B2B e-commerce platform Vaxia is geared to take the pain out of MRO sourcing

By Aparajita Choudhury|23rd Aug 2017
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Bengaluru-based startup which aggregates supplies and delivers them to customers under a consolidated invoice, boasts of more than 350 vendors on its platform.

A visit to her father’s air filter manufacturing facility exposed 25-year-old Namrata Bothra to the hassles a procurement manager goes through with product discovery, procurement paperwork and managing hundreds of MRO (maintenance, repair and operations) items with vendors.

Kolkata-born Namrata decided to take the pain out of MRO delivery with Vaxia, which she founded in May 2017 as a B2B e-commerce platform focused on making product procurement quick and hassle-free for the customers.

Vinay Bothra and Namrata Bothra (Co-founders of Vaxia)
Vaxia co-founders Vinay Bothra and Namrata Bothra.

The platform aggregates supplies at its location and delivers them to customers under a consolidated invoice.

Vaxia works with more than 350 vendors for supply of products across a vast range of categories including personal protection, abrasives, hand and electrical tools, tapes, sealants, pneumatics, hydraulics, electricals, adhesive, bearings, welding and fasteners.

The current margins vary from 12-18 percent depending on the category of products.

The startup which claims to be growing at a rate of 20 percent month on month, is present across Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Gujarat and West Bengal, and has a team of 45.

Some of the big players in India in the space include Amazon Business, Power2SME, IndustryBuying and Bizongo. Many more startups are joining the league.

Father as the co-founder

A product of La Martinere school in Kolkata and a graduate of Bradley University, Illinois, US, Namrata has been lucky enough to have her father, Vinay Bothra, as the co-founder of Vaxia. He has more than two decades of experience in manufacturing and selling intake air filters to automobile and pharmaceutical companies.

However, charting out a business idea with a viable business model was a tough job for Namrata initially. She had to convince her father to invest in the business and become the co-founder.

Initially, the father-daughter duo was under the assumption that purchase managers would be hesitant to use their platform and see it as taking over their functions in their organisation. Fortunately, they were proved wrong. The first purchase manager they pitched their platform to showed keenness to use technology to smoothen his work flow. Says Namrata,

“Anyone involved in both using or purchasing of consumables required for MRO will vouch for the fact that product discovery, purchase, inventory management, etc. is a very tedious and time-consuming task.”

She says the entire supply chain around MRO goods is very fragmented and ready for disruption. “Vaxia aims to change that by aggregating the vendor base in this industry.”

Vaxia selects products from manufacturers based on the recommendation of its category manager, which also takes into account the vendors’ willingness to adopt the new-age business model of Vaxia. Explains Namrata,

“Vendors then go through an elaborate selection process that has been developed by our inhouse team of procurement experts. We score vendors based on the predefined parameters and vendors below a certain score are not onboarded. Our aim is also to display SKU’s that are in stock.”

 Route to scalability

“Since a considerable part of our revenue comes from enterprise customers, we have a good visibility on the order pipeline and therefore plan accordingly,” says Namrata.

With the government’s emphasis on Make in India and the Goods and Services Tax eliminating state boundaries for trade, the startup aims to to capture a sizeable portion of the more than $40-billion market.

A SPO India report states that the Indian B2B market is currently worth $300 billion, and is estimated to grow to $700 billion by 2020. There are 4.8 crore SMEs that need to secure bulk supplies. Currently, China, Japan and the US are the biggest drivers of the B2B e-commerce market.

Website: Vaxia