Please walk us through your entrepreneurial journey and background before you started? Any interesting stories?
With 22 years of professional life & last 15 years with IBM consulting as Senior Partner and Head – Media & Entertainment Industry, it was a tough call to jump into the entrepreneurial journey & let go the comforts of senior corporate life. Being always an Intrapreneur in IBM & a long awaited zeal to be on other side of the table to ‘unlearn & learn’ new ways of doing business eventually made the decision easier. Doing a venture in media would have been an obvious choice but the strong views around need of an alternate e-commerce model that takes the offline retailers along finally paved the way for birth of ‘StoreSay’.
About founding team
A strong founding team with complementing skills covering deep industry domain expertise/relations, technology, product development, finance and marketing.
Raman Kalra, Founder & CEO – brings over 23 years of experience covering finance, technology & business consulting with last few years working closely with CxOs across media companies in various segments around digital, consumer segmentation & content monetization strategies.
Pawan Kalra, Co-founder and Advisory Board Member – brings over 3 decades of experience in consumer durables industry & enjoys deep respect from all key stakeholders in the electronics industry. Formerly, Joint President – Videocon Group responsible for overall consumer durables business across India & currently CEO Infodart Technologies (Videocon Group company)
Jyotsna Kalra, Co-founder – Seasoned professional in areas of client relations, customer service & marketing. Having worked in areas of sales & service support for over 9 years, Jyotsna took a long sabbatical focusing completely on her growing daughters & finally resumed work early 2015 as founding team @ StoreSay. Jyotsna enjoys a very warm and respected relation with everyone she has worked with in all capacities.
Tell us little about your product/ platform
StoreSay is India’s 1st integrated B2B2C marketplace for ‘electronics, gadgets & appliances’ connecting trusted nearby brick & mortar stores with customers on one hand and with the distributors/manufacturers on the other hand. Re-engineering the B2B distribution value chain with its collaborative technology, StoreSay establishes direct connect between the Stores and distributors/ manufacturers, thereby empowering stores to buy directly from the manufacturers at better prices & empowering brands to launch products and communicate much faster & much more efficiently with the stores all across. As a B2C technology platform, it provides customers the convenience of online shopping with trust of nearby stores & empowers them, like never before with a unique option to Bargain with multiple stores simultaneously. Also providing Extended Warranty and Mobile Protection Plans under brand ‘StoreSay Secure’ as completely paperless e-warranty across India.
Tell us about your customer traction
- 1000+ dealers registered
- 12,000+ customers registered
- B2C GMV – INR 10.01 crores between Jan’16 – Sep’16
- 13% repeat customers
- Average Ticket size of over INR 30,000
- B2B penetration across Delhi/NCR, AP, Telangana, MP, Maharashtra
- B2B GMV – INR 1.5 crores 3 months @ 4% Gross Margin Revenue
How has been your association with IBM Global Entrepreneur? How important do you think IBM Global Entrepreneur is to help and improve the ecosystem?
Being a leading technology player globally and with its deep strengths in analytics, mobile and cognitive computing, IBM through IBM-GEP could be a great sounding board for various start-ups trying to build innovative solutions solving real problems of the world. StoreSay enjoys a great association with IBM-GEP having participated in IBM-GEP B2C start-up star challenge and awarded as the top 5 finalist in May’16.
What’s your take on the IBM Cloud? How is it helping your start-up grow?
“IBM-GEP with its Softlayer cloud offerings can provide the immediate boost to the early stage start-ups and help them through the growth phase equally.”
From hosting our platform on Softlayer, which has given us a ~100% uptime and great cloud like flexibility on a bare-metal server; to interactions with several other IBM-GEP members, our business has gained a lot. Our tech support uses resources on Blue Mix and our analysts make use of Watson Analytics regularly. StoreSay moved from the earlier hosting partner to IBM Softlayer and has seen performance improvements on one hand and ease of managing infrastructure on other hand with industry best chat based customer support systems.
What is your road ahead for your start-up?
With plans to connect over 50,000 electronics dealers across India by end 2017, StoreSay plans to be a leading vertically focused player across the value chain with technology led B2B2C transformations & a strong focus on empowering the retailers. With a strong network, StoreSay intends to be the launch partner for brands in India for the offline network pan India.