Mompreneur: Swapna Mehta Soars with RedPatang.com

swapna

By Anjum Choudhry Nayyar

If you’re a mom trying to find those unique Indian games, clothes or other products without paying exorbitant prices for shipping and handling, Redpatang may be your one-stop shop to do just that! RedPatang.com is a unique, fun Indian boutique for all ages, offering a hand-picked selected collection of Indian or Indian-inspired merchandise that is fun, beautiful or just ‘ones to pass the time. The site which has been live since March of this year, was started by mom and entrepreneur, Swapna Mehta.

You’ll find comics from Amar Chitra Katha including epics like the Mahabharata, Tinkle classics, hand crafted lacware toys, kurtas for children and fun Indian magnets and charms from Chumbak. The site also carries Indian cookbooks from top Indian chefs like Sanjeev Kapoor. We spoke to Mehta about how the site works and her inspiration for launching it.

 

 

What inspired you to start the site?

It all started after our little girl was born. I was looking for kurtas and Indian themed books for her and quickly realized that they were either hard to find, or the shipping was expensive, or it could take 3 to 4 weeks to get the products in hand.  Busy parents don’t have the time to go scouting for quality products and of course everyone wants speedy shipping and secure shopping with their online purchases.  We realized that there was a need for a single shopping portal and Red Patang was born.

Why is the site called RedPatang?

The word “Patang” means kite in Hindi and many other Indian languages.  To us, it brings back nostalgic memories of home and symbolizes a favorite childhood pastime in India. Why red?….umm…its just cool!

What can we buy on the site?

RedPatang.com has a pretty unique selection for both children and grown ups.  For children we offer Amar Chitra Katha comics, art and craft kits, handcrafted toys, kurtas and cool Indian clothes.  And for grown ups, we have cool knick-knacks from modern Indian designers including fun magnets, charms, jholas and things for the home. All our products make really interesting and unique gifts and many have universal appeal.

How does the site work?

As an avid internet buyer myself, I understand the pain points that other shoppers face. We work with the original manufacturers /publishers so that we are assured of quality and authenticity and stock the product at our warehouse in the US. We ship within one business day of the order and offer flat rate shipping to the US and Canada (free over $50 to the US). We ship with a tracking number so that the customer always knows where the package is.  We have a deal on one item every week with discounts usually ranging between 20 to 40% .

Who can sell products on the site? what should sellers who work with you know?

RedPatang.com is a fun and unique website.  We work with creative designers who bring a modern twist to products that are India inspired.

How is the site unique?

A lot of the products are exclusive to our site and not available with other North American retailers.  We’ve aimed to be customer centric first (e.g. stocking product in the US, tracking numbers with shipments etc) …and of course we are the only one stop shop for modern and fun south Asian gifts for children and grown ups alike.

How did you get started in this business and how do you juggle being a mom and working on your own business?

Its been a steep learning curve in setting up the website but I focused on what I would want as a customer myself and went about trying to address that. I juggle my time with my little girl the same way every mom does …sometimes the dishes pile up but hey …reading a good book or drawing a picture together is more important to us.  These moments are precious and need to be cherished.

For more information on Redpatang visit: www.RedPatang.com


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