Startup GroupDrop wants to bring 'social e-commerce' to India

GroupDrop is an online platform that allows people from across the country, to come together, share their needs for particular products, discuss, give and receive opinions and critiques, be able to look at photos and also choose between alternatives.


Recently, a deal was carried out in Aurangabad, Maharashtra where 150 luxury cars were sold at once to a group of businessmen. The group sought, and received massive discounts, extended warranties and many more goodies. This sparked the launch of GroupDrop in the minds of Gaurav Kapadia, Shyam Gursahani and Sanjay Gopalakrishnan when they thought they could offer a similar experience to a much larger audience, perhaps across the country, online.

Among them, the trio has skill sets in engineering, marketing and brand management. Speaking about the concept of ‘social e-commerce’, Gursahani and Kapadia say, “Consumers predominantly shop for products that suffice their needs. However, big ticket items like cars, cameras or audio systems are best bought after doing a thorough research. People value opinions and expertise. It gives them a deeper insight on making an informed purchase and validate their choices. What we have is an online platform that allows people from across the country, to come together, share their needs for particular products, discuss, give and receive opinions and critiques, be able to look at photos and also choose between alternatives. Thus offering, everybody an equal opportunity to buy products exactly of their liking at a much lesser price than what's available in the market.”

GroupDrop currently works with a team of eight individuals and they outsource their marketing, PR and IT. Explaining the GroupDrop business model, Gursahani and Kapadia explain that they’re essentially a group-buying e-commerce platform, seeking revenue through margins on sales. “To start off, we're going to sell cars, photography equipment, audio equipment and gaming consoles and accessories. So, our customer base is specific yet generic. Once we have a specific quantity of confirmed demand for a particular product, we liaise with our vendors who give us the best deals. In turn, we pass on this discount to our consumers, keeping aside a little sum for ourselves as commission. These categories offer a wide array of high end products which gives us a scope to give sizable discounts. Largely, the e-commerce consumer is a deal hunter and we plan to cash in on that,” explains the duo. The company started up with its own capital and the founders see it sustaining them efficiently for a year at least.

Since GroupDrop liaises between the consumer and vendors, their business model excuses them from having to manufacture products or store any inventory. “Currently, we have invested quite a lot in Communications and IT, because that is our area of operation and expertise. As time progresses, we will invest in transportation and logistics as well,” Gursahani and Kapadia share.

GroupDrop envisions becoming the preferred space for our consumers to buy what they need. “In the near future, we want to get as much traffic on GroupDrop as possible and see a few deals go through. Essentially we’re consumer driven, so that offers us scope to sell products or services from various categories. We plan to expand our categories - from superbikes to grooming products, Real Estate to Travel packages - we wish to sell pretty much everything to our consumers who are passionate and enthusiastic, with prices they cannot refuse,” share the founders.

Gursahani and Kapadia believe that while group buying as a concept is prevalent in India, a platform like theirs is something that the consumers in India aren’t used to. “With us, you will get to ask for products you want, and be able to discuss about products with co-shoppers! We're a platform that gives consumers an opportunity to purchase products of their liking while being able to discuss about them - all at the same time! Plus, the discounts play a crucial role,” they add.

To widen its reach, GroupDrop wants to get more vendors, more product categories and a wider spread distribution network. Presently they are catering to a consumer base in 20 major cities and plan to go countrywide soon. GroupDrop hopes to tap in to international markets too as part of its growth trajectory.

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