Ecommerce in India is at its turbulent best. New players are coming up, the older players are innovating, everybody is working towards becoming the biggest player in the segment. But till date has anyone completely understood the Great Indian consumer? Well, the total internet user base in India (inclusive of shared devices and mobile) is at 124 million users in the month of July 2012. 1 out of every 10 Indians are online making it a 10% online user penetration in India. With 75% of online audience between the age group of 15-34 years, India is one of the youngest online demographic globally. This is expected to be a continuing trend in coming years, given the age distribution in India. This sounds good for the aspirants and the existing players of the ecommerce segment, but not necessarily work out to be that beneficial. Ecommerce companies need to work a lot to create a brand, a niche for themselves.
The retail category penetration has increased to 60% reach and has grown to 37.5 million unique visitors a month, an overall growth of 43% annually. The growth has come across all retail categories, yet for sustainable growth, the players need to move beyond the price-war, and recently used, email spamming. Here we have Masticart, an online sales platform for Electronics, home appliances, personal care, health care, fashion wear and accessories. A “product eccentric” company, Masticart launched in June, 2012, and is growing at a steady pace.
In a short span of 6 months Masticart has sold more than 15,000 products, and is growing at a pace of 20% monthly. Masticart is led by Rachit Mathur, Founder & CEO, who manages the Business Development, international sourcing, and online Sales. Rachit started his carrier in 2005 working with his father in his C.A firm as an Audit Article. Soon he realized that this was not his cup of tea.
“I always wanted to do something in Internet and in 2008 started my first Internet venture called Totalfitness.in. Total Fitness aimed at providing fitness tips, health and diet charts to people online. We had experienced trainers on board but were too premature in the Internet World and eventually had to close down to a lack of an ecosystem.” Post this, Rachit started with a import house RKM Global Services in which they imported and distributed various goods from China to India. In 2010 he launched theirfirst private label brand “RKM” for Home Care and Cleaning. By 2010 end RKM proved to be the vendors to all big ecommerce players due to their unique product range and special focus on products for e-commerce which could be shipped easily. “With our private label brands established and selling well we thought its time to open our own selling platform and in June 2012 Masticart.com was born,” adds Rachit. Today, Rachit is assisted by Dilkash Rai Malhotra, Chief Business Strategist, Rashi Agarwal, Head Sourcing, Rakesh Kumar, Chief Financial Advisor, and Rahul Mehta, Chief Technology Advisor.
“We see a majority of transactions happening from tier 2 and 3 cities. Our major clientele comes from South India. Also we have seen a rise in the number of people using prepaid payment methods vs COD. The good thing is people are starting to gain trust while shopping online and realising shopping online very convenient. The current price sweet spot remains under Rs.1000 amongst online shoppers and mobile and accessories still remains the most favourable category,” says Rachit.
Masticart is different from the other ecommerce players in that it sells some products that are not available anywhere else. Masticart is attempting to build a first of its kind-multi category private label brand. “We have our own warehouse and office space making our cost of operations low. Our profit margins on our products is 50-200 % giving us good returns and profitability in the long run,” adds Rachit.
Some of Masticart’s unique products:
- Bladeless Fans
- Fancy Kitchen Knife Sets
- Spin Dry Mop
- Twist Mop
- Space Saving Vacuum Bags
- Handy Steam Cleaner
- Air Fryer
- Power Car Washer
- Walking Aid Rollator
- Womens Body Shaper
- Mens Body Shaper
Finally talking about the, recently concluded, Great Online Shopping Festival, or GOSF as it is known, Rachit says that, “The GOSF was a great initiative by few online companies to promote themselves and industry in whole. But what I feel it lacked was the “X” factor. The deals were not extraordinary nor any big discounts were offered as was promised. Also the awareness on GOSF on an overall level was very low. Lot of online users were not aware of it. It needed hope hype around it. No doubt it was a great concept but needed more push and more players to participate in it.”
The Great Online Shopping Festival or GOSF was touted to be the Cyber Monday for Indian consumers, but did it really work out that way? Read this retrospective look at GOSF for more.