When Vidhi Kejriwal was looking to set up her online shoe store, VC Couture, she approached various e-commerce solution providers who could build her website, complete with a payment gateway. During her search, she found that some of the payment gateways didn’t comply with RBI rules, so she gave up on the idea. But since, building her website with the help of Zepo, Kejriwal has earned 150-plus customers. Srijata Bhatnagar from Bengaluru, who owns the clothing store Ethnic Shack, has been using a similar platform, Kartrocket, for a year. She says, “We conducted a lot of research. We even looked at Zepo but ended up picking Kartrocket because we thought the latter was more responsive and accommodating.”
In 2007, before e-commerce had become a buzzword, Infibeam released its e-marketplace on Buildabazaar’s portal with an initial investment of ₹20 crore. Today, Buildabazaar targets large companies (one of them being Indian bookstore chain Crossword), and is looking to earn revenues between ₹50 and ₹100 crore in FY15.
But in a country where the e-commerce boom has allowed many a dreamer to dream bigger, there are still the smaller players who, owing to a lack of resources, have been on one end of the tightrope waiting to make the difficult walk from offline to online.
A web developer’s fees aside, there are problems with logistics and payment that have put many business owners in a fix. But necessity bred invention, paving the way for start ups that provide e-commerce solutions. From building the website to setting up payment gateways, these companies have not only been attracting the attention of new retailers but also third-party investors.
In 2011, the then-23-year-old Nitin Purswani wanted to set up an online store for his T-shirt-printing business Avatar, which he founded with a friend. He faced a lot of trouble while trying to make sense of the processes involved, and realised that he couldn’t possibly be the only one struggling. That was when he launched Zepo, which was earlier a blog for start-ups.
Sameer Guglani, founding partner of The Morpheus, a start