Leveraging their learnings in managing supply chain and logistics at Boston Consulting Group and their personal experiences with family businesses, Rahul Aggarwal and Hariher Balasubramanian started BuyEazzy.
Founded in 2021,is an ecommerce platform that focusses on beauty and personal care products. The Mysuru-based startup aims to be the go-to shopping destination for Tier II cities and beyond.
BuyEazzy has been growing at a 100% month-on-month rate for the last six months and is currently completing over 2,000 orders per day. The startup is operational in eight cities in Karnataka: Mysuru, Hubli, Dharwad, Mangaluru, Belagavi, Coorg, Hassan and Tumkur.
It claims to have onboarded over 75,000 first-time online shoppers while working with more than 1,000 neighbourhood stores. About 50% of BuyEazzy’s orders come from remote towns and villages tagged to these cities.
During his previous role as a Project Lead at Boston Consulting Group (BCG), Rahul worked across sectors in remote areas such as Dhanbad, Jaunpur, Angul and Sultanpur.
During a project at BCG, Rahul met Hariher, an engineer and MBA graduate. The two were supposed to travel to London for the project when the pandemic hit. And, this changed the course of their professional lives.
“I am a fourth-generation entrepreneur in my family. I own small sweet and apparel shops in Delhi. Business is something that comes very naturally to me. Hariher has a very deep understanding of the South Indian retail market,” says Rahul.
“We always wanted to build a consumer-facing business but by leveraging our understanding, and our supply chain experience (at BCG). The market we are looking at and the white space that we are targeting which is Bharat is a difficult one,” he adds.
As the co-founders are based out of Delhi and Chennai, the question arises why choose Mysuru to set up a business.
“We wanted to take up a city that is a true representation of the middle class which is our target user base. We also had to think about a longer term, where we thought about the availability of tech talent. Mysuru provides that kind of strategic advantage where it is three hours away from Bengaluru. At the same time it provides access to all Southern states with an overnight delivery mechanism,” Rahul tells YourStory.
How it works
Instead of digital marketing, BuyEazzy has a unique customer acquisition model wherein it leverages the relationships that small business owners have with their customers to convert them to BuyEazzy users.
For instance, the ecommerce platform partners with a salon that sees between 12-15 customers a day. The salon promotes the app and gets a commission for sign-ups. BuyEazzy has many such partnerships across Kirana stores and salons in these Tier II cities.
“We capitalise on the trust that already exists between these small shops and the end users who are coming to the shop, who already have been availing of some service, or have been buying from these people. These businesses have a very unique proposition to say that ‘I have started an online business in collaboration with this company.’ Here this business owner is at the forefront but the customer also becomes aware of the brand BuyEazzy,” explains Rahul.
“These people can earn up to 50% of their existing income without an impact on their business,” he adds.
The startup has its own last-mile delivery fleet, and takes care of sourcing and logistics.
Being a marketplace for beauty and personal care products, BuyEazzy has placed strict quality control measures. It also ensures that it works with a handful of suppliers, and directly works with the brands.
Working with local vendors and local distributors, the startup claims that it is able to deliver orders within 24-48 hours. About 80% of the startup’s supply chain is localised.
“Other startups with a centralised supply chain are not able to do that,” says Rahul.
Brands in Mysuru
Tier II and beyond cities have unique consumption patterns and brand preferences, Rahul tells YourStory.
“Specific regional brands in beauty and personal care do not have that kind of a market share in Mysuru but there are some regional Ayurveda brands that we work with,” says Rahul.
“D2C brands do have a major penetration in these cities and towns yet because they have been focussing on metro and Tier I through digital marketing. When we become the go-to marketplace in these cities, we also become the go-to market channel for these D2C brands as well,” he adds.
Tier III and IV cities are availability-led markets, and less of an awareness-driven market, he concludes.
The marketplace plans to expand to 20 cities and onboard over one million offline users onto ecommerce within a year. Some of these cities include Coimbatore, Davangere, Shivamoga, Tirupur, Salem, and Trichy.
In August 2022, BuyEazzy raised $1.3 million in a seed round led by Incubate Fund India and M Venture Partners, along with participation from angels like Superb Capital and others.
It plans to use these funds towards product enhancement, team building and expansion.
Other ecommerce startups based out of Tier II and Tier III cities include Kurseong-based Daammee, Bhubaneswar-based Maavni Designs, Jaipur-based MEDdelivery, Patna-based Flyseas, and Pune-based Maneraa.
The Indian ecommerce industry has been on an upward growth trajectory and is expected to surpass the US to become the second largest ecommerce market in the world by 2034. The ecommerce market is expected to reach $200 billion by 2026 from $38.5 billion in 2017, according to a report by IBEF.
With the cost of servicing Tier II and other smaller cities going down, most of e-retail’s growth in the country is going to come from these regions. Overall, online shoppers in India are expected to reach 220 million by 2025.