E-commerce major Snapdeal is geared up to push the pedal on growth by focussing on “economics and customer experience” this year, its co-founder and CEO Kunal Bahl said.
Snapdeal, which is locked in an intense battle with rivals, Flipkart and Amazon, had started re-hauling its machinery last year and hopes to make returns on the investments starting this year.
“In 2016, we have made great progress on achieving that balance (between economics and experience)… In 2017, the focus will continue to be on economics, experience and growth. Just that (now), you should expect us to press the pedal harder on growth,”.
Founded in 2010 by Kunal Bahl and Rohit Bansal as a deals site, Snapdeal is backed by investors like Alibaba Group, SoftBank, Foxconn and Ratan Tata. It is estimated to have raised over USD 1.7 billion so far in multiple funding rounds.
It has also strengthened its operations through acquisitions buying/investing in companies like GoJavas and PepperTap. Asked about his views on whether reports almost writing Snapdeal off from competition in the Indian market, Bahl said he doesn’t worry about such views.
“At the end of the day, we have hundreds and thousands of customers buying from us and that number is growing and if that number is growing rapidly that’s really what we care about.
The reports are interesting, they are sometimes insightful and they tell us things we don’t know. Sometimes they re-validate things you know. What they are not are necessarily is hard facts,” he said.
Bahl said the company has taken a number of steps last year, including a re-branding exercise to improve customer experience and also move towards profitability. Citing reports, Bahl said Snapdeal was the fastest in terms of delivery among competitors, which indicates that its investments are paying off.
“…us being fastest in terms of delivery and there were many other signals that have emerged that based on the investments and focus we have had on experience, we are making good progress versus the market and 2017 that will continue,” he added.
Talking about the re-branding activity undertaken in September, Bahl said the entire exercise required a lot of work and “wasn’t about just turning a few knobs”. “It required a lot of network re-design on supply chain, investments in last mile, lot of training, lot of technology that we had to do build around supply chain… So lot of critical decisions you have to make. In aggregate, some went well, some didn’t go well but I think we have got a good balance,” he said.