- 335bazaar, a Delhi-based omnichannel-hyperlocal retail strategy for neighborhood lifestyle retailers, was founded in August 2020
- The objective is to deliver a billion Indians a terrific shopping experience through the seamless interplay of the online and offline worlds
- It represents the future of Indian commerce, and they’ve collaborated with the top Silicon Valley investors to realize their vision
While e-commerce has exploded in popularity in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, providing convenience and a wealth of options at the touch of a button, it also comes with a serious lack of confidence. People who shop online are more likely to obtain low-quality products, have long wait times for refunds, and swaps are difficult to come by.
That is why, for Indians, the love for guided shopping hasn’t faded away, as shopping is still regarded as a social activity, with many people still placing a high value on touch and feel.
335bazaar, a Delhi-based omnichannel-hyperlocal retail strategy for neighborhood lifestyle retailers, was founded in August 2020 by husband-and-wife team Poornima Vardhan and Taponeel Mukherjee. Unorganized lifestyle stores are transformed into 335bazaar experience centers using this strategy.
“Our objective is to deliver a billion Indians a terrific shopping experience through the seamless interplay of the online and offline worlds,” says Aponeel Mukherjee, Co-founder. The company’s two main pillars are 335bazaar experience centers, which use technology to offer live deals, group shopping, and entertainment to Indian consumers via a direct factory-to-consumer model, and social commerce via live streams, which use technology to offer live deals, group shopping, and entertainment.
In Bhogal (South Delhi) and Madhu Vihar, the firm has opened two experience centers (East Delhi). It wants to open 100 stores in Delhi’s neighborhood markets during the next six months.
How do customers purchase from 335bazaar?
It lets customers purchase online via live streams, allowing the company to not only sell a product but also give a seamless and enjoyable buying experience.
Video shopping is another way for the corporation to bring the store to customers. Another alternative is 335bazaar’s Buy Online, Pay In-Store, which caters to customers who enjoy the ease of online buying with the experience of shopping offline.
Consumers can also shop in a hyper-local, digitally connected offline mode, which gives them both the items and the experience they want.
“Through technology and business model innovation, it is revolutionizing the whole value chain of unorganized retail. Our customers make decisions in real-time,” says Taponeel, adding that they are focusing on the most crucial word of the next decade — ‘phygital.’
Poornima and Taponeel are both ex-investment bankers who earned their MBAs from The Wharton School and INSEAD. Taponeel previously advised several retail enterprises, and Poornima formerly ran a direct-to-consumer company. Poornima and Taponeel concentrate on the business and core strategy at the start-up.
Taponeel claims, “We have almost 13 years of combined Indian retail expertise from contract manufacturing to distribution across India’s major cities.” The platform is technologically connected from the production to the consumer.
“We’re creating a company that connects the physical and digital worlds. This is unprecedented, which is why it is a challenge. This is a once-in-a-lifetime blue ocean opportunity”, he adds. The startup currently has a team of more than 35 people.
The present and future
The whole retail market in India is expected to reach $1.75 trillion by 2026, up from $795 billion in 2017.
“We are very sure of hoovering up market share in this extremely fragmented retail sector,” Taponeel says, citing his company’s unique India-centric business model and founder’s knowledge. “As this is a new model of trade for India, we have no direct competitors.”
Village Global, the startup fund backed by some of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs, including Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Jeff Bezos, and Reid Hoffman, gave it seed money in April 2021.
“We believe 335bazaar represents the future of Indian commerce, and we’ve collaborated with the top Silicon Valley investors to realize our vision,” says Poornima Vardhan, 335bazaar’s co-founder. “As a technology-driven commerce company, we make money through sales,” she adds.
In India, it competes indirectly with both online and offline retail, however, Taponeel claims that “we bring the best of both worlds – the ease of shopping online and the excitement of shopping offline.”