The e-retail arena is seeing a lot of investment and acquisition, as player tie up to build a stronger process. Such an acquisition happened recently with Mangostreet.com which was acquired by Hushbabies.com. Sridhar Seshadri, CEO, Hushbabies.com shares his plans and views about the acquisition in an interaction with Gunjan Piplani.
Gunjan Piplani (GP): Talking about the tie-up, can you elaborate on the same?
Sridhar Seshadri (SS): Mangostreet is a kid’s retailer, focused on e-commerce space, founded by Mohit and Rahul. We happen to engage with them professionally and during this span we found the two brothers energetic, entrepreneurial, having a deep understanding of the supply chain for private labels. So we thought of teaming up and that’s when this tie up was decided upon. We wanted to team up with them so the two brothers have joined us as the part of the core management team. So together they will be complementing our product portfolio, bringing in products for us.
The management will be formed under Hushbabies.com which targets consumers from the stage of maternity to consumers with kids’ upto the age of five years. We continue to stay focus on that, though we have a few overlapping products with the former biz, our focus is to make sure that we serve our customers in this segment really really well.
Their skill sets is manufacturing, supply chain management and so on which will help us in building up a strong e-retail platform for kids apparel, accessories and private labels of mother of young children. This will be the USP of the team joining us.
GP: How important is to revamp the look of the website? How often is it done at hushbabies?
SS: Revamping of website is an ongoing process. In fact we have a weekly cycle where in we introduce a new feature or simplify something in the website. Where I see the synergy from Mohit and Rahul joining us will be the private labels. Creating high quality private labels for consumers is an extremely profitable opportunity for all retailers. But you have to have very high quality product and high quality designs. Those are some the things they have already started working on. In terms of website, the products will have to undergo a quality check program which runs for 4-8 weeks. So in time span of 4-8 weeks you will start seeing products come online.
GP: What are the present categories of offerings on the website and which labels are available for customers?
SS: We already have six major categories which have now expanded to nine ranging from bath & diapers, dvds and to strollers. Under all these categories there are many other sub categories. We will be bringing private labels across almost all product portfolios. But our main focus will remain on apparels, accessories and some baby gears including diaper bags and other. With the expertise of mangostreet team we will be bringing high quality products.
GP: How many SKUs are available on the website? Any plans to expand the same?
SS: We presently have 15,000 SKUs and over next 6-12 months I won’t be surprised if we double this number.
In terms of technology, we want to make it easy for customers to make a choice. Choosing products from 15,000 SKUs is difficult. We want to make it more interactive with the customers and present to them products which suit their need.
As you cater to a niche segment, what are your special mechanisms to market the portal?
SS: Focused on delighting the customer most useful is word of mouth. Consistency is what we plan to maintain in terms of serving the customer. This keeps them constantly engaged, coming back and refer other customers to us.
Spending a lot of time the fact that customer are delighted with shopping with us. Making researched more intuitive. Once must also ensure that you understand your customer really well and present the right product to them. Our customers share with us their preference and we offer them what they want and present to them
GP: Any further investments we can see from your end?
SS: No not really. Investments are a function of who the investor is and what value they bring about to the brand. We genuinely believe that it is not about the brand but about the partner. If we come across a partner and feel they can add a lot of value to the management strategically or financially, we are open to talk to them.