I know you will love this concept of helping rural people to buy products online. This is what Sidhartha, Snehith and Yeshwantha are doing. They have collaborated with the e-commerce companies, and they act as a facilitator between rural buyers and e-commerce company. They are currently working in AP, but they are planning to expand their startup in other parts of the country including AP, Orissa and Tamil Nadu.
IndiaBuys has seen the opportunity in rural India is really remarkable. Out of 121 crore Indians 83.3 crores live in rural India, so there is a wide scope of this concept. This was started in June 2017, and in this small span of time, they have expanded to 125 stores.
We got an opportunity to talk with Snehith, one of the co-founders of IndiaBuys. See what he has to say about his startup. How IndiaBuy concept is helping rural people to buy and how it is also creating micro-entrepreneurs.
What is the problem you are solving?
E-commerce penetration in rural India is very less. According to statistics, 31% of people in India use the Internet (After Jio) but less than 10% use e-commerce. These numbers are even worse in rural parts of India. People in rural parts started using the internet but are still afraid to make an online transaction.
Major reasons for this being
Lack of awareness and low technology penetration.
Lack of Trust
To solve these problems and to bridge the gap between existing e-commerce companies and rural market, we have started IndiaBuys.
Which year and month was it started in?
We started working on this at the beginning of 2017, we started our operations in June 2017.
What is the business all about – How does it work and what is the business model? (Please do talk about who runs the stores and how you encourage entrepreneurship)
IndiaBuys is into Assisted- Ecommerce. We encourage people in rural India to buy products online through our phygital stores (Physical + Digital). These stores give complete assistance and information about online shopping. We offer free service to the customer and charge the partner for every sale generated by us.
We operate in a franchise model. IndiaBuys stores can be opened by any person in any town with very low investment. Through this model he will be able to sell anything from 6+ crore products without investing anything on inventory and store makes money on every product that is sold through the store.
This way we are able to digitalize the rural India and also create micro-entrepreneurs. We currently have 125+ stores which mean 125 micro-entrepreneurs run their business with the help of IndiaBuys.
What are the different services offered?
Currently, we have partnered with Amazon and we offer anything from 6+ crore products on Amazon. We plan to introduce Recharges, Bill payments, Travel Ticketing, Insurances, banking services, medicines from these stores.
Do you have any partnerships with e-commerce companies? How is your relationship with them?
We have partnered with Amazon under its program udaan which encourages ideas to take e-commerce to the rural part of the country.
How is revenue generated? How much do those running the stores get?
Revenue is generated for every sale that happens through the store. The bonus is given when a new customer account is created and there are incentives based on the monthly performance of the stores.
On an average each store earns between 35000 to 50000 per month depending on the city/town they are in.
How much investment has gone into the business and how was this funded?
We are a bootstrapped company till now. We aren’t funded yet and are actively looking for it.
Geographically, how many places are you present in right now in India?
We have 125+ stores in AP and Telangana. We plan to expand to Karnataka, Tamilnadu and Orissa by the end of the year.
How many customers do you see coming to your stores on a daily/weekly basis? How is the demand generally?
Demand for this kind of service is very high in rural parts because everyone knows that products are cheaper online and customers get a huge number of options to choose from. But due to reasons mentioned earlier customers are unable to avail these benefits and we are offering a free service which will make them very close to Online shopping.
How do you see competition for you in the market you are in? What makes you different?
There are few big players like Storeking and Shopx in this market. We make a difference by running exclusive stores and concentrating on the partnerships.
What is the next step going forward in the business?
Getting partnerships with the companies looking to expand to rural parts and concentration on geographical expansion.
How many members are there in your team? And how many co-founders?
We are currently a team of 20 which includes 3 cofounders. Sidhartha, Snehith and Yeshwanth.
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