Between 2009 and 2013, the e-commerce sector in India grew to $12.6 billion from $3.8 billion. With the increasing number of players in the market, it has become imperative for sellers to succeed in this space. To help facilitate this, Abhishek Jain and Piyush Jaidev established Kreate Konnect, an end-to-end e-commerce solutions provider.
In simple terms, the platform ‘helps sellers sell their products’ both in the Indian and international markets by drastically ‘simplifying the processes’, and through technology intervention. It syncs, directs, manages, and automates all the processes of an e-commerce establishment.
Piyush Jaidev had been an online seller for two years and has run a successful international retail business under the brand name ‘VintFlea’. Abhishek, on the other hand, was involved in online sales in the domestic market. It was during this stint that Abhishek realised the various challenges involved in selling online such as product listings, keyword management, inventory management, CRM, and marketplace policies.
Working around the painpoints
Right from the first time they met through a common friend, they realised they could work on resolving the same pain point, and Kreate Konnect was born with an aim to help sellers take their products online by helping e-commerce players sell more efficiently.
One of the biggest challenges the duo faced from ideation to execution was to convince sellers (manufacturers and traders) to change their mindset from that of traditional businessmen and wholesalers to that of online retailers.
“Wholesalers and manufacturers are not used to creating stocks. Thus, it was difficult to convince them to start creating stocks, which is a pre-requisite if shipments need to be delivered on time,” adds 29-year-old Abhishek.
Also, sellers were expecting sales to take off from the first day itself, but they had to explain that online sales take time to start and only pick up eventually.
As every marketplace is different from the other in terms of product listing, dashboards, product reviews and ratings, a thorough understanding of each platform was required. Understanding these platforms and subsequently training the resources to use and liaise with these marketplaces was a challenge initially.
Since Kreate Konnect also helps sellers sell internationally, the team had to work on international shipping costs, taxation, managing customs duties, and international warehousing.
Working the margins and profitability
Abhishek says that to ensure that unit economics are stable, they developed an in-house calculator that details even the minutest costs and accurate margins per unit. The calculators have been designed keeping in mind both domestic as well as international e-commerce costs.
“The company is also working on its ERP software, which will provide sellers with one of the most exhaustive list of features required to start and manage an e-commerce business with automation and data analytics at its core,” adds Abhishek.
Kreate Konnect has also placed human resources at the client’s establishments. The resources are trained by the Kreate Konnect teams to manage the day-to-day operations pertaining to e-commerce ranging from inventory management, order processing and CRM.
Creating a strong team
In order to build a stronger team, the duo roped in Ankita Rai, who has been a consultant for Imprimis PR, IVFGurus and The Yellow Coin Communication. Ankita was very keen to come onboard and joined the core team once the duo detailed their vision and what Kreate Konnect hoped to achieve.
Soon after, Abhishek’s sister Arushi who had shifted base to Jaipur after her marriage said she wanted to come onboard. She had been looking for an opportunity to work in the e-commerce space and the team was keen on a presence in Jaipur. “With Jaipur being a hub for manufacturers, we discussed the idea with Arushi, and she immediately jumped on the bandwagon,” adds Abhishek.
Kreate Konnect earns revenue through three sources:
- Direct salesUnder VintFlea, Piyush’s platform Kreate Konnect ships almost 2,000 parcels every month, and has had sales in more than 50 countries to date.
- CommissionsThe company also earns revenue through commissions, which it charges from its clients on each sale.
- The company earns a commission on both retail and wholesale transactions both in the domestic and international markets.
- Services and affiliatesThe company also earns revenue through various services that it provides and also through sales and payouts from its affiliate programmes.
The company has 12 clients for whom it manages the entire e-commerce operations and has achieved a GMV of Rs. 2 crore, since its inception. Under its international selling programme, they are shipping close to almost 2,000 parcels per month.
What the future holds
The company is still bootstrapped and cash flow positive. “We are also in talks with a few angel investors and HNIs for our first round of funding and hope to close the deal by this month end,” adds Abhishek.
Kreate Konnect aims to be one of the largest aggregators of all services and service providers required to fulfil various needs at various steps in an e-commerce setup. They aim to automate each and every process mandated for an e-commerce setup spanning product research and sourcing, product listing, inventory management, warehousing, CRM and data analytics.
The company plans to create and build an ecosystem for the smooth enablement of e-commerce operations with technology as its backbone. They also intend to expand VintFlea into a full-fledged marketplace with a unique business model that would be a blend of wholesale and retail.
They are working on creating infrastructure, which would allow customers sitting in any corner of the world, to place either wholesale or retail orders and get them delivered to any warehouse or location around the world with everything such as international duties, packaging standards, and labelling taken care of from here in India.
The solutions space
There is a growing demand for ecommerce solutions players. While Kreate Konnect is one player, a close competitor is KartRocket. The Delhi based SaaS platform has created an ecosystem of partners to offer value-added services for e-tailers in India.
KartRocket is an end-to-end e-commerce enablement platform that allows entrepreneurs to create their e-commerce store, mobile apps, accept online and COD payments, ship their orders across India, and also get sales from marketplaces such as Amazon, eBay, and Snapdeal.
The 5ideas-backed company has about 1,800 paying customers and 10,000 customers in trial. KartRocket achieved operational break-even and plans to scale to 10,000 paying customers in the coming year.