Even as it steps away from its roots as a classifieds and corporate advertisement portal, online-listings website Sulekha has slowly waded into the retail e-commerce pool and is looking to challenge firms such as Flipkart.
“What we have done is to start operating a hybrid model of platform-commerce. We partner with vendors, have the financial transactions done on our website, and supervise the deal up to the point where the vendor delivers the product to the customer’s home,” said Param Parameswaran, Chairman, Sulekha.com
The company, which launched the service last year, has mainly partnered with vendors for the sale of gadgets.
This model neatly avoids the need for heavy capital expenditure in the form of warehouses and distribution networks, an issue that has plagued the profitability of bigger e-commerce firms.
“It has grown over the last one year, and contributes nearly 15- 20 per cent of our total revenue at the moment. We have tied up with a total of 200 vendors,” Mr. Parameswaran said.
The service isn’t only about home-delivery of products, however. According to Mr. Parameswaran, Sulekha leverages on its community to also satisfy the need for customised products.