Posted by Blog Admin
On May 26, 2017
Qtrove is a curated marketplace that exhibits and sells non-mass produced items from small entrepreneurs across the country.
Qtrove is a curated marketplace that exhibits and sells non-mass produced items from small entrepreneurs across the country. These products are sustainable, not easily available elsewhere, enhance the well-being and social currency of today’s discerning consumer. We achieve this through our stellar network of partner sellers. We are a closed marketplace meaning we put only those partner sellers onboard which have products that mirror our philosophy of being natural, sustainable and non-mass produced. Qtrove currently is in POC stage and trying to find the correct TG which would love these highly curated products.
Vinamra is a distinguished serial entrepreneur credited with starting and scaling two companies. Having graduated from IIT-BHU, he went on to work with Infosys as a software developer which he then quit and started Mom’s Kitchen along with his childhood friend at the age of 25 which was one of the country’s earliest Internet Kitchen. He then went on to scale TastyKhana (as its board member and COO) as nation’s leading online food ordering portal which eventually got acquired by FoodPanda in late 2014. He is also mentor and advisor to several early stage startups. Vinamra is currently spearheading (as Founder) Qtrove.com and wants to create a curated marketplace of unique products from handpicked vendors.
An Engineer by qualification, Prashanth joined his family run Printing business straight out of college and learned the ropes from the ground up. After spending a couple of years in the business, he headed to the prestigious Rochester Institute of Technology, New York to earn his Masters in Print Media. In 2009, he rejoined the Printing business and took charge of it from the previous generation of Management. After spending another six years in the business and wanting a new challenge, Prashanth accepted an offer to join one of India's fastest growing startup companies - Grofers - as its AVP of Operations. In this position he was responsible for the sales and operation growth of Chennai, Coimbatore and Kochi. But the entrepreneur in him ached to get back to being at the helm of affairs. The opportunity to Co-found a business was too good to pass up on and he joined Vinamra in March of 2016 to head the Business side of Qtrove.com
Qtrove focuses on products that are not easily available online and are only available offline in a limited area or reach. Qtrove’s USP are the curated products from handpicked vendors across categories. We like to call it Alternative or Sustainable commerce. We have inside sales team that generates leads from the web. We also go to local exhibitions like Kitsch Mandi, Sunday Soul Sante to get interested vendor leads and then work from there. We also get daily inbound queries from interested vendors owing to some recognition of the brand.
We believe that today with so many marketplaces offering same brands, the only pull is discounts, cashbacks etc. Today shopping is reduced to a mere convenience. We wanted to bring fun back to shopping in leisure where products displayed are unique, personally curated and sustainable and where consumers buy them for that they are and not because we are offering some discounts. We also believe that customer is today stuck with ‘Tyranny of Choice’. With these insights and thoughts we decided to start Qtrove, India’s Etsy for all things sustainable and unique.
1. Finding the initial set of passionate team members who will believe in your grandiose vision and would put their best to help realise this together. Myself and my cofounder Prashanth devote a lot of time to recruitment. Patience and being focussed is the key as finding good candidates is both an art and science.
2. Managing logistics is I would say an overall problem of this industry. .Returns, overwhelming inclination towards COD makes the economics quite difficult since customers are averse to pay for any convenience fee. Although, this trend is slowly reversing. We at Qtrove charge shipping charges for every order and we don’t focus on discounts and cashbacks as a means to acquire users.
3. Sellers is the key in our venture, so, finding those passionate sellers who sell natural and sustainable products was initially hard, but now, we get a lot of inbound queries thereby making our cost of sales practically zero.
4. Making sellers understand that we are also here to make money :)
We are incubated and promoted by Growthstory (Incubator promoted by K Ganesh and Meena Ganesh)
Qtrove wants achieve the following in the next six months:
o Operational level profitability by year end 2017
o For us, core focus is on the quality of products and hence we aren’t chasing GMV or Seller count. We want to have a base of 50k satisfied customers and around 1000 unique sellers on our platform.
o We want to target international audience and seller base as we have already fulfilled some bulk orders to Middle East, China, Africa, US and Europe.
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