#210 – Two E-Commerce Pros Tell Why India is a Great Option for Amazon Sellers in 2021
It’s almost automatic. When Amazon sellers think about sourcing products to sell, their thoughts immediately turn to China.
Now that Amazon sellers in India can take advantage of Helium 10, it’s a perfect time to find out more about an option that many experts (and Amazon sellers) are saying offers a great alternative to sourcing in China.
In this episode of the Serious Sellers Podcast, Helium 10’s Director of Training and Chief Evangelist, Bradley Sutton welcomes two skilled e-commerce professionals who offer the latest information on sourcing in India. Meghla Bhardwaj has over 20 years of experience in the sourcing industry in India and China.She’s also the founder of the India Sourcing Trip, a unique learning, sourcing and cultural guided tour to the Indian Handicrafts & Gifts Fair in Delhi.
Now, with COVID making an in-person visit impossible, she’s established the Virtual India Sourcing Show.
Margaret Jolly is an Amazon seller based in Australia who has transitioned from sourcing in China to exclusively sourcing 100 percent of her SKUs from India. She’s also an account manager for a company helping retailers sell online and coaches and serves as a mentor for new Amazon sellers.
Between the two of them, they answer many questions that e-commerce sellers interested in an alternative sourcing location are going to want to hear.
In episode 210 of the Serious Sellers Podcast, Bradley, Meghla, and Margaret discuss:
- 03:25 – Heading Straight into the Workforce
- 04:45 – Sourcing Exclusively from India
- 05:22 – How COVID Affected Sourcing in India
- 06:55 – India’s Rapid Evolution as an E-Commerce Hub
- 12:40 – Taking the Time to Account for India’s Attention to Detail
- 15:35 – The Virtual India Sourcing Show
- 17:25 – The Benefits of India’s Export Promotion Councils
- 20:20 – The Importance of Vetting Your Supplier
- 22:30 – Replicating Chinese Products in India
- 27:35 – A Sourcing Trip to India Leads to Great Reviews
- 30:30 – What Were the Biggest Changes to India’s Marketplace in 2020?
- 33:30 – Here’s How to Start Sourcing in India
- 35:10 – How to Contact Meghla and Margaret
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Bradley Sutton: Today’s guests are going to give us the latest advice on when sourcing in India might be a better option for Amazon sellers. How cool is that? Pretty cool, I think.
Bradley Sutton: Hello, everybody, and welcome to another episode of the Serious Sellers Podcast by Helium 10. I am your host, Bradley Sutton, and this is the show that’s a completely BS free, unscripted and unrehearsed organic conversation about serious strategies for serious sellers of any level in the e-commerce world. And just a real quick note, before we get started all you serious sellers out there. Don’t forget if you like the show, make sure to go ahead and leave us a review. If you’re listening to this on the Apple app, the Apple podcast app, or if you’re on Spotify or whatever you’re listening on, make sure to subscribe and follow and download all the new episodes. We appreciate your support. And now let’s go ahead and introduce. We have coming back onto the show for the second time, Meghla. For the first time we’ve got Margaret, the M and M, is that what you guys, I just made that up right this second, team M & M?
Meghla: Actually we have a third partner, Kevin. He’s not with us today. So we are MMK.
Bradley Sutton: Ah, M and M sounds so much better. Now, Meghla, you were last on the show. It’s hard to believe it, it’s been a while. It’s been since 2019. And I think just a couple of things might have changed in 2020, since the last time you were on the show in the world that we live in. So we’re definitely going to be talking a little bit about that, especially as it relates to sourcing in India and possibly some of your network selling Indian, but Margaret now you are based in Australia. Right?
Margaret: That’s right, yep.
Bradley Sutton: Excellent. Now what’s your backstory? We heard Meghla’s backstory when she was on the podcast before, but we don’t know much about Margaret. So, I would assume you were born and raised there in Australia, right?
Margaret: Well, I’m actually born here, just an hour from Melbourne and I was born on the other side of Melbourne and I kind of little place called Ballarat. So, yeah, so I’ve been in Victoria. I may have travelled and lived in different parts of Australia over my life, but spent most of my time down here.
Bradley Sutton: Okay. Growing up, I always ask this to Australians and just because it’s our stereotype. Growing up as a young Australian person, 10 years older, were you aspiring to be a crocodile Hunter or what exactly, what do you think you’d be when you grew up?
