WANTED TO CRE­ATE A FLIP­KART FOR BUILD­ING MA­TE­RI­ALS

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - SUNDAY SPECIAL -

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.”

MAIN CHAL­LENGE:

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.

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