IRCTC, the subsidiary of the Indian Railways after Catering, Tourism and Online Ticketing services which had earlier announced its plans to enter ecommerce by using a white label model had chosen the holding company of Yebhi.com as its partner.
In February this year, IRCTC has opened a tender to shortlist a white label solution provider for its online retail platform. In White Label Model, the back-end jobs are outsourced whereas the front-end ones are owned by the company itself.
Alongwith Yebhi, Infibeam was also among the top contenders.
A personnel from the Group General Manager (ITS), Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation has confirmed about the development. Though official confirmation from Yebhi & IRCTC is yet to be received. Update: Also post this report by iamwire, communication team of Yebhi still claims to be in discussions with IRCTC, hinting that Yebhi might give it a second thought.
Under the partnership, Yebhi will be responsible for developing and managing ecommerce platform for IRCTC and also for providing customization on the user interface and storefront design. It will also be managing the B2C supply chain for shipment of product and logistics integration, processing orders, handle warehousing and delivery.
The tender was open for established ecommerce and IT companies with minimum annual turnover of INR 40 crore from B2C e-commerce business in the last financial year. Also, having a catalog of over 500 brands and suppliers and offer merchandise from minimum five product categories. With this the company must have provided white label solution involving commercial transactions to at least three white label partners in the current financial year and the last two financial years (2010-11 and 2011-12). However the idea behind going with Yebhi and how far does it satisfied the criteria is still unclear.
According to the tender, Yebhi will be deploying the entire online retail system within 60 days from the date the contract was awarded.
As announced earlier, IRCTC will be selling books, footwear, mobile phones, furnishings and electronics through its online platform. The online retail platform of IRCTC will help it in monetise its 2 crore registered user base.
Yebhi.com, which had recently raised INR 60 crore in a bridge round from existing investors, is a fashion and lifestyle eCommerce company working on an affiliate marketplace model. It is offering almost 17 categories on its website.
In an earlier interaction with iamwire, Nikhil Rungta, Chief Business Officer, Yebhi, has mentioned that Yebhi would be looking for a break even in next 12-18 months and will also look to raise more fund.