Of course eCommerce today needs no introduction. The rising preference of online shopping has reshaped the economics of retail spelling a change in wholesale as well. Innovation is the backbone of the eCommerce industry and it tries to disrupt every offline vertical with injecting the digital model into it. Online shopping, online payments, online comparison, online discounts and the list go on and on. Now think about online wholesale options for retailers. Isn’t that amazing!
The dependence on stores as a means to distribution points for products is swiftly shrinking with the advent of eCommerce models. The online wholesale models are effectively catering to the basic shopping and distribution needs which, until now could only be fulfilled by the brick-and-mortar online touch points.
Retailer Media caught up with Devesh Rai, CEO & Founder of Wydr, a mobile-based marketplace platform for wholesale buying and selling. In this conversation he spoke about how his venture is making wholesale buying and selling more organised, hassle-free, quicker and easier.
Please share your background. Your education and whether entrepreneurship was something you always wanted to do?
I have successfully held leadership positions in both consumer and enterprise environments. I have also been a founding member of ShopClues.com, the eCommerce marketplace and was responsible for building and managing merchant base, category incubation & management and merchant facing technology. During my stint at ShopClues, the company acquired country’s largest merchant base within a very short span of time and became on the top eCommerce companies in India. I have been a part of the leadership team to build and scale ShopClues business, making it a top 5 ecommerce company in India.
I have an overall experience of 18 years across IT, Media and eCommerce industries. Prior to ShopClues, I have worked with HCL Technologies, Headstrong and HT Media as well.
I am an Economics graduate from the prestigious Hindu College, Delhi University and have an MBA in Marketing and Finance from Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Calcutta.
Entrepreneurship has been a childhood dream for me. The opportunity to create value and impact people’s life positively excites me.
How was the idea of your Start-up conceptualised? What is the need you are addressing in the market?
I have a decent experience in online retail business. It was during my interaction with sellers that I realised that a very large segment of sellers, typically brands and wholesalers are focused only on B2B business. And this segment has very different pain points with no online solution to help them. Wydr fundamentally addresses three key pain points which arise from the fragmented nature of B2B Wholesale business. These are Discovery, Trust and Transparency. By enabling brands and retailers to discover each other and transact with complete trust and ease of process, it is creating a whole new way of doing Wholesale business in the country.
What is your Business Model?
Wydr is a totally performance based platform. It charges a selling fee on all transactions on its platform. Today it already has more than 1000 sellers, 150 categories and more than 125K catalog size.
Who is your target consumer? Could you please share how you have detailed your consumer?
On the buyer side, the stand alone retailer is a key consumer of Wydr. These retailers typically make a monthly or fortnightly trip to the nearest wholesale hub to pickup his stock and assess the latest trends and prices in the market. Wydr enables them to directly buy from the bigger distributor thus saving on margins without having to leave his store. Local and regional distributors also benefit from buying in bulk on the Wydr platform.
A large, complex multi-layered distribution system in consumer goods makes it difficult for manufacturers/ importers/ brands to widen their reach beyond a certain level. This segment comprises the sell side of the Wydr marketplace. Without having to invest in a large sales team they can sell to distributors / traders across the country and therefore widen their reach. Platform trust offered by Wydr enables them to trade with new parties who would not have reached their doorstep.
What is your current distribution in Brick and Mortar space? What are your future distribution plans? Wydr has no brick and mortar distribution. It is an online marketplace which enables brands to reach out to retail stores across the country. Thereby, enhancing their distribution reach. It is an excellent platform to complement the current general trade distribution.
Have you raised any funding so far? What are your plans to use this funding for?
Wydr has done two seed rounds of investment from leading angel investors and industry thought leaders.
What has been your A-ha Moment in the business? (The high point)
Our A-ha moment is when we saw a huge number of buyers coming from tier 2 towns and also when we realised that the repeat purchase behavior amongst our buyers is higher than what we had envisaged.
What has been your biggest challenge so far? How are you addressing it?
Our biggest challenge is providing the best of fulfillment services at cheapest of the cost competing with the unorganized offline transportation system. With our technology led approach and tie-ups with some leading transporters in the offline wholesale we are able to provide one of lowest cost fulfillment services to our buyers.
How do you see growth scenario is this business? What is your future scale-up plan?
The wholesale market is $300 billion which is expected to grow at $700 billion. We believe that a significant portion of this will move online and hence there is considerable headroom for growth. We aim to have 1 million downloads in 2 years and 6 million downloads in 5 years. We aspire to bring 300- 400 k brands, wholesalers and importers in the next 3-4 years which will be important for us in order to achieve $1 billion GMV in next 5-6 years.