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Business Standard to be a $1-billion business in 3 yrs: Kunal Bahl

Interview with Co-founder and chief executive, Snapdeal

Digbijay Mishra & Sounak Mitra, an online marketplace, has acquired, a site that sells luxury and lifestyle products. With this sixth acquisition, the Delhi-based e-commerce company enters an estimated $15-billion luxury market. Kunal Bahl, co-founder and chief executive of Snapdeal, tells Digbijay Mishra & Sounak Mitra about his aspiration to create India’s first online luxury mall. Excerpts:

What is the reason behind buying

We were convinced about luxury as a great opportunity. complements our existing line of products; it does not compete. It fits well into our overall strategy to focus on fashion as a category. At present, fashion brings about 65 per cent of orders. will bring in a select range of high-end products, by more than 100 designers and brands across the world. Luxury as a category needs to be massified, so that it reaches as many consumers as possible.

How big is the deal size, and will you retain the brand?

It’s a conscious decision to keep the brand. will operate as a separate vertical and be looked after by its founders. It will be 100 per cent owned by Snapdeal, and its founders will have equity in Snapdeal. There’s a lot we need to do from here. On deal value, it’s not much about the size but the significance that it bodes for Snapdeal in the long run. And, will continue to operate as a marketplace.

Where do you see after a couple of years?

By the end of this year, this would be $100 million (Rs 620 crore), and within three years, a $1-billion business for us. The luxury good market in India is estimated at $15-16 billion, while its online model has almost no presence. We want to establish India’s first online luxury mall.

As luxury products have a better ticket size, how will help increase your revenue?

The average selling price is naturally higher and the transaction fee is different. What brings is incremental growth for Snapdeal. There’s a certain percentage of our existing 40 million users who aspire to buy at least one luxury fashion product. We are making luxury available at their doorsteps.

Will the delivery model be the same as Snapdeal’s?

We’ll have a different delivery model, with options for customisation. In the end, luxury fashion products by top-end designers can’t be delivered the usual way. The consumer should also feel a sense of luxury while receiving the product.

How soon do you plan to ramp up the offering on

Over six months, we will increase the number of designers by two to three times. We also have plans to bring more foreign brands and designers, essentially ones having some exposure in India or to Indian consumers. We are enabling access for designers from every stratum of society, which might not have the strength to boost their presence in the physical retail space. Over the next few months, there will be a lot of action in the space.

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First Published: Wed, February 18 2015. 00:48 IST