Startup Circle: How has EOL Stocks created India’s 1st B2B Online Liquidation platform?

By : |November 13, 2020 0

Lifestyle and consumer electronics brands and stores are offering some of the lowest discounts in the ongoing sale season. The end-of-season sale which has attracted deep discounts over the years witnessed a sharp drop for the need of big discounts as products are low on stock with demand outstripping supplies across the apparel and electronics sector. But they still need an easy platform that provides real-time pricing, full transparency, quick and secure payments. That’s where EOL Stocks comes in play.

EOL is a technology-driven startup that provides its users with a robust Mobile as well as a Web app using React Native and Angular Based front end. It has a robust Python-based backend. EOL support team is provided with Angular Based admin module which provides extensive functionalities for effective management of the inventory and orders. Mr Apporv Bhatt, Founder, and CEO, EOL Stocks shares his thoughts about the market and the tech startup.

What is EOL Stocks about? Tell us about the team.

We are India’s 1st B2B Online Liquidation platform for “non-moving and slow-moving” inventory. We solely focus on slow-moving stocks and help SMEs control their working capital better. On our platform, we bring together retailers, wholesalers and manufacturers on one single platform. Our Android/ iPhone app enables faster liquidation of inventory and is powered by intelligent technology, robust infrastructure, and an intuitive design.

Our years of experience in process optimization and user experience enables our customers to work in simpler and smarter ways. The easy-to-use application lets them discover buyers or sellers, connect directly and do business on their terms.

Apoorv, the founder and CEO of EOL Stocks was previously a distributor of Sony, Reliance Jio and the likes (2013). During that time, he realized that slow-moving stock is the biggest pain point in this business and there is no organized channel for liquidating such stocks. That is when he envisioned EOL Stocks He gradually built his core team, built the technology and EOL Stocks was started in 2018.

Building the core team has been a step by step process. Gopal, who is the co-founder of the company has been a professional friend of Apoorv for many years and believed in his idea from the beginning. He and Apoorv have worked hand-in-hand to build this company from the ground up. When the first tech failed for EOL Stocks, Sharad Bhatt came into the picture and brought key Management people, Pankaj, who is the CTO for the company and Nirbhay, who is the Chief Growth Officer CRO. Sharad himself took an executive role of CFO and primarily driving fundraise activities. As of now, EOL Stocks has 10 team members.

How did you come up with the idea?

The first-hand experience is how it could be put appropriately- no one moment rather almost 5 years of being a distributor of Sony, Reliance Jio and the likes  Apoorv’s entrepreneurial journey started with him becoming a distributor of electronics in 2013. That’s when he realized that slow-moving stock is the biggest pain point in this business and there is no organized channel for liquidating such stocks.

What are the tech-enabled services that you provide?

Faster liquidation: Hundreds of retailers and wholesalers have trusted us with their inventory liquidation and management. Our online platform enables them to receive better business deals at low costs in unexplored territories.

Access to a wider network: We give our customers access to hundreds of buyers on our platform across the country. With more than 2k products offered by various sellers, our platform supports trade like none other.

Hassle-free logistics management: We not only facilitate liquidation, but we also take care of the logistics associated with it. The shipments are picked up from the sellers and delivered safely to the buyer.

Secure payments: Online transactions on our platform meet the highest level of online security and safeguards.

Is the app/web services only for the B2B platforms? How it’s different from your competitors?

Our app/ web services are only for businesses and not individuals. We are India’s 1st B2B Online Liquidation platform for “non-moving and slow-moving” inventory so we do not have a direct competitor in India as of yet. UDAAN is the closest to being a competitor. But then it is a pure-play B2B online distribution platform and caters to fast-moving stocks.

What is your business/market growth?

We have 70+ Crores GMV to date. Every day 20-30 L worth of transactions happen on our platform. We have more than 200 + Active Customers and 2K+ products listed on our app.

We have a presence in 6 cities across the country- Ahmedabad, Surat, Vadodara, Mumbai, Chandigarh and Bhopal. There, we have an extensive 3PL network of service providers as well to provide logistics and customer support across the country. Further, we have shipped more than 80k+ units to 70+ cities or towns in India till now.

We recorded a 200% growth in 2019-2020. We are gearing up to scale our solution across multiple categories/ sectors by next month.

As far in the market, the B2B market in India will be around $700 Bn in 2020 and B2B eCommerce, to have a CAGR of 10% over the next five years.  The Recommerce as a segment within B2B will be approximately $100 Bn in size in 2020. Liquidation is a segment within the B2B Recommerce, which can be safely assumed to be a $20 Bn industry as of now.

There are 50-60 million SMEs in India alone. On average a retailer has will have 15-20% slow-moving inventory. And as of now, there is no formal platform for inventory liquidation. There is a huge demand for liquidation in Tier II and Tier III cities.

The pandemic has affected every sector. Has it increased your revenue?

The world is facing unprecedented times and India is no different. Some of the businesses are struggling hard to survive. We are 2 years into our business, yet we are really doing well. After a couple of weeks of lockdown, our business started picking up. In fact, we started growing, because businesses had to conduct transactions online. In fact, a recent study by GlobalData, a London based analytics company, suggests that the coronavirus pandemic will accelerate the growth of India’s e-commerce market. They expect to reach ₹7 trillion by 2023. We are ramping up our technology as well as operations to be ready for increased demand.

Another important factor in our growth has been the mobile phones sector, which has a major contribution to our revenue. Some of the reports suggest that the pandemic has put a reset button on the increasing contribution of India to the global smartphone industry, which was 16% in 2019. One of the reports says that India will sell nearly 127 Mn smartphones this year which is 22% less than the projected figure of 162 Mn. No doubt that the overall shipments have declined but we believe that the bad period is over for the industry.

The production is ramping up and the sales have started. With the increased use of mobile phones due to most people staying at home, the demand is going to pick up. Smartphones are transcending from an add-on to the lifestyle to a necessity in even the tier 2 and tier 3 cities, all because of the pandemic and we are seeing huge demand coming from those parts of the country.

What are your Post-Covid plans?

We are pushing for pan India expansion of EOL Stocksnd expecting to grow 2x in the next 6 months. Already we have expanded into categories like groceries and staples. Now, we are the official liquidation partners for leading retail chain across the country and plan to sign up some more contracts by the end of the year.

Funding

We are angel funded and have term sheets of 1.5 Cr. We are also in the process of closing another round of funding soon.

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