Tamil Nadu

Buy halwa online

Tirunelveli Halwa, known for its legendary taste, is the latest to join the tech-savvy tribe, as demand for it is increasing.

Any visitor to Tirunelveli gets requests from friends, relatives and neighbours to get a pack of halwa. A ballpark calculation indicates that on an average the demand is growing by 10-15 per cent every year.

Looking at this trend, six management students from SRM, Kaattaankulathur, Chennai, have started selling Tirunelveli halwa through the e-commerce route. These students used to set up stalls during inter-collegiate festivals and attracted good footfalls. They later replicated it in malls and small trade fairs. “We then realised that speciality foods are available online, but not Tirunelveli halwa. That’s when we decided to take this product online and let the world know about it,” says G Moses Dharma Balan, founder of halwakadai.com.

Moses invested Rs. 15,000 as capital. And today, in six months, he has 300 customers from Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Calcutta and Delhi. Since inception, his Facebook page has 33,300 likes.

Work is under way for the international halwa lovers, too. “In another few days, we would get permission to export halwa. We are aiming at Indians residing in Dubai, Singapore, Malaysia and the U.K.,” he says.

Food being a very sensitive commodity to be sold online, Moses had to face roadblocks. “We had to get clearance from various departments; the packaging had to be intact, too. When we started, we used foil paper and sweet boxes and later realised that we needed to change them,” he said.

The order reaches the customer within 24-48 hours just like any other online order.

Moses is not interested in sharing revenue details. But he says: “If we maintain the same pace at which we are growing, we can sell 300 kg a day in another six months.”

Several other sweetmakers in and around Tirunelveli are also tapping into e-commerce.

Norukkutheeni.com, another e-commerce venture that sells specialty sweets and snacks, has started selling Tirunelveli halwa online. “We are selling around 20 kg of halwa a day, and around 30 per cent of our business is coming from the halwa space,” says Suresh Kumar of Norukkutheeni.com.

Tirunelveli halwa is also a classic case study for any management student. Till date, there is no branding or advertisement for this sweet, and it’s just the taste and word of mouth.

In Tirunelveli, the shops are open only in the evenings, and one can see people queuing up even before the doors open. This has been the trend for several decades.

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Printable version | Apr 16, 2021 5:18:02 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/buy-halwa-online/article6428002.ece

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