I was commuting via the Delhi metro when I overheard an interesting conversation between two men in their 40’s. The gist of the conversation was that one of the men wanted to startup an online store as he was getting bored at his job. All he needed was someone who’d make him the site and he’d take care of everything else.
And all I could think was- “How I wish this were true.”
Coincidentally, I was on my way to the office of a thriving eCommerce store based out of Gurgaon- Dogspot.in. Founded by passionate dog lovers, Rana Atheya, Vizal Atheya and Shalesh Visen in 2007, Dogspot was initially only a place for dog lovers to connect. Their site grew in popularity and the trio got fulltime into it in 2009. They introduced technology to the dog shows across the country by automating their processes and had their foot in the doors of everything related to dogs in India. In 2011, they decided to enter eCommerce and there hasn’t been any looking back.
Raising an initial seed amount of INR 7 lakhs from families and friends, Rana started out and the early signs were encouraging. They raised some funds from a foreign investor and recently went on to raise a round from India Quotient.
DogSpot has about 3500 products listed on the site (not only dog products) and does close to a 100 deliveries a day with an average ticket size of INR 1300. Here, we’ll look at some of the inside workings about how their inventory which holds 8000 SKUs at any particular time works.
What makes them tick?
Firstly, what makes Dogspot.in special is the love of the founders for dogs and other animals. The twinkle in the eye when they talk about what they do shows a lot about how successful a venture would become. Some of the products they showed me were fascinating and so they would be for any dog owner.
This is something every dog owner would like to have. The machine helps one pick up poop and dispose it to a waste place.
Again related to poop, this liquid when dropped at a place will attract the dog to it when It is pooping.
These are jackets to keep a dog cool during the extreme summer conditions.
So, how does it work?
All the products are sourced from dealers from across the nation to a warehouse which is generally registered as a separate company. The sourcing process is mainly making contacts with manufacturers, negotiating on prices and getting the items delivered to the warehouse.
Once in the warehouse, the items need to be sorted and arranged properly so that finding them when delivering is not hassled. “We didn’t have a clue as to how to do this. Reading up some research papers and basically the internet helped us devise a mechanism for arranging,” says Rana. All the items have a rack associated with it and those codes are put down in a sheet which the delivery boy moves around with and sends the product for packing.
The orders are acquired online and according to SLA’s (service level agreements), the timings of deliveries are conveyed to the customer. eCommerce stores has tie ups with courier players and have an algorithm which decided on which courier service will deliver which item. This depends on the time and economy factors.
These are the three broad steps as to how the functioning happens within a warehouse. DogSpot also has private labels for which it is getting into manufacturing (so is the case with MyNutraMart) and this helps for profitability as the margins are higher.
Dogspot has validated a market which many believed didn't exist in India. Keep a tab for more news from Dogspot.
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