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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  • Raju Garu

    worst service from snapdeal, much delayed delivery compared with flipkart and worst ever refund policy, when purchasing they deal with the company, but when refunding they ask us to deal with the company

  • Priyanka

    Snapdeal is the worst thing existing in the 21st century, the word “snapdeal” now holds a new meaning, which is the height of incompetence, disgusting customer service, shameless support executives, coward managers, so all in all its a shit hole run by idiots who redefine the height of idiocity each day. i had purchased a double bed with free mattress, and my order was messed not once, but twice, even the replacement product was delivered partially, on top of that, the customer support agents never called me back or replied to my emails, and they denied sharing their ceo’s email address, I’m not even sure if he knows what kind of a freak show he’s running. Let me also tell you, that its been about a month since i’d placed the order and till today, all they say is, “give us 24-48 hours”, and “we will get in touch with the seller and investigate”, can you believe it?? One whole month, no reply to emails, no call back, no resolution, no update, nothing, on top of that, the customer support representative, Ms. Nishat, was the icing on the cake, she had no manners to talk, full of arrogance, plus, for some reason, probably i sound funny when i speak, coz if its not so, I don’t see why she’d be giggling with her background friends, also, the manager she connected me to, Mr. Kaushal, made n number of assurance, and it didn’t take the man one minute to vanish in thin air, on top of that, i had to wait for 2 days and speak to 3 different people to get the woman to even apologize. I hope Mr. Kunal is reading this, coz i’m sorry to say, but there are only so many things you can mess up and believe me when i say this, but your company, is messing up with everything so bad that if you really do not straighten things out, you’ll be sorry.

  • jaz

    Mr.kunal when you were struggling , then you know how difficult is to built a platform.But now your advisors are making others harass like for refund issues.My complaint no.19017564 is pending from 15 th may and not solved by any of team.

  • vinod kumar

    Dear Kunal,

    Myself Vinod Kumar working in Qatar Country (Middle east) as a Aircraft Engineer, as i heard Snapdeal is about to expend their service and Snapdeal requires some assets to do this, i would like to invest some assets (my savings) with Snapdeal ,kindly advise how i can reach to you easily and invest my assets.

    email id : vinod747200@gmail.com, vinonirwan@gmail.com
    mob no : +97433444850

    thanks and regards
    vinod

  • Rajakumar

    —– Forwarded Message —–
    From: “help@snapdeal.com”
    To: “rajaush69@yahoo.com”
    Sent: Thursday, May 21, 2015 9:26 PM
    Subject: Re: Snapdeal Customer Support Case # 01421308: SCANNED SCREEN SHOT ENCLOSED – MICROMAX CANVAS SPARK MOBILE – ORDER PLACED AND WAS SUCCESSFUL – REGARDING

    Dear Ramasamy,

    Greetings from Snapdeal!

    Please accept our sincere apology for the inconvenience you may have experienced. We request you to treat this incident as an exception, and not as a yardstick to evaluate the quality of service, we strive to achieve for our valued customers.
    We do appreciate hearing from our customers, as their comments are vital for us to improving our services.

    Due to high demand the products sold out within 2-3 min.

    We would like to inform you that the next registration period for Micromax Canvas Spark is from 12 noon 21st May to 8 PM 26th May 2015 . The next sale will be at 12 noon on 27th May 2015.

    We request you to log in on Snapdeal 15 minutes before 12:00 Noon on 27th May, 2015. At exact 12 noon, press the ‘Buy Now’ button and then hit ‘Confirm Order’ to complete the booking.

    ————— Original Message —————
    From: Ramasamy Rajakumar [rajaush69@yahoo.com]
    Sent: 21/5/2015 5:13 PM
    To: help@snapdeal.com
    Cc: info@snapdeal.com
    Subject: Re: Snapdeal Customer Support Case # 01421308: SCANNED SCREEN SHOT ENCLOSED – MICROMAX CANVAS SPARK MOBILE – ORDER PLACED AND WAS SUCCESSFUL – REGARDING

