InIndiawe all are quite familiar with the great discount deals one gets when buying in bulk or buying many things from one place like from the neighbourhood retailers. Here’s a new startup which is trying to build on the same concept to make online buying more exciting with great bundled discount deals. BundleBaazi is a new way of shopping online where you shop by clubbing two or more items in a bundle for a single purchase and get an attractive discount on the bundle.Vivek Srivastava, an MIT Sloan graduate and Founder, BundleBaazi.com in conversation with Chandan Raj shares more details about his new venture for online shopping.
How did the idea for BundleBaazi come about? How did you zero in on the name as it definitely catches attention?
While attending an economics course by Prof. Pindyck in my MBA at MIT Sloan, the professor was talking about the value of product bundling for a customer who wants to buy a lot of stuff at an attractive price after a discount (wishing benefit of buying more). Having experienced the same as a customer while shopping from neighbourhood retailers inIndia, I immediately saw the value of bundle discounts in an Indian context where I, as a typical shopper, would negotiate with the retailer to offer a discount whenever I bought more in a single purchase.
Spurred by this idea, I immediately started thinking about the possible names to execute the idea. Trying to find a name that related to
bundle andIndia, BundleBaazi, a phrase commonly used loosely inIndia, came to my mind. It was literally what we wanted. With BundleBaazi.com, we are redefining online shopping as well as the meaning of BundleBaazi in India.J
Vivek, tell us about yourself – your background, prior work experience etc
I am, Vivek Srivastava, the founder of BundleBaazi.com, an MBA graduate from MIT Sloan School of Management and a B.Tech. from IITKanpur. I have earlier worked at TCS, Schlumberger, IBM, and Deutsche Bank in engineering, operations, consulting, and investment banking roles.
What are the highlights of BundleBaazi.com’s current offerings and how is it different from other ecommerce/deals sites.
BundleBaazi is about clubbing two or more items in a bundle to get an attractive discount on the bundle. BundleBaazi currently offers four stores to its customers to choose their products from in their bundle. Currently, we have Baby Store, Mom Store, Book Store, and Electronics Store; and Fashion & Beauty Store is in the pipeline. BundleBaazi is not about single item purchases, it is about Bundling. Consequently, BundleBaazi.com’s attractiveness becomes immediately apparent when the customer adds two or more items to their Bundle.
We are different from other ecommerce websites in the core business model that is in bundling, itself. We have a patent pending bundle pricing concept that is our competitive niche and makes us completely different from a pure/vanilla online shopping website.
The most important feature, unlike any other online or offline store, is that the shoppers are empowered with complete freedom of choosing the number and type of products in their bundle. Our orders are mostly from the major cities inIndiaand we have seen a mix of online-paid and COD orders.
Where do you see the Indian ecommerce market heading in five years from now?
Indian eCommerce market is in the most dynamic and exciting stage currently. Who knows what will happen in five years? All I see in the eCommerce market is there would be lot of consolidation in the market. It is difficult for all the small players to stay there after 5 years because ecommerce is about scale; and to achieve the scale, firms will consolidate and lot of M&A will be seen in the coming future.
Moreover, the market is growing around 30% every year and penetration of the Internet in Indiawould definitely ramp up the growth further. There is lot of noise about ecommerce bubble inIndia, however, in my opinion that is not the case because lot of the market is still untouched and bubbles are formed when there is saturation in a market. There is still lot of space in the market to be grabbed. These are exciting times and a lot still needs to happen. Every player is scared of its market position and the aggressive advertising campaigns reflect the same.Briefly tell us about the backend technology and platform on which BundleBaazi is built
BundleBaazi is built upon Magento, a PHP-based ecommerce application, hosted on a LAMP server. We had initially outsourced our IT, however, now we are in the process of building an in-house IT team.
Have you been funded? Can you throw some light on how the funding came about and from whom?
No, we have not been funded and are currently seeking institutional capital to fund the BundleBaazi plans. So far the capital that has been invested has come from family and friends. So you can say currently we are bootstrapped.
Vivek tell us about some of the challenges you face in your venture and how are you working to overcome those?
Convincing our vendors of our 100+ major brands and publishers for an attractive gross margin was the major challenge because we are a start-up with very low volumes. However, we were able to negotiate extremely great deals with these brands after discussing our business model’s potential and weighing-in the credibility of the team behind BundleBaazi.
Do you have any happy customer story to share?
One of our first few customers was Emma Brown Garrett, a Bollywood actress from Dam Maaro Dam, Yamla Pagla Deewana, among other movies. She ordered on our website after being disappointed by some of the other online websites and she was so happy with the Bundlebaazi experience that she sent gifts to BundleBaazi with a comment “Thank you, you really do provide great service.”
Additionally, in a survey sent to our registered customers, we found that 77% are absolutely in love with BundleBaazi’s value additional to online shopping and are going to recommend us to their family and friends. To put things in perspective, these customers are not our friends or friends of friends, they are the customers who have shopped because of the BundleBaazi’s value proposition.
Tell us about the team behind BundleBaazi? Are you looking at hiring?
Yes, we are currently hiring both on the operations as well as IT side. People are welcome to apply through our website.
We are team of IIT Kanpur graduates running the show. Additionally, I have a US MBA degree too from MIT Sloan. For an online retail firm, operations are critical and that is our strength.
BundleBaazi has support of many smart people. However, speaking of the actual team on BundleBaazi.com’s entrepreneurial adventure currently is of really high calibre, having extraordinary passion for both entrepreneurship andIndia. Every member of the team, whether contributing full time or part time, brings with them various set of skills and the most important of them is execution. Our team can execute seemingly impossible tasks and that shows in our execution that we have 100+ brands and over 50,000 products in our catalogue and we are running smoothly (though with low volumes) to our current state in just 2.5 months of effort.
For more details on bundled discount offerings, please check out -http://www.bundlebaazi.com/
BundleBaazi was chosen as one of the E-Sparks of 2011 at India's premiere ecommerce startup showcase. To know about the other emerging ecommerce startups chosen at E-Sparks 2011, please click here
- Chandan Raj