The topic for Startup Saturday November was Ecommerce / Online Retail in India. We saw a good combination of startups showing their wares, and stalwarts sharing their experiences. We began with a demo of an energy saving app ‘ENPOWER’ by Creative Riot Software. The Creative Riot team has won multiple awards from Microsoft, IIT Bombay, IIM Ahmedabad etc and they have a simple power saving application that can save energy worth millions (billions probably) every year for enterprises and consumers. The demo by ENPOWER is well summarized by Pluggd.in.
Next, Mr. Sanjay Mehta, Jt. CEO of Social Wavelength spoke about Online Retailing in India. In a previous avatar, Sanjay has been one of India’s pioneering Internet entrepreneurs, with an online apparel retail store, Homeindia.com (a company he sold in 2007). His presentation had a four point agenda:
1. Whats going wrong right now, with online retailing in India
2. Is there hope, and what will it take?
3. Simple questions every online retailer needs to ponder upon and
4. A bonus: An e-commerce business idea
All in all, a thoroughly informative session, about the dos and don’ts of building a successful online retail business! His presentation is embedded below.
The final session at was by Mr. Prashanth Kumar from eBay India. Prashanth was given the task of setting up the online payment gateway for baazee.com in 2002. PaisaPay currently is one of the most efficient payment systems in the country. Amongst the ecommerce sites that allow third-party merchants to sell only eBay manages to remit payment to its partners twice a week via electronic transfer. This is in a industry scenario where payments are remitted anywhere between 20-40 days via cheque.
Prashanth shared key insights in the functioning of banks and challenges faced in running a payment gateway on a busy e-commerce portal. His session was full of information which would be useful for entrepreneurs looking to innovate in the Online Retail / E-commerce space. It was also revealed at Startup Saturday November that PayPal is looking to offer its services in India within the next 6 months. This should bring some relief to many online portals who are troubled by poor standards of payment gateways in India.
The discussions on online retail in November was a good followup to the retail theme in October. It also served as a bridge to the December Startup Saturday in Mumbai, which aims to demystify Digital Marketing opportunity for Startups. See you there! (Register here for Startup Saturday December)
— The Startup Saturday Mumbai Team
Annkur P Agarwal is the co-founder of Pricebaba & SahiGST. Pricebaba is a product research engine that helps you research and shop consumer electronics. SahiGST is a SaaS platform for Indian SMEs to effectively manage their GST compliance.