How Amit Sahni transformed from an offline businessman to an e-retail merchantPardeep Goyal
Online marketplaces like Flipkart, Snapdeal and Paytm have opened up tremendous opportunities for traditional businessmen. The young generation is not satisfied with the old ways of running businesses. They demand innovation and want to adopt technology.
Similar is the story of Amit Sahni, who was running a pharma production plant, but decided to become an e-merchant. During his studies in Australia, he was fascinated by the whole concept of online buying. Emerging technology ensured that any daily needs were met with the click of a button and reliable delivery options. The items being sold were of good quality, and people trusted sellers, as they were actually supplying what was being shown.
Germ of an Idea
“The situation in India was a contrast.The only major commerce portal was ebay.in, and this too registered many complaints (on 80% of orders, in fact), due to low grade or fake goods,which caused major distrust in the consumer’s mind. The poor standards of the e-commerce market scenario in India led to my coming up with the idea of a company dedicated to providing the satisfactionthat was missing in the Indian e-comm industry,” said Amit.
Even though he enjoyed contributing to his family business, a part of him always felt the need to explore the opportunities in new technologies, and to work towards implementing his ideas, rather than following the set norms.
First step towards online selling
Passionate about creating his own road to entrepreneurial success, he joined hands with Snapdeal and set forth on the business journey. The e-commerce industry in India gave him an opportunity to come on board and become a strong and independent online entrepreneur. He created Lucky Mojo,an e-retailing company with a focus on creating innovative products for masses, getting genuine goods from 100% authentic sources, and retailing via major e-commerce portals.
Lucky Mojo supplies reliable, high quality and branded products to consumers through various online portals, in categories ranging from sunglasses to hand bags, home products, headphones etc. In addition they also launched a private label to cater to mass audience in tier2 and tier 3 cities. This label has become a brand in itself; Escobar, that deals in sunglasses and designer-quality fashion accessories, now exported to 5 countries.
The tough Journey
Amit recalls, “Our rate of return was very high and this made it difficult to sustain.Upto 50% returns were cash-on-delivery with the retail boxes damaged,to which we had to give time, so that consumers could try and trust us.
We had to go through price war issues as our competitors were selling similar products at 50% less; it turned out they all were selling fake products, and were eventually shot down by bad feedback and complains.
The challenge of the retail business is the human condition, and ours is the growing economy, with more disposable income then what we had in last decade”
Innovation was his motivation in developing better products. Just like an artist, the freedom to create a layout and design of his own, kept him pushing further to break the monotony of product designers. “Why aviators, or wayfarer sunglasses? Why not make sunglasses in a shape of your own and call themnavigators, or wrap your wayfarer in a velvet finish?” Amit revealed how to stand out in a crowd.
They are team of just 7 people, generating revenue of more than 30 lakh per month. They have 20,000 loyal customers, who buy contact lenses from them on a monthly basis.
Big to Bigger plans
Two years back, they collaborated with Snapdeal in just one category.Today, their business has spread to over 18 categories, offering more than 4000 products to consumers. “Snapdeal, which rightly deserves all credit, has raised our business payout from INR 15,000 to around 5 lakh a week on average at present. With the tremendous and ever growing growth of e-commerce space, we look forward to expanding our product line, as we move ahead in our partnership with more portals.”, added Amit.
They are looking for investors with capitals of 7-12 crores, to enhance their product range, and offer international brands/products. They are offering products at best prices, which are still not available online or offline. They are working to establish a design lab incubator, which will aid designers in creating and developing innovative products and will help them to sell through lucky-mojo partnered e-portals.
5 point advice from Amit to fellow entrepreneurs
No. 1: Enjoy What You Are Doing:starting a business is a huge amount of hard work, and requires a great deal of time. You had better enjoy it.
No. 2: Create Something That Stands Out:you’ve got to do something radically different to make a mark today.
No. 3: Create Something That Everybody Who Works for You is Really Proud of:businesses generally consist of a group of people, and these people are your biggest assets.
No. 4: Be a Good Leader: as a leader you have to be a really good listener. You need to know your own mind, but there is no point in imposing your views on everyone.
No. 5: Be Visible: a good leader does not get stuck behind a desk. I’ve always worked from home or anywhere that lets my ideas flow.
Show people what you do,endorse yourself as a brand.
If you don’t survive, just remember that most businesses fail, and the best lessons are usually learned from failure. You must not get too dispirited. Just get back up and try again.
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