Engineer Aman Porwal launched MomsKart, an online marketplace where mothers from across India share homemade delicacies with a wide audience. He shares what inspired him to set out on this entrepreneurial journey.
For Dimpy Bansal, the day begins by checking her notifications on MomsKart.
The Chandigarh homemaker is among the 5,000-odd ‘mompreneurs’ who sell a variety of homemade delicacies to people across India on the platform, built exclusively for Indian mothers to share their culinary prowess with others.
Today, Dimpy has received a request for besan ladoos. The dessert, she explains, is one of her hit products on the platform. As she busies herself preparing the sweet treat, she recounts how wonderful it is to have her ladoos, a favourite of her kids, now relished by people from across the country.
“On receiving the notification, I convey the date by when I’ll have the order ready,” she says. “I then prepare the food and have it ready on the designated day, when the delivery guy picks it up. It is a simple process.”
Her journey with MomsKart began in 2018, when she stumbled upon the platform while scrolling through Facebook. Before that, Dimpy would rely on word of mouth to get buyers for her namkeens and granola bars.
“I started making namkeens way back in 2016. People from my society would be my usual buyers, but after discovering MomsKart and reaching out to Aman, I have received so much love from people across India,” she notes, letting us in on a secret — “I am also planning on selling my cakes and pastries soon via the platform. It’s something new and I’m excited.”
Behind this platform is Indore-based engineer Aman Porwal. In a conversation with The Better India, he explains how a long-held dream to do something ‘different’ turned into a heartwarming and unusual business prospect.
Having always been of an innovative bend of mind, Aman recalls that during his college days, while his batchmates would attend lectures, he was fascinated with what lay beyond the classroom.
‘The world of startups excited me.’
In 2020, as his batch prepped for placements, Aman did too. But when he did not secure the job he was applying for, he shifted his sights to the corporate world.
“I walked out of the placement room with a promise that I would create a venture of my own,” he says, adding that he revisited a startup idea that had been marinating in his head for a while.
“Growing up, I watched my mom, a businesswoman, balance work and home life. She would make and sell pickles, jams, and namkeens. I would often wish for more and more people to get a chance to taste her creations,” he says.
With this thought in mind, Aman decided to start MomsKart — a venture where moms would be able to find buyers for their products without any hassle.
Was it tough to start a venture while still in the process of getting a degree?
“Not really,” says Aman. “While in college, I would attend IIM and IIT events to get an understanding of how startups worked and insights on product development. I was intrigued. So when I decided to launch MomsKart in 2020, I felt ready. And once I started, things fell into place. Before completing my graduation in computer science, I was the proud owner of a company,” he says.
Explaining the concept of MomsKart, Aman says to think of it not just as a startup venture but as an online marketplace, partnering with women to build their brands.
Kachoris, papads, samosas and more
While being traditional, MomsKart is tailored to meet the needs of mothers who are novices in business.
“It sidesteps the usual e-commerce platforms as it is a zero investment marketplace,” explains Aman. “Sellers do not need to pay anything before they reach the threshold level. In addition to giving mothers a space to sell their homemade products, we also assist them with logistics, certification, marketing services etc.”
“It is an ecosystem in itself,” he adds.
A crucial element of the platform design is the way it helps sellers understand the tech without complicating the process. “Even moms who know nothing about tech can navigate the platform,” says Aman.
He adds, “Once a mother registers on the platform, we train them in using the interface, conduct quality checks and assist them at every step. We also have a virtual assistant Mahi who guides them.”
Once you learn the ropes, there is a magical world to explore, adds Aman.
A world of homemade treats with masalas, premixes of idli, sambhar, khichdi and more, karela chips, mini kachoris, soya sticks, achaars, fudge chocolate among others, awaits anyone who visits MomsKart. These flavours can be felt in homes across India, or to be precise — “across 20,000 pincodes”.
Aman takes pride in building a platform that has so many emotions invested in it. But while he says it has been amazing, he adds it hasn’t been without challenges.
For one, it was not having a co-founder.
“It is challenging to build a business on your own. Another challenge was when the lockdown hit. I thought it was a dead end but it brought opportunity, as more people came to the platform. They say things always happen for a reason. I believe it.”
Today, the venture sees a turnover of Rs 5 lakh per month and has partnered with a range of logistic partners for deliveries.
For Aman, the years of brainstorming and effort have resulted in a great venture, and he says life has come full circle.
“In college, we would hear stories about Indian startups, enterprises, and entrepreneurs and how they had defied the norms to create something. At the time I found myself inspired, and today I have a story of my own,” he says.
If you’re a mom looking to treat India to your delights, begin your journey here.