With the pandemic pushing most people into the confinements of their homes, a new global sport became popular– Chess. This attracted many new players, resulting in doubled interest in just a few months as per the United Nations.
Leveraging this was a small business entrepreneur, Puneet Malhotra, CEO of Chess n Crafts.
Established in 2012, Chess n Crafts is a manufacturer, wholesaler and exporter of a wide range of giant outdoor and garden chess sets, camel bone designer sets, magnetic travel chess sets, Maharaja inspired painted sets, marble stone set amongst many more.
While the pandemic has been both, a blessing and a challenge for many MSMEs, Malhotra used the pandemic has an opportunity. Leveraging interest from international markets, he sustained his business by continuing to export his products to meet the demand and interest from global markets such as the US, UK and Australia.
However, Chess n Crafts was also met with its fair share of problems. Procurement of material, logistics and staff absenteeism were just some of the challenges they had to overcome. But driven by sheer determination, Puneet focused on supporting his proficient craftsmen that put in 60-70 hours to make a single chess set.
Realising the power and impact digital currently has, the company increased the usage of social media platforms to reach a global audience. Chess n Crafts also tapped into third party online platforms to sell to first-time chess players across various markets such as Russia, Qatar, Brazil and Singapore. With this strategy to expand footprint, the company has been able to successfully survive the wrath of the COVID-19 crisis.
As a tribute to MSMEs, freelancers and women entrepreneurs, PayPal’s #CelebratingMSMEs campaign ahead of MSME Day is aimed at sharing success stories of entrepreneurs that have suffered deeply due to the pandemic but have shown resilience and agility to emerge stronger and reach newer heights.