E-Commerce ka Swayamwar: The Happily Ever After
The one question that we have been asked over and over again is how did we come up the E-Commerce ka Swayamwar? As a tech start-up, we at Zepo, have been given a multitude of platforms to showcase, discuss, critique and analyse our tech-startups. But we haven’t seen a single event or a platform for brands – these niche, eclectic, quirky, unconventional brands, to showcase their products, take feedback, discuss their challenges and hail their achievements. And that was the Eureka moment from where the Swayamwar stemmed!
The E-Commerce ka Swayamwar, that took place on the 15th of September @ The Playce, saw more than 50 ecommerce enthusiasts, 5 fire-brand speakers from the e-commerce vertical and 4 kick-ass brands presenting their products.
The first half of the event was purely dedicated to the wedding celebrations. 4 small home-grown brands presented themselves as proud suitors. And they wooed and cajoled the audiences with their amazing ideas and products.
1. Red N Brown: Bringing the best of Mumbai gifting solutions under the same roof!
A contemporary gifting solutions start-up, by Saloni and Rahul, it brings together the best of the Mumbai gifting culture together.
2. Paaduks: Footwear that’ll last you a generation!
Paadukas in the olden days were made from wood and lasted years at a stretch. Jay and Kirtana, have been true to their brand name. Working in tandem with the local mochis (cobblers) of Mumbai, they turn around old automobile tyres to fashion fancy footwear out of them.
3. Vida Loca: Affordable Fashion from the international runways!
Karishma, at Vida Loca, didn’t want to make the choice herself, which made her start her own fashion brand. Affordable international level fashion is what she provides – be it reversible tote bags or fit flops.
4. IWearMe: When art meets organic cotton!
With over a thousand t-shirt brands in the market, what makes I Wear Me distinctive is their choice to only work with 100% organic cotton which is fair trade certified. And that combined with Ashwin and his team’s immense love for design, you have t-shirts that are not only eco-friendly but look super!
Keeping the Swayamwar true to its essence, the 4 brands were showered with flowers by the attendees, and though it was a close call, Paaduk’s took the cake away! And they walked away with a free-for-life online store from Zepo as well as a free payment gateway and a complete logistics solution.
Shaadi ke Baad, Kya Kya Hua?
With the holy matrimony between Paaduk’s and ecommerce coming to a ceremonial close, next in line were the speakers from across the e-commerce vertical.
1. Sales Tax or VAT? All taxation queries answered!
Ankush Pagaria, a certified corporate chartered account by profession, led the attendees through the dos and don’ts while operating an ecommerce business and gave out valuable insights into taxation laws of ecommerce,
2. “Respond within 2 hours to a customer query on Facebook!”
Nirali Hingwala from Social Samosa reiterated the need for small brands to build constant engagement and interaction on social media pointing out guidelines of replying to customer requests and following the 80:20 rule while posting updates.
3. Are payment gateways really that expensive? No!
Every marriage needs to be consummated and with the Swayamwar between a brand and ecommerce being taken care of, there needed to be a transaction. That’s where payment gateways come into picture, as was rightly pointed out by Rahul Chiddarwar from DirecPay.
4. Why tying up with the right logistics provider is the crux of an ecommerce business!
With every other aspect around ecommerce being taken care of, it was time to put together the last piece i.e. logistics. And Amit Mande and Hozefa Furniturewala from Blue Dart walked the audiences through the different aspects to look into while choosing a courier company and what goes into providing secure and timely product deliveries.
5. Piecing together the ecommerce puzzle!
When all the pieces were revealed, the puzzle had to be put into place. And to do the same, Nitin Purswani, the founder and CEO at Zepo took the stage to bring it all together. Nitin spoke about how small businesses should use ecommerce as just another sales channel to get orders (link to theory) and in turn end up reaching customers across the globe with a solid online presence.
With that, the Mumbai Swaywamar came to a close with a bang. And we already have our sights fixed on a new city! So Bangaloreans, (Yes! Our next stop is Bangalore!) mark your calendars, because this Ecommerce ka Swayamwar is coming to Bangalore, this October!
This was just the trailer! You can check out more pics from the Mumbai eCommerce ka Swayamwar here.