    Request No.01421308
    Dear Sir,
    In continuation of the telecon I had with your customer care executive Sneha today in the morning around 10.45 am, I wish to confirm that I require the product which I have ordered viz. Micromax Canvas Spark Mobile Grey Colour (Not white) at Rs.4,999/- as I was successful in my attempt on 20.05.15 at 12.00 noon. Your customer care executive suggested that I should participate in your registration once again when it is notified. This is highly irregular and attrocious. In the initial attempt, I faced a failure and in the second attempt on 20.05.15, I was successful. Then why you are reluctant to honour your own commitment by not sending the SMS confirmation followed by the e-mail confirmation for the purchase despite a two day lapse. Now time is 5.00 pm. Your team has not contacted me so far as informed by your executive and no further information is forthcoming from your side. I am surprised to see that you have again floated in snap deal the auction giving five days upto 26.05.15 and auction and attempt date on 27.05.15. Then what is the problem that you are having in just honouring one piece of mobile to the successful purchaser on 20.05.15 at 12.00 noon viz. me. This attitude will make the customers to think and create a bad image about Snap Deal. Hence in order to save your image as good in public, I request you to send the SMS confirmation immediately followed by E-mail confirmation as well so as to enable me to keep money to honour my commitment when the product is delivered to me. I require immediate positive response from you forthwith and not with any bloody suggestion of participating once again by me by registering afresh or keeping silence or acting with a careless attitude towards your own customers. I sincerely believe that you will not cheat me in this regard. In fact it is a presentation to my wife for completion of 30 years of wedded life and now you have put me in an embarrassment situation before her. Sorry to express my anguish but I have no other option other than that as I am a human being 60 years old.
    Thanking you,
    Rajakumar R.Mobile: 9840927227E-mail: rajaush69@yahoo.com

    From: Snapdeal Support
    To: “rajaush69@yahoo.com”
    Sent: Wednesday, May 20, 2015 4:40 PM
    Subject: Snapdeal Customer Support Case # 01421308: SCANNED SCREEN SHOT ENCLOSED – MICROMAX CANVAS SPARK MOBILE – ORDER PLACED AND WAS SUCCESSFUL – REGARDING

    Dear Customer,

    Thank you for contacting Snapdeal.com.

    Your request number is 01421308

    Kindly quote this ticket number for any future communication with us regarding your query. Our team will get back to you in 48 hours.

    You can also reach out to us anytime at the link given below

    http://www.snapdeal.com/info/contactus?utm_source=cs_helpDeskResponseEmail

    In case of any further assistance or clarification on this issue, please reply back to this email. Assuring you of our best services always, Yours sincerely, Customer Service Team – Snapdeal.com —————————————————————————————————————————— All purchases covered by TrustPay guarantee Click here to learn more: http://www.snapdeal.com/info/TrustPayref:_00D90wAYI._50090pEzzr:ref

  • latika khanna

    Hello sir we have got a hitachi car washer through snap deal order no 5876253552 which is attach to the electricity pint but we have order car washer attach to the lighter point . We are very disappointed as we have got the wrong order and also we havent got the full parts with that stuff .please look into this matter as soon as possible as my father is very much angry with this snapdeal , also your customer care guys dont know how to speak with the elders .

  • hema khemka

    product has been picked up since many days back but not a single sign of refund….is this how you play with people”s money?everytime i mail the same answer that our team is investigating …what to investigate..i got a mail saying that refund is successful but still how cud you do this man?make another category on snapdeal “donate money to snapdeal” so that i will think that i have donated money to snapdeal…and i will donate more

  • sivakumar

    Snapdeal not only harassing their customer, they also harassing their sellers as well.
    1. They changed our company name without any information / request.
    2. Till now we don’t know who is our accounts manager.
    3. We want sell our items to clearance sale, a month back we wrote a mail to snapdeal team, till now we haven’t received any response from.
    4. No Service, Worst Management, false promises.

    Sivakumar

  • Vik

    I am surprised that how snapdeal got failed in serving their customers, who actually made Kunal Bahl something, and after reading all these complaints I am sure snapdeal is not completely overlooking the customers. I also had a very bad experience with Snapdeal many times.
    So, if all of you complainers are agreed, we can take this matter to the court and can make snapdeal to do a better business and put customer first. Lets start a petition and we altogether will take snapdeal down to the earth. Snapdeal will not do anything by themselves, we all have to unite together to make it work. Waiting for your comments.
    Jago grahak Jago!!!

  • Mahesh Bhoi

    10% cash back is not refunded, complaining to snapdeal and bank since 34 Days. Complaint#14091090

    • Online_CST

      Dear Mahesh,

      Sorry for the inconvenience. This is to inform you that your concern has been noted and our team is
      working on it. For any further clarifications, please write to us at help@snapdeal.com and kindly mention your order ID in your subject line.
      Thank You for your cooperation.

      Regards,
      Snapdeal Online Team

  • Chandan Agrawal

    I too agree with Alok.

  • Chandan Agrawal

    Hi,

    This is Chandan Agrawal. I purchased an EPSON printer L800, Order ID is 4360173901, product was delivered on 17th Jan. Product is faulty. Now while contacting Snapdeal, Snapdeal says to contact EPSON to provide the job sheet, other side EPSON says that the product is been purchased online and I am required to contact SNAPDEAL only. Now what shall i do. I Called so many times on SNAPDEAL but everyday the repeated line to hear ” we will process your request shortly “, but nobody gives me the timeline or proper resolution required.

    Is this the kind of services we should expect from the online shopping. Really feeling bad once i think about that I have done a mistake by purchasing a product from SNAPDEAL. As well as Really fedup to think about EPSON after hearing that the PRODUCT IS BEEN PURCHASED ONLINE AND I NEED TO CONTACT SNAPDEAL. Product contains the manufacturer warranty, still nobody is even bothered to revert us.

