I think about business ideas all the time. Suddenly, I had an idea. It was an eCommerce startup idea! At that time, there was only one eCommerce company in India. eCommerce startup idea was new then and one needed a lot of courage to venture into that.
I decided to do something about it. Then I approached someone senior I knew so that I could bounce off the idea and see where it would take me.
“I want to start an eCommerce company,” I told that senior person whom I considered a mentor of sorts.
That was in the year 2005.
He said, “eCommerce will never take off in India. People will not share their credit card or bank account details.”
But I had sold eCommerce solutions to clients from the year 2000 onwards. Well, these were enterprise clients and they were either streamlining their supply chain or the distribution network. But there were hardly any B2C eCommerce companies then.
Whereas, there was one B2C eCommerce company named India Plaza founded by Mr. K.Vaitheeswaran. He had started operations in the year 1999 and was going strong in 2005. They had withstood & survived the dot-com bust in the year 2000.
Mr. K.Vaitheeswaran had also co-founded Fab Mall, a retail chain of supermarket stores that was later acquired by Aditya Birla Group and rebranded as “More”. More recently [pun unavoidable], More supermarkets were acquired by Amazon. I am not sure if some more supermarkets are on Amazon’s list of acquisitions. You know what I am talking about!
The senior person with whom I shared my idea discouraged me from starting up an eCommerce venture. So, to make the long story short, it didn’t happen.
If the risk is high in a business then one should start small and work hard. If it succeeds then you could approach VCs for funds and expand carefully without burning all the cash. Also, from Day 1, one should aim for profitability and not growth. These are my personal views. I may be wrong.
The fact of the matter remains that I didn’t venture into eCommerce then. If you don’t want to regret it later as I do now, you should take action!
- If you want to start something, just do it.
- You can figure out how, as you go along.
- Don’t look for perfection.
- Start with, let’s say, even Google Forms.
- Don’t tell everyone about it.
- Work quietly on your project.
If you want to start selling online today, contact me at email@example.com
In case you want to Do It Yourself [DIY], you should choose a tool that can help you start an eCommerce website. Check out our Products page here.
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