WANTED TO CREATE A FLIPKART FOR BUILDING MATERIALS
THE IDEA: EARLY DAYS:
“We researched the sectors that contributed the most to India’s GDP and were likely to see rapid growth in the next decade,” he says. He identified five verticals — textiles, chemicals, groceries/kirana stores, electronics and construction — that each contributed 2-4% of GDP. “We decided to go with B2B construction based on our research findings.”
Not being paid on time for supplies was the biggest challenge. “As a startup, this placed huge constraints on our working capital,” he says. The construction industry is known for delaying payments but with Bhansali’s business model it had a ripple effect. “Not getting paid by one customer on a big order meant we couldn’t expand or there were delays in buying supplies for other orders. The delay would mean bad reviews, an annoyed customer… it was a spiral.” The company also had trouble working out logistics. “Our trucks would be held up by cops. Our drivers would get harassed for bribes,” he says.
WHERE THE STARTUP IS TODAY:
“We have 250 customers, which include contractors, builders and individual home owners, every month. Some big builders who have bought from us include NCC Urban, Sriram Properties and Sipani Builders,” he says.