Around October last year, Manoj Kumar looked at e-commerce websites in India and thought — who caters to the small towns? E-commerce has been “a big city phenomenon,” says the 40-year old previously with eZone. Broadband penetration in India is around 10% and credit cards lower still — two ingredients fuelling e-shopping — thus eliminating small towns almost completely.
So, Kumar along with his partners Saurabh Chadda and Dinesh Paul, started edabba, an online-offline mall. edabba has partnered with ‘trust points’ at cyber cafés and travel agencies across Uttarakhand, Bihar, Rajasthan and Goa. These trust points have a laptop and an internet connection where customers identify products and ask the shopkeeper to make payment. They, in turn, pay the shopkeeper. A monthly footfall of 8,000 (online and offline) means it now has a turnover of Rs.1.5 crore. The company is targeting a revenue of Rs.70 crore by FY14. β