Supam Maheshwari had a hard time buying baby care products for his first child. While for most others it would just be another pain point, Maheshwari found a business opportunity lurking in his problem. Finding the right baby care products surely is a hard task for most young parents today and he wanted to set up a business to address this segment. The business idea that was germinated in 2001 eventually became a reality in 2010 when Maheshwari and his friend Amitava Saha founded an e-commerce portal FirstCry.com that began by providing a range of 4,000 branded baby care products.
The duo tied-up with over 300 brands such as Funskool, Disney, Barbie, Zapak, Huggies, Pampers, Farlin, Hotwheels and to their surprise got a good number of orders in the first two months. Since then, there has been no looking back and the company expects to do a business of `1 crore by the end of the month. Maheshwari has set a target of `5 crore by next fiscal.
“Our business model is quite similar to some of the world’s most successful e-commerce portals and is gaining popularity,” says the 37-year-old Maheshwari, founder of Pune-based Brain Bees Solutions that manages FirstCry.com. The portal is popular in metros as a number of working couples find it convenient to buy online rather than going to a mall or a small store to shop.
The company is now expecting substantial demand from tier-II cities as well and so the task of strengthening its sourcing and distribution has begun. FirstCry earns a significant margin by sourcing directly from global brands.
In a month, it intends to add an additional 5,000 products to the portal for children in the 0-14 year age bracket. “We try to attract as many customers through regular discounts or festival offers,” adds Maheshwari.
Though the duo hasn’t thought of establishing retail stores yet but spreading wings to newer markets is very much in their wishlist. While Saha proficiently manages business development and marketing across Indian markets, Maheshwari ideates on new initiatives and looks after the financial portion. As businesses stabilises and they reach more markets in India, they plan to foray into other Asian markets like Malaysia, Indonesia, Sri Lanka.