Knock on wood | Outlook Business
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Jagadeesh NV

Big Idea

Knock on wood
Urban Ladder, an online furniture store that stocks everything from beds and bars to breakfast trays and coat racks

Ravina Kothari

Take two disappointed shoppers, throw in some business sense thanks to stints at McKinsey, Amar Chitra Katha and Yahoo, and add a healthy dollop of seed funding. The result is Urban Ladder, an online furniture store that stocks everything from beds and bars to breakfast trays and coat racks. When Rajiv Srivatsa and Ashish Goel were doing up their homes, the IIM-Bangalore batchmates realised there was no pan-India furniture brand. With $1 million from Kalaari Capital, the duo set out to fill that gap, online. Within a month of launching, they realised poor service at the delivery end was hurting sales and reputation, and Urban Ladder rolled back to focus on three cities: Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru. It has warehouses in these metros while manufacturing happens in Rajasthan and Bengaluru on a contractual basis, based on the response to new products. The site is active on social media and that’s helping bring in the orders; Srivatsa claims orders have been growing by 50-60% every month since launch. And now, it’s also stepping up to re-establishing a national presence — first in Chennai, Hyderabad and Pune and then three-four cities every year.

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