Husband-wife duo bets on their e-com site Simbacart

27th Mar 2015
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According to a December 2014 report by Google, with the increasing penetration of the Internet, and growing preference for online shopping and e-tailing, the e-commerce in India is poised to grow to USD 15 billion by next year. In fact, the report also stated that the online shopper base will grow three times by 2016.

yourstory_Simbacart

 

Along with the three biggies Flipkart, Amazon and Snapdeal, several other e-commerce portals with other players are taking up their space in this ever-growing market. Some of these are growing, while others see a quick demise. Only time can tell if these portals will survive the test of the ever-fickle needs and wants of a customer. One such entrant in the market is Simbacart.

The background

Based out of Mohali, Simbacart was founded in 2014 by husband and wife duo, Mandeep Singh Sidhu and Mandeep Kaur. Giving a brief insight into her background, Kaur says, "I was born and brought up in a small village called Tangra, which is 26 km away from Amritsar. My family owns a flour mill in the village, and they were very insistent that I get a good education." Kaur is an MBA and has worked with Hypercity and a Bangkok-based premium jewellery brand Pranda.

yourstory_Simbacart
Initially, Simbacart was started by Singh as anonline/offline handicrafts store. "Mandeep is a core IT professional, who was working for Infosys at that point in time. The operational work of Simbacart wasn't doing well, and it had to be revamped," says Kaur. This time, both Kaur and Singh decided to combine their skill sets and work towards building Simbacart. "I was looking to do something of my own. I felt that I just wasn't giving my 100 percent in a job set-up, as there was lack of freedom and ownership. This was something that I could work on with complete freedom," says Kaur.

Building Simbacart, the road blocks

When the duo decided to revamp the portal, they faced several challenges and roadblocks. One of the biggest challenges they faced was funding. "We had diversified from the initial model to include electronics and other products online. After convincing the distributors and talking to several people, we were able to sell a variety of products online. Once the orders started coming, we realised we needed the money before we got it from the customer. So, for example, if we got two orders, to ship those, to pack them and for all the other operational costs, we needed the money," says Kaur.

yourstory_Simbacart
In order to combat these challenges, the duo pooled in their savings, and while Kaur left her job to manage the operational aspects of the business, Singh retained his job to ensure continued flow of funds into the business.

Also,to ensure smooth functioning of the portal and bring in a diversification, the duo ensured that they built a complete IT solutions infrastructure. This covered all aspects of the business like safe and easy finance, proper cataloguing, CRM systems and the sales backend. "It's been a year, and we’re now a small, but growing, team of 20 people, and have processed over 20,000 + orders resulting in sales of over INR 2 crore.We began with just one vendor; today, we have over a 100," says Kaur.

Way forward

Simbacart is currently on the brink of expansion with aggressive marketing plans in place. "We’re targeting over a lakh orders this year," adds Kaur. In order to diversify, Simbacart has a sister concern Simbaquartz sells IT services . They’re looking to bring work as a third-party logistics with a few clients. "We’re bringing several field experts on board to help us diversify our IT solutions base," says Kaur.

Simbacart is planning to get funded this year.

Web url: www.simbacart.com

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