Maitri Wadher On Her Store That Sells Products Specifically Made For Left-Handed People
- IWB Post
- March 28, 2019
All my life I’ve been so wary of using scissors because in my hands the scissors just stop working. Why, because I ’m a left-handed person.
Plagued by similar struggles throughout her childhood, Maitri Wadher, a 24-year-old girl from Bangalore, launched a store selling products made specifically for left-handed people. Her online store has products ranging from kitchen tools to stationery items that have been crafted keeping the requirements of left-handed people in mind.
Maitri had been just two years old when her mother, in an effort to get her to use her right hand, tied up her left one. Little Maitri struggled and fought for the use of her preferred hand. She became rightly lefty when her pediatrician told her parent’s that this would hinder her growth.
However, in India, people still harbour a lot of superstitious beliefs regarding the use of one’s left hand. “When I uses my left hand to eat, people would stare at me or while accepting Prasad from the temple, people would slap my left hand away and ask me to use my right one,” she says.
Wanting to make it easier for left-handed people, Maitri persisted and converted her idea into a business. Fortunately, her family runs an office stationery business and that helped her with the ins and outs of the process of setting up a new venture. Convincing her parents was a tedious process because they were concerned about the market for such products, especially in India, because many still have beliefs against the use of the left hand. Maitri’s passion and conviction won the deal and they are now her biggest supporters.
Starting a business is a daunting task and the first thing Maitri did was to conduct thorough market research. Maitri struggled to find vendors in India but found a couple of them abroad and that’s how her project started. Her family helped her out with the initial investment.
Maitri aims to spread awareness amongst the people about how much left-handed people struggle while doing certain routine chores and hopes that her products will ensure that future generations of left-handed people will have it easier.
Discussing how our education system isn’t conducive to gaining practical knowledge, Maitri had to learn quite a few things during the process of setting up her business. “They don’t teach you how to talk to people, how to bargain and to make yourself sound convincing. Interacting with people on a real-time basis is very different and I think it’s very important that universities teach students how to pitch an idea. The framing of words is extremely essential,” she explains.
Like any new business owner, Maitri’s has made her fair share of mistakes and has faced her fair share of hardships. She’s had to deal with things like people judging her because of her age and people mocking her business idea and calling it pointless to her face, but Maitri has always kept her motivation up and didn’t let the naysayers bother her. “I strongly believe in my idea. So I made sure to keep going on and on. When you start something you have to be aware of the ups and downs, it’s just a part and parcel of the process, the road won’t be smooth throughout but don’t let that deter you.”