E Commerce has always been in limelight over the past 2-3 years, during second half of 2010 to the first half of 2012, the space witnessed unprecedented interest of venture capitals and mainstream media including bloggers like us. For the last few months, we saw the interest fizzle out. Leading to an acute crunch of follow on funding, forced merger & acquisition and management churn.
Ecommerce players like Tradus, Fashionandyou and Times Internet have gone through changes at management level. Earlier in December last year, NextBigWhat had reported about exit of Krishna Motukari, top official with Gurgaon based marketplace – Tradus including other senior folks have resigned from the company.
Prior to Motukar, Rahul Sethi left the Nasper backed company to start his own venture. Following the Motukari exit, Tradus appointed Mudit Khosla as the chief executive officer (CEO) of the company. Khosla joins Tradus.com from e-commerce site Seventymm, where he was the CEO of the company.
To understand the company’s game plan, NextBigWhat spoke to Khosla. Edited Excerpts of the Interview
What are the three top things on your agenda?
Currently, the top priorities are:
1. Improve customer experience – pre, during and post transaction.
2. Bring scale – traffic and transactions
3. Create healthy unit economics
How has been the year 2012 for Tradus in terms of revenue, Gross Merchandising Value (GMV) sales, sellers’ registration and consumer acquisition cost?
We are seeing an improvement in overall metrics: Although certain data is confidential, which I won’t be able to share. In terms of our month to month (MoM) performance (February 2013 vs January 2013), our orders have grown by 1.3X, traffic by 40%. Importantly, our consumer acquisition cost reduced significantly.
There has been churn at the top level in the last 18-20 months. Don’t you think it hampers company’s growth?
E-commerce industry is going through evolutions at fast pace and new companies with smarter business models are now getting launched. Certain ecommerce companies including Tradus are seeing management change and this is natural progression. In current scenario, every e-commerce play is being compelled to focus deeply on profitability, and changes pertaining to all hierarchy levels are inevitable in this process.
Marketplace model seems to be flavour of the season (majority of etailers want to pivot to a marketplace) amongst online retailers inflicted with heavy losses with inventory led model. Tell us about Tradus strategies and differentiators to stand out of the crowded marketplace model.
Given that e-commerce in India today is not even 1% of China’s scale, the Indian market, though crowded, surely has enough room for players who will stand out viz a viz others in terms of core customer proposition (pre sales query resolution, after sales service, prices, product quality). Our endeavour is to create a “true marketplace” were sellers are buyers can undergo the process of transactions as close to the offline world as possible.
Do we see a Tradus Flipkart merger in the offing? Like so many other investors have forced their portfolio companies to merge?
I can’t comment about this.
Give some clarity on Tradus’s projection for 2013 in terms of revenue, profitability and GMV sales?
As an immediate goal, our aim is to hit 10,000 -15,000 transaction daily with fundamentally sound unit economics.
What are your future plans?
India has highest number of traders and SMEs in the world – and we would like Tradus.com to be their default choice for millions of offline traders if and when they wish to set up virtual shops of there own.