Startup Circle: How is homegrown e-commerce Hokosoko advocating 'Vocal for local'?

Laxitha Mundhra
New Update
Startup Circle: How is homegrown e-commerce Hokosoko advocating 'Vocal for local'?

Worldwide e-commerce growth is on the rise, and it has put immense pressure on manufacturers and retailers to differentiate themselves and provide superior shopping experiences both online and in physical stores. E-commerce provides global marketplaces, retailers, and brand manufacturers with strategic and tactical marketing support. To get a holistic view of the market and competitive landscape to inform product and pricing decisions. Hokosoko, an online Indian digital marketplace with a plethora of quality product features products from uncovered shadow sections.


Read Cofounder, Deepak Gera talk about the startup in detail and outline their vision.

What is Hokosoko about? Tell us about the team.

A home-grown brand Hokosoko is the brainchild of 5 Co-Founders. Jitin Chugh, Ajay Pant, Asfar Hussian, Paras Chugh and me. We founded Hokosoko as a steadfast advocate of locally-made products. From home appliances, trending electronics and mobile accessories to adventure sports items, mobile accessories and other time-saving kitchen appliances, the company has got it all at the best prices with unmatched convenience, choice, quality and trust. It aims to provide the finest quality of goods at competitive prices along with lending an opportunity to local businesses and artisans to grow. The brand also strives to achieve on-time delivery and customer satisfaction, a hallmark it prides itself on. At present, the total team size is 20, including the co-founders.


How did you come up with the idea?

While working for one of the biggies in the ecommerce industry, I realized that Online shopping in India has a long way to go especially in Tier 2 and beyond locations. Some synergies were visible with my other partners in this project. Each one was getting something on the table which as the collaboration was the right fit to start an ecommerce venture.

We knew each other before venturing into Hokosoko and the skillset each one was getting on the table help build perfect synergies to kick off Hokosoko. We do not cost heavy, and frugality is one aspect we always keep in mind.


What are the services that you provide?

We are an ecommerce marketplace that aims to give an opportunity to sellers to come and register and start establishing their online shop by listing their product offerings. We started with the Home and Kitchen category. Now, we have slowly and gradually expanded to other categories like fashion, electronics, footwear, personal care, outdoor living, toys and games, books and luggage. The buyers visit our website, choose a product and moves to the checkout option, where the buyer gets options to make an Online Payment or Opt for COD. Once an order is placed, the buyer is called or an automated IVR is sent to confirm the order along with basic details of name and address. After confirmation, Hokosoko delivers a product to the customer. There are predefined exchange and refund policies for each category.

Are the services only for B2C? How it's different from your competitors?


In India, every business has competitors. However, we aren’t here to compete with any other players in the market, there is enough room for everyone. The industry is still young and at a very nascent stage in India. As per a recent Goldman Sachs review of the Indian Ecommerce market, its penetration is at just 5% and is expected to be around 11% by 2024. The game is to provide more choices to end buyer at affordable prices along with more secure payment options and timely delivery. So there is enough room for everyone to play.

We are less complicated and that will set us apart from others. We aim to support Ease of Doing business for Sellers and thus providing more options to buyers to choose from. And yes, presently the services are only for B2C.

What is your business/market growth?


We are in our 1st year of operations; precisely it’s just been over 6 months. This year is going to be “Stabilize and Grow”, we want to build a sustainable mechanism that will help us scale-up when the time comes be it from Tech, Resource, Finance, Payment options for Buyers, Aggressive seller On-Boarding.

Presently, we invest 60% of our monthly funding in Brand Building and Marketing Promotions. We need people to know about Hokosoko. We are taking the route of parallel marketing channels like social media, influencers, bloggers and more of native advertising, celebrity endorsements, radio ads to start with. In Phase -1, we are starting with 6 States. They are Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra. Once we can penetrate well across these markets then we shall be opening up other states.

What are your plans for 2021?


2021 is a watchful year for all businesses. Post-Covid business dynamics have changed. Online penetration has increased and buyers are more familiar with online shopping. They come to a website more than going to a high street mall for shopping. Buyers in Tier 2 and 3 locations of India are increasing online spend as they now want to increase their living standards. Thus, they can do so, by buying lifestyle products that were accessible to buyers staying in the metro. Like I said before, the penetration is only 5%. We aim to target those untapped or less competitive locations and have better market penetration.


Presently we are a bootstrapped startup. But, we are looking for investors to empower our growth plans and FastTrack our strategies. The venture is planning to get funded in the year 2021. The year 2021 is for us to “Stabilize and Grow”. We are looking for strategic investors and investments who can act as a guiding force and supporting mentors in our growth journey. For now, we are open to a mix of Equity and Debt funding.

We aim to use our funds majorly in marketing, customer acquisition, tech enhancement for Buyer and Seller UI. We also aim to introduce Gamification to keep the buyer glued and involved on the platform. Hiring will also be one of the areas to invest in, as hiring the right people who would like to be part of our growth journey and finally the Market expansion by targeting more geographies in India. On the Seller side, we are aiming at rigorous seller onboarding to give more buying options to buyers.

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