Ethnic fashion e-marketplace, Craftsvilla, is on a simple mission – to take people back to their roots, connect them to their culture. The company has raised nearly $53 million from marquee investors, but has dropped all plans of an IPO in recent times. Instead, they are focusing on turning profitable and a 100 per cent month-on-month growth during this festive season.
In an exclusive interview to Indiaretailing Bureau, Craftsvilla Co-Founder Manoj Gupta talks about how his company is investing in new categories, customer experience, logistics and payments…
A majority of online players are investing on improving merchant engagement and back-end operations for the upcoming festive season. What are you doing to woo consumers?
We are investing a lot in customer experience, payments and logistics. Our logistics partner Sendd has scalable capacity and we expect to deliver products to customer in record time this Diwali. We are also making sure the quality of our products is very high so that there are lesser returns this Diwali and customers are super happy with our products.
What can customers expect from this year’s festive season sale, especially since e-tailers can’t offer discounts post the new FDI norms?
We have never offered discounts. This is a company policy that we have been following since inception. All the offers and discounts that are reflected on our platform are offered directly by the sellers for the consumers. Hence the change in policies does not have any direct impact on us.
What are your expectations in terms of growth and incremental sales this year?
The festive season is an important period for us and we celebrate it to the fullest. Like last year, this year too we are expecting around a 100 per cent month-on-month growth during this period.
At present, our average ticket size is about Rs 1,300. Our month-on-month growth in order numbers is 5-10 per cent, with around 60 per cent orders coming from Tier II cities. Our repeat customer base stands at 40 per cent.
Last year, you announced plans of opening a few experience stores by March 2016. Why haven’t you opened any? Is the plan still in the pipeline? If yes, by when can expect these stores to be launched?
At this moment we would want to focus on giving great online customer experience and not divert our attention to any offline play.
You are in the process of planning a $1 billion listing on Nasdaq in 18 months. Going public with an IPO is something companies like Flipkart and Snapdeal have not considered doing yet. When do you plan on going public?
We are not looking to do any more fundraising, through another round or IPO (initial public offering) right now as our key focus is on profitability and generating cash. That might happen in the future, but not right now.
What are your future / expansion plans?
We are small right now in organic, personal care and Ayurveda, but we will keep investing in those categories. Our future plan is to offer great products at great prices to benefit the users. We are looking to add categories in the ethnic space and have an international presence soon.
We are doing very well in ethnic foods, home décor, and crafts, so we will be building that. We are also looking at Ayurvedic products and men’s ethnic fashion now. In fact, we have acquired three companies – logistics company Sendd, ethnic foods e-tailer Places of Origin, and clothes rental company F2SO4.
Any plans of launching a private label?
We are thinking of it, but there are no concrete plans as of now.