Aahaa, one stop solution for enterprises
Asokan Sattanathan, CEO, Aahaa Stores highlights about the company and their services
Tell us about Aahaa Stores? Aahaa Stores is an online private marketplace for large corporates in India. A large company workforce is often located in various places, and their indirect purchasing requirements like stationary, facility items, electronic and IT products are bought locally in small quantities.
It has been very difficult for them to consolidate all such purchases and gain spend efficiencies. While individual purchasing habits have been hugely influenced by eCommerce companies, Corporate purchase of indirect supplies have continued much the same way. In the absence of material codes, demand aggregation and post purchase spend analytics have been a challenge. Aahaa tries to solve this problem for large distributed companies with high volume, low value spend through a well constructed Technology platform that we call Intelligent Procurement Operating System (iPOS). iPOS handles purchase requisition to purchase order to payment cycle very elegantly and efficiently. Based on the past consumption, Aahaa creates an catalogue of often used products for the company and all authorized employees can log into this cloud based platform and place their requirements. After an internal approval through the system, Aahaa delivers those products at their desk anywhere in India in 4 hours to 4 days depending on the items and destination.
Corporates gain benefits of consolidation in terms of better pricing, brand, product quality and shortened lead-times, in addition to superior employee experience. Now they can cut procurement overhead costs and focus on core areas of business. Aahaa provides real time data through our analytical engine for review of spend patterns thereby enabling informed decisions for organizational efficiency. Collated trends and whatif analysis are of immense value in restructuring their opex spend.
We allow business credit to corporates and it varies from 7 days to 30 days. It helps them to deal with one vendor for many items instead of handling too many invoices from multiple vendors. In case of a bank with 1,000 branches, it can get into more than 100,000 transactions in a year involving so much documentation and entries in their books of accounts. With Aahaa it gets reduced to weekly or Fortnightly or monthly entries. We also supply products customized for a customer with their logo as a brand merchandise for their customers, employees and business associates. When we take your order, we will first check the inventory you’re holding and study consumption patterns. Then we program supplies to you on weekly orfortnightly or monthly basis depending on your consumption at that location for that brand. We carry safety stocks to meet natural variations in requirement. we do not believe in subsidizing or discounting our products. Our customers expect high quality service, good experience, sustainability and high level of governance. Our focus is on delivering everything that a client needs through technology. Cost reduction is therefore an obvious bye-product. We deal in Stationery – normal and pre-printed, Housekeeping products, facility management items, IT products, Merchandize gifts, Marcomm products, etc. We have also delivered specific customized items for individual companies like furniture, sanitary wares, repair & maintenance items, Canteen supplies and a host of others. We are buyer based company and try to meet all their requirements under one banner. We are still growing so we do not want to spread ourselves too thin. We are today focusing on Banking, Financial Services and Insurance Sector as they are the ones who have an appetite and opportunity for consolidated buying and have presence across the country What is your go to market strategy for India? Being a growing company, today we have not gone for any advertising. We work on referrals, cold calling and invitations. We have now extended our presence to 6 offices and 7 warehouses so that we could present local resources to customers for day to day interactions. In our next phase, we would go for target marketing through Industry fora, specific events and presenting our credentials to CxO level in big corporates. With this approach, we have been able to triple our sales yearon- year for last three years. We need to intensify our efforts through online presence. What are the technologies used in Aahaa Stores? We integrate micro and macro apps into a full-fledged solution. We follow agile method of solution development by stitching sub-systems together to create one big business solution. We are ever ready to incorporate any new model to address a customer specific business process and also replace individual elements with upgrades. What are your initiatives in Digital India and government sector? As of now, we have not approached any government department or public sector enterprise for business. The reason being long time lead times for conversion and extended payment cycles. A growing startup like ours cannot afford to work on these terms right now. If there is an opportunity to consolidate Government purchases to enhance transactional efficiencies and reduce lead times, without stretching our resources, we will surely get into this. What is your geographical presence? We can deliver across India. The company headquarters is in Chennai. Besides Chennai, we have branches in Bengaluru, Pune, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Gurugram. For some of the banks, we deliver at around 2,500 locations already across the country. We have infrastructure partners for every logistics service from long haul to micro deliveries to last mile.
Apart from the promoters’ capital, in the year 2015 we raised a close to USD 1 million funding and that is what we are running business with. We will look at the next stage if we require more funds. By the end of this financial year, we are looking at annual run rate of Rs. 100 crores in sales and it will be a huge achievement for a startup in its 4th year of operation. We are looking to grow 3-4 times every year going forward. We want to reach Rs. 1000 crore in next 3 years thereafter.
“We allow business credit to corporates and it varies from 7 days to 30 days. It helps them to deal with one vendor for many items instead of handling too many invoices from multiple vendors.”
Asokan Sattanathan CEO, Aahaa Stores