How this startup is fighting the challenges of eCommerce

Retailer Media had a candid conversation with Varinder Singh Jawanda, CEO & Founder, Trendybharat to understand his ideology of trendy and hassle-free online shopping.
Varinder Singh Jawanda, CEO & Founder, TrendyBharat

With younger population growing, India is fast becoming a country that likes to stay in style. And, 35 per cent of the total Indian consumers who are inclined towards online shopping are between age group of 18 and 25.  In the past few years, fashion industry in India has attained several leaps. Handmade textile has been a part and parcel of fashion industry of India. Online stores of fashion are growing at a very rapid pace and they represent future trend in this sector.

Grasping the major ethics of online fashion, is bound to improve the experience of consumers. This online shopping website aims at trends and accordingly replenishes its collection.

Retailer Media had a candid conversation with Varinder Singh Jawanda, CEO & Founder, TrendyBharat to understand his ideology of trendy and hassle-free online shopping.

What are the major USPs of TrendyBharat? How has it set a new trend in terms of style and trend?

The Major USPs of TrendyBharat are:

a) Value for Money Products

b) Zero inventory Model

c) Unit economics wherein no product is sold on loss

d) Great customer experience through high level of operational efficiency

In terms of trend and style, we have provided a platform to uncelebrated or overlooked Indian vendors and popular brands. Each one of them has a unique design concept and differentiated interpretation of ongoing trends in India and globally. All the product categories at TrendyBharat represent the ethnic, cultural and modern taste and preferences of India and worldwide. The blend of trends we offer ranges from ethnic and casual to funky.

Have you raised any funding so far? What are your plans to use this funding for?
We have managed to raise seed level funding from a Singapore based leading investor firm and intend to spend the same on great technology systems, process and human resources that impact customer experience.

What inspired you to set up this brand? Share the story behind it.
The driving force behind TrendyBharat’s creation was to aggregate the supply of different product category to consumer at an affordable price with an easy availability by using the power of the Internet to showcase product category of the Indian market.

We wanted to give a fair deal to the consumers. I am happy with what we have achieved. When we started out, we never thought that it would expand to such a great level in just a span of one year. We still have a lot of hard work ahead to achieve our dream of bringing more products on our portal and greater shopping prospects for our customers.

What was it that attracted the investors to your business? Have you had to pivot your business in any way that has worked for you?
Trendy Bharat has a simple thumbs-up rule that till we break even, our major investment should be dedicated to the customer’s feelings or experiences. We are focused on the unit economics model. We do not believe in spending money on luxurious work places and glorified interiors. Basically, we do not have provisions for spending on activities which bring in terrific PR but are horrible for finance.

What has been your A-ha Moment in the business? (The high point)
The A-ha moment is when you see consumer coming and buying lot of health and fitness products. This also gives us an understanding to increase the range of these products as well as it demonstrates how Indians have become more conscious towards their health and fitness.

What has been your biggest challenge so far in scaling up? How are you addressing it?
The biggest challenge was that the sellers and vendors were very skeptical about selling their products on an online platform during the early days of our business. It was difficult to convince and bring them on board at TrendyBharat. But, yes, we did it. We made them understand that TrendyBharat would help them reach more and more people in lesser time. This also was a growth opportunity for sellers and vendors.

However, once operations begun and sales picked momentum, more sellers joined us through word-of-mouth promotions and customer experience. In addition, delivering on time is a major issue in India, which of-course every set up is dealing with, but we have a strong and dedicated team to manage the same.

Who is your target consumer? Could you please share how you have detailed your consumer?
Everyone who shops online or uses internet is our target consumer. Everyone from Metro cities or from Tier 2 & Tier 3 cities is our target consumer. We have a wide range of products as per their needs from global brand to white label.

How do you see growth scenario in this business? What are your future scale-up plans?
As per Morgan Stanley, India’s e-tail business shall touch $159 billion by 2020, Indian market has a huge potential in e-commerce owing to greater internet penetration, rise in number of online shoppers and increase in per capita income. India is adding 3 internet users every second and is already the second largest internet market globally in terms of users. By 2020, there will be 50 per cent increased internet penetration and almost 320 million online shoppers by 2020.

b) We realise the importance of data mining and customer behaviour aspect of e-commerce, our scaling up shall largely focus on data management, knowledge management and customer relationship management primarily on the following aspects:

i. Managing customer value orientation and life cycle

ii. Customer retention goal

iii. CRM capabilities and customer life cycle.

iv. Data mining in CRM

By and large, we shall invest our resources on the above apart from enhancing customer experience and showcasing value for money products.  

 How have you addressed the challenges of the eCommerce industry ever since inception?
The biggest challenge for us has been the timing of our entry into the e-commerce foray, since the conditions in the space were and still are adverse for investment. We are addressing this adverse condition by restoring the fundamental business principle of Unit Economics.

Another prime challenge is adapting to new ways of doing business, keeping ethics of offline business intact while selling online, staying on top of organic search by creating engaging content, Seller and Buyer retention, solving technology blue book for great shopping experience to the customer.

Varinder Singh Jawanda