India is a land of spirituality. It is a place where religion surmounts everything. People of India believe in connecting with God, either actively or through passive ways. Every occasion that takes place in any Indian household requires a definite amount of pujas or other rituals to enhance our association with the Almighty and to seek His blessings.
Saumya Vardhan picked up exactly what was missing from the world of entrepreneurs and started Shubhpuja, a religious platform for performing pujas and other rituals for various occasions.
Saumya is a graduate from Lady Shri Ram College and has an MBA from Imperial College, London. She was working as a Consultant in KPMG, London when the idea to start off a religious forum for people from all walks of life, hit her.
The other reason to begin with Shubhpuja was when one of her close friend’s father passed away in Delhi and unfortunately, her whole family was abroad with nobody to arrange the necessary rituals that followed the tribulation. By the time they arrived all the arrangements had to be made. That’s when the thought of coming up with an online service which would offer to arrange various religious services and perform rituals by educated and genuine Pandits, Vedic Astrologers, Numerologists, Vaastu Consultants, etc, stumbled across her mind and after days of constant effort and hard work, Shubhpuja.com was officially launched in December, 2013 and since then, the number of clients of the portal is increasing day-by-day.
“We are mainly catering to young client, primarily people in the age group of 30-50 specifically NRIs, people in NCR area (Gurgaon and Noida) who have relocated from another city to Delhi. Beyond that we have received several queries from people in other parts of the country including Tier 2 cities such as Raipur, Jaipur and metropolitan cities in South India where people are very busy and are willing to pay for a highly qualified Vedic Astrologer/consultant,” Saumya, the proud entrepreneur, tells us.
Apart from India, Shubhpuja provides religious services to its customers from Russia, USA, Hong Kong, Singapore, UK, who equally appreciate the concept, services and the hospitality that Saumya and her team offer.
After the launch of Shubhpuja, the next big thing was to focus on managing funds for the forum. “I decided to tie-up with top-most Vedic educational institutes in Delhi, Benaras and other religious places. At present we are in a bootstrapping mode. For now, it’s self-funded and I began the venture with my own savings,” says Saumya.
It would not have been easy for Saumya to quit a high paying job, or so we thought because Saumya was already determined to do something that would allow her to contribute to the society. “I had to do this for attainment of inner peace and contentment. I felt that I needed to go back to my roots and highlight our rich traditions and culture as written in the Vedas, the first scientific treatise in the world,” states Saumya.
Being a strong believer in Hindu philosophy, Saumya buckled up for her new venture. She has always followed what Hindu forefathers preached, that man is a social animal and has a role to play in upliftment and betterment of society. With a thinking like that, there was no stopping her from achieving what she had wished for. Her idea was one of a kind and the spiritual market in India is already on rise.
“These days there are many preachers who take advantage of ignorance of gullible public especially the youth who do not have the knowledge as well as the time to learn about these sciences. However, deep inside they believe in it. Thus, I wanted to create a platform with pandits/astrologers with the right education, skills and experience who do not take devotees for a ride by giving incorrect advice or remedies along with offering services at the customer’s convenience.”
Saumya, herself had consulted a handful of Astrologers, Numerologists, and Consultants before but she was never satisfied with their conclusions as she couldn’t come to a scientific explanation or educated solution. This was another reason to launch Shubhpuja.com as she wanted to knock over the said problems.
Her face lightens up as she discusses about her journey from leaving her job in London and moving back to India to starting Shubhpuja and all that she experienced while working on the e-commerce portal. She tells us, “The journey has been a great learning experience for me, offering me something new each day to explore. From identifying religious needs of the market to discovering varied consumer behaviour in this industry, I learned it all. I learned a scientific base to approach a problem. I met numerous experienced pandits and astrologers from different backgrounds and practices, who taught me about our base i.e. Vedas. I also joined a yearlong advanced Vedic astrology professional course started by Shri. K.N.Rao, a legendary astrologer of modern times.”
Saumya credits her success to her father, a well-known Aviation Expert and a serial entrepreneur, for any advice or guidance. “I always look up to my dad, He has been a great inspiration and support; thus I would love to share my success with him,”she tells us.
Five years from now, Saumya expects a double-digit growth and an expanded network. She wants to see a change in the mindset of devotees of India so that they find it secure to book religious services online. “People are willing to pay for a genuine, science based and quality service and we definitely see unprecedented growth in the religion e-commerce market. We plan to make Shubhpuja.com an equivalent of Shaadi.com in religion e-commerce market. We plan to double our sales team to reach out to a wider audience through our online and offline marketing channel,” reckons Saumya. She also wishes to promote the portal to a level where it can exclusively offer scientific, authentic and convenient services to the customers.