Vikram Chopra Curated
CEO and Co-founder Cars-24
CURATED BY :
What value addition you are doing at Cars24 ?
How does the auction of cars online goes on ?
How do you solve for that pain point for the sellers ?
How you were able to build India's largest auto company ?
What you want to say about Cars24 ?
Do you think that e-commerce & offline business will always co-exist ?
A strategy that you always use to take your decisions in Personal or Professional life?
Argue against decision and see if it is impactful.
Any tips suggestions for our young aspiring entrepreneurs ?
Building an A+ team and retaining that talent is always the biggest trial when it comes to a start-up. No matter the business you are in, it’s the people who can make or break your business.
What would Vikram be if he was not an entrepreneur?
I would have been working for another entrepreneur.
Are you planning to go for brick and mortar model in coming months like few e-commerce players have already started?
Creating physical stores was a part of our brand strategy from the start. Hence our first store was up and running within 6 months of launching our online business. Since we are expanding the scope of leveraging our brand, we think of offline as an experience and not as a sales point. As a brand, we want to provide a holistic experience to our consumers, and offline stores help us do that by giving customers a chance to experience the products before they buy. Thus, stores also help us build trust and credibility. We display a limited inventory at the store, but it is good enough to create confidence on the quality and brand value that we offer.
On a personal count are you happy with the way business has turned out for you?
Am I happy? Yes. Am I satisfied? No. We have a long way to go and a lot to do.
Creating and maintaining customer loyalty is not an easy task, how do you intend to achieve that for your business?
Customization and personalization are the keys to engagement. Apart from that, brilliant creative quality, user-friendly interface and quick website response time are equally important in order to make sure that users spend more time on website. It is important that an employee understands a customers’ needs and expectations in order to be able to satisfy them. Customer service training is provided to all our employees from time to time. Loyalty programs, offers, discounts, custom re-marketing, customer relationship management are the major drivers of repeat visits and repeat transactions.
What has been the most difficult and exciting phase of your journey?
The team building process in the last 12 months has been a challenging exercise as we have grown from a team of ‘tens’ to a team of ‘hundreds’. We all know how important it is to have an A- team in order to succeed but building one is not an easy job. On an average, Mehul and I interview 4-5 people every day round the year. That’s a lot of people we screen in order to find the ones who are a correct fit. It is exciting to meet different people and hear their perspectives and experiences. At the same time, it is very difficult to assess the ones who are right match for the company. Starting from improving customer service and website experience to constantly expanding product range, a lot needs to be done and a lot of initiatives need to be taken, but ensuring that each job has been assigned to the right person is the most difficult task.
Where do you see your businesses 5 years down the line in Indian context and what is your take on the future of e-commerce businesses in India?
We plan to grow 4-5 times a year, looking at a five-fold growth. In next 2-3 years, we should become the biggest online player in the market. Our vision is to become an affordable brand yet aspirational. We are planning to grow 4-5 times a year, looking at a five-fold growth and then become a billion-dollar company. The future is certainly bright for the e-commerce industry in India. As per the Internet & Mobile Association of India and KPMG, the e-retail market that stood at just $3.8 billion (Rs 19,249 crore) in 2009 should grow to $12.6 billion (Rs 62,967 crore) by the end of this year. This clearly shows the potential in this space. We are, indeed, a potent force that can take on physical retail head on.
Do you think “IIT and Wharton” tag really helped you in life?
They certainly do give credibility as it gets easier for others to take a leap of faith in you if you have a strong background. For instance, in our case, early joinees at FabFurnish showed more confidence in us, given our background. Having said that, such tags might definitely be influencers but they are not game changers. I would suggest that one should chase what they want rather than chasing these “tags”.
What was the idea behind FabFurnish? Why did you choose this name?
Shopping for home in local Indian markets, even in metros, is quite a painful process owing to its largely unorganized setup. Given that, we wanted to fashion a brand which enabled people to furnish and beautify their homes in a hassle free manner. Plus, we saw a huge potential to build a scale business in this untapped segment. The name FabFurnish clicked because it conveyed the brand’s ideology clearly.
Any message for our young aspiring professionals ?
Don’t hesitate to dream big. No matter what business you are in, it’s the people who make or break your business.
If you could learn one random skill, what would you learn?
I’d like to hone my photography skills.
How do you go about marketing your business? Who do you think are your main competitors?
FabFurnish.com is constantly working on launching new & innovative products. The company is a leader in the online home category. So, our major competition is offline furniture and décor markets. We prefer healthy competition since our competitor would help us in developing this blossoming online market at a faster rate. FabFurnish has carved its own niche with its carefully curated collection, product imagery, myriad payment options, and excellent customer service. Moreover, we are highly innovative when it comes to marketing, and that has definitely given us an edge over our online competition!
What are your major goals in life?
We visualized the idea to create ‘IKEA’ of India by helping consumers fashion beautiful homes in affordable budgets. My biggest goal is to establish FabFurnish as the most aspirational brand in the home segment.
FabFurnish has had an outstanding growth since launch. Where do you see FabFurnish in the next two years?
FabFurnish has gone on to become the country’s largest online home store in just 2 years. Now we hope to conquer the offline market for home décor as well. To achieve that, we are trying hard to increase our current assortment of 65,000 products by 100% in the next quarter. Our major aim is to maintain FabFurnish’s customer retention!
How did you get in touch with Mehul Agrawal, your co-founder at FabFurnish?
Mehul and I met through a common friend and realized that we both shared a common vision. Both of us shared entrepreneurial ambitions and desired to enter the home décor segment, which we felt was majorly untapped and unorganized.
Could you tell us a bit more about your professional background?
After pursuing engineering from IIT Bombay, I did my Master’s in Business Administration from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. Before FabFurnish happened, I was associated with McKinsey & Company and Sequoia.
Could you give our readers a brief overview of FabFurnish?
FabFurnish.com is India’s leading online home store. It offers a wide range of over 65,000 assorted home furniture, furnishings, décor and kitchenware. The website caters to the young and urban audience who's looking for trendy products at affordable prices. The company believes in achieving 100% customer satisfaction. For the convenience of our customers, we offer services like varied payment options, free assembly, PAN India shipping, etc.