NRI nurse switches career to online lotus sales; now earns upto Rs 30,000 per month
Ernakulam Piravom Mamalassery native Eldhos Raju represents numerous NRIs who lost their jobs during the COVID times and then found a new way of living for survival. After losing the job, he slowly set foot in a new field - lotus farming. When beautiful lotus flowers bloomed in flowerpots and plastic bowls, he shared pictures on Facebook. The idea worked as people from even North India contacted him for lotus.
An industrial nurse by profession, Eldhos worked in Qatar for 10 years. He provides first aid and emergency services when accidents take place. However, it was hard for him to get a job in the same field in Kerala, because he is not a bedside nurse. That is how he entered into lotus farming.
Eldhos supplies different types of lotus flowers and its tuber according to demand. Soon after the lockdown, he started sending the ordered items. He has customers in different states. North Indian people are more interested to grow lotus plants. Thus his lotus business took off finally.
Eldhos shared the lotus pictures and stories through his blog 'Raj Florals'. All dealings from promotion to sales are managed via online. So, he has customers all over India. As soon as he posts that tuber is ready, people start contacting him.
Helps in farming
Eldhos does not stop his service by selling the lotus tuber. He continues offering tips and advices to the customers about how to nurture the plant until it blooms. As the tubers are expensive, it is the seller's responsibility to ensure its growth, Eldhos said. There is more demand for plants than tuber these days.
The dirt and water are removed from the bowls before sending it to the customer. Plants survive for about 10-12 days. Tubers last longer than plants. Precautions are taken to prevent fungal infections. The customer only has to plant it as soon as receiving.
Some of the orders were not delivered properly due to the lockdown. So, Eldhos had to send them again. He delivers lotus to only those who take care of the plant with interest. He does not encourage those who buy lotus for a fun and then fail to nurture the plant.
In Eldhos' opinion, lotus farming gives him peace of mind. Also, it offers a decent income. One plant fetches at least Rs 1000. Sahasradala Padmam costs Rs 3000. There are other expensive and different varieties like Buddha's seat lotus. During the months when expensive varieties are sold, Eldhos earns an income of over Rs 30,000.
Support from family is a key element in success, Eldhos said. He had to spend a huge amount to get trained in profession and later leave the same due to crisis. But now he is confident to say that he is into plant business. The first thing in the morning is to check on the lotus plants and they add colours to my dreams, Eldhos said.
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