Having started up three years ago, SIM solutions began offering E-Commerce solutions at a time when the scene was still gathering steam. Founded by Avnish Saxena, SIM (Stores and Internet Marketing) Solutions offers multi-store option for companies having a chain of stores and also offers free consultation in some cases to customers who are willing to run an online store. We, at Yourstory.in, caught up with Avnish to know more about SIM. Edited excerpts:Tell us about the services provided by SIM.
SIM Solutions offers complete range of eCommerce services that includes an E-Commerce shopping portal, integration of web store with point-of-sale applications, inventory management, E-Commerce consultancy, online marketing & brand positioning and E-Commerce Catalog Development Services.
For SMEs, SIM Solutions has launched an affordable E-Commerce solution, “E-Commerce Store on Rent”.
Tell us about yourself and the team at SIM.
I am Mathematics Graduate from University of Delhi (1997) followed by Masters in Business Administration (1999). In last 12 years, I have got exposure to work with various retail giants worldwide. Alaska Airlines, Target, Buy.com, MemoryX, Paul’s Warehouse are a few of them. As far as team is concerned, SIM Solutions has a 50 member strong, experienced and diversely skilled workforce that comprises of database administrator, web designers, project & product managers, SEO professionals and the likes.
What preparations went in before starting up?
We invested time and money for over 10 years before opening our doors for Indian retail merchants. We learned the technology know-how, developed various E-Commerce tools, implemented these tools successfully in US, Canada, Australian and European market and generated results. We have done hundreds of E-Commerce portal installations so far for various retail verticals worldwide.
Did you bootstrap?
Yes, SIM Solutions is a self funded company. Whatever we earn, we re-invest a part of it in research and development of new E-Commerce solutions for next generation. We have set our short and long term goals and are committed to achieve them within stipulated time-frame. We may require venture capital to achieve some of our pre-defined goals.
What are your views on the Indian E-Commerce industry?
E-Commerce in India has grown considerably compared to previous year. It is one of the hottest sectors in India these days. Hiring is on rise in this key sector and is expected to grow by 50% in 2012.
If Cash-on-Delivery model is playing as catalyst, Online-Shops-on-Rent will turn out to be a game changer. Customers’ buying habits are also changing. As the tendency of customers to buy online products is increasing in India, online shops are gradually cropping up with specific products and target audiences. Internet penetration in the urban and metro markets has opened a new window of opportunity for the customers to compare products online and buy them at a mouse click.
Tell us a bit more about the ‘online rental shop’.
With a rental online shop, they get all the perks of having their own online shop, without worrying about the costs, the updates, the domain, the hosting, the optimization, the IP addresses, and the admin control - SIM Solutions handles everything for them. We set up an independent shopping website for each retail merchant with the domain of his choice. Hassle free hosting, domain based email addresses, and his own branding – logo and colour theme - are some of the features that SIM Solutions offers against an affordable monthly rental. The retailer just needs to list all his items in the website and run his store his way. There is no upfront cost involved while setting up the online retail store for rent.
How do you market SIM?
We have strong penetration in Google search results and thereby, generate maximum business queries from there only. We have strong Internet Marketing team that is responsible to increase brand visibility. Search Engine Marketing, Social Media and other digital marketing methods are being used for the promotion of SIM Solutions.
What are the challenges you faced while catering this model to Indian retailers?
The way of doing business in India is too complicated as compared to US. In US, we don’t even see our client face-to-face and still able to demonstrate and implement our E-Commerce solutions. But in India, things are going little different. We have to first educate people why E-Commerce is important for their business and second, how they can take their retail stores on web with insignificant investment. We need time to penetrate in Indian market and build trust. We are in the process of identifying the most famous and widely used Point-of-Sale applications and will start offering their integration with the web stores.
Are you hiring? How do you see SIM Solutions growing?
Yes. We are building our team at fast pace. We have plans to set-up our offices in each major city starting with metros first. I hope, in year 2012, we will be more than doubled as what we are today.
More information about their offering here.