Helping India's Digitally Challenged to Sell Their Products Online Got This Marketer-in-chief Into Entrepreneur India's 35under35 List
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Blenders Pride Reserve Collection presents Entrepreneur’s 35U35 list included some path-breaking names from the field of entrepreneurship and Meesho co-founder Vidit Aatrey made it to the list for enabling aspiring entrepreneurs to have an online presence.
Not many aspiring entrepreneurs are able to invest in building a separate website for their products that is when online marketplaces like Meesho come into play. The platform enables housewives, students, professionals and others to start their stores/ boutiques on social platforms.
Homemakers are not restricted to domesticated chores anymore. Women from a variety of backgrounds with minimum educational qualification are coming forward with unique business ideas and supporting them is the wave of technology.
Digitization has transformed the world into a global village. Having an online presence has become important even for the established business ventures and more so, for the small ventures looking for a cheaper mode of doing business.
With their latest fundraiser of $50 million from Shunwei Capital, DST Partners and RPS Ventures; Meesho has become one of the fastest growing e-commerce companies in India.
Talking to Entrepreneur India, Meesho’s co-founder and CEO, Vidit Aatrey expressed, “Millions of Indians have not been able to start their shop offline because of lack of access to capital,” adding, “For the first time in India, we have given tools to the common individuals to realise their dreams by taking away the need of capital.”
Meesho provides a variety of services including sourcing/curation, logistics, payments and marketing tools to help individuals in starting their businesses easily and without the need for any investment. Vidit started the business with his fellow IITian Sanjeev Barnwal in 2015.
It was an incidental meeting with a few small business owners who had discovered the power of social platforms in starting and scaling their business during their college days that led to the inception of Meesho. “We quickly realised that this is how small businesses will work in the future and built a product to democratise social commerce and enable literally anyone to start this,” Aatrey said.
However, their journey to success wasn’t a walk in the park. In their initial two years, they pivoted twice before landing a perfect model to operate as a social commerce platform. There weren’t many who showcased trust in their business idea. Investors were not interested in funding a dwindling platform but in the end, they were able to convince that ‘this is the market of the future’.
Road to Profitability
Today, Meesho serves over 5 million individuals and enterprises, raised a total of $65 million and achieved 50X growth within 3 years of its launch. With 30 per cent of its user-base coming from the non-English speaking background, Meesho plans to launch in new vernacular languages over time to go deeper into smaller towns and cities.
The platform works to connect resellers directly with raw material suppliers. For every transaction, a reseller makes a commission of 10-20 per cent. The facility to chat online helps resellers identify trusted buyers within their network. Notably, Meesho’s most sales are processed within a network of repeat buyers.
Majority of individuals on the platform deal in art & craft, fashion wear, home and kitchen products among others. They have recently added personal care and nutrition categories to the platform. The recent times have seen social commerce start-ups attracting investors.