Margaret: Oh, probably hadn’t even thought about it back then. I mean, I’m probably that much older than you. It didn’t have many careers to choose from when I was starting. You were either a nurse, a typist or a shorthand taker or something like that. So, it wasn’t the, I suppose, array of sort of careers to choose from back when I was finishing school and I didn’t want to do university. I wanted to go out and get a job and stop making money.
Bradley Sutton: I like that so far. I mean, I think that’s important. I would say a good 10, 20% of our audience. They might not have lived in your small town, but they live in different parts of the world where it’s a similar thing, when you’re growing up, you know, there’s only a couple of things that most people do. And it’s not like you dream of a career to be an engineer, or there’s not many opportunities. So, so it’s interesting to document a story like yours. So upon graduating, I don’t know what you guys call over there, but we call it high school. Of course, did you go to university or did you go straight into the workforce?
Margaret: Straight into the workforce. And I got work in various sort of insurance company work, and I went into finance after that.
Bradley Sutton: How did you discover the Amazon opportunity?
Margaret: Just on the internet, just to an ad on the internet and just followed it through drawing the actual group up. We’re still members of that group and yeah, just took it from there and that’s, well, that’s over four years ago now.
Bradley Sutton: Okay. And pretty much exclusively selling on amazon.com in the USA?
Margaret: Yeah. I have tried Australia, but we gave up after six months. I just like watching paint dry, waiting for that to happen. So we just sort of got rid of the stock on a couple of different websites in Australia and solely in the US and quite happy to do that. But I mean, I’ve probably all been involved with Meghla for over two years now. So I’m actually a coach on the India sourcing trip, and now we’ve become partners in their virtual India Sourcing Shows and things like that. So I spent a lot of time working on the India side of it because we only source from India.
Bradley Sutton: So, your amazon.com business, you exclusively are sourcing from India?
Bradley Sutton: Wow. Has that been since the beginning or is that just something that you transitioned to?
Margaret: I started off in China, did first lot of products in China, got copycatted out of China and all that stuff, those stories. And so then we were actually on our way to Canton fair and according to Hong Kong and went to the Mega Fair in Hong Kong and found our Indian supplier, has found these products and I fell in love and I just went my God, we’d spent three days with him and ordered products and all that’s over three and a half years ago now. And we’ve been dealing with them ever since. Yeah.
Bradley Sutton: Okay. Interesting. So what was your biggest year selling on Amazon? Was it last year or did you kind of dial it back since we have these other endeavors you’re doing?
Margaret: Well, last year was a bit up and down with COVID. So, we just didn’t get stocking that we wanted and stuff, but, well, I mean, I don’t want to, I don’t profess to be a huge seller. We’ve just, we’ve got two brands going, and I’m quite happy to just be a medium seller. And it also helps me understand what’s happening on Amazon, because I do sort of the coaching and assist with information on in your sourcing web page and stuff like that. So I need to know what’s happening everywhere. So by being a seller and being active all the time, I sort of know anything that’s changed. And I think, you’re ahead of the game than somebody who’s just really start to sell. So, yeah, so that’s sort of, I suppose my story, so yeah, but has been fantastic and way to love the new sourcing trip and the show and everything that goes with it. So, it’s become our new life. So, I’m at a retirement and probably doing more hours than I’ve ever done.
Bradley Sutton: All right. So, Meghla, let’s catch up with you a little bit. So, we didn’t know what– to us at the time that we record the last podcast, Corona was a Mexican beer. So, nobody could have anticipated what happened last year, but let me just go out on a limb and say that more people than ever before were interested in possibly looking at India as a sourcing hub, once the kind of China had shut down for a while, would that be an accurate assessment that you saw a big increase in interest in sourcing in India?
