Sujeet Kumar Curated
Co- founder Udaan.com
CURATED BY :
Reviews on Working on a larger problem
Having built the operations and supply chains in Flipkart, Sujeet stayed at the background, but founding a startup puts one in the limelight. “When we were building Flipkart, we got our high not from the limelight but from customer recognition. We were building scale. That was motivating us. Even in Udaan, there has been only three news pieces that have gone out, and everytime it has been during our fundraise - Series A, B and C. It is the first time I am talking on this,” says Sujeet. On how Udaan has grown, Sujeet says rather than giving people discounts and incentives to come on to the platform, the co-founders focussed on predictability, as it is the most important thing in B2B. "Buyers want credit with the transaction, and in any new relation, nobody wants to give credit. We were solving the problem. If you see on the platform, buyers and sellers can solve the problem of underwriting. We are relevant for buyers and sellers. The latter wants to sell to more people and buyer wants more selection, quality and price and credit and as a platform we are solving that, and that is why its growing,” says Sujeet. Execution, he explains, works on how clear one is about the problem statement. He adds he is open to working with startups, collaborating, and perhaps even investing in them. “We don’t build everything in-house we do partner, collaborate and work with different startups and entrepreneurs. Udaan is solving credit underwriting problem, B2B logistics, payment and sales and marketing, wherever there is a synergy, we work together.”
What do you think about B2B opportunities?
Startups are increasingly focusing on the large, and largely unorganised, enterprise and small businesses market. A study by industry body Nasscom in 2017 revealed that 40 percent of Indian startups are focused on the business-to-business segment. This, of course, includes pure tech companies, especially in the SaaS domain. In ecommerce, too, there is a shift towards B2B commerce. This could be because the B2C space already has massive marketplaces in the form of Flipkart, Amazon and Paytm Mall. The B2B segment still has many opportunities, despite early players like Power2SME being present in this category. In late 2016, Sujeet, Amod and Vaibhav launched the beta version of Udaan. They announced a Series A fund-raise of $10 million at the same time. Lightspeed led the funding. The company saw a wider launch in June 2017, but was still curating users. A few weeks ago, it raised $225 million led by Yuri Miller’s DST Global. As of February this year, the company delivered to over 500 cities, and picks up from sellers in over 80 cities through third party logistics. Even while it works with third-party logistics firms, Udaan keeps control over the experience as it owns the tech platform. It also offers order management, accounting, and payment management solutions to merchants on the platform.
Why startup the second time?
On a more serious note, he adds that after exiting Flipkart, there was no plan of starting up. The trio turned angel investors, and Sujeet also consulted with Tiger Global for three months helping the investor’s portfolio companies. “I realised I was a person of execution. Every time I would consult with the portfolio company on execution I would feel I should execute it. Then I thought I needed to start again. We nailed down B2B ecommerce in India because it is a unique proposition where 50 million small businesses are there with an easy internet play and yet it is hard to execute.” While most are trying to connect people in the B2B space, that is only one part of the problem, says Sujeet, adding transactions and service credit were others. “Therefore, while Udaan is an open marketplace, we are ensuring logistics for every transaction, if there is a need for credit we provide the same as well,” he says.