Entrepreneur Amrit Acharya on building Zetwerk and bringing revolution in the manufacturing market

In this episode of 100X Entrepreneur Podcast, Amrit Acharya, Co-founder and CEO of Zetwerk, talks about the startup’s growth and how it is disrupting the manufacturing space.
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Amrit Acharya, Co-founder and CEO of Zetwerk, a B2B manufacturing startup, reveals how it recorded about Rs 900 crore in revenue for the year 2020-2021 and closed at a revenue of about Rs 300 crore the year before, marking almost 3X growth amid the pandemic.

He says that Zetwerk is an India-focussed business, but amid the pandemic, it recorded a lot of interest from clients outside India, especially from the US.

Zetwerk's founding team

Currently, on the customer side, the startup works with close to 500-odd customers, and on the supply side, it has been working with around 3,000 suppliers every month, as of September.

“The nature of products can be very diverse. We work with industrial companies to make steel pipes and aircraft engine components. About 85 percent of our business is industrial components, and 15 percent of our business is consumer products,” Amrit says.

He adds that the startup works with a lot of brands across sectors such as ecommerce, consumer, apparel, and electronics companies, among others. 

Founded in 2018 by Amrit along with Rahul Sharma, Srinath Ramakkrushnan, and Vishal Chaudhary, the startup entered the coveted unicorn club in August this year after raising $150 million in Series E round at a valuation of $1.33 billion.

 

The startup said it is looking to deploy the funding for research and development, expanding into new geographies, and team building.

How Zetwerk operates?

Amrit explains the startup positions itself as the back-end execution partner of client businesses.

“Zetwerk fundamentally is a contract manufacturing company where we work with mid to large companies who have products they want to make. We partner with them at the design stage when the product design is still on a piece of paper or some software. What we have built over the last few years is the infrastructure that can convert the digital design into a physical product,” he says. 

He adds the startup operates on an asset light model where it partners with several manufacturers on the supply side. The startup plays the main role on three fronts. Firstly, it does matchmaking and connects with the right manufacturer for the client, solves issues related to pricing and fulfillment, including logistics and shipment. The client organisation can get real time updates on their product making process and status right from the beginning.

“We call us as a managed market. So, to the customer, we are their point of contact. We are their master supplier so to speak. We, in turn, operate the marketplace internally where we distribute an order to five or six suppliers, sometimes 10 suppliers, but we don’t expose the customer to that necessarily,” he adds.

Speaking about order size, he adds that Zetwerk records a minimum order size of about $1,000, and the largest order it has got to date ranges between $20 to $30 million.

“I would say we are still discovering what that peak looks like. I think that potentially there are going to be opportunities where we may get even $100 million worth of orders. It is not impossible for us, but we are still early in the journey,” he adds.

To know more, listen to the entire podcast here

Notes –

 

01:29 – Zetwerk’s revenue and scale

04:26 – Solving for market access and capital expenditures for small manufactures

05:31 – Zetwerk’s revenue model

10:15 – Time v/s Quality in manufacturing

18:30 – Nature of retained customers

20:47 – Order size from $1,000 to $30 million

24:32 – Creating a catalogue for the uncatalogued market

36:15 – Approach as an entrepreneur during fundraising


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Edited by Megha Reddy