THE KEY TO GREAT EXECUTION IS CUSTOMER FEEDBACK

ANKIT PRUTHI CEO, Unicommerce

Founded in 2012 by three classmates from IIT Delhi, Unicommerce has been making the right kind of noises since the time it started. It is one of the fastest growing eCommerce management software and fulfillment solution providers in India. In a short span, the company has leading online retailers like Jabong, Myntra, Snapdeal, etc, as its customers. Dataquest got a chance to interact with Ankit Pruthi, CEO, Unicommerce to know about his entrepreneurial journey and the challenges the company faced. Excerpts

Tell us about your growth journey. How did the idea of setting up a venture come up?
When we decided to go on our own, one thing we were quite convinced about was the immense potential of eCommerce in India. So we wanted to do something in this space. Since, we all came from a tech background, we knew it has to be a tech company. Once those things were fixed, the decision was quite straight forward. We could either go into payment gateways or we could make a product for back-end. After some research and discussions with our mentors, we zeroed in on order fulfillment, ie, back-end of eCommerce.
Many big names are working with you today. So, what all factors would you attribute to Unicommerce’s success?
Today, most of the big eCommerce brands like Myntra, Jabong, Snapdeal, Caratlane, BlueStone, Urban Ladder, Lenskart, etc, rely on Unicommerce to manage their back-end. We have always believed that great execution of an idea is more important than just having a great idea.
We are obsessed with execution. And the key to great execution, we have realized, is customer feedback. We take it very seriously. We ask for it proactively. We work on it zealously. Our team and processes are very agile and that helps us develop the product quickly. That’s why such billion dollar companies continue to trust us everyday.
What operational challenges do you face currently?
Product company culture is fairly new in India. It requires a different mindset to work in such a company. Every action of every employee is affecting thousands of users, millions of transactions every month. That’s why we look for certain kind of people while recruiting—those who understand the seriousness of this scale and can carry such responsibility. So as of today, the biggest challenge we have is attracting such kind of people to Unicommerce. And given the amazing talent that we have in India, we are confident we will succeed in it.
What is in pipeline for Unicommerce?
This February, we have completed three years. From operating in one room we have grown to four offices across India with 100+ team. There are many who are providing a ‘service’ like ours, but there is hardly any serious player in the ‘product’ space. And service model is inherently flawed as you cannot scale up. With product model, we are successfully doing 6 mn orders every month. Unicommerce has new set of features in the pipeline which bring this ‘product’ model to many other pain areas of online seller. We will soon be rolling them out.
When you started, though the eCommerce space was taking off, how easy or tough was it to create a market for yourself. What were the apprehensions?
Right from the start, we were confident about our product concept, about the core team we had. The only apprehension or uncertainty was about the timing. Honestly speaking, we did not foresee that Indian eCommerce would explode so quickly. We are pleasantly surprised about how things unfolded in the last 18 months or so for the Indian eCommerce. We started hitting million orders a month mark much earlier than we thought. And I think, it’s not just the timing but also says a lot about the maturity of our eCommerce platform. Our product has matured fast and has kept up with the pace of Indian eCommerce growth.