Candid Chat with Kunal Bahl, CEO Snapdeal

Kunal bahl CEO Snapdeal

Kunal Bahl, CEO, Snapdeal started his entrepreneurial voyage at age of 25 with seed fund of INR 4,000,000. Although he had to struggle at every turn of business in initial year but later it grabbed the eyeballs of consumers with its whopping discount prices coupons on diverse deal categories. In an interaction with iamwire, Bahl spoke on various aspects raging from strategy and planning  to launch of new categories (i.e, product and travel), offline advertising, consumers complains etc. Read full interaction below

1.  What are your views about online retail growth in India?
Given the growth of internet penetration and the number of credit card holders, the entire e-commerce industry will definitely continue to see explosive growth in the future as well. There are app. 90 mn internet users in India out of which around 20 mn would be Active Internet users. A substantial number out of these users would be shopping online for various products and services. There is also a lot of willingness now, from both the customers and the retailers to use online platform as a significant channel for buying & selling goods and services. This is something which will definitely spur the growth of online retail in India.

2. With a lot of retailers are coming online. Do you foresee the competition with Snapdeal?
We are not competing with the retailers, but are in a “symbiotic” relationship with them. Our goal is to increase the market. Snapdeal is used as a channel to not only acquire new customers but also to liquidate perishable distress inventory. We are helping them recover costs on these with attractive offers. Snapdeal also acts as a risk-free alternate marketing channel for all of these retailers.

3. Do you have any plans to venture in to other retail formats like market place and non-discounted retail store?
We constantly innovate with our product offerings, as per the demands of the customer. There are two new categories which we have introduced – products and travel. The product category includes very attractive deals, typically 50% off, on products such as mobile phones, electronic gadgets, branded fashion products, sunglasses, wallets, among others. In the case of travel, Snapdeal features the best leisure and business travel destinations across India at national best prices. We want our consumers to consider Snapdeal as a one-stop-shop platform for best-in-market deals on anything to do with local merchants, branded retailers, products and travel. As of now, we are focused on expanding the options within these categories. But if there is demand from the customers for other formats within the online space, we will definitely evaluate it.

4. Recently we have seen Snapdeal advertising on offline mediums like television. What is the Strategy behind it and will you suggest it to other retailers?
We were the first non-travel ecommerce company in India to do TV advertising. Many of our well wishers told us not to do TV, but we planned the media very effectively. We had a partnership with MTV Roadies where SnapDeal was featured in one of the episodes. The day that episode was aired, we got two million visitors on the site and 150,000 new subscribers. Right now we are adding 1.5 million subscribers per month and by the end of the year, we will be having 1.5 crore subscribers. It is not that branding doesn’t work on internet. Performance advertising does work well and this also contributes to your brand being built. So on internet, branding is a by-product of online ads. However, Indian consumers have this peculiar way of thinking that companies which do above the line (ATL) advertisements are “genuine”. That might not remain the same five years from now, but presently this is the case. Our TV ads fetched us good numbers and this is because when awareness meets availability, consumers act.

5. We have come across some customer’s experience — they are facing difficulty from sellers at your site. What actions you are taking to achieve their (customers) satisfaction?
We ensure that each and every customer has a seamless experience after buying goods and services from our website. We also request feedback from our customers, and we strive to never leave a customer dissatisfied with our services. We have a no questions asked refund policy in case any of the customers is unhappy for whatever reason. We have QA & Audit teams in place across cities, and their primary job is to ensure that the customer experience is superior. They also train the merchant staff, so that our customers do not face any hassles while redeeming the deal at the merchant locations. SnapDeal rigorously pre-screens every merchant and even trains them weekly on things like customer feedback and best practices in service.

6. What is the most challenging aspect in running online deal site?
The most challenging aspect of running an online deal site, is to be able to build an element of trust with the end customer. The customer is pre-booking and buying goods and services, and there is an expectation that the rest of the experience would be seamless. Our team is focused on ensuring the same, and it is this customer centricity which will build long term relationship with the customers, and make them loyal.

7. What are your suggestions for new start ups in online retail?
Building the best consumer experience is what matters the most, even if the idea isn’t the most innovative. It’s the execution that matters.

