HYDERABAD: Already a fertile destination for startups, 'hi-tech' Hyderabad is now fast turning into a hub for e-commerce ventures too — courtesy the dozens of young entrepreneurs from the city who have taken to the virtual space to set shop.
Right from grocery stores and pharmacies to apparel outlets and cab/auto services, there is a horde of new companies floating around on the Internet, designed and manned by a local pool of talented professionals, who are increasingly ditching the brick and mortar offices for the more value-for-money online space.
Take for instance, Zip.in, an online grocery store that hit the Hyderabad market only recently. Aware of being up against biggies like Big Basket, this city venture has devised a same-day-delivery strategy to beat the competition. "There is a lot of potential in the Hyderabad market, as it is densely populated. So even if there are multiple players, everybody can survive and enjoy their own piece of the pie," said Venkata Chandrashekhar Bhhataram, director of Zip.in that was launched earlier this year.
Creators of Clapone.com which brings to its customers replicas of outfits worn by Tollywood celebrities, shared a similar opinion. "Our research showed that there was a lot of scope here and so we tied up with designers who could supply such replicated outfits. In three months flat, we have managed to get 23,000 registered users on board," pointed out its founder Chinmay Rajula.
Autohona.com's 'ride' too has been largely successful so far. Fashioned on the lines of online cab service providers, this e-commerce venture allows city commuters to book auto-rickshaws at the click of a button. "We have about 14,000 to 15,000 autos in the city registered with us. Since Hyderabad is an IT hub, 5 out of 10 customers take the online route to book one," said Shashank Chintapenta, CEO and founder of Autohona that started operations on August 20 last year. Also on the list is Medstar.com, selling medicines at discounted prices.Apart from being part of a growing fad, this rush for online trading is also rooted in the rapid expansion of the e-commerce market in India, feel observers. And a proof of this lies in a recent finding of Gartner, an American consulting firm based in Connecticut, which indicates that India's e-commerce market is set to touch $6 billion in 2015 -- a 70% increase over 2014's revenue. Predictably, then, Hyderabad is among the top destinations for young entrepreneurs to troop in, observers add, pointing to the infrastructural facilities available. "Also, Hyderabad houses prominent educational institutions, which adds to the quality of ventures. R&D centres of many MNCs in the city are encouraging entrepreneurs to explore the e-commerce platform," explained Pradip Mittal, chairman of Hyderabad Angel Network that assists amateurs in setting up their businesses.
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