Welcome To SaleBhai’s World Of Regional Goodies
“We have seen people from Uttarakhand ordering bal mithai from Dehradun; Punjabis ordering phirni; Rajasthanis opting for tilpatti, Rajasthani peda, and Rajasthani handicrafts.”
Photo Credit : http://www.salebhai.com/, https://c1.staticflickr.com,
We speak to Vishwavijay Singh, cofounder of SaleBhai.
What are the 17 diaspora communities?
The 17 diaspora communities belong to the different corners of India. They include Assamese, Manipuri, Bengali, Oriya, Tamilian, Kannadiga, Malayali, Marathi, Gujarati, Rajasthani, Bihari, and Kashmiri, among others.
What kind of unique items are in demand for each of these communities?
We have seen people from Uttarakhand ordering bal mithai from Dehradun; Punjabis ordering phirni; Rajasthanis opting for tilpatti, Rajasthani peda, and Rajasthani handicrafts.
Gujaratis now living in other countries usually order halwasan from Khambat and Gujarati chevda. Down south, Tamilians go for Tirunelveli halwa, Kannadigas for Mysore pak, and those hailing from Andhra Pradesh buy pootharekulu.
In the East, migrant Bengalis order nolen gurer sandesh, Biharis order sattu, and Assamese opt for pitha.
Since ours is also a discovery portal, we have seen overwhelming response for certain unique products across communities. We have customers asking if we have gold and silver-plated brass handicraft items from Jaipur; khakra from Gujarat, Lonavala chikki, sweets from Kolkata, Agra’s petha, and snacks from Ratlam and Indore, to name a few.
Our unique selling point lies in the fact that all our products are unique and are supplied by more than cherry-picked vendors.
How did you get started with SaleBhai? What gave you the idea?
The idea to create Salebhai.com came following some in-depth market research conducted by our core team. That includes me, Purba Kalita, and Pramod Rao.
We found a market gap created by short supply of native, niche goods of a culture. Indians living abroad missed having access to the original products from their hometowns of the established regional brands.
After studying migration trends among Indian citizens, it was observed that most people moved to fast-growing cities like Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi, Kolkata, and Mumbai for employment opportunities, education, or marriage.
Therefore, driven by a back-to-roots philosophy, the team decided to launch Salebhai.com in September, 2015. With this ecommerce marketplace, the company focuses on the requirements of over 17 diaspora communities across India as well as those who live abroad.
With over 9000 products from more than 300 select vendors from over 100 cities, the company provides people with an opportunity to buy products in various categories from sellers across India.
Can you give us some business growth details?
Just to give you an idea, last Diwali month (Oct’2015) we achieved Rs.3.5 lakh of gross merchandise value (GMV). This Diwali we doubled it to Rs.70 lakh GMV. A major chunk of our sales (22%) come from our repeat buyers.
We continue to add around 1200 to 1500 new customers every month.
SaleBhai delivers everywhere within India. We tested our international deliveries during Rakshabandhan with over 350 deliveries to countries like USA, Australia, Middle East and Europe. We will start our normal international delivery from this month.
Has demonetization affected sales?
While certain businesses in India are reeling under the effect of the recent demonetization move by the government, such issues are just a part of the country’s effort to fight corruption, and create a digital and cashless economy.
Despite being an ecommerce platform, SaleBhai does not offer the Cash on Delivery (COD) option to customers. While this strategic move has cost the company some lucrative business in the past, it has still managed to not give in under pressure, and continues to promote fair business practices across India.
How do you get the genuine products on your website? And how would a customer know it’s genuine?
All goods listed on its platform come with detailed product description, which include – popularity, benefits, place of origin, usage, etc. Apart from these, all consumable products come with serving ideas from reputed Indian chefs.
SaleBhai also lists complete information about product vendors such as their history, lineage, and reputation, allowing customers to pick a product of their choice based on complete information provided within this platform.
Explain your pricing policy to us
The products available on Salebhai.com are priced exactly as displayed on the native shops where these are available. Prices are uploaded by our team after thorough verification.
Since the prices offered by sellers are as per prevailing market trends in that particular area, it seems very low for a person residing in, say, Mumbai or Bangalore. For instance, the price of namkeen in Ratlam is around Rs.70 for 500 grammes but the same namkeen offered in Mumbai by other brands would be priced at Rs.130. At the same time, we also ensure that the sellers don’t overcharge the customers.
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