase their skills.” Akhil says.