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@Guneet Khanuja • 14 Jul, 2014 • 3 likes
ShopClues is an online retail website founded in 2011 by Sanjay Sethi and Sandeep Aggarwal. Founded in the Silicon Valley - USA, ShopClues is now headquartered in Gurgaon, India.

An alumnus of IIT-BHU and IIT-Delhi, Sanjay Sethi has worked for companies like Tradebeam, HCL Perot Systems, IIS Infotech, Steel Authority of India and eBay, where he was the Global Product Head.

In an exclusive interview with CrazyEngineers.com, Sanjay Sethi talks about Shopclues, how he got in touch with his co-founder and the journey of ShopClues amidst various challenges. Read the following interview to know more.

Mr. Sanjay Sethi, Co Founder & CEO, ShopClues.com

1. ShopClues was founded in 2011 by an alumnus of Washington University and renowned Wall Street internet analyst Sandeep Aggarwal and eBay’s former Global Product Head, Sanjay Sethi. How did the team come together?

Sanjay: The founding team members were all professionals working in the Silicon Valley in varied industries like IT, retail and ecommerce - were a group of like-minded people with rich experience and entrepreneurship skills. We recognised the potential of the Indian market, and had the urge to return to the country to start something of our own. This led to the conception of ShopClues, as India’s first managed marketplace.

2. ShopClues was the first e-commerce website in India that operated on the managed marketplace model. How did you come up with this idea?

Sanjay: We studied e-commerce landscape in India thoroughly before venturing with our managed marketplace model. At that time online retail in India was driven by the inventory-led model which is capital intensive and not scalable. The result of which is why we have seen e-retailers like Flipkart, Snapdeal, etc. adopting marketplace model. The offline retail was also unstructured and fragmented with long tail merchants having a very small market share. The marketplace model has given more exposure and access to long tail merchants. Marketplace is our DNA from the day of our inception and we see a huge potential in organizing the small and medium businesses through ShopClues.

3. ShopClues was the 35th entrant in the Indian e-commerce in 2011. Today is it amongst the top 6 e-commerce destinations of the country. How has the journey been?

Sanjay: All businesses have their challenges, but we have been successful in capture a clear position in the market because of our conviction and commitment. Our robust business model, organization culture, strong leadership team and IT prowess have all helped us scale to the top. At present, we have close to 52k+merchants, 55,000 peak orders in a day and Rs.350 crore in annual GMV. ShopClues is growing at 600% year-on-year and we expect to break-even by end of the current fiscal.

4. ShopClues witnessed a growth of 250% from January 2012 to January 2013. How does it feel?

Sanjay: ShopClues is growing at 600% year on year ….its a moment of pride and immense satisfaction for us.

5. ShopClues has been awarded as the Best E-Commerce Site of the Year’ at Social Media Summit & Awards (2013). What is the plan for the year 2014?

Sanjay: It’s been 2 years since our inception and ShopClues is moving out of the start-up mode to join the front ranks. Marketing and merchandising has been a forte for us and we will continue to invest effort on digital and social media. We might also explore mass-media as a means to reach out to our ever-growing customer base. We have a well-oiled consumer acquisition and engagement engine driven by our internal teams.

6. For any wannabe entrepreneur, the biggest fear is the fear of failure. What should one do to overcome it?

Sanjay:
The only way to overcome the fear of failure is to accept it, learn from it and rise above it.
7. We would like to know about the major challenges that you faced while creating ShopClues. How did you handle those challenges?

Sanjay: The major challenge when we created ShopClues was to let Indian customers, merchants, investors and partners believe in our ‘managed marketplace’ model. We had to educate them about the merits of this model and clearly demonstrate how it allowed merchants and customers to transact seamlessly in a managed environment.

8. Presently ShopClues has 3 offices in India though you deliver goods to more than 9,500 cities. Any plans of expansion in the near future?

Sanjay: ShopClues started with a very small family of 5 core-team members which has now grown into an organization of 450+ members. At present, we have 4 fulfillment centres and deliver across 12,000 cities in India. With the growth rate of 600% over last one year, there are definite plans of expansion in near future.
@Rajni Jain • 14 Jul, 2014 • 2 likes Shop clues is solidifying their name pretty fast in Indian e-commerce market.
Nice to read about the founder of Shop-clues.

