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Greendust CEO On The Future Of E And M Commerce
May 25,2015
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If you are looking for branded, refurbished goods, head to one single destination, GreenDust.com. Shop here for ACs, LEDs, Smartphones, et al and give your bit towards saving the environment as well.

During the Indian Retail and eRetail Congress and Awards 2015, Retailer Media caught up with the "Engineer-turned-entrepreneur" Hitendra Chaturvedi, Co-founder & Managing Director, GreenDust, to know his views on the future of eCommerce against the mCommerce storm.

Can you please talk to us about GreeDust and the business model?

GreenDust is one of India's largest eCommerce companies for refurbished and open box items. We do not sell second hand products but these are returns coming from Amazon, Flipkart, Snapdeal, LG, Samsung, Sony, Haier etc. We repair and refurbish it and we use eCommerce and mCommerce to sell it to customers who are looking for branded products which are way cheaper. And these products come with a warranty.

What is the outreach of GreenDust?

We are pan-India. When it comes to eCommerce, we can deliver anywhere and Tier II and III cities are our biggest market. Few days back, we did a flash sale of Xiaomi mobile phone and almost 70 per cent of my customers who pre-booked the mobile phone were from these cities.

What is the market share of this industry and where do you see GreenDust fitting in?

If you look at McKenzie's study, eCommerce in India by 2020 will be about $115 billion and return in eCommerce industry ranges anywhere between 10-15 per cent. If you do the mathematics, it's about $17 billion worth of products will be returned every year and OEMs such as LG, Samsung etc. or even traditional retailer, that's another $6-7 billion. So, a total worth of $25 billion products get returned every year in India and we are the market leaders with a huge head-start but still scratching the surface.

How good has eCommerce behaved over the past decade?

India, when it comes to eRetail is growing much more as compared to traditional retail. Traditional retail requires very expensive real estate, structure, people, attrition rates and so forth. So, the growth of traditional retail will always be less than that of eRetail. But still, one of the breakthroughs for eRetailers will be to figure out how to sell bigger appliances online. In tier II and III market, buying a big appliance such as a refrigerator becomes a social activity. The entire family goes in the evening and buys it. So, larger appliances are one area that eRetailers need to breakthrough.

Can you put some light on the investment front of GreenDust?

I usually do not talk about exact numbers, but yes, we are funded. We are funded by Vertex Ventures and I think we are India's only eCommerce company that is profitable today.

How has the mCommerce revolution helped GreenDust?

If I look at the tier II and III cities where Internet penetration is not very high, most of the people will have a mobile phone and if they get a data plan, they are Internet enabled. So, if you even look at the population of Tier I cities, it's a very small fraction of Indian population, majority of the people are in tier II and III cities and further down. If these people have the excess to the Internet it is but natural that the growth of mCommerce is going to be much more than traditional eCommerce. In fact, we are also planning strategies in which we will have certain flash sales only through mobile applications. And we are focusing more on android than iOS because a large chunk of our customer base is on android.

What is your take on Net Neutrality?

I completely support Net Neutrality. Internet with the principles by which it was founded, we should preserve it. Let us not try to monetise that and let us make it a common platform and let us make it everybody's birth right to have access to the Internet for free.

How was your experience with the Indian Retail Congress 2015?

I think this is a powerful medium because as entrepreneurs and businessmen, we sit and struggle with certain problems that we don't get answers to. And when you have a mind-melt of likeminded people coming together, there could be synergies in terms of innovation solutions and finding answers to some problems that we already have. So, that's a great job done!

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