- 2012: returrning to India, after 16 years in US
Launch of RedLily, initially in kids/baby centric category
finding out niche
Learning curve : Figuring out right mix of products … high quality and affordability
- Among top3 sellers on Amazon: during 12-16
Bagged Amazon.in all rounder award
- Broadened category mix to entire family
Badic building blocks of ecommerce…
- 100% positive feedback on Amazon in last couple of months !!!
weekly review of feedbacks / operations meetings
- Break up of sales: marketplaces vs redlily site
Having multichannel platform technology (another core competency) enables on all marketplaces within minutes
- Why ecommerce was chosen, as business?
traditional vs ecommerce in terms of ‘speed, selection, affordability’
- MIT Program (3-4 months) – start developing products on large scale
Business plan competition finalists
- the tipping point, to diversify, joined Amazon
product returns > liquidator used to pay 30 cents on a dollar, during 2006
His stint at warehousedeals.com (internal startup)
Amazon: understand ecommerce marketplaces closely.
enterprising exposure: over 20 programs launched in 7 years
- Intitial investments
initial investment from freinds & family, and supplemental in the form of debt from banks
- Challenges faced:
Funding locks your ability to scale fast
traditionally banks are not coming forward, nor equipped to lending ecommerce firms
last mile connectivity
- financing, compliances, logistics / ecommerce industry.
- own logistics partners
- 30% drop in sales from last Apr’16, across the ecommerce industry
guiding principle: ‘What makes customer happy’
Able to do necessary work around…to handle the 30-40% dip
3 key parameters to make consumers happy
- personal / Lifestyle changes since moving to India
Never relied on external help to run businesses!
what defined his DNA of solving his problems
building systems: humans + technology
hiring technology vs humans
- Ford became Ford becasuse of automation. FordT was people’s car in US.
Cash positive ecommerce company since inception, not many ecommerce companies can claim that.
- Cost conciousness is one of the key founding principles
- How being employed in large companies (Ford, Amazon) helped in understanding business principles !
perfers full stack, rather than specific specialities
process? perfer with people with basics right!
- Taking advise from mentors!
whatsapp group with CEOs/entrepreneurs in Hyderabad?
- How mentorship helped:
1)Dont let go of your company too early.
2)Emplotying (lean) team. : people to cober your weekness, not otherwise! That helped keep the runway much longer!
- Letting go of Marketing for RedLily
How marketing helps vendor, in marketplace ecommerce scinario?
- impact of reducing marketing expense on redlily!
Playing for the long run: spending on brands
- Reason behind choosing baby category
- branding for the long run, to attract right partners in future
- Marketplaces tachnically make everything simple, to ease vendors!
- About marketFront.in ( a SAS based product) : posting, price competitiveness
price, inventory updates, ratings …objective of winning the buy box !
does the work of 3-4 people
built for redlily, now can be shared with others, already bagged awards, and as well as funding!
- Opening up marketfront does not amount to helping competition !
Promotes faster growth of ecommerce!
- 5 year view for both redlily & marketfront companies!
- RedLily: with India focus, 1000cr company in next 3years
200 to 400 brands, in next one year
How to scale is bigger challenge.
- marketfront (SAS software) can be adopted anywhere in the world.
Any retailer can avail of it.
- Revenues & Margins so far
- Most Influencial person: Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos
Frugal mentality, highly scalable ..thought processes etc
- Hobbies: Reading a lot, specifically technology
Recommended books: The Goal , Good to Great
- About CoFounder & Life Partner Rekha Somavarapu, about her role in building business
- Reg 5 zones pan India
- Parting advise:
Focus on right direction
at least 5 year view is a must;
Don’t take courses…go & implement
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