The Gurgaon-based cashback and coupon website CashKaro.com which has raised Rs 25 crore in its Series A funding round from Kalaari Capital in November 2015, and a very small amount of investment from Ratan Tata in January this year, is very close to achieve its break-even. In an exclusive conversation with indianretailer.com, Rohan Bhargava, Co-founder, Cashkaro.com, said, “We are very close to our break-even. In fact, we should be profitable in next 18 to 20 months.” The raised funds are being utilised to ramp up marketing, technology and expanding the human resource. Currently, the company has the human resource of 75 people. As of now, CashKaro is earning minimum 10% commission of every transaction that happened via Cashkaro collaborated e-retailer.
The company is scouting for suitable investors to support its future campaigns. “We would be keen for Series B and C funding from the investors who are sufficiently funded to support us in our future campaigns. We are also looking for expansion in to new countries,” informed Bhargava.
Presently, the company is registering ten to twenty thousand transactions per day, and has tied up close to 1200 online retailers including category leaders like Flipkart, Amazon, yatra, makemytrip, and so on. The company is in talks with many offline retailers to initiate a programme that would offer an add-on value to customer on existing loyalty programme that is run by the retailer.
Speaking on same Bhargava said, “In next two weeks I will be able to give provide more information on same. We are in talks with many offline retailers. Again, our offerings will be add-on to existing loyalty programme offered by the retailer. We would be working with retailer on making customer experience seamless. Our motive is, for customers, the speed of getting the cashback should be great. Same time, the entire exercise should fetch value to retailer. On top of that, the specific needs of the retailer should be addressed.” The company is also very bullish on tier 2 expansion. Currently, 40 percent of its traffic comes from small towns. The company is also looking to tap unorganized players (in retail segment) from small towns.
No doubt, affiliate marketing sites like CashKaro can help to maintain a diversity of sources for customer traffic in a cost effective way. In fact, in some cases affiliate traffic may be better as affiliate sites usually already provide some context to the product (for instance, product comparison websites or lifestyle blogs), so the traffic is more of qualified leads. “Currently, with footfalls and spending being affected by a muted consumer sentiment, cashback deals and coupons can help to create not only traffic, but conversions for brands,” Shared Devangshu Dutta, Chief Executive, Third Eyesight.
“However, in the longer term, the business environment for affiliate websites is tougher – over time, with fewer online players to send their traffic to, commissions may be squeezed, margins slabs could be changed, and the period for expiry of a referral may be shortened. Therefore, expanding the offline footprint and deeper penetration into the market is vital for the sustained success of an affiliate marketing player,” he summed up.
In 2017, The Organic World (TOW), sprouted as the green heart of Nimida Group in Bengaluru, sowing the seeds of sustainability to cultivate positive change in our way of life. Founded by Gaurav Manchanda, Director, The Organic World, this unique brand strives to offer a holistic range of organic and natural products. From pesticide-free fruits and vegetables to chemical-free homecare products, TOW provides consumers with over 3000 choices to embrace a healthier, cleaner, and more sustainable lifestyle.
Gaurav, during his return to India from the United States in 2016, identified a gap in the market for healthy and organic food options. Motivated by a personal quest for such products and a desire to offer the same to a wider audience, The Organic World was born in 2017. Starting with the launch of its first store in JP Nagar, Bengaluru, TOW quickly expanded. Today it has 15 stores across Bengaluru, and is exploring the franchise model and the plan is to steadily expand TOW’s footprint across South India.
“Our journey is only getting started. We plan to expand up to 100 stores over the next 18 months, and exploring cities like Chennai, Pune, and more,” he says.
TOW positions itself as a multi-brand retailer, hosting products that are not only organic but also differentiated, providing better value to customers as they journey towards a healthier lifestyle. The stores boasts a comprehensive product range, including fruits, vegetables, dairy, staples, personal care items, and home care products. The presentation of these stores is world-class, ensuring a unique and engaging shopping experience.
Gaurav sheds light on TOW's commitment to responsible retailing, focusing on three core pillars: authenticity, accessibility, and affordability. The company enforces a rigorous vetting process for products, maintaining transparency by publicly listing 25 blacklisted ingredients and chemicals not allowed on their shelves. This disruptive approach challenges the industry to prioritize healthier and sustainable products. TOW has created a strict ‘Not In Our Aisle’ list – a list of chemicals and harmful ingredients that do not find a spot on its store shelves, despite their industry popularity. This includes ingredients like high fructose corn syrup, a sweetener, found in soda, juice, candy, breakfast cereals and packaged snacks; artificial flavorings/colors found in most packaged foods; Tertiary Butylhydroquinine (TBHQ), an antioxidant found in biscuits, microwave popcorn, butter substitutes and chicken nuggets; parabens, sulfates and phthalates found in personal and beauty care products; and a range of acids and toxins found in home cleaning essentials, to name some.
“When you step into our store, it's an interesting and world-class experience. We strive to be a full basket retailer, so you can complete your shopping journey within our stores. Now we have about 3000 SKUs on our shelves, and we continue to introduce interesting categories and products,” explains Gaurav.
The brand’s commitment to sustainability extends beyond its product offerings. It has introduced a zero-waste section in select stores, encouraging customers to bring their own containers for grains and nuts. The company is conscious of consumer preferences, with a dedicated vegan category accounting for a significant portion of sales. TOW's initiatives have not only resonated with environmentally conscious consumers but also positively impacted its revenue.
The Organic World has embraced a tech-driven approach to bridge the online and offline shopping experience seamlessly. Initially partnering with tech enablers, TOW later developed its in-house tech stack, comprising apps, websites, and delivery mechanisms. This move provides the company with more control over data, enabling better insights into consumer behavior.
Acknowledging the challenges in the grocery and organic sector, Gaurav emphasizes the importance of trust in the brand and scale to stay competitive. The company strives to deliver within a two to four-hour time slot, and in a bid to make its last-mile delivery sustainable, TOW is exploring the use of electric vehicles.
In a market flooded with products labeled as organic, The Organic World sets itself apart through a combination of the 3As. The brand's strong category play, especially in emerging trends like veganism, further distinguishes it from competitors. The company's commitment to scale, transparent pricing, and a variety of unique products solidifies its position as a leading player in the organic and healthy foods sector.
“We work closely with farmers and a network of farmers under the brand Happy Harvest Farms. They are certified and organic. Additionally, we do our own checks internally, and based on these checks we believe that we are able to provide an authentic experience to the discerning consumer,” Gaurav asserts.
He is optimistic about the future, fueled by the growing awareness of health-conscious consumers. With plans to expand its store network and franchise model, TOW aims to be a dominant player in the Indian organic market. The brand envisions not only leading in the organic sector but also influencing responsible retailing practices across the broader retail industry.
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