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‘In 2016, the Smartphone Market Has Exploded & India Has Emerged as the 2nd Largest Smartphone Market in the World’ - Bhawna Agarwal, CEO, Gadgets360

The current size of e-commerce industry is estimated at 30-35 billion dollars, marking a 60% jump from last year. This is largely attributed to the increased mobile and internet penetration as well as the growing trust of people to pay online. is a technology site with 28 million unique visitors, more than the next 5 sites put together. It has entered the ranks of the top tech sites in the world.

Being a woman techie in the field dominated by men, Bhawna Agarwal, CEO, Gadgets360, has truly carved a niche for herself. With over 16 years of experience in leading start-ups of the country, Bhawna has been instrumental in setting and scaling up leading brands such as, Seventymm among others. She has been associated with Luxury Retail in the past and is also on the advisory boards of OYO Rooms, VentureFund among others.

She is very active across the start-up ecosystem in India & is a member of various forums, where she is involved in mentoring digital start-ups & nurturing entrepreneurship. In addition to consulting, she is also on the advisory board of a few ventures helping accelerate their journey to commercial success.

BWDisrupt Team Member Sujata Sangwan Interacts With Bhawna Agarwal, CEO, Gadgets360, and Spoke to Her

How has been your journey with Gadgets360 so far? Please share best memories of your journey.

My journey with Gadgets360 right from its conception till now has been deeply rewarding. Despite the fact that in recent times the e-commerce industry has been facing a multitude of challenges, Gadgets360 has been strategically frugal, highly efficient and extremely effective in its approach. We have been able to successfully reinvent our business model over the last year; a task which would not have been possible without the support of the top management and unfailing team work offered by whole team at Gadgets360. The efforts have established Gadgets360 as a loved and trusted platform to our valued customers, and we have ensured the same culture seeps down within the organization to every employee.

As CEO of the company, what goals have you decided for Gadgets360 and how are these goals in line with the company’s vision and mission?

Over the years Gadgets360 has emerged as the most trusted and most relevant platform for the gadget loving population of the country. We are the only tech platform in the country that has managed to successfully bring together content, commerce and community for one segment. As CEO, my goal for Gadgets360 has always been clear – the focus of our platform is on the entire experience of the gadget needs. To achieve the same, as I have mentioned, we have reinvented our business model to a unique hybrid model over the last year. We have strategically diversified from depending largely on advertising revenue to other streams of revenue simultaneously. As a result we are very well positioned and smartly hedged now. There is a renewed focus on scale and profitability and our vision as a platform is to be the ultimate destination for gadgets in India and across the globe.

The eCommerce players like Flipkart, Snapdeal & many more are already major gadgets e-tailers in the market? Then how is Gadgets360 different from others?

We believe Gadgets360 is neither an e-commerce nor a content platform; Gadgets360 is the country’s best hybrid resource for every consumer’s gadgets needs. We are a deep tech and gadgets vertical; we help our consumers choose the right device for their needs, tell them where they can buy the device, direct them to the best deals available on the device and also sell gadgets. Our single minded focus remains what is it that our customer needs and desires. Our understanding as a company is that breakthrough comes from efficient execution, rather than only from ground breaking innovation. I would therefore define our strategy very simply as focusing on a clear understanding of the tech and gadgets vertical and staying true to our consumers.

One of your investors- Paytm already has an e-Commerce platform? Your views on that….

We believe the association of Gadgets360 with Paytm brings a lot of positive synergies rather than poses any kind of conflict. Paytm is a massive horizontal player in the payment segment & we have benefitted from their experience. Gadgets360 doesn’t place itself in the same horizontal segment. To this association, we as Gadgets360 bring with us our deep understanding of content and consumers.

What is the next big thing in the pipeline?

Gadgets360 has interesting offerings lined up in the coming months. Our newest innovation has been the launch of our Hindi Gagdets360 mobile app. The effort here is to reach out to people in their own language; the app has been positively received and we will be launching various product innovations in the coming months.

What are the traction details?

Gadgets360 has grown by 50% year on year. The platform boasts of 30 million unique visitors per month, which is more than the next 3 tech sites put together. It ranks amongst the top 25 tech sites in the world. Beyond numbers, what we really take pride in as a medium, is the trust of our consumers’ in our reviews which enable them to make right buying decisions. Our content management system is entirely in-house and is built to achieve scale. I see our platform as the embodiment of trust between the consumers, the sellers and the advertisers.

Where do you want to see Gadgets360 after 5 years?

Possibly the easiest question for me to answer – I see Gadgets360 as the most preferred platform of all things gadgets for consumers in India and around the world. Going forward, we are now focused on building an ecosystem of consumer engagement, acquisition and retention to qualify as a long term player in this segment. We will achieve this through technology enabled product innovation, more compelling content and greater outreach (which will be supported by the launch of our multilingual apps)

What is the market size and opportunity?

The current size of e-commerce industry is estimated at 30-35 billion dollars, marking a 60% jump from last year. This is largely attributed to the increased mobile and internet penetration as well as the growing trust of people to pay online. Furthermore, nearly 50% growth of the e-tailing segment has come from gadgets. There has been a significant increase in mobile commerce as well, now with the advent of 4G, mobile companies can further expect aggressive growth in revenues. In 2016, the smartphone market has exploded & India has emerged as the 2nd largest smartphone market in the world. Online channel has a strong role to play in purchase of one out of every 3 smartphones purchased in India. These numbers are very encouraging and we can see things only getting better & bigger from here for us.

According to you, what are the top 3 qualities a company’s CEO should have to run a business successfully?

A difficult question to answer for any CEO – but I will list three qualities that have been close to my heart and instrumental in my success here at Gadgets360.

· The most important would be to be able to find order in the chaos. CEO’s face multidimensional problems across BU’s, but the trick always lies in bring clarity to the problems and keeping your sanity while resolving them.

· A second quality would be realistic optimism; confidence without self delusion. There is no limit to the aggressive and ambitious goals a passionate CEO can set for their company, but it is paramount to be aware of the magnitude of challenge one is taking on at each step and to keep a close eye on who/ what challenges you are competing against.

· People sense – which I believe matters as much as the product. A CEO must have the innate knack of identifying and attracting the right talent and right fit for roles and therefore developing quality teams.

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