Meghla: Yes. Absolutely. Bradley you’re right. So beginning of last year, when China shut down and everything started there, we saw a huge increase in the number of people looking for alternative sources, including India, and our group grew significantly during that time as well. And it continues to grow now. And yeah, I mean, after that, 2020 was of course, very strange year and very transformational in so many things happen in 2020, but India itself is grappling with the Coronavirus now. So then we saw people going back to China after Coronavirus spread everywhere. So, yeah, but despite that what we’ve seen in 2020 is that a lot of people have discovered the products that can be sourced in India and they are finding success with that. So I don’t know if you remember the last time I was on the show, we were talking about the India sourcing trip that I had done a couple of months ago, and it was a huge success. And I was planning the next trip in April 2020, which of course didn’t happen. But a lot of the people who were on that trip were able to launch products in 2020. And they had good Q4s, they sent in some test products and some of them did larger orders as well, and they’re quite successful. And now they are reordering for this year. So, I think what’s happened at least in our experience is a lot of people have discovered that, Hey, China is not the only source for products to sell on Amazon. There are other countries as well, and India has its unique advantages and unique products. So, you don’t necessarily have to look for the same products that you’re sourcing from China in India, but you’ve got to look for, okay, what does India really specializing? What are the products that we can source from there?
Bradley Sutton: Okay. And I remember, you know, before you had talked about some of the specialties of Indian suppliers would be like wood and another eco-friendly products, but you had mentioned that even in general, even at sometimes on the things that are, are really good quality and the factories really have a great process and great quality product that since the whole selling to Amazon sellers was a little bit newer than there were a little bit of hiccups maybe on like production time or understanding how to deal with Amazon sellers and things like that, because it was kind of new for Indian suppliers. What’s been the progress on that in the last year and a half, like, do you see more and more factories and suppliers, like have a great operation as far as how to deal with Amazon sellers and the logistics involved and things like that?
Meghla: Yes, absolutely. We are seeing that and what’s happening is that a lot of these suppliers, they are catering to Amazon sellers from the US, Australia. And then Amazon is getting very active in India as well. And a lot of these suppliers are also supplying to sellers in India who are actually selling on Amazon India. So, they’re not only exporting their products, but they’re also supplying to the domestic market. And that is also giving them more exposure into how e-commerce works and what are the requirements of, like packaging and all of those different things. So, definitely more suppliers are getting familiar with the process and more suppliers are also trying to sell themselves on Amazon. So, they are creating their own separate brands, not everybody, but some of them are. And increasingly we are seeing more interest among suppliers to sell directly on Amazon. And also in terms of logistics, I think we are seeing some changes. There are more companies looking into how to cater to Amazon sellers, and they’re getting more familiar with the specific processes, especially if an Amazon seller is not based in the US. It’s more complicated to get your product into Amazon FBA. So, there are more companies who are familiar with that process now, and also a lot of sourcing agents are willing to work with smaller buyers. Whereas, previously was really difficult because all the sourcing agents want to work with big buyers who are placing orders and containers. And nobody wants to work with a small Amazon e-commerce buyer who’s totally new to sourcing and they have 10 million questions to ask before they place an order. But increasingly they’re realizing that, Hey, even though these are smaller buyers, they are placing orders, smaller orders repeatedly. And there are so many of them. So, if you add up all of the order volumes, it can amount to quite a lot. So, they are even the sourcing agents, I think, are realizing that, Hey, there’s a lot of opportunity over here.
Bradley Sutton: Okay. Now, Margaret, you’ve been on both sides of the aisle, as far as sourcing from China, sourcing from India. What are some of the biggest differences that you notice? I’m assuming like a couple of your products, at least you actually source the same exact product. You switched it from China to India, or did you just like stop those products and start a completely new one?
Margaret: Stop my product and it’s going to started with complete new ones. Yeah, now, we moved completely into a different area. We were originally in more plastics and then we moved into metal and– Now, moved into wooden metal with our second brand. So, nine products in one in the initial brand that we started off when we first met our supplier.
Bradley Sutton: So, then what would you say then? That’s okay that it’s completely different, but what would you say is some of the biggest differences with the process, like shipping times or negotiation process or what part of it was different from one use of source in China, and then now that you do it in India?
Margaret: Oh, I think the time, the turnaround timeframe is probably the most, because everything we have is handmade. We’ve actually visited our factory and worked through the processes with them in different departments. And I know now that they actually sit there and hand polish, like if you’ve got an– let’s say a knife, each blade, a man would spend three minutes hand polishing every single blade. So when I order a thousand of something that has to be polished, I feel so guilty because this poor man’s got to polish a thousand pieces. If you have say a handle on something in a certain shape, he sits there and actually hand does that shape. Whereas everything out of China is basic, right? You’re not done in a day on a production line. So, I think you do have to allow and I tend to tell anybody who’s going into this sort of products where you do, which is home decor, metal, wood type things, where there’s quite a few different components of each product that you can be looking at sort of 12 weeks or something like that from ordering to completion.
