Dhamaal Won’t Compete With Marketplaces, They Are Our Potential Customers: Vishwas Patel, CEO, CCAvenue


Dhamaal Won’t Compete With Marketplaces, They Are Our Potential Customers: Vishwas Patel, CEO, CCAvenue


Avenues India and Infibeam’s BuildaBazaar have partnered to launch Dhamaal, a distribution platform that helps merchants sell online.

Traditionally, most merchants spend a large proportion of their resources on online marketing including search engine keywords and display networks. Dhamaal wants to be a cost efficient channel for customer acquisition to all these merchants.

Dhamaal is an asset light marketplace. Dhamaal merchants will stock inventory and manage fulfillment and logistics while, customer experience is guaranteed by the marketplace. CCAvenue has partnered with over 50 Indian banks that have millions of customers. Dhamaal will offer co-branded marketplace to banks and their customers to transact online.

Here is an interview with Vishwas Patel, CEO of Avenues, the parent company of CCAvenue*.

Why Dhamal? 

Vishwas Patel, CEO, Avenues India
Vishwas Patel, CEO, Avenues India

For a long time, the company has felt that it is has to do something to help thousands of its online merchants to sell online better. A majority of its web merchants spend a large proportion of their resources bidding on keywords on search engines to acquire customers. And while merchants furiously compete with each other on their golden keywords, it is the search engines which are laughing all the way to the bank. Last year, online retail industry received funding worth Rs. 1800 Crores.  Guess how much of it was spend on keywords purchase … over 80%. Yes, Rs. 1450 Crores!

We felt we could offer them a more efficient platform to sell their products and services.

What does CCAvenue bring to Dhamaal?

Firstly, the quality of our merchants. CCAvenue works with 85% of India’s web merchants whom we know and work with very well. We have the necessary agreements, KYC docs, their transaction track records already in place. Also the payment mechanism, RBI approved escrow, nodal banks etc already exists.  That’s a huge plus. Secondly, we have the best possible technology solution that exists today. The Build-a-Bazaar platform, that is powering Dhamaal , is highly scalable. Thirdly, we have a unique marketing model that will bring a huge advantage for our merchants.

As in?

Today, through our brand CCAvenue, we have deep rooted relationships with over 50 banks that go back a long way. Now if you look at it closely, where are all the paying customers that the retail websites are spending so much money trying to reach. Right there with our banking partners.  So we have roped in the banks and we are working with them on a model where the Dhamaal.com initiative is co-branded with the bank and then promoted to its customers by the bank. Every bank has its own unique method of reaching out to its customers.

With a transaction based revenue sharing model firmly in place with the bank, all the parties involved; be it the bank, the merchant, the bank customer or Dhamaal.com, everyone will be in a win-win situation.  This is a unique model. Just imagine, a merchant for just Rs. 200 can put his product on the Bank newsletter which is then shot off to millions of bank customers. We have confirmed deliverables of monthly communication by our partner banks of our merchants offers. There is no other better and cheaper way of reaching out to these customers who have the ability to pay.

But there are already big merchants starting their own marketplaces (and some of them are surely CCAvenue customers). Are you not competing with them? What’s the difference?

I am genuinely surprised by that logic. How is Dhamaal.com a competition to the big marketplaces? Most marketplaces that you speak of are full service managed marketplaces that stock, display, sell inventory and fulfill deliveries of their customers’ purchases in a holistic manner.

However, Dhamaal.com is simply marketing and distribution model where merchants will list and display their goods and products. Dhamaal.com is not involved in any way with inventory stocking, fulfillment and logistics, which is purely the merchant’s responsibility.

Our intention is clear. We want to help our merchants reach their customers cost effectively by using our strengths. This is a proposition that even big, mature marketplace merchants that you speak of will be interested in exploiting. So those portals that you refer to as competition are actually considered by us as potential customers.

There are already so many marketplace oriented models. What makes you think the Dhamaal will succeed?

We are playing on our strengths. We have the best merchants, the best backend technology solution, an astounding display inventory base of over 1.5 crore products, over 300 sellers committed to come on-board already at launch phase (which will grow to a few thousand sellers within the first six months), a unique marketing model that works on a win-win model, access to lakhs of bank customers with the ability to pay and finally, the most important ingredient…conviction. We know the market well, we know the business well and we know the participating stakeholders well.

That puts us in a clearly advantageous position in the Indian market.

* Disclosure: CCAvenue is an advertiser on NextBigWhat.com.

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