    Please help . Replace the product or else refund my money.

    I can be contacted on : chandan.agrawal06@gmail.com
    Mob : +91 8123013000

    Please do not provide any more help desk ID’s.

  • KARTIK THAKUR

    order number:-4356940449

    Dear Concern,

    My Name is Kirti Singh i just wanted to share a bad experience i had with your organisation.
    I placed a order on your Website on 9th jan 2015, and maximum date for delivery was committed 17th Jan 2015, but on very same day after my complaint i received a message that Snapdeal is not able to deliver my order, and now when i asked them to place same order they said you have to pay more cost, and promo is not available now, i haven’t cancel my order and if company was not able to deliver the order on time then its your issue. if company is not in condition to offer its product they should not make fool of public and should not run such offers. i had waited for more then 10 day for my order and then i came to know that my order is not going to deliver this is really a pathetic job you people are doing. this is most worst experience ever I experienced with online shopping. there is no customer satisfaction, it is worst.

    Deeply regret to write this word but it is realty.

    Regards.

    Kirti Singh

    • Chandan Agrawal

      Same thing i faced with flip-kart as well once in 2014. These all BIG-SHOT online Shopping portals have started fooling around.

      Snapdeal top’s on such issues.

  • manjari goel

    Order#: 4251264471 and complaint#: 14348272

    I wanted to return the product back to snapdeal and I was assured that it will be done. I have forwarded a request 4 times but no one has turned up as yet to collect the order.

    I am following up with snapdeal on a daily basis but no one is there to listen.
    Everytime I call snapdeal, I am provided with an assurance that it will be done next day. But it has not been done as yet.

    SNAPDEAL is a FRAUDULENT COMPANY.

    Snapdeal wants only hard earned money of its customers.

    Manjari

    • Chandan Agrawal

      I too agree with Manjiri.

  • shilpi

    How long do I need to wait for the so called snapdeal team to take actions and pick up the junk product from the doorstep . Every time an executive comes up with a different commitment that they are looking into the issue and are working on it . I dont understand that why am I forced to take actions and do followups for it .My product comes under the return policy , and I have raised the alarm before time , then why do I need to go to the apple store to prove that my product is a junk one .?????

    I am shooting this mail as a final notification to Snapdeal , If i dont come up with a resolution from Snapdeal within 24hrs , I shall be forced to drag Sanpdeal to consumer court .

    • Chandan Agrawal

      You need to stop all of your work and run behind these people, then only any chance is there….Even i am thinking to go with snapdeal for some related issue.

  • Pushkar

    Hi kunal,

    I am Pushkar Gupta
    last year on 15th nov. 2014 i placed my order in snapdeal. witch i got on 19th nov 2014. My Order ID 3588893088 (Google nexus 5) it was faulty product.. after all revers pick and all snapdeal got my new mobile from your vendor on 25th nov 2014. Its new year started now. on 7th of Jan 2015 Still after paying on 19th nov. my mobile still in snapdeal. Calling everyday for mobile its very bad. their is no prompt reply from snapdeal. my ticket no given by snapdeal person is 12126842. Please replace me my new product.

    Thank you,
    Pushkar Gupta

  • Hemant Chauhan

    An email to Snapdeal CEO…

    Hello Kunal,

    Myself Hemant Chauhan from Ghaziabad and a regular customer of Snapdeal!

    I am writing this email to you to bring a matter of failure (poor services)in your knowledge as I am really very disappointed with the services I got this time!

    Actually I have ordered two different Duke jackets (Duke Brown Cotton Casual Jackets and Duke Green Cotton Casual Jackets) under order reference no. 3960764051 and 3855543328,Order Placed On : 12th , December 2014

    To update you, I didn’t get the order and got the mail of cancelation saying that it was out of order but I could see these jackets are still available. This is not a first time for me the order got canceled without any proper reason.

    I ordered these items to gift one of my friend leaving to US before Christmas

    Can you please look into this matter as it is nothing but just a heart breaking incident for me which is forcing me not to buy anything from Snapdeal
    again in future!!

    Regards,
    Hemant Chauhan

  • 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

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    • Abhay

      Hi Snapdeal Guys,

      Please let me know the last time when you buy a product from snapdeal or you all are using flipkart?

      The CC representative is a typical low paid india staff. They don’t have any answer. Vendor supply duplicate stuff. delivery is also take long time.

      You guys can cancel any order without asking to any customer. What you guys are doing?

      Please start using your site and please talk with you Customer care team.

      For you ref following is my order numbers on which i enjoyed snapdeal service.

      1. 5391178970
      Delivered wrong colour and duplicate product.

      2.Order ID: 4183788966

      Cancel without asking after 20 Days.