ShopatPlaces: Aiming to get the best of India at your doorsteps

Friday March 01, 2013,

3 min Read

Zuhaib Khan used to receive regular requests from his loved ones to get some unique products from places he visited. These casual requests later brainstormed his entrepreneurial journey and along with Shefur Rehman he cofounded ShopatPlaces. ShopatPlaces is an e-commerce firm which delivers authentic products from places famous for them, at the doorstep of the customers and at the best prices. It removes the need to travel to far away destinations to buy the right stuff.

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There are umpteen ecommerce companies in India, so what exactly separates ShopatPlaces from the others. According to Zuhaib the difference lies in the authenticity of the products they supply. “We only sell those products which are famous from a particular place like Pearls from Hyderabad, Filigree jewelry from Odisha, Pashmina shawls from Kashmir and so on. We are also the first ones in India to execute this concept of ‘Famous Places. Best Buys.”’ In offline retail, FabIndia has a few product categories similar to ShopatPlaces, but their focus is not just on handcrafted products, explains Zuhaib. ShopatPlaces also offers free customization for their apparels, which gives the customers the flexibility of getting a tailor made product according to their desired measurement.

Before starting ShopatPlaces, Zuhaib worked with an investment banker while Shefur was working with Cadburys. Post quitting their jobs, the duo travelled around Indian states for five months to build a network with vendors and artists. “We met artisans and small manufacturers whose products you see on Shopatplaces now and convinced them to become our vendors. These five months taught a lot to us and we applied these learnings when we wrote our Quality Control processes, for instance.” says Zuhaib . They work closely with and support their vendors to overcome operational challenges they face, like availability of raw material, so that the products received by Shopatplaces is of the highest quality.

Currently the ShopatPlaces team comprises eight people which include content writing, engineers, social media and vendor management. They have has also started their services in other countries as well namely US, UK, Dubai, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand, which has brought its own sets of challenges for them. Zuhaib explains: “The expectations of users outside India are a little different from Indian users. For instance, they are more concerned about security of transactions but once they gain trust, they order much higher value items from us. To take this challenge head-on, we are investing a lot of time and money to create a site with very high security levels.” For now Indian products from different states are being shipped to these countries. A year from now they are eying products from international locations, for instance, Italian Leather Jackets and Egyptian Silk Apparel. The company is also looking to start their services on different mobile platforms to serve their customers.

ShopatPlaces is self funded for now but they will be scouting for funds once they meet their set milestones. However the founders looking for mentors who can guide them in their entrepreneurial journey ahead.

Offer: YourStory.in readers are in for a treat. You can get a flat 10% off on products across the ShopatPlaces site. For that you just need to use the coupon code YOURS during checkout.

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