Two NIT Allahabad graduates Satish Bala and Karthik Venkat left their corporate jobs in 2011 to start a custom merchandise platform – eSparsha, which used to cater to colleges and corporate pan-India in offline mode. Although the startup was established as a reliable service provider for merchandise, the opportunity to explore the e-commerce market caught the attention of the duo. Thus in 2013, they shaped eSparsha into a scalable upfront platform and launched MyDreamStore.
Hyderabad-based MyDreamStore allows people to create and sell products (T-shirts, hoodies, vests, mobile cases, coffee mugs, etc.) online with zero inventory and no upfront cost.
We handle the production, packaging, delivery of the item to the buyer, customer queries, refunds and risks associated with return orders. We also provide free design support and has partnered with other vendors to handle demand surges and manufacture special products,” says 27-year-old Karthik, who worked with Data Monitor as Financial Analyst before venturing into entrepreneurship.
MyDreamStore charges a standard fee of Rs 325 per unit based on the type of the product and print requirement. The free includes manufacturing cost, packaging, delivery, handling charges and profit margins.
According to Karthik, the initial phase was relatively easy as they already built a strong vendor network from E-Sparsha. However, getting into the online space and running an E-commerce portal was a different ball game altogether. One has to deal with a number of intricacies to strengthen the strategic pillars of its business operations.
The Beta version of MyDreamStore was built in September 2014 and it had raised angel fund of $300,000 in January 2015.
Retailers who wish to sell apparel online have to forecast the quantities, sizes and invest on procuring inventory, get them printed and stock them. MyDreamStore claims to minimise that risk by giving sellers the access to scalable technology, risk-free inventory management, seamless operations, well-defined product and marketing strategy.
Growth metrics and future plans
MyDreamStore claims to have achieved the highest gross merchandise value (GMV) of Rs 2.38 crore in July 2016, with more than 820,000 visitors and 34,892 transactions. Today, MyDreamStore has more than 9,000 registered sellers and has delivered products to more than 150,000 customers pan India. Karthik claims that the sales grew from 300 to 36000 per month in last one year.
With 45 employees, MyDreamStore has extended its services to Bengaluru, New Delhi, Mumbai, Pune and Kolkata. Currently, the platform claims to be doing 30,000 transactions per month and plans to reach 100,000 transactions per month by January 2017.
“Our current annual revenue run rate is Rs 30 crore. We expect to clock Rs 40 crore revenue for the current FY. We aim to create 20,000 active sellers who will drive sales of around Rs 200 crore over the next couple of years,” says Karthik.
According to Assocham, the e-commerce industry in the country is likely to be worth $38 billion by 2016, a 67 percent jump over the $23 billion revenues for 2015. In India, roughly 60-65 percent of the total e-commerce sales are being generated by mobile devices and tablets, increased by 50 percent than the last year and also likely to continue upwards.
In 2015, the highest growth rate was seen in the apparel segment almost 69.5 percent over last year, followed by electronic items by 62 percent, baby care products at 53 percent, beauty and personal care products at 52per cent, and home furnishings at 49 per cent.
Other platforms which help simplify e-commerce for small business include Zepo, which helps businesses create online store and sell across multiple channels. It also offers free payment gateway, shipping and e-commerce courier services. In 2014, the startup raises funds from Anupam Mittal and One97 Mobility Fund.
This year, Delhi-based DIY (Do-it-Yourself) e-commerce platform Kartrocket had raised $6 million funding in new round. It helps SMEs built website and mobile site, integrate payment and logistics capabilities and offers marketing and promotion tools.
Singapore-based DIY platform Shopmatic, which started operations in India last year, allows merchants to create a web presence with storefronts, list products on marketplaces or social media platforms and enables integration with payment gateways. The company has also tied up with e-commerce logistics firm Delhivery and global transportation major Aramex for delivery.