2020: The year of Supply Chain and eCommerce startups; here’s who pulled through

By : |December 30, 2020 0

The year 2020 saw a lot of tectonic shifts for the Indian ecommerce industry. It saw a massive change in consumer behaviour. For example, electronics and mobile phones dominated the list of buying preference among consumers. Due to the, well, in the pandemic, this category was second only to groceries. Amazingly, the performance of the ecommerce industry surpassed all expectations.

With an increase in the number of online transactions, the online logistics space also flourished. The consolidation went to around four to five prominent players (for example, Delhivery, Vulcan, E-Kart). Yet, the future seems both promising and challenging for the Indian ecommerce industry. The year 2021 is likely to see the sector be more watchful about policy pronouncements, especially new ecommerce policies. Also, the industry will try to onboard more small players to enable a deeper reach into the country. But 2020 has proven to be a catalyst in expansion to the small players. It may be small, but it is. Let’s see who did well, and how.

Changing consumer preferences

“Covid-19 pandemic led to our supply chain being severely affected,” states Sagar N Mehta, Founder & Partner, Vegandukan. “But we were able to pull together with the help of a responsive team and significant change of customer interest in plant-based products. We also saw close to 50% jump in the repeat purchases which was a result of the adoption of Vegan lifestyle and products, post-pandemic outbreak.”

“We achieved this with our constant efforts and the launch a range of Frozen mock meats and festive gifting products to satisfy the demand. Since we were a seller driven marketplace, we have got a high number of queries to on-board during the past 6 months. So, the consumer awareness and a responsible team have helped us in catering to the market’s potential,” he added.

Improved Supply Chain

Addverb started its automation journey in June 2016. “Our vision was to transform the supply chain of Indian companies into flexible and efficient by leveraging industry 4.0 technologies. Four years down the road we not only revolutionized how the warehousing industry operates but also changed the very perspective of adopting automation,” says Satish Shukla, Co-Founder & Head, Marketing and HR, Addverb Technologies.

“Today, we are serving more than 75 customers. Some names include Reliance, HUL, Marico, Flipkart, Pepsi, CEAT, Dabur, Asian Paints etc. We have also expanded our footprint to Dubai, Singapore, and European Markets. While Covid paralyzed many industries, automation saw an accelerated increase of nearly 15% in demand due to the less availability of workforce and the need to make supply chain immunized to these shocks,” he adds.

“Nationwide lockdown, logistical constraints, and struggling merchants brought our revenue to barely 5% of pre-lockdown. But, after adapting to the essentials category and launching on-demand warehousing, packaging, and hyperlocal delivery, we experienced nearly 100% growth between pre and post-lockdown,” says Saahil Goel, CEO and Co-Founder, Shiprocket.

Expansion

Ashish Kumar, Co-Founder and CEO of Near Store states, “We started in Feb 2020 and had onboarded 10 shops before lockdown. Convincing shop owners about creating an online presence has been easier post lockdown. we today have 200 shops in Mumbai and generate over 300 orders per week.” The startup helps stores become ecommerce ready and creates an online identity. Talking about expansion Shriya Naheta, Founder, Zama Organics, states, “Zama saw an overnight spike of 5x in customer order volume during the lockdown.”

“We raised $2 million as a part of its seed round of funding, from a clutch of international angel investors. We have 1 lakh+ merchant on board already doing daily transactions worth more than ₹2 crores. Currently, 75K+ stores across 3000 towns use Bikayi in India. In fact, we saw a 125% month-on-month revenue growth since July 2020,” states Sonakshi Nathani, Co-founder & CEO, Bikayi.

“The pandemic left an impact on several sectors, but most of all on small businesses, says Akash Gehani, Co-Founder & COO, Instamojo. “Hence, we pivoted to design products that would help them establish an online presence. It would help transact them without having to lose business. We launched several products were launched in a span of 100 days, turned cash-flow positive, hit an all-time high in terms of revenue and a doubled GMV since inception. During the lockdown, we recorded a 25% increase in the number of daily merchant sign-ups, indicating a positive response towards a digital shift. We recently raised a round of Pre-Series C funding to further expedite our growth and venture into international markets.”

Digital Transformation

“2020 has been a year of unprecedented times,” says Mr Sheshgiri Kamath, Co-founder & CEO Kapture CRM. “The outbreak of the pandemic drastically changed how global businesses manage their core operations such as sales, customer service, etc. Enterprises had to make a quick transition to a remote working model. This involved reallocation of resources on a great scale.” His startup helped many enterprises to adapt to the changes. “Enterprises are now fast embracing the digital transformation that the year has brought along,” he concluded.

Mr Gagandeep Singh, Founder and CEO, Helo Protocol calls the year 2020, “the year of change”. He says, “In December 2019 Helo Protocol started as a solution for the F&B industry to better manage the workforce but soon enough the industry was on its knees. The lockdowns locked out most but unlocked a sea of possibilities for us. We realised that the markets were not shut, they had just moved online! We started creating online stores for businesses. The response was phenomenal! We provided the business with a solution to sell directly to their customers while charging 0% commission. This helped businesses maximise the much-needed revenue. To date, we’ve helped 1000+ small and big brands reach out to their customers directly and sell better.”

These startups currently operate in an oligopoly market. Jio Mart, Amazon, Flipkart still rule the eCommerce sector. Yet, the eCommerce industry has demonstrated unprecedented growth in 2020 with the emergence of many new trends. Thus, irrespective of the hierarchy, one thing is certain. The age of eCommerce and automated and digitised supply chain has arrived.

More stories coming up

Let the year 2020 end on some positivity and good stories. Follow this space to read more success stories of startups during 2020 in the coming few days.

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