Urban Indian consumers are increasingly drawn to the idea of cooking unconventional meals, building customized furniture or organizing a party from the comfort of their homes, instead of getting them sourced from outside. Generation Y has taken a liking to DIY (do-it-yourself) kits. Helping them in this endeavor are a few retail and food startups, which themselves are experimenting with the concept.
The term “Do-it-yourself” was commonly used in the 1950s and was referred primarily to home improvement. But now it covers everything from lifestyle to food. Today, the DIY concept is becoming very popular for startups with low cash. The movement was given mojo by makers who actually make things and display them around the country. People who make things with their hands started to influence people who create things online. Thus, began a revolution. The way that we do business is rapidly evolving due to the DIY economy. This age-old culture has made it into the mainstream, empowering individuals to be self-sufficient instead of relying on the gatekeepers of the traditional economy.
In an age where mass production has become a practice, DIY is a way to differentiate your product. Things like sewing kits have been around for a very long time to help create customized products for the younger lot who want to fit into the crowd and stand out at the same time. Uniqueness in the product, and also the involvement that goes into making your own things, is driving the DIY craze in India. However, DIY has most takers among food and retail customers who order these kits to either ditch packaged food or get customized outfits. To deliver such unusual experiences to their customers, startups are working hard to identify retailers, sourcing suitable ingredients or raw material to teach the modus operandi to prepare a custom-made service. There is nothing that a consumer needs to do, except actually enjoying the preparation process by following simple instruction guides.
Just a few years ago, building a website, whether to start a business or to share hobbies, meant that one had to get entangled with the technical confusion that majority of the people either had no time or interest to tackle. They had to pay thousands of dollars to hire a programmer to get it built. According to industry estimates, there are about 50 million sellers in India, of which only 2.5 lakh are on the e-commerce platform. The hurdles or barriers to create a website are now gone. Thanks to the introduction of Do-it-Yourself concept in this space that is proving to be beneficial for the small businesses or startups as they help the merchants in:
- Creating a web presence with storefronts
- Listing their products on marketplaces or social media platforms
- Integrating with payment gateways and getting their store hosted for a monthly fee
- Creating a website that sells services, such as tutoring or access to a database that allows with job search
- Choosing a different business model and web development over an inventory-driven business
The DIY revolution is simplifying the technological processes to help SMEs and individual entrepreneurs easily adapt to online commerce. The approach is also helping customers engage in self-service instead of paying experts. Indeed, the credit goes to innovations that are pushing many current start-ups to adopt the DIY mode and propelling it from the margins to the center of the economy.