Featured Startup Pitch: Shopatplaces is making items from famous places available to people around the world at ‘best buy’ prices
Founders: Sherfur Rehman and Zuhaib Khan
Headquarters: New Delhi, India
Year Founded: 2012
Brief Company Description: Shopatplaces is an ecommerce venture which provides authentic products from places famous for them, at the doorstep of customers.
Founded in 2012, Shopatplaces is the one-stop destination for authentic stuff from places famous for them. Customers can possess quality products like Chikankari apparel from Lucknow, Pashmina scarves from Kashmir and so on, without having to travel to these places. We hope to cover all states of India within a year of our launch and add products from international locations like Italian leather products and Indonesian batik prints after that.
We are focusing on four categories as of now: Accessories, Apparel, Bags and Fragrances. You can see the first three on our site right now and we will be launching Fragrances in a week. We are selling products at the prices which are lower than the retail price of those products from the places they are sourced from. This way, we want to offer a great proposition to our customers, that they can buy authentic products from famous places at the best prices possible.
Prior to Shopatplaces, I was working in the Supply Chain and Procurement division of Cadbury India, which I had joined after completing my MBA from NITIE, Mumbai. I had worked in Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC)’s Delhi office as an engineer before that as I had completed my Electronics & Communication Engineering from Jamia, Delhi.
Zuhaib is the other co-founder of Shopatplaces and we were friends and classmates during our engineering days. After completing his engineering, he went on to do an MBA from FMS, Delhi. He has worked in private equity and investment banking domains with firms like Casa Capital, JP Morgan and Mape Advisory in Mumbai and London offices.
As in any startup, both of us work together with our team on everything, be it supply chain, finance or marketing.
Our marketing strategy will be a mix of both online as well as offline marketing. Till now our focus will be on social media and we are getting good traction from it. However, we are in nice product categories, and hence we will focus more on offline or on-ground marketing campaigns to reach out to our target segment. We will gauge the initial response and improve our campaigns to replicate the same marketing message through online mass mediums.
How Our Company Differentiates Itself from the Competition
We are the first ones to execute this concept of ‘Famous Places. Best Buys.’ You can think of this concept as a re-invention of the trade on the famous ‘Silk Route’.
Shopatplaces delivers authentic products from places famous for them to the customer’s doorstep. We have on our site those and only those products which are famous from a particular place. We make these hard to find products available to our customers and provide assurance of quality with a promise of best buy, with prices lower than the retail price of these authentic products in the locations they are sourced from.
FabIndia is our close peer in this segment, but again, we are not into handcrafted products only. Another first in the Indian market is the service of ‘Free Customization’ that we provide to our customers, whereby they can give their measurements and can get apparel tailored for themselves, absolutely free.
By the response we are getting, there is a huge demand for such products and we are already delivering across India. We have been getting an unbelievable number of requests for these products from outside India and we hope to start delivering across the world very soon.
We are a bridge between the artisans and small manufacturers who manufacture quality, authentic products and the customers who want such products but are put off by the high prices at which they can possess them currently. The only reason for such high prices are the leakages in the supply chain in this unorganized market. Our focus is on the retail customers and we should be getting a major portion of our revenue from them.
We plan to reach 100 sales a day within six months with an average ticket size of Rs.1,000-1,200 and we are on track to achieve it. After that we should enter a phase of exponential growth.
We are looking for mentors who can help us out in scaling up this business. Would love to hear from interested and experienced people.
Shopatplaces – www.shopatplaces.com