We are publishing an interview of Mr. Prateek B Singh, Founder, Shoppingkart24.
About the founders
Shoppingkart24 is founded by Prateek B Singh, Jyotsna Rai, and team.
- Prateek B Singh – Founder. He is an Entrepreneur by passion and an innovator, who is willing to take risks and generate new ideas to create unique and potentially profitable solutions to modern-day problems.
- Jyotsna Rai – Co-Founder. (First critic & back support for his ideas). She’s highly focused & committed professional who work towards exceeding professional expectations.
Give us a brief background of what founders were doing before starting the venture.
- Prateek B Singh – A Commerce Graduate with a sharp mind and ability to rise in spite of all the competition prevailing in the market. He has a keen knowledge of the start-up ecosystem and is also working on few more startups as Co-Founder.
- Jyotsna Rai – She is a skilled trainer, and she has designed & developed a course-ware which was successfully facilitated to the larger audience. She’s a detail-oriented team member with more than 8 years of experience in various industry sectors like – E-commerce, Consulting Operations, Brand Licensing, etc. with an exceptional record of client service & revenue generation.
List all the names of the core team members, along with their skill-sets, specific domain expertise & designated roles.
The portal has support of dedicated hardworking team handling different sectors:
- Saumya Dey – Legal Advisor (Income Tax Lawyer by profession).
- Sagar Jetly – Brand Marketing & Advertising.
- Sumit Shukla – Category Manager/Logistics.
- Vinay Maurya – Vendors/Product Manager.
- Arushi S. Nagar – Content Writer.
With a strong technical team, our venture is associated with Mr. Naveen Pal (Founder-Indianonlinemarketing.com).
What is the problem you are trying to solve? Can you share with us any insights that led you to believe that this is a big enough problem?
Today, India is heading towards a digital & a cashless economy. The country’s current focus is to empower rural/urban India digitization. Hence, most of the online services are now in demand.We all require an easy & quick shopping, therefore online business portal plays an important role in meeting our current shopping requirements.
Most of the established e-commerce players are extending their reach to Tier-II &Tier-III cities. Here, the local vendors are experiencing the hardships as their products & designs are not promoted & showcased at the real value.
As a result, the Indian brands are loosing huge demand in local city market & hence missing on its fame beyond a certain boundary. Sadly, our Indian customer reach is limited to only few vendors as most of the cities in India still have lot more to offer in terms of designs & products.
What challenges did you face when you were starting out?
The biggest challenge for every e-commerce startup is to create a trust factor among the vendors and the consumers at early stage. The biggest challenge was in convincing vendors to sell with us. We are still working hard to build trust with our vendors and customers so that we can increase the traffic on our portal at a faster pace.
How did you get the initial capital? What returns does it have? Tell us about the investors (if any)
To give shape to any good idea, appropriate financing is needed. ; currently, we are bootstrapping the venture with the help of Family & Loans from banks.
Please tell us about the Product / Solution. Explain how you went about the Product-Market Fit Process.
With a vision to offer a global platform to many small scale vendors, Prateek B Singh started Shoppingkart24, an online website to showcase their unique & versatile line of products and hence promoting richness & uniqueness of Indian products from local manufacturers, vendors, artisans & craftsmen. His only mission is to promote these small-scale entrepreneurs, women entrepreneurs/young entrepreneurs and products from rural & urban India and to assist them to scale up their business. He aims to create a huge marketplace for each of these sellers and consumers who look forward to buying Indian artistic and unique product.
What were your assumptions when you entered the market, learning that you have?
I started my career as a vendor on different e-commerce portals with an aim to start my own E-commerce business in the name of Shoppingkart24.com in 2015 as I am from Varanasi, one of the major holy cities of India which is rich in culture and Indianness. Many of the small shopkeepers over there are struggling to sell their products and wish if they could get an opportunity to showcase their offerings in a channel where they get maximum profit and coverage, With this idea started to develop a marketplace for such vendor products and promoting Indian Brand.
What is the insight that you have about this market, which no one else has? Uniqueness about your Startup.
Shoppingkart24’s USP lies in their product offerings, and therefore its future plan is to grow in the Indian market by promoting the art of India & their exclusive products and designs across boundaries. To offer the ease of shopping to all the consumers across the globe, a Mobile Application with a special user-friendly Voice Search(Voice Recognition) Feature is launched, and this is not the end, the company is also planning for offline presence in the market.
What is the strength of the startup and the scale of operations? Who do You Perceive as Your Competition?
Shoppingkart24’s competitive advantage is offering product lines that will make a statement but won’t leave you broke. The major brands are expensive & not distinctive enough to satisfy the changing taste of our target customers. Shoppingkart24 offers products that are just ahead of the curve & so affordable that our customers will return to the website often to check out, what’s new.
Competition is important for growth however we don’t have any direct competitors in the market as we are purely into Indian brands products from all verticals. As of now, we are trying to do online business from the grassroots level by focusing on vendors/customers from tier 2-3 cities.
What is the revenue model? Explain your thought process.
We work as an aggregator and provide the best products to our consumers. We are serving on Business to Customer (B2C) business model.
Who are the consumers that you are targeting? How is this going to affect them?
As per the study conducted by Internet and Mobile Association of India, India’s e-commerce market is estimated to have crossed Rs. 211,005 crore in December 2016. The report further claims that India is expected to generate $100 billion online retail revenue by the year 2020. Out of these if we can capture 20-25% per day it will boost our traffic & sales numbers. We are planning to achieve this by targeting audience/customers from all Class, Age, Sex, Region, etc. by deploying a consultative approach to identify customer’s need.
How did you get your first customer?
Till now whatever we have gained it was without nay advertising or marketing of our portal and we are thankful to our buyers/customers for showing trust on us, We request all to please visit our Shopping Destination and drop your feedback through chat option on website and we will try to fulfill at our best.
What is the big picture of your startup? Is this Product leading to something bigger? If so, how?
Once, we explore and acquire a hold on the Indian market; then we will be aiming to showcase & promote products & designs globally soon.The company is also planning for offline presence in the market. The future plan is to stabilize in the Indian market and create the platform in other countries and promote their products and designs to create a cross boundaries trade.
Since inception, give us a sense of the value of business done by your venture? Please explain in details:
We started in 2016; It has been tough yet productive and we are growing slowly and steadily. We are proud to acknowledge that we are representing more than 1100+ sellers & 10000+ products on our website in the time span of 6 months. We have a traction of 100+ registered customers, 5k-10k visitors/month with 17-20% returning visitors in just 3 months.
What would be your goal to accomplish in the next six months?
We foresee 10x growths in customers within a span of next 6 months & increase per customer spend by 2.5 to 3 times.
What message do you want to convey to fellow entrepreneurs?
Just trust in yourself & have confidence in your ideas and I have always quoted that Failures are good for longevity, hence use failures as feedback and improvise to lead a better way to success. Remember every opinion/feedback has two nodes – positive and negative, and it depends on how YOU take it.
Any other information you would like to share:
This portal is inspired by all innovative ideas to deliver the best quality of Indian brands at shopper’s doorstep and soon we will be converting in Global Platform.Therefore, aims to bring Indian brands fame back in demand.