A streak of purplle light for other startups

By : |June 6, 2016 0

Amidst the current gloomy startup picture in the face of dwindling funds and investment, here is a streak of some “purplle” light to cheer you up. In just under four years, Purplle.com, one of India’s largest beauty product and service destination is on the verge of turning completely profitable.

With humble beginnings in a small 200 sq. ft. shared office space, a seed capital of INR 40,00,000 invested entirely by Manish and Rahul, betting their life’s savings on their dream, and a core team of just five including Manish, Rahul and the tech co-founder Suyash, the POA was always to keep it clean and simple. The team has grown impressively since their first month’s GMV of INR 45,000 to an expected GMV of INR 300 crores for FY17.

In the last 18 months, numerous startups have laid off large numbers of people, showing negative growth and even prematurely shutting shop. One of the core reasons for this was a large amount of spending in marketing and hiring instead of technology and processes. Purplle.com, on the other hand, invested heavily in technology, supply chain, and system creation.

For Manish Taneja, founder, and CEO, Purplle.com their success is based on an ethos of innovation, technology and service. “Since inception, we have either owned every tech product or we’ve taken it in-house. Our inventory was always automated till the unit level, giving us immense control and eliminating the chance of mistakes. Our varied content and offerings are engaging deeply with our user base, which is ensuring a high rate of repeat interactions,” he adds.

In the past one year, Purplle.com has grown six times and already turned profitable in its West and North zones. By October 2016, Purplle.com is confident of turning nationally profitable, a rare feat in today’s times.

When asked about how does Purplle see itself standing tall amidst the current gloomy startup scenario, Rahul Dash, co-founder says that “The startup scenario is pretty vibrant, only free money has dried up. I would say this is a great time to build good companies. We have just stuck to the basics of building a business from day one which is helping us now.”

For the young entrepreneurs braving out in the middle, Rahul adds, “See yourself as managers of a risk of a higher magnitude. Be very clear on your motivations to start up and build a high-quality team around you, both mentors and colleagues.”

CIOL A streak of purplle light for other startups

Recently, Purplle has also been garnering some headlines for their Chatbots which is an extension of Purplle’s “tech-oriented DNA”, to use Taneja’s words. According to Taneja, few months back they realized that a lot of queries answered by their customer support executives were repetitive in nature — on order status and delivery timelines. He also noticed that user queries on product discovery were on top-rated shampoos for dandruff, nail art and long-lasting makeup for oily skin. It was then that he decided to develop a chatbot. “We have done a beta launch of the chatbot for our most loyal customers and the response has been amazing,” he adds.

The bots have reduced by at least two-thirds the load of the customer support staff by making the information available on demand and by automatically executing certain tasks. Currently, the bot helps around 2,000 people every day, responding to queries on product discovery, says Taneja. ” Chatbots are here to stay.”

For Rahul Dash, “Chatbots is nothing but a manifestation of an intelligent form of technology which will do what a machine was always meant to do, replace manual labor. This form of AI for us will have applications starting from internal processes, customer care processes as well as consumer facing processes. We are extremely proud of our technology capability and believe in the philosophy of “scaling with technology”.

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