Net gain: Scripting success story through e-commerce
Started three years ago, a Gorakhpur firm sells over 9,000 dress material every month through Flipkart, Amazon.lucknow Updated: Feb 06, 2018 16:50 IST
Arunn Guptaa is one of those entrepreneurs who took the online route to make their business click.
- This is East UP’s first Startup Cafe on city’s cinema road. The café, which was hailed by Union commerce minister Suresh Prabhu in his tweet, is being used by youths involved in online selling, online service providing, freelancing jobs and even to run BPOs during nights. From computer to power backup, photocopier to meeting room, every thing is provided to users for small rental charges. Set up in Oct 2017 by Arunn Guptaa, the café “co-working space” was originally thought to be a flop idea for a small city like Gorakhpur but today its turning out to be favourite destination for startup aspirants with little investment. Over 50 youths, including women, use this cafe
- The café is also signed up by TedEx and Nojoto (Open Mic Youth Shayari) which is a huge hit on Youtube. So fresh ideas and innovation have started coming to Gorakhpur.
Three years ago, the 30-year-old entrepreneur found it difficult to meet the expenses of his animation school, AniClick Animation, located on Cinema road in Gorakhpur. At one point of time, he was doing part time job to meet his Animation School expenses without letting anyone know, not even his parents. And it was a tough time to balance between the two.
Then he decided to learn the intricacies of online business and switched to e-commerce which changed his life.
Guptaa’s firm Wardha is among major sellers of sarees and ladies dress material on e-commerce sites Amazon and Flipkart today.
“Women and housewives indulge in online shopping during their spare time, mostly after they send their children to school. This is the time when I list my products so that it is displayed among fresh arrivals. In this way, the dress material gets picked up easily,” says Guptaa.
He started off by purchasing dress material in small quantity from local shopkeepers and selling it online on higher prices. He has now started procuring suits and dress material in bulk directly from Gujarat-based manufacturers as the orders have grown manifold. From a couple of orders in a month it has now reached almost 300 pieces a day now. It goes up to 1,000-1,500 orders a day during the festive season when discounts are offered.
In a month, he receives around 9,000 orders from across the country.
After paying commission and taxes (5% GST on dress material), he manages to earn 10-15% profit as compared to the savings of Rs 100 on each suit that he earlier sold online after procuring it from local shopkeepers.
Unlike big entrepreneurs who own big showrooms, he started his venture from a room in his house with almost zero investment. A Gujarat-based firm supplied him clothes on 15-day credit while payment of dress material sold by him online reached him in just 7 days.
A graduate from Deendayal Upadhyay University, Gorakhpur, Guptaa decided to take to e-commerce after tasting success during trial attempts. “I managed to earn 10 times profit by purchasing handheld ACs. I bought it from a Chinese website at Rs 200 each and sold it on Ebay for Rs 2,000 per piece. As the products were unique, they were sold within minutes after the details were uploaded online by Ebay,” he says.
Guptaa went ahead and listed a dress material on Flipkart. He got his first order after three days which was the only one in that month.
“I listed more designs so that it is visible in the fresh arrival section of the site. As every customer has a tendency to buy fresh arrivals, I started getting 10 orders per day from the third month of inception,” he adds.
After a number of experiments, he found out how to get more orders. At the end of the first year, his company went on to receive 100 orders per day and approximately 3,000 orders per month.
He chose saree and dress material as it forms the major segment of online shopping. Before starting his venture, Guptaa carried out a research by visiting courier companies and visiting sites to know which type of products were ordered more by consumers.
“Transformation of computer technology into smart phone, easy access to internet offered by companies like Jio and tendency of customer to compare the prices have led to tremendous growth in e-commerce, also proving to be a boon for starts up as it requires less investment and time with high returns compared to traditional market business which require big set up and work force. I don’t think Gorakhpur will lag behind from any other city in term of online shopping and buying,” says Dr Ajay Kumar Gupta, professor Department of MBA, DDU Gorakhpur university .
As Guptaa was already in the Animation School business, he knew every business took time to flourish. Even his Animation School which he started in his own brand name, took 3 years to get into comfortable position so that he did not need to worry about the expenses. So he kept on working to understand the behavior and interest of target customer. He found out that low price product under r600 were fast moving item in ethnic wear category. So he started procuring 1000’s of design of dress material from around 100s of shop every month. Also customer had the tendency to buy cotton fabric in summer and heavy dress material in winter. So every detail collected worked out to be true and order kept on increasing in many folds.
“In ecommerce business the place of business does not play a important role, it is the product which has be worthy for the customer. If you have good control over the competitive price of the product then you are going to be here for a long time, no one can change your fortune to be among the top seller of that segment”.
E-COMMERCE ON THE FAST TRACK
Products worth 60 to 70 crores sold online in Gorakhpur every months. Private courier companies deliver over 1200 to 1500 packets of products at the doorsteps of consumers daily in the city.
If courier companies are to believed, the city has witnessed a growth of 3 to 4% in online buying in last one year. Due to rise in Ecommerece trade job opportunities in courier sector have also gone up. “Over 2000 courier delivery boys working on salary of r8000 to 15000 to deliver products through bikes and even small pickups,” says Virendra, manager of Gati courier company.
To the beginners, he suggests: “Try not to launch your own website till you have something which is unique and could not be remade over a time. Else big ecommerce players won’t let you get low cost digital marketing. Even big brands like Big Bazaar, Patanjali have to take help of Amazon, Flipkart to sell their products online for pulling good traffic”.
Try to avoid products/projects which are based on government approvals, till approval policy becomes fast, digital and transparent.
Never discuss your plan with the people who don’t know much about the product which you want to introduce in the market.
If your product have passed in your in-dept R&D, its Market, ROI and future of the product/services then you should start that entity without giving a second thought.