Bradley Sutton: Okay. Now the factories that you’re currently producing at right now, how did you find that exact factory? Did you just go there and start visiting factories? Did you find them on Alibaba? Did Meghla introduce them to you, or how did you find the exact factories that you’re doing?
Margaret: We actually found this factory at the Mega fair in Hong Kong. And we developed a relationship with them. We spent a lot of time there and I chose some products and said, look, I just need to go back and do a bit more research on this is going to work. Because we weren’t really looking at those type of products. I’d never looked in those natures. And we then actually said, we’ll test the nine products and I’ll tell what doesn’t work. And I’ve ended up keeping the whole nine products because some worked better than others, but because they’re all made out of the same material and they work together in your home, we get a lot of cross selling. So I have heaps of products where I’ll sell two or three different products in one sale. So, I found that worked really well for us. And I mean, we’ve built such– I think that you can get a much better relationship. Our supplier is like our family. You’re not staying in a hotel like, and we do weddings, birthdays, everything. So, it’s a bit like they’re our best friends now as well. I find that the relationship you can have with them, and I mean, we’ve met the grandfather and the whole family. I think that’s sort of where the difference lies.
Bradley Sutton: All right. Now, Meghla, I mean, obviously there’s the– you’re not going to be doing your trips. You haven’t done it in months and it’s probably will be some time before those kinds of things happen again. So outside of being able to go to one of these fairs, like where Margaret found that factor outside and going one of your India sourcing trips, how can people currently, during the pandemic find a reputable supplier?
Meghla: Yeah. So, one of the things that we did early last year is started this thing called virtual India sourcing show, where every month we interview about five to 10 vetted manufacturers from India and do live webinars with them. And this is something that was just formed organically sort of out of discussions in the group. Because people were saying, Hey, we can go on the trip and suppliers, and we want to still source these products. And so Mark, Kevin and I, we came up with this idea of this, like we call it. And so, since April of last year, we’ve been doing this every month and that’s one place where people can start with. So what we do is we basically contact the suppliers, text them, check that they are legitimate companies, that they are manufacturers and that they are export focused companies. And then we bring them on the show. They talk about their companies, their story, their factories and their products. And they also show actual products and people can ask them questions. So it’s interactive as well. So, that’s one place where people can start. And the other places that people can start is, first of all, global sources and Alibaba, those are the two major export focused supplier directories out there for India. And even though most of the suppliers on these two websites are from China and maybe Taiwan, other countries, but there are Indian suppliers as well. In fact, both of these companies have offices in India and in 2020, they have both of them have actually increased their focus on India and trying to recruit more suppliers. So when you’re on any of these two websites, do a search for the product and then use the country location filter to basically search for suppliers in India.
Meghla: And that’s one way to do that. Also, there are a lot of export promotion councils in India. Now these are government organizations and they are basically tasked to increase exports in certain categories. So for example, there’s a cotton export promotion council. There’s one for leather, there’s one for apparel, for handicrafts. So, if you can try to find an export promotion council that specializes in your– or that focuses your industry, go to their website, look for their supplier or their member directory. And all of the suppliers on there are actually exporters. That’s very important when you’re sourcing from India, you want to make sure that the supplier has export experience because there are so many suppliers that cater to the domestic market where maybe the quality standards are different from what they are in the US or Europe. And some of the suppliers who don’t have export experience, they may not be aware of the quality requirements and you may have issues down the line. Some of them don’t even have export licenses. So, it’s impossible to get the product out from the country as well. So you want to make sure that they have export experience when you’re sourcing from them. And the good thing is about these export promotion councils is that only exporters are allowed to join the councils as members. So, you get the list, it’s a starting point. You will have to sift through the list and talk to the suppliers. And maybe the information is not that up to date. And maybe the list is like really long a thousand or more suppliers or associates you’ll have to sift through the list, but at least you have a starting point. That’s another way to go. And last day, I want to mention that one of the major trade fairs in India, which is also known as the Canton fair, it’s deli fair and that’s held twice a year and that’s where we go for India sourcing trip. So even though the fair is not being held currently, their exhibitor list is still online. So if you just do a Google search for deli fare exhibitor list and try to get a hold of that exhibitor list, that’s a very high quality list of suppliers because all of those suppliers are first of all, exporters because they participate in this fair, that’s organized by an export promotion council. And because they are exhibitors, you know that they are serious suppliers, they have invested the time and money and effort to set up a booth at an exhibition. So, they are established suppliers.
