Purnam brings Shades of Winter

The Purnam Ladies
  • Ambica Gulati

It felt nice to be out in the sun amidst the green lawns of American Diner at India Habitat Centre, Delhi. I was enjoying a cup of hot masala tea with two ‘young at heart and energetic ladies’ behind Purnam-- Indu Gupta who is all of 61 years old and Saroj Bhatia who works hard even at the age of 73. Completing the Purnam base of four are Sarita Baluja (61) and Jani Dhingra (63), but Indu and Saroj filled up for the missing duo at this ‘Tea at American Diner’ session!

Under the Purnam banner, the four ladies organize exhibitions during festival times such as Rakhi and Christmas. The platform is open to all budding, established or wanting to establish entrepreneurs. Tech-savvy Indu Gupta showed me the Facebook page of Purnam which she updates regularly; she has also formed a Purnam group on WhatsApp. The four entrepreneurs believe that living and loving go hand-in-hand and part of their proceedings go for the NGO Akshay Pratishthan. And that was how Purnam came into being. Excerpts from our conversation:

What is Purnam all about?
We started Purnam in 2006 when we realized that young and bright entrepreneurs were looking for a platform to showcase their goods. And we could do more for society by contributing more for the people Akshay Pratishthan was working for by giving part of the proceedings there.

Where did the idea of Purnam spring from?
We have been volunteers with Akshay Pratishthan for over 25 years now. (Indu would teach children there from the time it was born, right under a tree. And Saroj joined in as the two are family friends). We have been part of fund-raising activities for them for a long time. We do it even now.

Exactly which project do the proceedings go for?
They have a project at Rang Puri pahari, near Vasant Kunj, Delhi. There is a community space in which they have vocational training for women.

Where all have you held exhibitions?
Across Delhi, Ludhiana, Jullundur, Dubai.

How many exhibitors do you have with you? What kind of products can we find there?
Around 50-60. Anything and everything—household goods, clothes, children wear and toys, jewellery, accessories.

What would be the price range?
Rs 100 onwards, so there is something for everyone who visits it.

Why do you only hold for a day?
It’s expensive to get the venue, make the arrangements.

Where all do exhibitors come from?
Pan-India and even abroad—Mumbai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Benaras, Chennai, Bengaluru, Dubai, London, Pakistan.

How much time does it take to organize one exhibition?
Around two to three months.

Are you planning take this to more places?
We would love to, if we get opportunities and associates.

What kind of space do exhibitors find with you? Do you have provisions for people who are unable to shell out any money for taking up space?
We have two sizes and people can take up space as per their budget from these two. For people, who have really nice goods but have financial issues, we do try to help with getting them shared spaces.

What is the USP of Purnam?
It is a place where you feel wholesome. Everyone finds space to be there and there are two stalls for NGOs which are free. Each exhibition has its own theme like the current one is Shades of Winter.

Are your children or families also going to be a part of Purnam?
They are happy that we have this platform and are busy with their own work.

Next exhibition…
We have already booked the space at Hotel Ashoka for July 2015.

Purnam will be holding an exhibition, Shades of Winter, at Eros Hotel, Nehru Place, Delhi on December 16, 2014.


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