The ailing eCommerce marketplace, Indiaplaza, seems to have gotten back into action once again. India’s very first eCommerce venture, which was going through a rough time lately as it was under fire from its sellers for pending payments, appears to have resumed its operations.
There was no official communication from the company in the last few months regarding its status, keeping everyone guessing what’s next for the company. But it was seen apologising to its customers for failed delivery and mentioning to refund payments on the social media sites.
The company was said to be in a cash crunch situation and was looking to raise funds. Indiaplaza hasn’t raised funds since 2011 when NEA–IndoUS Venture Partners had invested USD 5 Mn in the company. Earlier this year, we also heard that Tata Group was looking to acquire Indiaplaza, and a buyout proposal was discussed but there were no developments in this regard, as per a source.
We have been tracking Indiaplaza for the past few months. The website had the same products listed throughout that period and almost all the products were out of stock. But now the store has added new products and catalogues such as DryFruits, Sweets And Chocolates and there are a number of new banners also running on the website which were previously not there and we were even able to place an order.
We are waiting for Vaitheeswaran’s response on the same.
Indiaplaza came in news in April when its sellers complained regarding being asked to settle their pending payments by taking only 50% of the actual amount and providing a No Due Certificate to the company. In past few months, Indiaplaza has been trying to reach out to sellers and was pitching to them through calls and mail, to ask if they could settle the pending payments so that the company could re-start its operations, said a seller.
Mail with the following text was sent to a number of sellers by Indiaplaza.
As per a source close to this development, a number of sellers have agreed to settle the payments with the company by taking only the 50% amount.
Launched almost a decade back by Vaitheeswaran, Indiaplaza was initially known as Fabmart.com. Later the name of the company was changed to Fabmall, which had two business formats i.e. an online platform and an offline chain of grocery stores (later acquired by Aditya Birla Group). In January 2007, Fabmall.com acquired US-based Indiaplaza.com which created an India-centric online shopping company with two distinct websites, Indiaplaza.com and Indiaplaza.in and in February 2011, the company merged both websites into a common single website, Indiaplaza.com.
Whatever be the case, Indiaplaza is said to be the very first enablers of eCommerce in India, and going through a cash crunch situation, being close to a shut down and then once again growing back is a very good lesson for startups facing such troubles. It is a great move by Mr. Vaitheeswaran to continue to run the company and revive it towards success, and it is highly appreciable how the whole eCommerce ecosystem, including service providers, sellers might be contributing to this situation in helping Mr. Vaitheeswaran to revive the company.
Such examples shall become long lasting case studies and such companies shall gain high regards and value once they are successfully out of crisis.
Best wishes Mr. Vaitheeswaran and Indiaplaza.!
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