Vashi Electricals, one of the leading channel partners in India for major industrial electrical product brands, has recently launched an e-commerce portal. Madan Dodeja, CEO, Vashi Electricals, elaborates more on the company's future plans in this direction.
What are your future plans with the e-commerce portal launch?
E-commerce exploded in India over the past few years, currently contributing 15 per cent to the total retail sales (3 per cent in 2010) and is expected to reach 25 per cent by 2020. Initially triggered by underdeveloped retail infrastructures in lower tier cities, e-commerce is now the key method of shopping among Generation X and Ys, using mobile phones (m-commerce exceeded 80 per cent over the last 11.11 shopping event) to search, purchase, and share with their peers.
Currently, VashiElectricals.com is focused on two key initiatives: launching cross border activities to offer our customers access to a wider product range and right products, and engaging through new experiences by leveraging technology. Our idea of e-commerce is to offer delightful experience to the Vashi customers, offer a seamless purchase experience for consumers, and ensure that consumer gets genuine product. Our commitment of 72 hours flat delivery will ensure that the logistics is handled meticulously and our pan India warehouses will help in achieving it.
Initially we will focus on on-boarding all our offline customers into online stream and ensure they are comfortable in making transactions. We would also mine data through Google, Magento and In-search analytics to ensure that we are employing the right marketing strategies so that the customer or user has a delightful user experience on the portal. Conducting road shows is one of the strategies we are considering to reach out to industrial towns of the country.
Where do you see the role of VashiElecticals.com in the industrial electricals industry?
VashiElectricals.com's main mission is to provide world-class solution to our believers through innovative system and process. We aspire to delight our believers by performing better than their expectations. Our brand promise has been always to delight our customers by offering the services and solutions ahead of time. We see ourselves as a gateway for the industrial electrical products for the end-users, OEMs, panel manufacturers, plants and affluent VashiElectricals.com customers, and for the ones that are looking for the right industrial electrical products and services.
What is the targeted business from online platform in a year?
The new facility of e-commerce portal is our key strategy for growth across India. It will enable us to provide local support and service to our existing customers and to expand further into the market for retail world and other technologies emerging from our product development; including a range of high-powered online and offline marketing that will further strengthen Vashi Electrical's presence pan India. Our rigorous marketing strategies ensure that our products will offer total reliability in a range of extremes of availability and terrain.
How do aftersales services make a difference in your customer relations?
Over the years, customers have become more demanding and informed, comparing pricing and paving the way for a large Daigou (grey market, third-parties purchasing overseas on behalf of others) business, and are looking for reliable and authentic aftersales services. Keeping this in view, Vashi Electricals has invested in four world-class service stations across India to provide retrofitting, servicing of the motors, gearboxes and allied industrial products to its customers, at ease. With our technical expertise, the customer is rest-assured about the product quality and warranty, after it has been serviced. With a combined force of e-commerce platform, fulfilment centres and warehouses at 12 locations, we see this as an exciting beginning, and I am confident that we will continue to look for expansion online and initiate partnerships with platforms that offer access to targeted traffic, with the right environment.
Do you have plans to expand your warehouse infrastructure to accommodate more products?
Yes, we will expand our warehouse infrastructure to accommodate more products and handle them better with time and looking at the demand. We plan to have fulfilment centres to reach every buyer with overnight service.
What are your plans on adding new products and brands?
We already work with 19 premier electrical brands, but we would need some time to focus on understanding the specificities of India's online B2B ecosystem and move accordingly. Of course, we would invest in technology and systems that enable us to engage actively with our customers locally and globally, and collaborate more with right platforms to expand our customer reach, as the digital landscape in India is constantly reinventing itself. We plan to engage with the buyer for all his industrial electrical and power transmission needs. We plan to continuously add all such brands so that the buyer is assured of one-stop solution for all his electrical and power transmission needs. Lastly, our ultimate aim is to offer services for product customisation as well as customer care, and continue to 'wow' our customers. This is the mantra of Vashi Electricals and we always abide to it!
The Online Way
Vashi Electricals has recently launched an e-commerce portal under its flagship brand name, www.vashielecticals.com, for its consumers and businesses to shop on the web. Through its portal, Vashi Electricals has begun selling motors, wires and cables, switchgears, gearboxes, motors and allied electrical products online.
The e-commerce portal was launched in an exclusive event held at the Vashi Electricals' corporate office based in Mumbai. The event was graced by the top management from Hindustan Motors and Kishorebhai & Siddharth Desai, along with other senior executives from premier industrial electrical brands such as Polycab, ABB, Siemens, Omron and Connectwell. Along with these, the event was also graced by Vashi Electrical's key customers and media.
Madan Dodeja, CEO, Vashi Electricals, addressing the occasion, said, 'Our idea of e-commerce is to offer delightful experience to the Vashi customers and offer a seamless purchase experience for consumers, and ensure that consumer gets genuine product.'
Touching upon the technology, Suraj Dodeja, Director, Vashi Electricals, commented, 'To gain a competitive advantage among B2B players, we will focus more on innovative solutions such as chat-bots, real-time stock discovery and smart-watch notifications that help ensure us to stay close to the clients' needs and optimise in a digital way.'
Initially, the company is targeting to sell around 15,000 SKUs from 15 different electrical brands through the e-commerce portal. In its further expansion plan, the company is targeting more than 100,000 SKUs and premier electrical brands in the next one year, according to one of the key executives from the company.