Earlier this week in an interview, Snapdeal’s co-founder, Kunal Bahl asserted, “We are an IT company and we are a software company. We are not an ecommerce company. We are an enabler.” This revelation comes at the time when government is trying to draw out uniform and modern tax and FDI policies that will govern ecommerce businesses in India.
Bahl emphasized on the fact that huge sales and revenue credited to Snapdeal in real sense belong to small and big merchants associated with the ecommerce marketplace. Are you wondering then why Snapdeal ‘an enabler’ has warehousing and logistics facilities? Here’s what Bahl had to say, “Alibaba has invested billions of dollars in building 30 warehouses, each one of which is the size of an 18-hole golf course. Why? Because the challenges faced by SMEs here are the same as the challenges faced by SMEs in China.”
He added, “You think about it; if all SMEs have enough warehousing space and logistics were super seamless, why would we want to do it? But we are investing our money to build all these capabilities to make these SMEs more successful.”
Speaking about making SMEs more successful, Bahl is not wrong. Besides offering assistance in warehousing and delivery, Snapdeal indeed has green-lighted various initiatives that intend to help small and medium sellers. Here’s an overview of Snapdeal’s seller focused steps taken in the year 2015:
February 2015 – Snapdeal tied up with online handicraft shopping portal DharaviMarket.com to help various small & medium businesses. Craftsmen and artisans from the small but well-known local Dharavi Market in Mumbai got a chance to display their products on Snapdeal. Check out the Dharavi Snapdeal Store.
March 2015 – Signed an MoU with Tamil Nadu Handicrafts Development Corporation to assist handicraft SMEs. The marketplace gave rural artisans of Tamil Nadu national exposure.
March 2015 – With an aim to promote tribal handicrafts, Snapdeal collaborated with Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India Ltd. (TRIFED). Authentic tribal art and craft items made by tribal artisans from all over the country were made available to online shoppers.
April 2015 – Joined hands with the Puducherry State Co-op Handloom and Handicrafts Federation. The aim was to provide local artisans technical and operational assistance in order to broaden their reach.
April 2015 – Became the knowledge partner for NIELIT led courses on Digital Marketing. These courses are for SMEs across India and aims to educate them to make the best of ecommerce opportunities.
May 2015 – Under ‘Snapdeal-Capital Assist’ initiative, partnered with SBI to provide low-priced loans and cross- border transaction facility to small and mid-sized businesses.
As of now, Snapdeal has about 1.5 lakh sellers and they expect the number to reach 2.5 lakhs by the end of 2015. They have 50 fulfilment centres spread across 20 cities in India, which helps sellers to stock and ship their products to buyers. Coupled with the initiative mentioned above, Snapdeal is surely taking efforts to help small and medium sized businesses.