Bradley Sutton: Okay. Now, one thing that I think sometimes puts people’s mind at ease when sourcing through Alibaba is they have the trade assurance from Alibaba, but I know that some countries, the trade assurance doesn’t apply to. Can people use trade assurance for India on Alibaba, or is that not available?
Meghla: So, no. Trade assurance is not available in any country, apart from China. So it’s not available on Alibaba in India, but there are other ways too– I mean, trade assurance is a relatively new concept and it’s mostly used by, I feel new entrepreneurs, new buyers who may not have the means or they may not know how to vet their suppliers because traditional buyers, what they basically do is vet the supplier and make sure that they are talking to the right company. And they have all of their quality requirements specified with the company. They have contracts in place and they may even have boots on the ground, or do factory audits and other things like that. So, yeah, there’s no trade assurance available in India, but there are other ways that you can use escrow services. I mean, there are some escrow services out there that you can consider. So there’s one service called trade tangle. And I haven’t used it myself. I’ve done a webinar with them in our India sourcing group, but that’s something that you can consider and there may be other escrow services out there as well that you could use. So that’s one option, but the other option is just to play it very, very safe when you’re sourcing. Make sure you vet the supplier, you talk to them on zoom, check their documents, check their export license, get references from them, talk to their previous buyers and then send them very, very detailed product specifications of exactly what you want. And don’t make a hundred percent payment in advance, pay a small amount upfront, get an inspection done and then pay the rest of the amount to them. So I think if you source safely, and safely, basically, you should be good.
Bradley Sutton: Okay. Now, Margaret, I mean, you said that as far as your products, when you didn’t like just switch suppliers from China to India, you just started from scratch. Just out of curiosity, anybody in your community, have you ever heard of an example of somebody who actually just had the same exact product that they had been sourcing for a time in China and then switched it to India, or is most people who switched to India kind of in the same boat as you where they just start from scratch?
Margaret: No, look, I know quite a few people who have taken their product or look, if you were already drawing particularly wooden products out of China, you can quite easily get those replicated out of India. The wood grain finish might be different because Mango wood and Acacia wood are the most prevalent in India. Whereas I think bamboo is probably one of the bigger ones in China. But yeah, no, we’ve got quite a few people in our group who were successful, we had products made and they’re actually selling them back onto Amazon, out of India now. And basically taking their product over and had it copied and remade. So yeah, no, it works quite well. I think if you’re in like, obviously anything that plastic-y, those chocolate products that are mainly only made India doesn’t do any plastics or Silicon or things like that. But if you were doing metal or wood, it’s, I think more lucrative to do it from India because you don’t have the tax or the duty that you have when you’re going from China to America. Because I mean, the duty on our products is on a two and a half percent or something. Ridiculous. It’s not anything high, but I know some of the people were paying 25 and 30% on their wooden items into America. And now they’re only paying the two or 3%. So, I mean, you can get a better quality. So, if you’re spending $10 on a product, you can afford to spend 13 or $14.
Bradley Sutton: All right, guys, quick break from the episode for my BTS. Remember that stands for whatever you wanted, it could be a Bradley’s 30 seconds. Or if you are an expert on African countries, maybe it’s Botswana, Togo, Senegal. Anyways, whatever you want BTS to mean, here is my 30-second tip of the episode. So, if you don’t have brand registry and you’re trying to make a new listing, a lot of you get that dreaded brand 5665. So, the way around that if you don’t have brand registry yet is, under the brand, you just put NA, capital N capital A, sometimes you put a dash between, or you put a slash and then under the manufacturer, make sure to put the brand you’re trying to do now right off the bat, that should show the brand name from the manufacturer field on your listing. But in the meantime, what you do is you take some pictures of your product that shows the brand that you’re trying to put on there. And that shows the UPC of the product and even make a website for that product, and then submit all of that in a case to Amazon and say, Hey, here’s the product. This is the pictures of it. Here’s the website. This is the brand. Can you please approve me for selling this brand? And they’ll usually in almost every case will go ahead and approve you.
