What is Snapdeal all about?
Snapdeal.com- India’s largest market place, it is an Indian e-commerce company and an online market place for almost all types of customers because it has tie-ups with the largest number of brands and retailers which amounts up-to 3,00,000 sellers selling over 60 million products, having 800 categories from regional to international. It is a one stop destination for all the shopping needs one would want as it has its delivery of products up to about 6000 towns and cities across India. Initially it started off as a website now is available as a fully functional app that can delivery you the products that you need with just a couple of clicks.
How Snapdeal started?
Snapdeal was started on the 4th of February in 2010 by two eminent personalities Kunal Bahl and Rohit Bansal who were friends from school; they were both working at Microsoft and CapitalOne respectively when the first started this business of Couponing when the Internet had not had its boom yet in the Indian Market. During the initiation it used to be a daily deals platform but quickly spread its wings towards acquiring the market place as the company saw growing potential in that area of business by the September of 2011. Now, as we can see it Snapdeal shares the top market space in online retailing and e-commerce. The growth from a simple couponing side business to a multimillion dollar company is tremendous. Let up understand the people behind this masterpiece of a business.
About the founder and Co-founder.
Kunal Bahl is from Delhi having done his schooling from Delhi public school followed by a degree in Marketing and Operation strategy from Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, along with a Bachelor’s in Manufacturing Engineering. He also finished his Executive marketing program from Kellog school of Management, with all these accolades he went on to pursue a small stint in Microsoft but had to return back to India due to Visa issues. During all this he had started a detergent business which proves that he had the Entrprenerial bug making him dance to its tunes even while he was studying. The other Key person behind the success of Snapdeal is Rohit Bansal who is from Punjab and as already mentioned went to the same school and has a degree from the Indian Institute of Technology. A rare story of how a school friendship turned into a business partnership of a Multi-dollar company. Let us see the Journey.
Journey and Road Blocks on the way to success
After the initiation Snapdeal acquired its investors through cold calling, although there were a lot of rejections initially as it used just be a couponing company, Kunal and Rohit didt not lose their grit and continued to find investors interested to fund their idea but they fortunately stumbled into Vani from IndoUS investing firm but since the first meeting didn’t go well that had no hopes of the Investing group returning, but they did and ever since Vani Kola has been added as another key pillar of the Snapdeal success story. They were told that online marketing has been booming in India so they quickly just purchased a domain name and launched Snapdeal.com with no foresight, but analyzing the market and customer experience they were able to attain success eventually. With the agility of the founders and the experience from the Investors Snapdeal was able to grow rapidly, and the founders had to device a plan as to how to keep the quality of the service constantly at its best. They came up with various creative ways to have the learnt skills flow through the employer base quickly and effectively. It has a strong and value based hiring model that figures out the employers who can be assets in no time. The implementation of ideas is also initially done on a smaller platform and its success determines its implementation on a bigger platform. The company relies on word of mouth marketing more than on ads, since the ads don’t get majority of their revenue. The business was going smoothly until major giants like Amazon and Flipkart opened up in India. There was a little bit of harsh road for the Snapdeal company as the talks of Snapdeal selling the company to one of the big giants started floating in the media. Although the the company had denied any such rumors there were news about the investors wanting the merger to happen between the big giants happen according to the research by Investiva. But after 7 months of vigorous negotiation the merger did not seem to take place and snapdeal was bound to hit the rocky waters again. But the founders with their agile attitude were determined to turn things around by Introducing something called Snapdeal 2.0. What it consisted of basically taking strong decisions to close or sell the parts of the business that were not strength to the Company and to focus merely on the strengths of the company. The idea worked well because the entire company including the Investors and Team members were finally happy that a decision was taken and there were no more confusion in terms of the merger and acquisition. The team members were motivated to create a positive environment and translated that to the customers as well. This is how the company moved from a cash burning company to a Cash positive company with a healthy Balance sheet. Let’s find out how the company is doing today.
Snapdeal’s current profile.
According Investiva’s sources the company’s annual revenue is $137.5 M. and is doing well in the shares and is picking up. It has grown from a 50 member Employee base to a strong 2000 member base and continues to grow. It is able to generate 3X growth due to its Snapdeal 2.0 strategy.
In the company’s journey so far, Snapdeal has partnered with several global investors and individuals such as SoftBank, BlackRock, Temasek, Foxconn, Alibaba, eBay Inc. Bessemer Venture Partners , Intel Capital, Premji Invest , Mr. Ratan Tata, among others. Future expansions:
It plans on adding over 100 engineers this year to improve its personalization and recommendations for the features for the customers.
Impact on the society:
The CSR team has ensured that it provided electricity to a lot of villages. People can also enjoy Snapdeal’s services in a lot of towns were other big giants cannot cater to and therefore Snapdeal is spreading its wings across the nation, creating happy customers all around.