The Indian e-commerce industry is growing at a rapid rate. Currently, India appears somewhere near the start of the steep growth curve. The businesses adopting e-commerce now will see tremendous growth in coming years. Yes, there is a caveat here; not everyone will do well. Only those who can focus on their deliveries, supply chain and customer acquisition will do good. We have also seen a few players enter the scene in a different manner, by providing SCM, logistics, and the recent supposed fad called “e-shops”.
An e-shop is a ready ‘interface’ for entrepreneurs willing to enter the ecommerce playground. There are many players involved here as well. It is even said that Flipkart is planning to launch its own e-store facility. One such player is 39Shops. Nestled in the “almost metro” of India, Ahmedabad, 39Shops is a venture by Hrishikesh and Chirag Jobanputra. Earlier called MyCommerceKit, 39Shops enables e-commerce entrepreneurs to quickly set up e-shops. Having worked in the web development sector for a long time, the brothers have a considerable experience with the back-end of the product.
They built 39Shops so as to provide their customers with a ready backend and tools that they could use to design their e-shops. Initially the interface was built upon .NET and after that they moved on to Ruby on Rails, an open source framework. This gave a robust interface to the existing platform. “We decided to chuck the prototype and start afresh as we didn’t want to be an IT outsourcing or services firm, but a product firm,” says Hrishikesh.
By March 2011 they released a private beta version of 39Shops and by October 2011, they made the commercial version live. They have clocked over 1200 subscribers and many of them are successfully running their online store. Their mentor, Mr Kaushal Mehta feels the technology implemented at the back of 39Shops is their forte and can be leveraged to its best use. Mehta feels that this is the right time for a company like 39shops.com to be in India. “The business is scalable. However, the founders will have to build a support team that will facilitate the potential growth story. They will also have to raise capital to invest in a support team,” he says.
“We are also planning to partner with Indian payment gateways to provide a wide range of payment options to ecommerce aspirants. We also wish to create something in the social media and m-commerce domain,” says Chirag.
Setting aggressive targets and crunched timelines for achieving goals has not worked well with the 39Shops team. They feel a planned approach can take them a long way. With such an approach they wouldn’t derail their focus from doing right things. “The lesson we learnt is to play like a test cricket player, taking 1's and 2's instead of T20 cricket. Keep scoring and playing the game consistently,” says Chirag signing off.