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SaleBhai: to Reach Breakeven In October 2016 Due to First Mover Advantage

SaleBhai’s current market size is around Rs 30,000 Cr to 35,000 Cr annually keeping in mind the population of migrants in India’s top. The overall retail sales in India are projected to double to $1 trillion by 2020 from $600 billion last year, according to the Boston Consulting Group. It also says that e-commerce sales are projected to quadruple in the next five years, to $60 billion or $70 billion.

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SaleBhai: to Reach Breakeven In October 2016 Due to First Mover Advantage
SaleBhai: to Reach Breakeven In October 2016 Due to First Mover Advantage

BWDisrupt interacts with Vishwa Vijay Singh, Co-Founder of Salebhai

SaleBhai.com, the Indian e-commerce enterprise was launched on 15th September, 2015 and Founded By Vishwa Vijay Singh, Purba Kalita, and Pramod Rao.

We are a unique Indian e-commerce venture that enables people living away from home to order a range of authentic specialties directly from their hometowns. It is also a one-of-a-kind one-stop solution for those who want to discover regional products from across India from the comfort of their homes.

People can pick from a wide variety of delicious consumable items such as sweets, namkeen, chocolates, bakery, spices, dry fruits, beverages, and pickles. SaleBhai also offers other products such as handicrafts, paintings, puja items, handloom goods, and herbal & wellness items.

Our key differentiator lies in the fact that all products available on SaleBhai.com are unique, authentic and priced exactly as displayed at the shops where they are available. The products are of supreme quality because after we decide to sell an item, we pick the top three sellers of it from that region. The products listed on the online platform come with detailed description – popularity, benefits, facts, origin, usage, etc. Apart from these, all consumable products come with serving ideas from renowned chefs.

Salebhai.com also lists complete information about vendors such as their history, lineage, credibility and reputation.

How was it started?
SaleBhai.com owes its genesis to the market gap created by people migrating within India and abroad and goods representing their culture mostly in short supply or, at times, completely unavailable. After studying migration trends among Indian citizens, we observed that most people moved to fast-growing cities such as Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Pune, and Hyderabad – either due to employment opportunities, education, or marriage.

The market gap also clearly demonstrated that migration created a void in people’s lives. Therefore, driven by a back-to-roots philosophy, our e-commerce marketplace focuses on catering to the requirements of over 17 diaspora communities living in big Indian cities as well as those who live abroad. With products sourced from over 100 cities and around 300 select vendors, we provide people with an opportunity to buy unique products in various categories from sellers across India.

Unique key feature/services:
Our platform paved the way for the Indian populace to discover unique items, representative of a specific culture, available across India. With products sourced from over 100 cities and around 300 cherry-picked vendors, we managed to create a comprehensive platform, catering to a plethora of needs; be it for regional sweets, snacks, beverages, handicrafts, or even handloom products. Customers can access a large selection of products in these categories and more.

How is it different from existing ones?
We are a unique e-commerce marketplace which enables people to order a range of specialties directly from their hometowns, unique to that place and also discover regional specialties from across India.There are websites which offer these products in bits & pieces but Salebhai is the only one which gives a holistic solution to the needs of the diaspora. Our offerings are unique with focus on making more & more different products available on the platform rather than having many sellers of one product.

What is your current Funding Status?
Early on in the business we received a shot in the arm when 12 happy high net worth customers turned into investors in February 2016, helping the company raise INR 2 crore. We are now readying for our second batch of customers-turned- investors.

In July 2016, we received another major boost with Times Group’s Brand Capital coming on board with a deal size of INR 10 crore for a minority stake. We will use the funds to expand our footprint and get more customers at a rapid pace.

Please describe your current Monetization model?
Salebhai has a very robust business model with focus on per unit economics. It operates at a healthy margin of 27%. It doesn’t offer COD which is a big drag on profit. It focuses on increasing repeat purchase by customers to further push its profitability. It currently sees a repeat purchase of 22% even though it adds 12 to 15% new customers every month.

What are your current Traction Details?
Our website attracts over 80,000 visitors every month, with over 50% through organic search and direct traffic. SaleBhai has over 10,000 customers, with a high repeat purchase of 22%. It adds around 1,200 customers every month with one of the lowest costs of customer acquisition.

What are your Future plans for Salebhiai?
SaleBhai aims to operationally reach breakeven in October 2016. It’s the first mover in this space and looks forward to establishing its leadership position by targeting around 1,00,000 customers and 1,000 unique sellers by December 2017.

What are the Marketing efforts that you have put in?

We understand that our products cannot be sold on discounts hence we work on a long-term engagement model with our customers where we try to figure out their exact requirement and offer them the same. We use social media, particularly Facebook, to connect to our right audience.

We have been pushing our campaigns on websites where our customers are. Our SEO is robust and we use it extensively to tap queries on Google.
We have decided to establish our leadership position in this space hence we take both print and radio route to build our brand in the top eight cities of India.

We constantly engage with our existing customers with campaigns such as The Great SaleBhai Challenge. We send out regular mailers with customer-specific suggestions and curated offerings. Our mailers see a high percentage of opening rate & conversion. Repeat purchase from existing customers is one of the major push areas for us.

What are the Challenges you faced while launching this startup?

Bringing about a behavioral change in customers to sustain top-of-the-mind recall is a big challenge but we are now steadily overcoming it. The other big challenge is that being a pure marketplace, we have to bank on third-party logistics for pickup from close to 300 sellers in over 100 cities. Coordination among the stakeholders in such a scenario can be overwhelming at times. Also, a lot of sellers in smaller towns still don’t have access to computer and internet that makes our task tough.

Please tell us about the Market size & opportunity in this field?
SaleBhai’s current market size is around Rs 30,000 Cr to 35,000 Cr annually keeping in mind the population of migrants in India’s top . As migration keeps increasing, our opportunity to fulfill the requirements of migrant populations also increases. Forrester’s Capture The Global eCommerce Opportunity report puts India’s B2C ecommerce market at $7.2 billion. India's retail market is competitive, increasingly lucrative and poised for dramatic growth.

The overall retail sales in India are projected to double to $1 trillion by 2020 from $600 billion last year, according to the Boston Consulting Group. It also says that e-commerce sales are projected to quadruple in the next five years, to $60 billion or $70 billion.


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SALEBHAI VishwaVijay Singh Co-founder startup

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