Nice read and good job done @Guneet Kaur Khanuja
@Kaustubh Katdare • 14 Jul, 2014 Interesting interview, Guneet.

The only way to overcome the fear of failure is to accept it, learn from it and rise above it.
Well, that's the only way forward. What I believe is that unless you are absolutely in love with the thing you are going to do - that it doesn't leave your brain even when you are in shower or just trying to sleep; it's not worth taking the risk. You've to be absolutely convinced that 'THIS IS IT' that you should be doing!

Wishing ShopClues team all the best with their entrepreneurial journey!
@Guneet Khanuja • 14 Jul, 2014
Rajni Jain
Shop clues is solidifying their name pretty fast in Indian e-commerce market.
Nice to read about the founder of Shop-clues.

Nice read and good job done @Guneet Kaur Khanuja
Thank you @Rajni Jain 😀
@Ankita Katdare • 14 Jul, 2014 Having never used ShopClues.com till date, I had no clue that they are this big.
Great thoughts from Mr. Sethi.

Has anyone used their portal? Is their customer service better than that of Snapdeal's?
@Sarathkumar Chandrasekaran • 14 Jul, 2014 @Guneet Kaur Khanuja
My friends used this online shopping portal and the only thing that they offer different from others is the availability of great offers and you can find the cheap and best goods here.Thoughsome of them experienced some bitter events of getting wrong products, They are proving to be evolving and offering more combos
@Sarathkumar Chandrasekaran • 14 Jul, 2014 Great interview @Guneet Kaur Khanuja but a little short interview .
@[Prototype] • 16 Jul, 2014 • 3 likes
Ankita Katdare
Having never used ShopClues.com till date, I had no clue that they are this big.
Great thoughts from Mr. Sethi.I

Has anyone used their portal? Is their customer service better than that of Snapdeal's?
Never tried them in a fear because they look pretty similar to Snapdeal. I was tempted twice but the offer presented was too good to be true straightaway indicating that you'll not be getting what you've ordered.

I am keen to know what kind of actions are taken against notorious merchant who delivers counterfeit products on the name of original. What measures Shopclues is taking to safeguard the customers against such fraud. Ebay for eg. holds the money until the receipt is confirmed by the buyer.
@Pradeep Chandra • 21 Aug, 2014 Hi,

The service provided by ShopClues is very poor. I have purchased an item of Rs 28,341/- on 4-August-2014, and due to unavailability of item the order cancelled on 7-August-2014. But till 21-August-2014, I have not got any refund in my bank account. And the customer care (phone number:-01244414888) is so poor that no body picks the phone. I need contact number of Mr. Sanjay Sethi, if you can provide kindly send me on pcsati@gmail.com.
I can see the future of online shopping now.
@Kaustubh Katdare • 21 Aug, 2014 @Pradeep Chandra - this isn't the place to discuss customer care related issues. I recommend that you should contact ShopClues and resolve the issue.
@Pradeep Chandra • 21 Aug, 2014
Kaustubh Katdare
@Pradeep Chandra - this isn't the place to discuss customer care related issues. I recommend that you should contact ShopClues and resolve the issue.
I am showing you the reality of Shopclues as you have published the interview of their CEO. I request you to try customer care (phone number:-01244414888) then see and write email to them, If you are a new customer then they will reply else no reply. So if you have contact number of concerned authority kindly email me.
@mayankaggarwal16 • 04 Nov, 2014 I just wanted to share my experience as your customer on this Diwali season. With my old experiences, I decided to shop only from Shopclues and landed into a disaster this time. In total I ordered for 4 items separately during this season and so far I have received 2 of this items with which I am highly dissatisfied. For one of the item I have already requested for return and second item which I got today, I will be placing return today. These 2 items are being returned due to poor quality which was never expected from Shopclues.For remaining 2 items, I am still chasing with your customer support teams and there response this time seems to be in sync with the quality of products I have received till now.
I want to share my experience on the most expensive purchase I made from your site this season was for a Samsung LED Television which costed me approximately 32 thousand INR.
I had placed this order 23302569 on 15th October wherein I was assured that order will be delivered on 22nd Oct. I had actually purchased this gift for my parents so that when I travel to my hometown on 23rd Oct, I will give them this as a Diwali surprise. My excitement was ruined by Shopclues team when I saw "delayed delivery" email on 22nd Oct morning. That is where my chasing story starts with shopclues, If I call on the customer care number or write to customer care email ID, they have a standard response stating that we will get back to you in next 24-48 hours and we will be contacting merchant during this time. As I had been chasing these teams all this time, I decided to call again to customer care number on Saturday 1st November and unfortunately I landed on to the most rudest customer care executive I had ever spoken to in my entire life. I politely asked him that I want to talk to your supervisor and he said that I am the senior here. I replied that you may not be the CEO of the company so please get me to a manager and I want to talk only to a senior person. In turn I get to hear that a CEO anyhow would not talk to you. I was amazed with his response and no wonder the quality seems to be floating the same way in the entire company. I had to get little harsh with him after that and he finally put me thru to a lady supervisor (Alpana). This lady at least had a sense to communicate in a proper way but again even she had a standard response. She assured me a call back on Monday (3rd Nov) which as expected I never received.
I also asked about the compensation on this order due to this massive delay and this question was almost ignored and I never got a response. They seemed to be deaf & dumb on this question.
I am writing this email on these two email ID's marked in to and expecting a positive response but somehow I know that my expectations are not going to meet even this time as well.
I am highly disappointed with my experience on Shopclues and not even a single product has made me SMILE this time. All I ended is with REGRETS!!!
Mayank Aggarwal
+91 9999768068

