What is Udaan all about?
With the advent of the internet and the booming ecommerce industry, convenience to individual and customers has definitely become a success but the ecommerce industry can tap into many more areas that still do not have the liberty of buying and selling stuff online. Ecommerce is such a large industry that there is a lot of scope that can bridge the gap between service providers or and consumers. One such untapped area was an ecommerce site for the B2B sector. To bridge that very gap Udaan was started to list all the different business that provide services to the business sector. Creating a single use platform for all the various business needs.
How Udaan came into existence?
Udaan was founded in 2016 by three geniuses who have formerly been well acquainted with the ecommerce industry and the smooth functioning of it. They bring their experience from another successful ecommerce giant Flipkart. It was founded by the three pioneers Sujeet Kumar, Vaibhav Gupt and Amod Malviya.
All of them were from a small town and understood the problems that the small towns faced. Their businesses collapsed due to the unavailability of a method of getting them connected to the big cities and towns. With this awareness and in order to create a fair playing platform for the all the businesses in small towns and villages Udaan was founded by the trio. It is an eCommerce platform for B2B business where all the manufacturers, producers, retailers and wholesalers can list their business and find people to buy from their business. It gives an opportunity for everyone to take their business online.
About the founders and the co-founders:
Sujeet Kumar who is one of the co-founders of the business is from the town of Kaimur in Bihar. His education is from the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi. Where he did his Bachelor’s in Technology in the Field of Civil engineering. Soon after his education he went on to become the President of operations in the eCommerce giant the fipkart.com. After which he along with his other two co-founders founded Udaan, another eCommerce platform but for the Business to Business necessities.
Vaibhav Gupta too studied his Bachelor’s in Technology from Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi in Computer science Engineering, after which he got a Masters in Business administration post graduate degree from University of Virginia – Darden Graduate School of Business Administration, after which he moved on to gain some experience as a Senior consultant in Trilogy E-business Software India Pvt Ltd. And then and engagement Manager in McKinsey & Company, after which he joined Flipkart as VP Products, worked there for 4 years until he founded Udaan.
Amod Malviya is from Bengaluru, Karnataka and he did hi Bachelor’s in Technology from Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur in Electrical Engineering. He has proved his wit in the college too with a lot of accolades being added to his name, like Youngest Linux administrator, Best Secretory etc. His work experience includes Associate system consultants in i2 Technologies, software engineer in Itellix Software, Senior Software in Riya Internet Technologies India Pvt. Ltd. V.P Engineering in Apna Paisa Pvt Ltd and Finally the Chief Technology Officer in Flipkart before Co- founding the ecommerce platform Udaan.
Valuation and Investment:
Udaan is one among the fastest growing companies to have joined the Unicorn Club within just 4 years of inception and having a valuation of $1 Billion. It raised $225 million recently from Yuri Milner’s DST Global Lightspeed Global Growth which led it to join the elite Unicorn club. The other Investors are Lightspeed Venture Partners, Trustroot Internet, etc.
Journey so far:
Successful businesses are often spun around solving a problem and helping a community. Udaan too is one such company that came into picture to help tens of thousands of small retailers, manufacturers and wholesalers who have been scattered all across the small towns of India and Udaan is one such eCommerce platform that was built to leverage the business playing field for these businesses in our country.
There is lack of accessibility to the cities, and larger towns for the business that is spread far across in the remote villages of India. A lot farmers, manufacturers are present in the small villages and towns but they either do their business through middle men where there is no transparency. There are instances of the middle men running away with the goods and not paying them and even if they do pay, they do not get fair prices for the goods that they have sold. Cheating and theft is a common scenario here over the low business scope with limited access to the cities where the demand for the same products are really high.
The founders of the company are all from small cities and understand the problems of the businesses in those areas, so the set out to specifically solve this problem of providing transport to the small secluded business owners so that they can get their business online and increase their supply and demand. Udaan is ensuring that it takes the businesses to the places where there is a demand for the business, there by improving the revenue of these businesses, cutting down the middlemen and bringing in the transparency and thereby increasing the company’s growth as well.
Obstacles faced and overcome
Educating the businesses to come on the platform was a small glitch that the company had to face but they overcame that with a good business plan. There were no standard pricing for the products placed on the platform and the did market research in order to understand the pricing and give a fair price for all the items present on the platform.
Expansion and future plan
The company currently has about 150,000 buyers and retailers from around 29 states on its platform. In the future the company plans on providing Analytical review and business leveraging capabilities for the business to help them improve their sales and help the company grow as well.
Impact on the society
Businesses that were doing poorly and were on the verge of shutting down and had no hopes, once they came on the platform grew to such an exponential degree that they had to open another manufacturing unit. This definitely is a great boon for the small business owners to have had an opportunity to leverage their business to such great heights