After leaving their corporate jobs, Bhumika Marwaha, a 43-year-old engineer from Mumbai, and her colleague Bipin Joshi started ‘Jhappi’ — a marketplace that connects NGOs with consumers across India.

They started the enterprise in 2021 as an endeavour to help numerous NGOs and their beneficiaries earn a stable livelihood.

“In a world that saw e-commerce as a way to sell, we wanted to set up physical stores that would attach stories to our range of products,” says Bhumika.

These products are made by disabled persons, women from underprivileged backgrounds, people from the trans community, etc.

Currently, Jhappi is associated with 38 NGOs across India, whose products are sold through their physical stores in Mumbai.

The duo say that marketing products made by marginalised sections are challenging because of the way people perceive NGO products.

Among the many campaigns the duo have conducted through Jhappi, one of the most successful was that where they partnered with Nethra Umbrellas.

The 40-year-old NGO works with people with visual disabilities to manufacture premium quality umbrellas but wasn’t able to sell many of these.

Bhumika and Bipin’s successful campaign was aimed at integrating digital tech into the process, providing visibility on social media in order to increase sales.

“Our learnings were that a lot of the time, these NGOs would use compassion as a tool to get sales, while the quality of the product should have been the real tool,” says Bhumika.

She adds, “We helped them get their story right.”