Launched in 2015 Delhi-based e-commerce startup Yerha has generated revenue close to Rs 18 crore till now and is targeting a turnover of Rs 100 crore in the next 5 years.
Fed up with the monotony of tech products available online in India, Mani Kant Jain decided to do something about it. The 39-year-old, who was into manufacturing labels with Atam Labels earlier, decided to set up a startup that found, reviewed and curated the latest in technology worldwide.
And Yerha was born.
Yerha started from a 6-by-6 room in Mani’s office with a small six-member team that included Yerha’s Chief Operating Officer Himanshu Mehrotra (a London Business School alumnus), a software developer, a buyer and two customer care executives. Today, the brand has nearly 20 members in the core team and operates from two offices in Delhi along with a 6000 square feet warehouse.
“It was the time when internet unicorns were starting to gain traction and were constantly in the news. It led me to think that if so many young Indians were taking the plunge, why not me. I discussed it with my family, but the response was very laidback. However, the energy in me wouldn't allow me to kill my dream. So I initiated things on my own and started Yerha,” says Mani, the Chief Executive Officer of Yerha.
The platform aims to disrupt the Indian e-commerce space for gadgets and electronics by curating latest products trending in the global markets. Some of the exclusive products available on the platform include Russian-based product Elari Nanophone C, the world’s smallest GSM phone; California-based product iMCO, the world’s first Amazon Alexa integrated smartwatch; China-based product . Apart from these, consumers can also browse for speakers, mobile accessories and other cool gadgets on the website.
Yerha started as a marketplace model but soon started witnessing slow growth and low sales.
Mani recalls that period as “one of the most difficult times” and soon realised that it was time to revamp the business. The idea of Yerha came to him when he visited a tech fair abroad and was fascinated to see the range of high-tech gadgets, especially Talkase. It made him realise the untapped potential of global tech products in the Indian market.
However, Mani was sceptical about the acceptability of unique products like Talkase by Indian consumers and planned to seek an answer through an online campaign.
“Our strategy was to first collect all orders placed by people and then ask for those many units to be shipped. We were astonished to receive around a few hundred prepaid orders after our very first campaign, which made clear that this idea would stay and sustain in the market,” Mani says.
Today, Yerha stands apart as a new-age e-commerce website that introduces cutting-edge technology and innovation to the Indian market.
“We strive to bring to market the latest gadget, product or invention in the world. Our desire is to bring to you products from tomorrow,” Mani says.
Taking on the competition
According to a joint study Turning the Make in India dream into a reality for electronics and hardware industry by ASSOCHAM and EY, the Indian electronics and hardware industry is expected to witness a growth of over 10 percent, touching $112-$130 billion by 2018. The report also highlighted that the industry is expected to grow at CAGR of 13-16 percent till 2018.
With the boom in technology and large user base of tech-savvy consumers in India, the e-commerce space is flooded with websites selling technology products online. Global and Indian e-commerce players, including Flipkart, Amazon, Snapdeal, Aliexpress and eBay, are making international gadgets and gizmos available to Indian consumers through their platforms.
However, these platforms are marketplaces for a range of product categories, including electronics, appliances, apparel, footwear, personal care and many others.
Yerha differentiates from other existing players in the Indian market with its sole focus on exclusive gadgets and electronic products. Along with providing a warranty and six-month guarantee, Yerha also offers a dedicated customer service team for after-sales support.
“We are not in cut-throat competition for common products being sold by different market places. We deal in exclusive products,” Mani specifies.
What’s up next?
Yerha has generated revenues of close to Rs 18 crore since inception in 2015 and aims to achieve a turnover of Rs 100 crore in the next five years. The brand witnessed an average traffic of 300,000 visitors per month and has over 320,000 followers on its Facebook page.
The brand is bootstrapped as of now, but the brand is soon planning to close a funding deal of $10 million.
Going ahead, Yerha plans to expand its product portfolio, bring in new tech products and also build a significant presence in smaller Indian towns and cities. With mobile and internet penetration on the rise and slated to continue, the only way for Yerha to go seems up!