Entreprneur Arindam Bose: On timtara.com being one of the best sites in User Experience
Tell us a little bit about Timtara.
We believe that shopping should be fun and entertaining. Good products, easy to understand details, high quality, super fast delivery, and long relationship at timtara.com - we call it Delight. Our unique Delight positioning has helped us to be selected as India’s Number 1 site in User Experience even before we completed 1 year.
How is Timtara different from other e-commerce portals?
We try to be different in broadly 5 ways:
Practicing 360 Smart Delight – We not only talk about Delight but practice, measure and continuously improve it. For us employee Delight comes before customer Delight. Then come our business partners and investors, in that order. We call it Smart Delight because this Delight has to be delivered in the overall framework of business viability.
Self Logistics – From Day 1 we have a strong focus on delivery. We have started self logistics in Delhi / NCR within 5 months of launch. Now we are expanding to top 10 locations in India. We call these Speed Locations. The fastest we have delivered is within 4 working hours of receiving an order.
Private Label – As India’s Number 1 Online Electronics Retailer we have introduced a mobile and e-Pad private label under the brand name “Buzz” (www.buzzdisplay.com). Through Buzz we provide global quality electronic items to our customers. The range of products is going to expand in 2011.
Customer Relations – We at timtara.com want to build relationship with the customers. It starts with a Happy Call that we make to the customer after the product purchased from timtara.com is delivered. This call ensures that the customer is happy with the product quality and captures the suggestions for improvement.
Strong Execution and Continuous Improvement – We are much focused on execution and measurement (analysis). We try to remain a very humble entity and build a culture of continuous improvement. We believe that if we are not improving, we are dying.
How did the idea for Timtara come about? How did you zero in on the name ’timtara’? The team behind the initiative wanted to be in online retail. The only debate was whether we will be a broad horizontal or a selective vertical. We decided to be in the domain of electronics. We wanted to have a name which stands out, easy to remember and has a high degree of emotional and personal connect. That’s how we arrived at the name timtara.com. It was suggested by one of our members in the technology team.
Tell us a little bit about your background.
I am an engineering graduate with a Master of Science. I am still a student doing my PhD.
Primarily I have worked in India, US and Middle East in organizations like Philips, LG, Bell South (now AT&T). Almost 10 years of my professional life I have spent with LG Electronics as its Chief Information Officer for India. The last 12 years I have carried the leadership responsibility in IT and Internet in LG and Videocon. I have launched several B2C, B2B and B2E operations in India and the Middle East which have been acknowledged in India and around the world.
Where do you see Timtara three to five years from now?
We basically have two goals –
- India’s Number 1 Online Retailer
- India’s Most Admired Online Retailer
What is Timtara’s revenue model? Have you been funded? If yes, can you throw some light on how the funding came about and from whom?
Timtara.com works like any other standard retailer does. We have been approached by several VCs and we are evaluating options.
As an entrepreneur, what are your joys? What are the challenges?
To see an idea being borne and accepted by many as potential game changer is a great feeling indeed. The Delight positioning itself brings great joy to us when fulfilled properly. We face mainly two challenges – money and manpower. Money, though critical, is still the easier challenge. Finding people(and specially leaders) who share the same passion is a blessing.
How big is the Timtara team? Give us some info on team composition. Are you looking at hiring?
The timtara.com team is about 30 strong and growing constantly. We are constantly looking for people to keep up with our growth and expansion. From the beginning, we have tried consciously to build a team which is quite varied from professional background. We have people from existing internet retailers and offline retailers. There are people from durable industry, financial institutions, MBAs and other companies.
Let us know about your expansion plans.
The 1st year was our year of laying strong foundation. We are quite happy with what we have achieved as we approach the completion of 12 months. Next year we want to focus on electronics categories and grow our business substantially. We will not expand the product lines but will expand the existing lines with more brand associations. Also the warehousing and self logistics footprint will increase.
Do you want to share anything else with us?
I will give some highlights that I feel are important –
Mobiles and Cameras are more than 50% of the sales we do.
The cities of NCR, Mumbai, Bangalore and Chennai again are more than 50% of our business.
Our average selling price(ASP) is one of the highest in the industry.
We also strive to be the fastest delivery internet retailer in India.