Big Challenges Snapdeal Dealt With In Its Journey [Kunal Bahl Of Snapdeal]

We have been carrying a series of interviews with Kunal Bahl of Snapdeal, in which he talks about the various aspects of the Snapdeal journey. In part 1 he talks about the fragmentation of the Indian ecommerce space and the evolution of it so far. In part 2 he talks about the growing ecommerce pie in India and the concept of customer loyalty in the space. In part 3 he talks about what is NEXTBIGWHAT for Snapdeal and some of the key parameters and metric, to measure the growth of an ecommerce company.

In this final part of the interview series,Kunal talks about some of the big challenges Snapdeal faced growing up and some tips for entrepreneurs based on the current funding situation in India.

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What is NEXTBIGWHAT for Snapdeal? [Kunal Bahl Of Snapdeal]

In part 1 of this interview series, Kunal Bahl, the founder & CEO of Snapdeal shared his thoughts on the fragmented Indian online retail market and its evolution so far. In part 2 Kunal, he talked about the growing ecommerce pie in India and customer loyalty.

In part 3 of our interview with he talks about whats is NEXTBIGWHAT for his ecommerce company and some of the key parameters and metric to measure the growth of an ecommerce company. He also talks about some of the mistakes and some good decisions that worked for them over the years.

Subscribe to our YouTube channel ‘NEXTBIGWHAT.TV’  here.

Recommended Read: Snapdeal Enters Recommerce Business; To Buy Used Gadgets

[Snapdeal Story] “Grabbon Acquisition Was The Turning Point For Our Business”

This is the third and last part of . In the first part, Kunal Bahl (Cofounder of Jaspers Marketing, the parent company of Snapdeal) talked about life prior to starting Jaspers, challenges faced in creating the ‘couponing’ category among retailers etc.

“The first instinct for us was not to build a website, rather the first instinct was to ‘how do we make money this month?’.

Second part mostly covered the early stage story – i.e. experiments/failures, Series A and expansion plans.

“Snapdeal was launched within 10 days 8 days [Snapdeal.in]. Looked quite ugly. We just wanted to get it out. We had no expectation in the initial days.”

The third part discusses the growth story, industry outlook and a lot more.




Watch the other two episodes:





Incidentally, Snapdeal celebrates its first anniversary today!

For Reference: Group Buying Site SnapDeal Buys Bangalore Based Grabbon

The Snapdeal Journey–Of Failed Experiments & A Lean Startup Story [Part 2]

Continuing with ’s story, here is the second part [read the first part here: [The Snapdeal Story] From Selling Detergent to Building A Couponing Service].

Kunal Bahl, cofounder of Jaspers (parent company of Snapdeal) discusses some of the key challenges they faced.

– Faced Key challenges in Hiring.

We were operating out of a residential area and candidates were not so interested in working in such an outfit (how many of you have faced this?).

– Constantly Experiment with new products. Many of them failed.

Started Neighborhood Coupon mailing

Aggregated discounts from retailers and delivered door to door. India’s poor infrastructure of delivery (of offline mail) gotten in the way.

Failed experiment, but helped the team in understanding the needs of local merchants.

Mid of 2009, market improved.

Raised investment (Read: Snapdeal Funding from NEA-IUV?).

Adding second city is the most difficult.  Requires a leap of faith.

First 16 months – 1 city. Next 18 months – 29 more cities (4 countries).

Around January, 2010 came the idea of Snapdeal (had a watershed moment).

Was launched within 10 days 8 days [Snapdeal.in]. Looked quite ugly.

“We just wanted to get it out. We had no expectation in the initial days.”

Watch the second part of Snapdeal interview.




Next: The turning point.

Part 1 Video



[The Snapdeal Story] From Selling Detergent to Building A Couponing Service

The group buying, couponing space is one of the hottest sectors in India and while Groupon has entered India recently, stands out as the leader.
I met up Kunal Bahl, cofounder of Jaspers Marketing (that owns Snapdeal) and here is the first part of the Snapdeal journey, the challenges team faced and yeah, all in an ‘UnPluggd’ style.

– Kunal started his first venture. a detergent company from his dorm room in the college. Took the product to 4,000 stores – all bootstrapped. That’s where he figured out the big business in couponing/sampling space.

– Fast forward, a lot of retail investments was happening which means that it will eventually lead to excess capacity problem. That means an opportunity in couponing/sampling space – as it translates to customer acquisition.

– Whatever we learnt in US was of no use in India, as the market here was/is completely different (lack of awareness regarding couponing).

– Fortunately, recession happened! Retailers had a lot of inventory, so they were more open to couponing.

– We realized that in our business, a single product company can never become a large business. We have to take a portfolio approach.

– “The first instinct for us was not to build a website, rather the first instinct was to ‘how do we make money this month?’.

– “We had to pay around Rs. 5 Lacs of salary and we only had Rs. 53,000/ in the bank account. That was the moment of truth for our business. We could have either said ‘Screw this. Get back to regular life, fancy life’  or ‘stay on’.

Watch the entire video [part 1].

» Part 2 [Feb 3rd] and Part 3 on Feb 4th