Bradley Sutton: For either of you, now, who would you recommend not to source in India? I mean, you’ve mentioned a couple of things. Like, for example, it sounds like plastic items and things like that. And in my mind, just from what you guys have talked about, like, if your funds are tight and you don’t have, you’re not able to be able to sit on an order for 12 weeks, or the amount of time it might take. For those kinds of people, maybe it’s better not to source any, but anything else I’ve missed? Like who would you suggest? Probably China or another country is a better route.
Meghla: I think electronics, if you’re sourcing any kind of electronics or electrical products, that’s definitely better in China. India is also really good with cotton products. That’s a huge category. And especially cotton apparel, home furnishings, towels, bedsheets, cushion covers those kinds of things and also organic cotton. And in fact, if you’re sourcing organic cotton, you might find it more competitive and more variety and higher quality in India than in China. India is actually the second largest producer of cotton in the world. And then apart from metal and wood, there are other materials as well, such as ceramic glass, bone China. There are a lot of macrame’s, things, macrame products. Macrame was a big trend in 2020 and we saw so many people sourcing those kinds of products from India as well. Carpets, rugs, jute products. There are a lot of bags, fashion accessories, like leather is really good from India as well. So in leather, the different types of products, such as fashion accessories, such as bags, belts, hats, caps, and there’s also equestrian products like horse saddles and dog leashes and those sorts of things.
Bradley Sutton: Excellent. Excellent. Now what’s an example of somebody who, Meghla, you can tell me in your network that maybe they started selling either brand new seller or started sourcing in India. And they just had a really amazing experience. And obviously you don’t have to tell me their exact product or their name or anything, but just something to maybe stoke the interest of somebody out there who’s considering making the leap. Like why would you say, because I would assume that you would suggest to any are a lot of people out there, Hey, give India source in a try, but what’s a real life example that you can give?
Meghla: Absolutely. There are so many of them in our group, specifically people who went with us on the trip. So, many of them have launched products from India, from either suppliers that they met at the trade show and they quickly ran out of inventory and then they have to reorder. But what I realized was that all of them got really, really good reviews. I don’t think I’ve heard. I mean, there have been cases where somebody sourced a bad product or somebody sourced a product and they didn’t get a good quality product. And they started getting bad reviews. We have had some of those cases as well. But the majority of people that we know are in our group, the one thing that really stood out for me was that everybody got really, really good reviews. And even for my products that I sell from India, the reviews are really good because really, if you find the right supplier, the quality is absolutely fantastic because each product is handmade. And I feel that a lot of the Indian suppliers, they pride in their work. They have a lot of pride in their work. So, even the artisans who are working on these products, they are so skilled. The skill is transferred from one generation to another. So, they’re really good at what they do. So yeah, you’ll get really good quality products provided you have the right supplier and Margaret, do you want to maybe give some specific examples? I mean, without naming anyone or their products, because Margaret does a lot of coaching in a one-on-one coaching with people as well.
Margaret: We’re looking even with our own products are. Look the first product we started off with most of them, they had something similar on the shelf that we had seen I’d made. So, some of them, we just actually took that particular product and went with it. Some of them, we modified it because I wanted a different shaped handle or I wanted a different style. But I found it very easy to convey what I wanted. Like, it was just a matter of saying, can you change this? And because the family, like the owner of the factory and the father is actually an engineer, it’s very easy. So, they’ll go away. And an example was one of our new brand products we’ve just started, when we were in the factory and I said to them, I seen something and I said, Oh, I don’t want that. Could we turn that into something totally different and put it in this metal standard? And they went, yeah, fine. So, we were talking away for about half an hour. The next thing this little man comes running up with a very rugged looking metal in his hand, he said, is this what you’re talking about? So they had gone away from my conversation and basically started sort of prototype of what I was wanting for my new product.
Bradley Sutton: Okay. Now, I know neither of you are actively selling on Amazon India, but in the last year, it seems to be skyrocketing the amount of business, both domestic Indian sellers, as well as foreign sellers coming to the marketplace. What has changed Meghla in the last year, we touched briefly on it the first time you were on the episode, but what are some major advances, or what have you noticed that that’s different now about Amazon India? Of course, other than the fact that now Helium 10 works for Amazon India, but just in general, can you give us the lowdown on what’s going on with the Amazon India marketplace?
