Make the impossible, possible! It needs courage, determination, hardcore efforts and on top of that passion for achieving the goal. When life doesn’t give you the opportunity, you create one. All of the renowned massive giants of profits didn’t take the shape in a single day, there is a complete story of struggle behind their success.
Such an innovative and inspiring idea took shape in the form of nearbuy which hitched the customer’s attention real quick.
Connecting offline world to online world isn’t easy but nearbuy did it with smart strategies. It needs a brain to win the game and lock the success. Things never come easy way such is the case with nearbuy. It took hardcore efforts to make it reach the place where it is now.
All You Need to Know About nearbuy
Connecting people! nearbuy has connected two different worlds on one platform. Bringing a whole new different world in the world where there was no concept of online things isn’t something easy. nearbuy is India’s largest hyperlocal platform that enables service merchants in the offline world to sell to online customers.
nearbuy’s team works really hard to bring your world, closer to you. Whether it’s fine dining, relaxing at the top spas, or just discovering your city intimately, nearbuy makes it happen for you.
nearbuy offers its merchants a strong branding and visibility-led platform that enables customers, in and around their establishments, to easily discover their businesses.
It’s for sure a big achievement for nearbuy because till now it has the presence in 33 cities, furthermore, 18+ categories and has over 50,000 merchants across 100,000+ unique locations.
Founder’s Life at a Glance
Ankur Warikoo is the Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer of nearbuy, an Indian local commerce venture that enables customers to discover the finest experiences in their neighborhood. In his current role, Ankur is responsible for driving the establishment and growth of nearbuy and overseeing business across verticals.
Prior to this, he was Groupon’s APAC-Emerging Markets Region Head, spanning 250million subscribers and over $5bn in annual sales.
Post his management degree from the Indian School of Business, Ankur was a Management Consultant with A.T. Kearney for 3 years. He worked in Delhi, Dubai and New York during this time.
He co-founded Accentium Web in 2007 along with two other batch-mates from ISB while continuing with his role at A.T. Kearney. In 2009, he left Kearney to work on Accentium full-time. Accentium runs websites such as Secondshaadi.com, Gaadi.com, Taaza.com amongst others. After AccentiumAnkur joined Rocket Internet in 2011. As a Venture Partner, he helped set up the footprint for Rocket Investments in India such as Groupon and Jabong.
Ankur holds a management degree from the Indian School of Business (Class of 2006) where he was awarded the Young Leader Award. He also holds a Masters degree in Physics from Michigan State University and holds a bachelor’s degree from Hindu College, Delhi University.
What Gave Birth to the Idea?
Since Groupon Inc. was a deal player, nearbuy wanted to move beyond that, proximity and relevance have become more important for the customer today. Thus, nearbuy aims to be the default destination for people to visit before they step out to consume any services in the offline world.
Groupon India was the fastest growing company in the portfolio of 48 countries with an annual growth rate of greater than 150%. However, there still lies a massive untapped market that Groupon India was unable to tap because of lack of technology and monetary investments from Groupon Inc.
Thus, came through a proposal from the management in India to make this entity independent. And a Management Buyout (MBO) was pulled off in August 2015
In a rebranding that followed an ownership change, Groupon India is now called nearbuy, after venture capital firm Sequoia India pumped Rs. 100 crore into the business
Point of Differentiation
“nearbuy” takes superbia in being the patented technology. nearbuy is the patented technology for the 1st time in the country, to create real-time pricing for services retail.
nearbuy has set up a different model. They operate on a commission based model. The commission is an average of 18%.
The services retail market is a $25Bn annual market and is massive enough to support multiple players. As the market leader in this space, the onus on them is to build this category out, and not just grow the company and to define the standards of technology and operations in this segment.
Yes they have a milestone to achieve and they are giving their 100% to made it through, their milestone is largely on the customer site with deep personalization and relevance. Moreover, on the merchant side, with real-time demand mapping and the ability to change pricing for their services.
They have built a strong reputation. Their customers seem quite satisfied with them. They have an NPS (Net Promoter Score) of 63%
Change They are Bringing
nearbuy is the services commerce marketplace. And the biggest change they are bringing here is to offer selection, price and convenience to customers looking for these services online.
Back then, there was a massive untapped market that Groupon India was unable to tap because of lack of technology and monetary investments from Groupon Inc. That was the major and only challenge.
As the market leader, the onus is on us to build this category. Merchant education on why it is important to come online is paramount here. In a scalable fashion using technology, this remains a work-in-progress task for them.
Backed by Investor
nearbuy is backed by the investor. nearbuy raised USD 17 million (about INR 100 crores) funding from Sequoia Capital.
nearbuy is the market leader in the online services retail space in India. However, as a category, it is still a very small space and the onus is on them to build this category, not just to grow the company.
In the short-term, nearbuy’s goal is to establish the operating standard of the online services retail industry. How do the merchants come online, how do customer react to it, the platform, the flow of consumption etc.
In the long-term, they see nearbuy as the defacto destination for all offline buying needs for the consumer – across eating out, beauty & wellness, things to do and travel.
Bringing two different worlds closer is a difficult task and creating awareness regarding the possibility itself isn’t something easy to achieve. With the smart strategies and teamwork, they achieved that milestone. Doubtlessly, there is a promising future for nearbuy.