“We have risen the funding of Rs350 crores from Springboard Ventures”: Vinamra Pandiya
In an exclusive conversation with Vinamra Pandiya, Founder and CEO, Qtrove.com sheds light on the growth strategy of the company.BY Shipra Srivastava | November 22, 2018 | comments ( 0 ) |
How did Qtrove.com started? Also shed light on your corporate journey so far?
It was July 2016 when Qtrove.com came LIVE. We believe that today with so many marketplaces offering same brands, the only pull is discounts, cashbacks etc. Today, shopping is reduced to a mere convenience. We wanted to bring fun back to shopping in leisure where products displayed are unique, personally curated and sustainable, and where consumers buy them for that and not because we are offering some discounts. We also believe that customer is today stuck with ‘Tyranny of Choice’. We felt there was a need for a marketplace for curated products- which are sustainable, are non-mass produced and have what we call as the ‘Q Factor’. Such products which customers would love to own them and we don’t have to entice them by unsustainable discounts. We wanted to build ‘Etsy of India’ with an Indian twist. We want to change how you consume products IN your body, ON your body, and AROUND your body. We are The Shop for good people by good people. We are The Shop for Good Things!
I am a Chemical Engineer & Software Coder by chance and Entrepreneur by choice. I hold a Bachelor of Engineering (B.E) degree from the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology, (BHU) Varanasi and joined Infosys in 2004. After a couple of years with the software giant, I started India's first online meal ordering service, Mom’s Kitchen in the 2006. Post a successful 3 year journey with Mom’s Kitchen, I joined Tasty Khana in the year 2009 as board member and Chief Operating Officer; and scaled the start up to new heights.
I am also an advisor to a couple of start-ups like SweetsInABox and SpiderG where I mentors and advises the teams and helps in strategy, business development, and expansion.
Kindly shed light on your business model and distribution? Going forward what would the strategies to scale up the distribution?
- We earn commissions from sellers
- Shipping charges from the customers
- Marketing from sellers
Off late there has been growing trend of natural/organic product consumption especially in metro cities. Do you think tier II market is following similar trend?
Yes, tier II is also following up this trend as they are also becoming well aware about the trends being followed around the world. We have seen rise in the number of orders being placed from tier II cities and also the sellers getting associated with us. Cities like Lucknow, Jaipur, Indore, Guwahati come in our top 10 markets which essentially proves that there is a lot of aspiration and knowledge about these products in Tie II towns, it’s just that accessibility of a single platform for their home needs was limited which is now covered with Qtrove.com.
Kindly shed light on your product and categories also best selling price points? Going forward what are the plans to expand the categories?
We have more than 10,000 products ranging in 30 wide categories to offer. We have skincare products, pets care, home décor, food and beverages, stationery, khadi products, wooden toothbrush, toys like wooden Beyblade, cotton soft toys and many more. Top categories are Soaps, Chocolates, Face masks, Ubtans, Jams, Pickles, Home cleaning products etc.
We plan to expand our categories and would like to enter in region and personalised products.For example, products like travel accessories, personalized stationery, keto products and vegan products.
Have you raised any sort of VC funds so far or plan to?
We are incubated and backed by Growth Story and earlier this year, we have raised the funding of Rs350 crores from Springboard Ventures.
What are the operational challenges in the category you operate?
The biggest challenge is to retain customers. Currently shoppers are spending 5 minutes on an average on our website but converting that shopper into a customer is challenge. Another challenge is to make sure that the right product is delivered to right person at right time. And when the orders are returned, it becomes a task to manage the transaction and logistics for the same.
How do you ensure last mile delivery? Kindly shed light on supply chain management?
We follow an asset light no inventory model. Products are shipped directly from the seller location. We have tied up with top logistics players like FedEx, Delhivery and India post which practically covers the entire length and breadth of the country.
At last, kindly shed light on your growth plans?
Qtrove.com targets to serve the next 5 million customers in India and abroad by creating the positioning of a democratic, self-sustaining, two-sided, trusted marketplace build on solid content and driven by our beloved community. Also, we aim to be the defacto standard for all things natural and sustainable in the next 5 years. We also aim to increase our sellers’ network and offer more products to our customers.