Edabba CEO Manoj Kumar on the Hybrid eCom Model- Brick and Click [Post Funding]


Edabba recently secured $ 1 million funding from a group of investors including Satyendra Shukla, CEO, Four-S Services. The money will primarily be used for expanding. The team at edabba is headed by Founder and CEO, Manoj Kumar who has two decades worth of corporate experience with the last six years in the Future Group. Every member at edabba is an experienced campaigner and the model they’ve come up with has a couple of unique dimensions that has made it successful.The Concept: eDabba is an online mall with presence at brick and mortar stores in the form of kiosks. These stores are referred to as trust points which take care of all the customer requirements. Customers can buy from these eDabba kiosks and they’re also provided an option of home delivery.

The Differentiators:

  • A physical presence: In spite of being an eCommerce portal, Edabba has a physical presence (trust points) in the form of kiosks at local stores (Edabba has tie ups with these physical stores)
  • Entry strategy: Edabba penetrated the market with smaller cities. They are currently present in Uttarakhand, Bihar, Rajasthan and Goa.

I got in touch with Manoj Kumar for a crisp assessment of the edabba model and what has seemed to work for them even though they entered the market only in October 2011.

How did you manage to crack the deals with the Brick shops?

The whole idea is to provide value to these shopkeepers (if one wants a physical presence with them). We knew we had an innovative concept which will allow these brick shops to increase their earnings and they’d be interested in what we had to offer. Sheer value proposition is what allowed us to crack the deals.

The idea of a kiosk at outlets is really innovative. How did you come up with it? 

Today, ecommerce is exclusive and available to the people who know technology and have computers/internet/credit cards. We thought of making ecommerce inclusive and hence came up with the idea of human enabled ecommerce.

What gave you the insight to start out with smaller cities?

There are multiple angles from which you can look at a problem. Customer adoption is not a problem in bigger cities but they also have easy access. Smaller cities have supply chain issues and they have limited choice in any category to choose from. Many pounced on the opportunity to get the easy customer base while we looked at it from a different angle. We thought, “Can we provide these people from smaller cities a large range to choose from?” and edabba was the answer.

Why would a customer go to an outlet and buy through the kiosk instead of the shop?

This is a valid question but it falls apart when looked at from a user’s point of view. A user would love variety. She gets to see a large range to choose from, she gets to see products which otherwise would never come to her city! It’s like buying from a huge mall.

For what would be the funding money be used?

The funds will be used to expand into 10 more states and adding up new categories.

Give your views about eCommerce in India.

ecommerce has a very promising future in India but we need not do a copy paste of western world rather we should innovate based on our customer requirements. India has very different local needs and a variety of models can be developed so that ecommerce thrives.

You can open the edabba here.


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