On Mon, Nov 3, 2014 at 6:12 PM, <info@shopclues.com> wrote:
Thanks for contacting info@ShopClues.com. Your email has been received and we will get back to you in 48 hours.

In case you have any customer support issues, please note that this email does not reach our customer support team. in order to get assistance from our customer support team, please visit www.shopclues.com/support and fill a form that will take under a minute.

In case you have any merchant support issue, please email us at merchantsupport@shopclues.com.

Thanks,
ShopClues Team
@mayankaggarwal16 • 04 Nov, 2014
Pradeep Chandra
I am showing you the reality of Shopclues as you have published the interview of their CEO. I request you to try customer care (phone number:-01244414888) then see and write email to them, If you are a new customer then they will reply else no reply. So if you have contact number of concerned authority kindly email me.
@ Pradeep Chandra - To answer your question on the forum, Do you even know how customer care service is for Shopclues? It is easy to make comments but I am sure even you would be sad/frustrated if you have to struggle to get a response when you have spent your hard earned money. No matter how rich or educated you are!!!
@Kaustubh Katdare • 04 Nov, 2014 @mayankaggarwal16 - This certainly isn't the right place to talk about customer experience. I think consumer forum would be the place where you should file your complaint.
@mayankaggarwal16 • 04 Nov, 2014
Kaustubh Katdare
@mayankaggarwal16 - This certainly isn't the right place to talk about customer experience. I think consumer forum would be the place where you should file your complaint.
My dear friend... I think public place is the only forum left when people give great interviews but in reality their customer service sucks! Sanjay has said great things about his company over here but look at all the feedback given by other customer as well on this thread. Do you really think what Sanjay said is all true? Customer centricity is the key part to be a successful player in this industry. You certainly need to work for Amazon to see how they treat their customers and you will know it all. I am sorry but now I am a very frustrated customer for Shopclues and if Sanjay wants to see some good reviews here, he may first have to watchout and fix the customer service section for his company!

Cheers - you have a great day ahead!
@123kblkbl • 16 Nov, 2014 Really shopclues has become worst , they are thinking of expansion where as they failed so much with the customers, kindly go through the forums of desidime, if you go through any deal, what comments are passed by the buyers about shopclues is the reality.
I have placed order on 22 oct and 16 nov the product is not traceable and contacted customer care 25 times by mail /phone .. none could give me a solution , instead they have a standard reply stating that wait for 2 or 3 days. I know this is not the place to rise this issue here.. but i want my fellow indians to know what exactly going on in shopclues , even the ceo of shopclues does not want to know... this is the fact. Hope he reads his interview and correct the mechanism.. or the 600% growth will be 600% downfall soon.
@Kaustubh Katdare • 16 Nov, 2014 This discussion has been closed. Commenters should understand that this is NOT the place to complain about ShopClues (or any other startup). Founders Circuit is meant to showcase the entrepreneurs who've started their businesses and that's the entire scope of it.
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