Hey SmartAs(s)! Here’s a portal for all the cool things; A Social shopping platform banking on Design

By Jubin Mehta|23rd Oct 2012
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Gopikrishna Kannan, the entrepreneur behind SmartAs reached out to us with his offering. First impressions: Just another eCommerce portal. But once I gave it a deeper look, there was a certain aspect that stood apart. A very friendly feel to the site, I wanted to buy something the moment I landed on their page and also a greater purpose they want to achieve.

“Smartas is intended to be a style shop. We are at Ver1.0; the products you see in the store are part of our market study to understand the customer buying patterns. Do not mistake Smartas for a “Gift shop” as we have a greater purpose in our endeavor. We like to be identified as ‘Social-Shopping’ platform,” explains Kannan. Design is at the core of their business and Smartas will try to bring a fresh air for the all the merchants out there selling In-vogue products & a great shopping experience for the consumers.

The Team

Kannan has 15 years of industry experience in software product development and brings wealth of experience in the supply chain planning & operations side. At Smartas, Kannan is responsible to guide the team on overall strategy ranging from competitor benchmarking, marketing strategy, growth & sustainability and operations.

Anil is the creative brain of Smartas. In his past Anil has worked as a digital art director, leading world class ad campaigns on the digital media side at Ogilvy & TBWA. He is an avid artist & a photographer. Anil handles the UI/UX, social media strategy for Smartas.

Rajesh has 12 years of industry experience in IT and comes from a strong supply chain and manufacturing background. With a keen interest in crunching numbers, Rajesh manages the Technology, Finance, Costing, Legal and Vendor onboarding for Smartas.

Launch and the road ahead

Having just completed 2 months in operations, Smartas has 1700 unique visitors on an average every month with a conversion rate of 2%. “The growth is organic; we have not spent any money on the ads & campaigns at this point in time,” adds Kannan.

Smartas is currently operating through local carriers but have already signed a memorandum with Bluedart/DHL and they’ll be the official carriers once Smartas hits critical mass. Supporting all the major credit cards, debit cards & net-banking options, Smartas is officially tied-up with CC Avenues.

Talking about the obstacles, Kannan outlines, "Our challenges will remain in choosing the right merchants & bringing excitement in the store by putting interesting products for our consumers. In a way we are creating a new consuming market and we have the challenge of moving the market in our direction. Though the team is operating on a shoe string budget, we are well within our capacity to design, build & integrate the intended platform for our merchants & create that shopping experience for our consumers on time"

Sourcing all the ‘Coolness’

“Smartas is having supplier chain built inside and outside India. We have a strong presence outside the country to source the product. Our Ver2.0 is aiming to build strong supply chain eco-system with in the country. Smartas will still continue to have its exclusive store along with other merchants in the platform.” informs Kannan.

Currently reading the customer buying pattern to understand the kind of merchants they would like to onboard, smartAs intends to maintain a consistent inventory based on the demand & supply. “Our products varies from time to time and it is seasonal, only the high customer demand products will have the steady flow of inventory and for rest of the products, we will keep the inventory at low,”

Having a vision for Smartas to be a single destination for style/design online, Kannan and team are trying to make space in the cluttered eCommerce space with the poser of design. We wish them all the best!

Website: Smartas

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