Indian products have high demand around the world. They also pave the way to get that homely feeling for the immigrants from India. But these aesthetic creations find it hard to travel around the Globe for marketing. The consumers, as well as the producers who aim for global trading, face this issue.
Shoppre.com is a company that enables Indian e-commerces globally. They have a parcel forwarding segment that helps global shoppers and businesses access Indian e-commerce and a system to connect with MSMEs across India to take their products globally. Delivery within 3 to 6 business days and personal shopping assistance is their high spot. Head over to the interview prepared with Team Shoppre to know more about the company and its services.
Give a brief info about your startup?
A part of Goldman Sachs 10000 Women programme at IIMB-NSRCEL, Shoppre.com, Shoppre.com is a company that enables Indian E-Commerces globally. On one side, we have a parcel forwarding segment that helps global shoppers and businesses access Indian E-Commerce and on the other side we attach ourselves with MSMEs across India to take their products globally.
For global shoppers, businesses and re-sellers we provide a Virtual Indian Shipping Address that can be used by them to shop from ANY Indian store. The items that they shopped for come to Shoppre facility and can be stored for 20 days free of cost – within which they can accumulate as many things as they want. Finally, we put them all into one box, consolidate, repack and ship to their doorsteps in 3 to 6 business days. The storage, consolidation, repackaging and shipping reduces the cross border shipping costs by 60-80%.
We also provide Personal Shopping Assistance in case they face challenges in making Foreign Payments to Indian Online stores assisting them with shopping/procurement as well.
Most MSMEs in India struggle to meet export compliance requirements and face numerous challenges in shipping cross-border. This is where we act as an enabler to help them take their products to the global markets.
In the coming days, we are looking at connecting global shoppers to the Indian MSMEs that we are tied up with
What made you start your startup and what problem does it solve?
My co-founder and I have grown up in the Middle-East and getting access to Indian products was a one time activity when we came down to India for vacations. In the Indian context, E-Commerce has been growing at a terrific pace since 2010 and the question was how can we leverage this growth for the people living outside. This problem statement is what led us to start Shoppre in 2017.
Tell us about yourself, your previous jobs/ventures? What were you doing before this startup?
I grew up in Dubai for the major chunk of my school life and did my Engineering from NIT, Calicut. I was working with a startup in Gurgaon in a Product role. Working in the startup ecosystem excited me and that also drove me to start Shoppre.
Where is your startup based out of? Why do you think that is the best place for you?
Shoppre is based out of Bangalore. When we started the venture in 2017, E-Commerce delivery was extremely efficient & optimized in Bangalore vis a vis other locations. Although things have evolved quite a bit since then, this was one of the major reasons back then. Apart from that from a startup eco-system perspective also Bangalore was one of the best places to start something.
As a startup founder, what are you paranoid about? What keeps you awake at night?
I think at different stages of the company, you face different challenges. So the things that keep me engaged keep evolving over the period of time. Initially it’s about getting the first hundred customers, then it’s about setting up the team, bringing sustainability & efficiency, it then becomes about scaling and expanding, fitting into the mega trends or macro economic landscape and so on and so forth. It’s always a tussle between solving for the present and at the same time looking into the future. I guess there is no single point where your mind is constant.
Who are your competitors and how are you better than them?
Cross-Border Retail E-Commerce is very nascent in the Indian context. While wholesale exports have been happening since time immemorial, retail e-commerce is a completely different ball game. It’s extremely dynamic and evolving. Our focus is on simplifying Cross Border E-Commerce – be it for global consumers, businesses, resellers or Indian MSMEs trying to take their businesses globally. We want to work on this Ecosystem to bring efficiency and ease of operation & access in different areas. Being a first mover in this area has definitely given us an advantage. Even though a few players have entered this space recently, I believe the market is extremely huge and disorganized for all of us to take our share of the pie.
How hard is it to have a work-life balance as a startup founder and how do you manage it?
Quite hard I would say. I have been extremely lucky to have a family that supports my passion and understands what I have signed up for. I try to keep myself off work on Sundays. It also helps to refresh and start a new week the next day.
Have you raised funding? If yes, then we would like to know the details. If no then please tell us if you are looking to raise.
We have not raised any external funding. Definitely will look into opportunities & collaborations where the missions are aligned.
What’s the biggest misconception people have about you? Why do they have that? What’s the reality?
Don’t think there is one. I am fairly sure people can understand the person I am quite easily.
What gets you excited about this company?
I think it has been more than 4 years since the inception of the idea. The team is like family and we are all committed to the mission that is to simplify cross border shipping. Being a first mover also puts us at a disadvantage as we have to do all the learnings at first. Precedents are very less or not available for most problems or challenges we face. Solving them with my team is what keeps me excited. Every day is a new day. I am also a lover of Indian products – be it Indian clothing – ikat, different handblock prints, ajrakh, etc or Indian home decor or handicrafts, accessories, etc. I strongly feel that they are beautiful, sustainable and should be made accessible to people across the globe.
Tell us how a day in your life looks like? Your schedule for a day right from the time you get up till you hit the bed at night.
Honestly, it has been quite hard for me to keep up a routine. I try to wake up around 6:30 – 7:00 AM. Go for a quick walk if possible. Try to do some research/learning based activity that requires focus till 9 or 9:30 AM. Once I am in the office – it’s hard not to drown in the noise. Important meetings happen in the morning and I try to keep meetings that are not areas of primary focus to the second half of the day. I also try to ensure that the day is not only about meetings as we tend to end up only having meetings and no time for dedicated research/planning/execution etc. I normally end my office around 8 or 8:30 PM by having a look at the reports of metrics we have set as priorities. Once I am back home I try to catch a quick update on the news and if I am reading a book, I read a bit of that and go to sleep by around 11 or 11 30 PM. But again this is an ideal day and most often there are a lot of variables that come into the picture!
Tell us about your team and how did you meet each other?
Initially most of the team joined us through reference. We also have had people join us via platforms such as Indeed, LinkedIn etc. The core team is our biggest strength without which none of this would be remotely possible. Currently we are close to a 60 member team who are married to this mission to bring some impact in simplifying cross-border e-commerce.