The growing popularity of e-commerce in India has prompted SMEs and start-ups based out of Chandigarh to seek their fortune in the virtual marketplace with unique concepts. Despite competition from established players, these entrepreneurs said that their products' uniqueness has put them ahead.
While Chandigarh-based Pumpkart.com is the first portal of its kind offering a wide variety of water pumps online, trideal.in provides the best deals and discounts on the purchase of services and products and is currently focusing on Chandigarh, Mohali and Panchkula. Another start-up, Postmygreetings.com, specialises in personalised gifts.
Pumpkart.com founder K S Bhatia said, "Consumers are often cheated by dealers and wholesalers, who charge exorbitant amounts for pumps. The common people need a place where they can get the exact company prices of a product to compare and decide. Further, the use of pumps nowadays is not limited to agriculture alone; they are also used by residential and commercial establishments and industries. Taking these things into consideration we launched India's first online store for water pumps. We aim to modernise this industry and offer assistance to individuals in finding and buying the right pump for their needs."
Bhatia estimates the size of the unorganised sector in water pumps - including domestic, agricultural and industrial - at around Rs 25,000 crore, and that of the organised sector at around Rs 15,000 crore. "The potential is huge but unfortunately this sector has not been aggressively targeted in an organised way," he added. Bhatia was in the water pump business for 15 years, and the rapid strides made by e-commerce in India prompted him to venture into it.
Launched six months ago, Pumpkart gets about 1,000 orders per month. "The numbers might seem small, because the online market for water pumps is at a nascent stage, but we are growing every month," Bhatia said. The company plans to add a wide range of other home products including water heaters, jacuzzis and shower panels to strengthen its customer base. It also plans to launch a mobile application to facilitate online pump buying.
Trideal.in is another recently set-up Chandigarh-based portal, and does business of Rs 20-25 lakh per month. Sameer Sharma, the company's co-founder, said, "We are engaged in providing the best deals and discounts to our clients on the purchase of services and products. We focus on the tri-city consisting of Chandigarh, Mohali and Panchkula. On average we get 6,600-7000 visitors daily, which shows we are very popular in the tri-city region. The uniqueness about our service is that we do a lot of hand-holding, whether it is customers or merchants. We want merchants to generate business."
Since the company is local, it can take quick decisions in areas such as resolving customer complaints, compared to other players, said Sharma. Trideal.in has plans to launch a student card to offer them discounts for products and services, and is tying up with universities.
Postmygreetings.com is another example. Founded in May 2013, the website provides a one-stop shop where customers can buy personalised gifts online - such as greeting cards, mugs, t-shirts and postcards - for friends and relatives, and send them through the company's free gift delivery service. Once it scales up, the company plans to have its own warehouse.
Hitanshu Bhalla, CEO of Postmygreetings.com, had told Business Standard in an earlier interview that he started the venture because there was then no platform for personalised gifts. "There is immense opportunity in this field and we are growing with the passage of time," he said.