Anirban Guha – Founder and Editor of Startup Simba spoke to Vinamra Pandiya, Founder and CEO, Qtrove.com to find out how this young startup is making its impact in the cluttered e-commerce market in India.
Qtrove stands for the Curated (Q) trove. Qtrove is a curated marketplace that exhibits and sells non-mass produced items from small entrepreneurs across the country. We call it sustainable commerce. The central idea to start Qtrove was to break the clutter in ecommerce and bring the focus back on unique and curated products. With most big companies offering unrealistic discounts and displaying the same mass produced products (read brands) to its customers, we feel, shopping is now reduced to a mere chore. Qtrove aims to be a curated marketplace that exhibits & sells non-mass produced items from small entrepreneurs across the country. These products are unique in nature and are not easily available across the online spectrum. We seek to empower local entrepreneurs who are producing exotic/unique products in their vicinity and give them a widespread national platform.
In today’s era of assembly line mass production & consumption, we wish to release our customers from the tyranny of choice and add fun back to the shopping experience. We have also adopted a seller first approach to give our vendors a wider reach as well as share their stories through dedicated vendor pages on our website and social media. We want to make customers for life and not based on some discount fad and hence this slow but sure approach. We are traditional businessmen at heart and believe each business should be started with the core focus of creating value for all the concerned stakeholders (employees, investors, customers and sellers) and this philosophy is the underlying theme behind Qtrove.
Team behind Qtrove
Qtrove – launch
Qtrove went LIVE in July 2016, whereas we started working on the concept around Feb 2016. Qtrove.com is based in Bangalore, the start-up capital of India. We deliver to every metro and mini metro along with tier 2 and tier 3 cities.
Our USP is curated products from handpicked vendors across categories. We like to call it Alternative or Sustainable commerce. Besides, we have created a Lead Research Guideline doc which contains several parameters and we rate each vendor on those parameters. Only when they cross a threshold, they are selected for Inside Sales team to call. Each parameter is based on how unique or exclusive the vendor and its products are and that it shouldn’t be easily available online etc.
To talk about Qtrove’s impact, we aim to reach more and more home entrepreneurs and showcase their products. We are also creating their community page on Qtrove which talks about their start-up inspiration, them in action while making products and a video. This unique approach to showcase them has really stood us out amongst the clutter. Personalization and an ability to empathize with them has also added our appeal in the seller network.
The journey has been humbling and full of insights for Qtrove. Currently, it is too early to discuss numbers, but we can share some insights:
Regarding competition, there are some players who are already in this space since last few years. Our main competitors are ‘iShippo (Acquired by Snapdeal), Engrave.in’ but all of them are primarily focusing on arts and crafts whereas we are taking a more horizontal approach. Other difference is that we personally scrutinize each vendor before they are listed on our platform as curation is our biggest differentiator.
Our other differentiators are:
Qtrove wants to establish a content and community driven marketplace which is democratic and sustainable in nature – one where seller and buyer happily co-exist, one where products are celebrated and together it leads to a happy, natural and a sustainable planet for a better tomorrow.
We are already unit level positive. Aim is to move towards gross level profitability in the coming year.
VC funding or investment
We are incubated and promoted by Growthstory (Incubator promoted by K Ganesh and Meena Ganesh).
Awards and recognition
I think the biggest success to any business is when it grows at an enviable pace. We have been doubling our revenues and orders virtually every month and this to me is the biggest achievement right now.
Qtrove wants achieve the following in the next six months:
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