How sisters Rhea and Yeshoda Karuturi grow Poojah flowers in Bengaluru

Bengaluru-based Yeshoda Karuturi (28) and Rhea Karuturi (25) grew up in the midst of flowers as their father, Ramakrishna Karuturi started a rose farm in Ethiopia. As the Karuturi rose business grew over the last two decades expanding the business to Kenya and India as well, Rhea and Yeshoda observed its success with keenness.

“Our father started his first rose farm the year Yeshoda was born. He grew that 3-acre farm into the world’s largest rose farm in the span of a decade and we got to be in the front seat watching it happen,” Rhea and Yeshoda tell. Belonging to a family business excelling in selling flowers, floriculture was an obvious choice for the sister-duo. They found an opportunity in selling pooja flowers via online channels. Yeshoda and Rhea started Rose Bazaar in 2019, which they renamed Hoovu Fresh in mid-2020.

“We both also worked in our family business after graduating college and this gave us an even closer perspective on how big the flower industry is. What shocked us though is that pooja flowers — a quintessential Indian use case — were missing from this picture. While the bouquet flower industry has grown by leaps and bounds, the pooja flower industry has remained largely unchanged for the past three decades,” the Co-Founders say.

Hoovu means flowers in Kannada and the sisters wanted their brand to be uniquely Indian. “When people think of pooja, they think about it in their mother tongues - and we felt Hoovu was a nice way to pay homage to tradition while staying fresh,” says the duo. They note that the pooja flower industry in India is four times the size of the bouquet flower industry and when they started researching their product, they instantly knew it was going to be a big hit. “Although this is a small wallet spend, the emotional quotient is very high and we’ve found that once customers use our flowers, there’s no going back for them. Our customer love is how we knew this would be a success,” they share.

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