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How marketing marketplace is helping SMEs grow faster – the HEM Incense story

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Gurgaon (Haryana) [India], September 13 (ANI/BusinessWire India): GroCurv understands that MSMEs are the backbone of any economy. They create jobs, and they are dynamic, resilient. They enter nascent industries very quickly, and often are the canary in the coal mine, nimble – adaptable – ambitious.

In India, 63 Mn MSMEs employ 110 Million people and that’s a massive task they have undertaken to keep the economy growing. As India strives to hit the USD 5 trillion dollar economy, these enterprises have to contribute significantly. Remember, they contribute 30% to GDP and 48% to exports.

But the covid-19 pandemic has added a new level of complexity to small businesses. This has come about since the pandemic both in wave 1 and wave 2 impacted consumer demand, impacted supply chains and raw materials and mostly impacted existing customer relationships. Some businesses have shut down, forcing the ancillary SME to suffer losses. Many businesses have tried to reduce costs and therefore expand their supplier base to new low cost partners. Impacting existing relationships. In any case, this has changed the paradigm for the MSME sector.

Now, this is new territory for MSMEs. Our experience at the GroCurv marketplace for agencies has shown that many MSMEs are no longer fighting the currents, but taking the first steps into a new world of using agency partners for promoting their brand and creating new business. Here is the story of HEM Incense.

What is Hem Incense about?

HEM, as a brand, is world-renowned for producing and exporting perfumed incense. An award-winning incense producer, it has over 400 fragrance varieties available in 70 or more countries worldwide. Apart from incense, it has a rich catalogue of products: air fresheners, candles, cones, essential and aroma oils, among others.

On its glorious path to be a global leader among incense producers, HEM bagged accolades and awards aplenty. From 2008 to 2011, the company bagged the ‘Top Export Award for Agarbatties as Handicrafts,’ awarded by the ‘Export Promotion Council for Handicraft’ (EPCH). The Federation of Indian Export Organizations awarded HEM with the “Niryat Shree” (Export) Silver Trophy in the Handicraft category (FIEO). It also received the ‘Certificate of Merit for largest Exports from Western Region among all Handicraft categories’ several times.

How did GroCurv add value to their journey?

As a B2B/B2C company, it was business as usual for HEM till Covid-19 struck. Courtesy of the lockdown, HEM was unable to operate in its usual fashion, all across its global markets. Its flexible and quick-witted management decided to adapt to the changing environment instead of waiting for the prevailing circumstances to revert to normal.

The HEM management chose to reach out to consumers directly and thus repositioned the company as a D2C business. In a lockdown global climate, the best way to reach out to consumers was digitalization. In their search for facilitators, they stumbled upon GroCurv. As GroCurv platform connected them with apt partner agencies, the company soon started to notice some positive changes.

With GroCurv acting as a scope to work platform, HEM found partners that were in sync with its objectives. HEM went on to hire agencies for social media activation, website development, Amazon performance marketing and content creation.

Social Media Impact

Along with its partner agencies, HEM came up with unique concepts to engage with consumers. They bring onboard influencers to conduct events that relate to the target audience. For example, they conducted a “Make Your Ganesha” event with Deepika Gupta, the founder of Clay Events. Similarly, they also ran a cool contest on the occasion of Father’s Day and Yoga Day. These are great tactics for consumer engagement and as a result, there is a noticeable improvement in brand awareness. As a hint of all good things that can be expected, the company has started receiving queries via social media from both US and Indian consumers. No wonder, the management is bullish on the perusal of social media in its marketing campaigns.

Impact of Going Digital

Digitalization has helped the company to edge out competitors due to them being more active digitally. They have met prospects and clients via online meetings, which have been possible only with the digitalization efforts. The company is also directing resources to develop an in-house team that can digitalize and strengthen the existing supply chain.

HEM would continue with the ongoing digital support from their vendor partners. Besides, they are developing an in-house team to execute their digital activities (supply chain) smoothly. Though it took six to eight months for the brand’s aromatic fumes to waft through the online audience, the efforts have begun to pay off. Orders have started to trickle in, with about 100+ orders per day from the online Indian retail store. “The digital presence is also positively affecting the offline business. We hope that the increase in brand awareness will impact sales in the coming year”, shares Rahul Shah, Business Development Manager, Hem Incense, candidly. Thus, slowly but surely, digitalization with the help of marketing partners HEM found on GroCurv has paved the path for a smooth transition of HEM Incense from solely operating as a B2B/B2C business to a consumer-friendly D2C player.

New developments in the field of marketing services based on the rise of AI and ML are Free To Use platforms that can help MSMEs find the right agency partners in a transparent reliable and safe way. Technology allows a precise match between client and potential agency. It allows appointments to be set with ease. Multiple applications integrated into these services marketplaces allow visual interactions, recorded conversation and proposals which can be compared. Giving the benefit to the client and agency of complete transparency.

New age platforms for marketing services like also allow payments to be made via escrow where the client validates the deliveries made by the agency before payment is made. Another important layer of safety.

And these platforms allow clients to meet with agencies who are just as hungry as them. Agencies that are also MSMEs and understand the pain of the client more deeply. They give a fantastic value proposition to their customers. Such marketplaces have been established over the past 15 years for products – think amazon and Flipkart. But as technology has evolved, services which rely a lot on human interaction are also being facilitated by marketplaces and platforms. Enter

GroCurv has already bridged the trust deficit issue in the SMB space with a 98% success rate for all projects since its launch in 2019. Some of our customer stories are here:

Agencies on the platform are finding the GroCurv way a safe and reliable way to engage with clients. See their stories here:,

Technology allows for a safe, reliable, transparent interaction between client and agency on the GroCurv platform. And in an uncertain world, these are promises that carry more weight than ever before.

This story is provided by BusinessWire India. ANI will not be responsible in any way for the content of this article. (ANI/BusinessWire India)

This story is auto-generated from a syndicated feed. ThePrint holds no responsibility for its content.

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