Meesho massively reduced commission during the pandemic, says Co-founder Vidit Aatrey

Meesho Co-founder Vidit Aatrey said the team is proud for being able to make an impact on many women and mothers seeking a professional identity.
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Meesho Co-founder Vidit Aatrey said that 2020 has been the toughest year for the social commerce startup and even tougher for the women majority entrepreneurs on the platform.

Noting that women entrepreneurs need to face difficulty in acquiring capital to launch businesses, Meesho offered small-ticket loans ranging from $100 to $150.

“After the lockdown was lifted, everything changed. Most of the sellers started doing 20 to 30 percent more business on a monthly basis. And we also reduced commissions massively during this time,” he said, in conversation with David Fischer at Fuel for India on Tuesday.

Empowering mothers

Kanchana Kuribakaran has met with various adversities including her son falling under the influence of drugs and eventually death by suicide, Vidit shared. To support her family, she now earns a livelihood as an entrepreneur on the reselling platform.

“All of us are very attached to our mothers and we feel so proud for being able to make an impact on such a persona – that we all had around us while growing up – through entrepreneurship,” he said.

From the beginning, Vidit said the startup witnessed women aspiring to have some professional identity as an entrepreneur and has been able to cater to this need for tens of millions of women in the country. 

“Many women entrepreneurs across the country on our platform express how they were able to carve their identity. They’d say people used to refer them as someone's wife, daughter, or mother, and faced an identity crisis where no one knows their name at all,” he shared.

The entrepreneur recalled that most commerce in India happened through small mom-and-pop stores.

“Even in 2015, most of the unbranded small businesses were still offline. We launched Meesho which means ‘my shop’ in Hindi to give each and every small business in India their own online store,” Vidit added. 

Edited by Saheli Sen Gupta

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