Tavisi, an e-commerce platform for women, by women
In 2020, when the Covid-19 pandemic was at its peak, Palas Joshi and Sahara Joshi were struggling to purchase goods as there were no stores exclusively offering all women-related goods in one place.
Some of the goods were also not available on the online platforms.
Then Tavisi came into being. It was launched in November 2022 as www.tavisinepal.com.
Tavisi is an ecommerce platform carefully curated by women for women. Derived from a Sanskrit word, Tavisi means strength, power and courage.
“This is how the concept of Tavisi came about. Today we deliver all women-related products through one platform,” said Palas Joshi, one of the two co-founders.
Specially made for women, Tavisi offers a wide range of products – with 13 local and 40 international brands.
The online platform has six main categories.
The beauty segment includes skin care, hair care, bath and body products, and makeup, while the fashion segment includes jewelry, bags, and shoes.
For both mother and child, the company offers nutritional products and items such as toys, games and puzzles, including art and educational toys, as well as baby items such as diapers, mosquito repellent and baby skin care products.
The company also offers health and hygiene superfoods, dietary supplements, wellness products such as essential oils and tea, and feminine care products such as menstrual cups, tampons and sanitary napkins.
The newly added living and decoration segment is said to cover everything from lampshades and table lamps to candles and candle holders and kitchen accessories.
In the Gifts We Love section, Tavisi hopes to make gift giving for women an easier, more accessible and enjoyable experience.
“We are a new player on the market. We are currently focused on penetrating the market,” said Palas. “We try to create our own niche.”
The Joshi duo started the business with a small out-of-pocket investment.
“The demand encourages us. It’s gradually increasing,” Palas said.
E-commerce business in Nepal is still not thriving when compared to two huge neighbors – India to the south and China to the north.
A decade ago, muncha.com pioneered the country’s e-commerce segment. It was initially aimed at the Nepalese diaspora who wanted to give gifts to people in Nepal.
The number of Nepalese e-commerce users started to increase after the first lockdown, which was imposed on March 24, 2020.
E-commerce took a huge leap forward during the second lockdown, which began in April 2021 and lasted four months. More and more people started shopping online.
Tavisi also entered the competitive online market, but with a unique concept.
One of the unique aspects of Tavisi is the jute bags that come with every delivery.
Motivated by the circular economy model, Tavisi’s packaging incorporates sustainable packaging methods. The company does not use plastics.
Customers have two options: either return the jute bags with the messenger or buy them. The jute bag costs Rs260 per piece.
Tavisi said they’ll reuse the bag for another delivery until it’s fully worn out.
Tavisi encloses a card with every delivery. The card is made by one of the women’s empowerment and social change organizations that Tavisi works with.
“The intention of offering the card is to spread the word and give greater visibility to these organizations that work for the good of society,” Tavisi said.
The company said its goal is to make women’s busy lives easier by making their shopping experience more informed, convenient and stress-free.
“We developed Tavisi specifically for women. We only buy goods from authorized dealers to ensure quality,” said Palas.
She said they are working on a new company. “We will soon be launching a digital magazine that would feature lifestyle content and stories about fashion and women’s empowerment.”
Palas added: “We’re not just trying to position ourselves as an online shopping platform, we’re trying to build a community and tell a story. As we encourage women to shop online, we need to boost the digital economy.”
The company encourages women to buy things online, especially those who are hesitant to use digital platforms.
Palas Joshi had a regular job before starting the online business.
“Leaving the job and starting my own business was my own decision because I had this vision of starting a business and becoming independent,” she added.