Meghla: Absolutely. So first of all, I think, yeah, Helium 10 is in India, so that’s super exciting. And I think one of the biggest changes that I’ve seen in 2020 is that there’s a shift in– more sellers want to source products domestically from India. Whereas previously a lot of the products were being sourced from China to sell on Amazon India. But in 2020 there was a bit of tension between India and China. And there was this whole initiative within the country of being self-reliant and producing everything domestically. And because of that, a lot of Amazon sellers started looking for suppliers within the country. And yeah, I mean, in terms of Amazon themselves, they’re of course increasingly focusing so much more on Amazon India. There’s so many new initiatives. I’ve spoken to a couple of people in Amazon India. One of the things that they want to do is bring overseas brands to sell on Amazon India. They want to introduce new brands from Singapore, Australia, and New Zealand. And in fact, they also had a festival, especially for Australian brands. So, there is sort of increasing demand for premium Australian or New Zealand or US brands in India as well, because there is a growing middle class and they do want to know, nice products and they can afford those nice products now, whereas previously I think the market was very, very price conscious and I mean, even now the majority of people are price conscious, but there is an increasing– a growing middle class that is kind of looking to source these nice premium products. So, I think the opportunity for overseas brands is really huge now, and it’s going to continue to grow. And in fact, even in our group, there are so many people who are now looking to sell into Amazon India, but of course it’s not a straightforward process. It’s not like selling on Amazon us or any other marketplace. It’s a bit complicated, but once, I mean, if you have the right product that is in demand, and if you also do your company set up and you follow all of the guidelines and you have the right person to lead you to guide you, then it can be a very lucrative business.
Bradley Sutton: Okay. Excellent. Good to know. Now, right now, obviously like we mentioned, you’re not doing any trips and we’re not in the middle of one of your virtual sourcing summits. So somebody right now, they’re listening to this podcast right now in January of 2021. They’re inspired to go look at the possibilities, at least would you say the easiest and best thing to do is just go ahead and go to Alibaba and do one of those filters on there for Indian suppliers, or is there another step, maybe even easier or better than that to take right now?
Meghla: I think the first thing would be to get a better understanding of what it is like to source from India. I would say don’t just dive into it. I mean, of course, if you want to find a supplier, then yes, Alibaba. Start with Alibaba and global sources join our Facebook group where we have all of this videos. But I would also say it’s important to just have a good understanding of what it is like to source from India. So, when I’ve written an ebook about that, and there may be other resources online as well, that you can just maybe watch some YouTube videos or get other resources, just trying to understand how India is different from China. I think that that is very important.
Bradley Sutton: Okay. Excellent. Excellent. All right. Now we do some, I don’t know. I don’t remember if we had this the last time you were on the show, but we do something called the TST, or the TST 30-second tip. So this would be for either of you, whoever wants to take this, but you’ve been giving us different strategies and tips about sourcing in India. What is a 30-second tip that either one of you can give that can help somebody who has never sourced in India before?
Meghla: Margaret, go for it.
Margaret: I would say jump onto the sourcing from India website and look at all our suppliers that we have interviewed over the last nine months, 10 months. And you should be able to find, because we’ve done most of the categories. You should be able to find somebody on there that we have vetted, and most people have been buying from them. So we know that they’ve had success.
Bradley Sutton: Okay, excellent. So then how can people go ahead and do that and find your archives of the different videos that you’ve done in the previous virtual sourcing shows and then possibly join some of your groups, or find you guys on the inter webs out there?
Meghla: Yeah. So the easiest way is to join our Facebook group, just search for sourcing from India on Facebook and join the group. All of our archives are there under units and under topics, we don’t have a website yet, but we are working on it. It’s going to be called India sourcing network. And we’re planning to launch a course and a mastermind and a lot of different exciting things this year. But as of now, everything is in our group.
Bradley Sutton: All right. Excellent. Excellent. So guys, I mean, hopefully we’re not going to have a 2021, like we did it for 2020. So like once you, hopefully you can come back in 2022 and we have nothing, but good world news to share of what happened this year. But thank you again for joining us. And, I know you guys are still going to hold me to it, Meghla, you had me commit to going on one of your trips to India. So as soon as that’s ready to go, you can pretty much guarantee. I’m already committed to going to Pakistan this year. So, maybe even on the same trip I can make a stop over there and then we can all go to the Maldives, or something too. As where they live right down there. All right. Thank you guys so much for joining and Margaret. Thanks for coming on as well.
Meghla: Thanks a lot, Bradley. Take care. Bye.
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