Startup Showcase: Indiebazaar

www.indiebazaar.com is an online portal that allows independent designers and artists to set up free online stores and sell their products to markets all over India. It brings together a new breed of independent artists, designers and musicians and provides them with a profitable outlet for their creativity.

Talking about Indiebazaar, co-founder Ankit Tulsyan says, “In a market choking on mass manufactured goods, we are trying to win back for the average consumer the option to experience things that are truly unique.”

Its been 5 months since its launch and Indiebazaar has around 165 different stores listed on the portal from across India, 150 artists and designers and has sold about 815 items so far among which Fashion Jewellery, Bags, Scarves, etc are the highest selling category and get around 1000 unique visitors per day. The company currently has 3500 products listed online. Apart from India, Indiebazaar is also planning to launch international shipping soon, and is also planning to build a digital download store for Independent bands/musicians. Indiebazaar is currently a bootstrap; and is expected to start looking for funding soon.

Who are your target Customers?
On the sellers’ side, we are targeting artists and designers running their own labels and not affiliated with a commercial/corporate brand. On the buyers’ side we are looking at young professionals, primarily female with a focus on lifestyle stoppers.

What problems are you solving? Any key needs / pain-points you are working towards addressing?
For sellers, we are giving them access to a large market all over India. Additionally we are giving them an online presence and an online payment gateway at a fraction of the cost they would incur if they were to set-up their own portal. For buyers, we are providing them with an option to buy unique items and collections that are different from mass produced items available offline/online from the comfort of their homes.

What are your unique solution to these problems?
By setting up a single technology platform that every independent designer can use, we are obviating their need to set up independent platforms where the seller does not only save on money but also the time required in setting up their own portals. For buyers we are aggregating all designers in one place. Furthermore  we are providing safety in the transaction as sellers are transferred the amount only after they deliver the products to the buyer.

What are the core services that you provide to your users?
For sellers we provide online platform to set up shop, a payment gateway and logistics support. We also market and promote the products of these sellers online through Facebook, Google ads and emails. We also have tie ups with Fedex and Aramex which can pick up an item from the seller and deliver to the buyer directly. As we have a larger number of orders than individual sellers, we are able to negotiate better rates with the courier companies and pass on the benefit to the seller.

What is the market opportunity in this space? How big can you grow in 5 Years?
The internet user penetration in India is about 8.5% and less than 1% of all retail transactions are conducted online compared to 4% in Brazil another developing nation. We are not limiting ourselves to a single product category but a horizontal niche where any product sold by an independent seller can be listed, further the product category includes general and daily use items such as jewellery, bags, apparel, home décor etc. Also, we are not holding any inventory hence scaling up would not require investment in stock. As such the market opportunity is virtually unlimited for a startup like us.

Who are your competition? How are you different?
Craftsvilla.com, shopo.in, itshandmade.in etc. We are different as all these sites are limited to the idea of designers; we have expanded this idea to designers, artists and musicians. We already have artists selling through our website and are planning to add a separate class of stores especially for musicians.

What is your business model? How will you make money?
We make a 15% commission on every sale; currently registering a store is free. We are also planning to launch a premium listing plan which would charge a fixed amount per month from the sellers in addition to the sale commission. This plan will have benefits like a larger number of products/images will be allowed; also the seller will be given analytics about the store performance.

How do you plan to acquire consumers? What is your Go to Market approach, Channels?
We are currently using a combination of SEO, Google adwords, social media primarily Facebook and emails for acquiring customers. We also get referrals from Facebook pages/blogs of designers who are selling their products through our portal.

What has been the traction on your platform so far?
We get around 1000 unique visitors per day, a large percentage of which is organic, we have around 165 different stores listed on the portal from across India. We are also getting regular orders from across the country and have sold about 815 items so far.

Indiebazaar was founded in February 2012 by a group of friends from NSIT’s Computer Engineering Batch of 2008 – Aditya Pangtey, Amit Arora, Ankit Tulsyan, passionate about fashion, art, music and everything independent of large commercial organizations. Aditya is an experienced Quality Analyst (Capital IQ) and Event Manager (Archangelz Inc), Amit has worked as a Software Developer with Makemytrip and Nextag, and Ankit has experience in Corporate Banking with Yes Bank.

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