HYDERABAD: In a bid to facilitate NRIs in locating their favourite Indian merchandise better and, more importantly, ease the exorbitant delivery charges in getting these products to their doorsteps, Chetana Priyanka Somavarapu, an entrepreneur from Ranga Reddy, has come up with a startup called Forward Parcel.
It is often difficult for NRIs to find Indian stores that undertake international shipping; even if they do, most of these stores do not accept international debit or credit cards. Let’s say they do accept these cards; even so, the cost of shipping products to another country is very high. As a result, a majority of NRIs rely on friends and family to get their goodies delivered.
However, that too poses a problem, as the customer — more often than not — would not be in control of what their family would buy. Needless to say, the whole process would be a hassle for their kith and kin.
It is to counter these issues that Somavarapu came up with Forward Parcel. The idea came into being when she was a resident of the United Kingdom (for 12 years). “Getting hold of Indian products used to be a hassle back then. Couriers were expensive and it is not possible for friends or family to come to the UK every year,” said the Gandipet resident.
Elaborating on how it worked, Somavarapu said, “An NRI can buy the product they want through Amazon or Flipkart. While checking out, the shipping address should be changed to a Forward Parcel warehouse address.
“In this warehouse, one can store their product for 30 days. During this period they can also add more products to their package,” she said. Somavarapu said that her company does away with the price of individual packaging and gives people the option to courier many things at the cost of one.
“We remove bulk packaging from a single product, assemble them together and put them into a single package,” she said, adding that the move also reduces carbon footprint. Apart from this, the startup also locally buy products for their clients.