Can an Instagram Live session change your life? Meet Ankita Jain from Hyderabad, whose life transformed after she went live on the photo-sharing platform three years ago on a ‘lucky’ Wednesday. Back in 2020, the 32-year-old homemaker had a modest following of 500, and would spend her day sharing updates about her two daughters and sometimes her culinary experiments. Fast forward to June 2023, and she has emerged as a thriving entrepreneur with a follower count of 80K (@mommy_ankitajain). She is also the proud owner of a swanky home and a newly revamped office space, and is currently looking for full-time staff to conduct what’s now the famous ‘Ankita Jain ki Wednesday shopping Live’ sessions at 3pm and 10pm.
Jain’s endeavour is more than just a profit-making business venture though. She collaborates with women entrepreneurs from all corners of India, curating their products and showcasing them on her Instagram page. In the process, she has become the catalyst for change. Over the last three years, she has helped a woman in Karnal, Haryana, sell 50 pairs of her handmade crochet socks to customers in Indore; 12 pairs of handloom maternity nighties crafted by a young girl in Guwahati to a new mother in Kolar, Karnataka, and more. As compensation for her efforts, she earns a commission on each sale. Occasionally, she sets the price to ensure the items receive the value they deserve.
“These women create remarkable products, but often lack the marketing skills or resources to reach a wider audience. My customers are women who desire to shop conveniently without leaving their homes due to family restrictions or time constraints. I connect both of them on my platform,” she says, adding, “Coordinating the live sessions brings me joy, but the greatest reward lies in empowering women to expand their businesses.”
It all started on a Wednesday evening when Jain found herself stranded at home during the lockdown. On a whim, she logged into her Instagram account and showcased an array of toys, books and stationery she had curated for her daughters’ summer break. Soon enough, inquiries flooded in from her followers.
They wanted to know where she bought the products from and for how much, particularly the Magnetic Tiles and Blocks—an educational toy for tweens.
In India, the toy was priced at Rs 15,000, but Jain had managed to source the same from a friend in China for one-third of the price. The news about the affordable tiles spread across ‘mommy’ WhatsApp groups, and within two days, Jain received bookings for as many as 200 pieces. The products were sent to the buyers as soon as home delivery services resumed. “The earnings from the first session? Well, let’s just say it was enough to treat myself to an iPhone and an Apple watch,” she says.
The impact of her initiative was immediate. Soon after the first live, more than 30 women sent Jain their products, complete with descriptions and prices. The entrepreneur says she offers a comprehensive range of merchandise for mothers, including children’s stationery, toys, apparel, handbags, home décor, custom-made bags, etc. “Today, I collaborate with over 125 women entrepreneurs nationwide and achieve sales worth Rs 70,000 on a single Wednesday,” she says. To expand her reach, last year she started conducting the sessions on Wednesday afternoons at 3 pm as well.
On any given day, the mompreneur is packing products, attaching address sheets, and interacting with courier companies to ensure prompt shipment. Amid her busy schedule, she takes a moment to capture a quick selfie perched atop the packed orders, showcasing her dedication. “It’s not an exaggeration to say I come alive during my sessions. Ladies and gentlemen, presenting to you Ankita Jain live,” she quips.