E-commerce is the big thing these days. And come to think of it there are hoards of companies, big and small, joining the bandwagon every tenth day. Opportunities are immense, challenges stiff and the market unpredictable but the craze is growing. It’s actually painting the town red.
While most of these start-ups are from tier 1 cities of Mumbai, Delhi or Bangalore, the latest one to enter the rat race is Offerbean, from a tier 2 city. The online shopping portal offers discounts, offers and daily or limited period deals. While it has pretty much what other e-commerce companies have in offer, the interesting feed is that the start up is from Jaipur, a city where most of its traders are offline retailers. The founders Abhishek Sharma and Ritesh Khandelwal belong to a small town in Dausa, Rajasthan.
It also gives credibility to the fact that smaller towns are not far behind. They are actively participating in the e-commerce growth in India.
With the growth in internet penetration and rising purchasing power it is hardly surprising that tier 2 and 3 cities are becoming online shopping hubs but serving them well is a major concern. While major online brands are eyeing this space, logistics and faster delivery of goods still remains an issue for them. Offerbean took on this opportunity and played its game well. It took upon itself to provide better services and faster logistics in these cities. While they serve in tier 1 cities of Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore they also service smaller cities of the country like Jaipur, Chennai, Hyderabad, Ahemdabad, Agra, Lucknow and Chandigarh. And they are planning to add 3-4 more tier 2 cities in their network in the next few months as their company’s DNA is more attuned to the customer needs of these cities.
According to them one solution (read e-commerce website) does not suit all. They need to be tailor-made for the specific customers and specific cities in mind. “We believe Indian eCommerce Market is huge and will grow 10x by 2015 but the same time players should assume effective roles to execute this efficiently. We opted to go horizontal rather than going in one vertical space and focusing on the processes, customers as well as our vendors & partners. And we realized it’s not rocket science…it’s doing normal things in a better way,“ said Abhishek Sharma, co-founder, Offerbean.com.
Pluggd.in spoke to them to find their standing among the biggies. Here is what they had to say. Read on.
PI. With so many similar and bigger entities like Homeshop18, Indiaplaza, Flipkart, Snapdeal etc where does Offerbean.com stand?
OB. We come from a tier 2 city and understand needs of customers well. As I mentioned before you cannot have one solution for all. We have our website built around our “chosen customer”. And believe that we are serving our targeted customer base well.
Our rich experience, customer centric approach, dual flexibility and fastest delivery track record makes us stand apart which gives an edge over others to deal successfully with real time challenges of online shopping.
PI. How do you plan to create your existence in this stiff competitive field of e-commerce?
OB. The plan is not to serve all and be all; but to cultivate a niche following based on our service and our product. We believe and it is our philosophy that good service and a targeted customer base will help us to save ourselves from competition.
We are not over ambitious or aggressive but calculative in the current scenario. We are working on a ‘Slow & Sustainable Growth’ mantra. Yes, there is lot of competition but it’s beneficial for us. Indian ecosystem is very different and one needs to come up with innovative solutions to sustain.
PI. What are Offerbeans’ plans for the future?
Apart from adding more tier 2 cities we are focusing on increasing our catalogue size and explore new categories for online business. We believe that we have to develop our own logistic system in the coming years to achieve the profitability and sustain in the market. We plan to share these services with other players too!
Offerbean surely seems to have played the right strings but how the music flows is yet to be seen. Till then if you belong to any of the cities they service, shop with them and let us know your feedback.
Do give Offerbean a spin and share your comments/feedback with the team.