"We are using lot of analytic and MIS reporting in terms of our day to day working", Pawan Gadia, CEO, Ferns and Petals
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  • http://www.snapdeal.com saumitra

    I am waiting for refund of an order since 17th November, 2014. Contacted several times to customer care and wrote atleast 100 emails requesting for transaction details of the refund which you have processed. Till date apart from cut copy paste replies I have not got the refund. A simple email that we have processed the refund contact your bank. My bank says contact to Snap deal. I am sure, my money is gone. No problem. I will try my level best to defame you guys and let other know what happened with me. At least some will be saved. already saved atleast 30 friends of mine :D

  • mukul

    sir do you want warehouse in ghaziabad(UP)

  • Damodhara Kamath K

    Dear have ordered on Snapdeal on 24th November. The order number is 3689186116.
    To my surprise i still find on the website that the material is yet to be picked up from ur vendor for delivery.
    Today is 28th November 2014. If u people take 4 days for just picking up the material from the vendor place, god knows how many days will the courier take to deliver the goods.

    Do u think that the customer will wait for the same.

    In todays world, its actually counting on the number of hours it takes for delivery. Those days are gone when people used to wait.

    Pl do something before the empire u built over these years crashes.

    I still have hope that you people change the attitude.

  • rajeev

    problem not resolved yetr regarding order
    no- 3536830249

  • Avinash Walunj

    not cancelling order and not initiating refund
    hello my order no 3135479625 .i had ordered a Lenovo All in One Desktop worth 23000/-INR on 11th October 2014. I have made payment on line through Credit card on the same date.

    I was not able to track my order because wrong way bill no. posted on track my record page. I have contacted your customer care many many times for this issue. But i have not get solution for this problem.

    Then i have contacted Mr. Nitin team leader for the cancellation of my order, he orally committed me to cancel the order on 21st Oct, 2014. On 3d Nov 2014, i came to know that Mr. Nitin has not initiated the process for cancellation. In between i have paid the EMI of product which i have not received.

    i have contacted your customer care person and team leader Mr. Nitin, but i have not received any solution or money.
    Every time they say “your request has been forwarded to our team”.

    On 6th of Nov. 2014 they have received the product back but till date i have not received refund.

    I have mailed this issue to ceo@sanpdeal.com, coo@snapdeal.com, help@snapdeal.com, info@snapdeal.com but didn’t get reply till date now.

    i am frustrated very much because of you snapdeal. And fed up with the service offered by snapdeal.

    Now i m thinking to lodge FIR against the company and file a case in consumer court.

    I request to all my friend don’t go for snapdeal for online purchase. Even on cash on delivery, because you will get same harassment in case product is in broken condition or not good. You will not get your money and you have to run behind the snapdeal customer care you will not get the solution for ur problem.

    Some authority like consumer court needs to take some hard step against company on it’s own.

    thank you
    AVINASH
    walunjavinash@yahoo.co.in

  • SAMEER

    Dear Kunal Ji,

    just tell me that what should a customer do when company like snapdeal gives a fake service (gives illegal product to the customer , doing fraud) so you think deep about it please. I had a products #(dell inspiron 3537 Snapdeal against the order number #1895893031) which was purchased by your site , finally you refunded my money but almost continuously 5 months I faced a problem Still Let I inform you that if I write an email to consumer forum with your financer email So you please clarify me that where will be go your image , your position , your service, your customer (who are very important for your business) and i think so that if you give this type of fake service, illegal service than definitely somebody here can complaint against you. Now I can tell you that rather i got my money back but still i will complaint everything against your service. I am not that kind of guy or any you know direct shuffle man I definitely will write an email to consumer forum. I lost my job , I lost time which i suffered for this fake service. Now you decide what you need to do.?//

    I personally given you an email also. You can see there.

  • Annie

    Mr Raunak let me tell you all your products are covered under Trust pay policy and the courier companies are not snapdeal`s its a secondary thing they are also dealing in the same way that you can , and every complaint takes some time right !!..they are the best :D

  • Raunak Jain

    what should a customer do when a company like snapdeal tell him that we will not be able to deliver a product and kept him waiting for 15 days and for all these days they keep assuring him that the product will be delivered. the company keep on juggling the customer between their customer care and their courier company. i want to know why should a customer suffer if the mistake is done by your courier company ????? http://www.snapdeal.com

  • http://www.seoservicecompanybangalore.blogspot.com/ SEO Company Bangalore

    Very good learning stuff thanks for sharing.