Salebhai is an Indian e-commerce portal that enables people living away from home order a range of specialties directly from their hometowns. It is a one-stop solution for those individuals who want to discover regional products from across India. It is also soon becoming the preferred website for all-year round customised personal and corporate gifting solutions as well as a platform offering festive and seasonal goodies across India. Whether it be organic Daseri and Alphonso mangoes, ISKCON prasad during Janmashtami, or same-day delivery of modaks in Mumbai during Ganesh Chaturthi and pre-booking of fafda-jalebi in Ahmedabad for Dussehra, SaleBhai provides them all. People can pick from a wide variety of delicious consumable items like sweets, snacks, chocolates, bakery items, authentic spices, dry fruits, beverages, and pickles. We also offer other goods like handicrafts, paintings, puja items, handloom goods, and herbal & wellness items.
The initial challenges included getting sellers to understand the business model and its benefits. Team had to convince customers on the margin and how start-up is different from others. The other challenge was setting up logistics. Also, since online customers were used to a lot of features available on other websites, start-up faced quite a challenge in making all those features available from Day 1.
One major USP is increasing popularity with unique content. Salebhai devotes around 1500 words to explain a product, with mention of usage, popularity, benefits, facts, place of origin, improvisations, etc. A majority of food items come with serving ideas from a chef.
There is complete information about seller: history, lineage, reputation; complete history of brand and owners; details about growth, production capacity, specialities, certifications, awards, and practices.
IDEA BEHIND THE PROJECT
The idea to create Salebhai.com came following some in-depth market research conducted by its core team – Vishwa Vijay Singh, Purba Kalita, and Pramod Rao. The findings of the study demonstrated a market gap, created by short supply of goods representative of a culture or region, led by people migrating within India and abroad. 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 – either due to employment opportunities, education, or marriage. The market gap also revealed that relocation between cities created a void in people’s lives.
Therefore, driven by back-to-roots philosophy, the team decided to launch Salebhai.com in September, 2015. With this E-commerce marketplace, the company focuses on the requirements of over 17 diaspora communities across India as well as those who live abroad. With 8000+ products sourced from over 100 cities and 300+ select vendors, the company provides people with an opportunity to buy products in various categories from sellers across India.
THE CORE TEAM
The brand’s core team comprises: Mr. Vishwa Vijay Singh – Co-founder, Ms. Purba Kalita – Co-founder, and Mr. Pramod Rao – Co-founder.
The co-founders are friends, who came together after years of pursuing different careers with the common desire to do something extraordinary. Most of them had grown up away from their native places with parents having transferable jobs. The only chance they got to visit their hometowns, cities, and villages was during vacations. That was the time when they connected to their roots and discovered unique things about their homelands – food, festivities, customs, traditions, etc. The trend of an annual visit continued as they entered their different professions. They strongly missed specialities of their native places in other cities and towns. This longing brought them together and gave rise to SaleBhai.
The team consists of 28 skilled professionals.
BACKGROUND OF THE CORE TEAM
Vishwa Vijay Singh (40) – Co-founder of Salebhai.com. His chief responsibilities entail handling the overall functioning of the company with direct involvement in marketing, logistics, and product categories. He has over 15 years of experience in sales & marketing in companies such as Airtel, Nerolac & ICICI Lombard. He was also part of the retail team at ICICI Lombard (as Vice President – motor business), which grew from $10m to $400m in six years.
Purba Kalita (41) – Purba Kalita is the Co-founder of Salebhai.com. She is responsible for handling the overall communication, content development, and PR activity for the company. She brings over 16 years of experience in content development and plays a vital role in looking after all business communication requirements. She was part of the journalism industry for over 12 years, and gained considerable professional experience at Bennett, Coleman and Co. Ltd. (Times Group). In 2012, she moved to business communications, and worked closely with the team that launched the Flipkart Marketplace.
Pramod Rao (36) – Co-founder of Salebhai.com. He began his professional journey as a software professional who worked with Polaris for 3 years before starting Expedite Solutions Pvt Ltd in 2007. He has helped developed over 400 websites and has worked on platforms such as Java & Dot Net. Some of his noteworthy products include AutoEfile – a tax preparation software for accountants and CPAs in the US.
REVENUE, TRACTION, AND GROWTH
Salebhai.com consists of a strong team with expertise & proven track record in IT, marketing, content development, innovation, disruptive thinking, channel management, logistics, and customer support. The products offered on its platform roughly make up an average household expenditure of INR 4000/-, easily creating a market worth INR 30,000-35,000 Crores, which is quite a significant figure.
So far, the company has managed to garner 4,200 active users, out of which 22% are repeat buyers. The company’s GMV is valued at INR 70,00,000, and hopes to further increase its sales through web personalization & marketing automation in the next couple of years.
USP AND REVENUE MODEL
Salebhai.com is a one-of-a-kind e-commerce marketplace that enables people living away from home; order a range of specialties directly from their hometown. It is also a one-stop solution for people who wish to discover regional products from across India. The success of the dynamic venture lies in its efficient use of capital, which has subsequently resulted in delivering a higher Return on Investment (ROI).
- High average margin of 27% across categories
- No Cash on delivery
- Sellers create special offers, packages, discounts without subvention
- Shipping cost borne by customers
- Selling advertising space to sellers, cross-promotion
- No Inventory
The products listed on Salebhai.com are priced just as displayed on the shops where they are available. All goods offered via this platform come with detailed product description, including – popularity, benefits, facts, place of origin, usage, etc. Apart from these, all consumable products come with serving ideas from reputed chefs.
Team hopes to increase its sales through web personalization & marketing automation in the next couple of years. SaleBhai is planning to have 400 total unique sellers on board by the end of 2016. Team is also thinking to increase the number of repeat buyers, and breaking into the top 1,000 range of websites within the next six months.