Interview questionnaire of Mr. Anish Basu Roy- CO-Founder, CEO, Shotang.

Interview questionnaire of Mr. Anish Basu Roy- CO-Founder, CEO, Shotang. has been in the market since 2013, in such a short time how has been the journey in the B2B marketplace?

We are solving a challenge, which is specific to India and other emerging economies. This has not been attempted anywhere else in the world. In that sense, we are intensely proud of our journey thus far. Ever since our inception, we have stood apart on the back of our technology-driven and customer-first approach. Our on-cloud marketplace empowers all three stakeholders in the retail distribution system – distributors, retailers and manufacturers.
What is your current presence and reach in the country

Currently we are live in 2 cities and there are initial pilots in 3 more cities. These are currently metro and tier 1 cities. In the near term we shall remain focused on the top cities in the country as the market size in these cities is significant. However, in the longer term we believe we will have a major role to play in redefining distribution in rural and semi-urban geographies as well.
 How would your online marketplace prove beneficial to resellers and distributors?
Being an open marketplace, Shotang enables rapid market access to manufacturers, while the retailers gain easy access to more suppliers, more products, better prices and structured credit. This approach is of immense benefit to the distributors, as it ensures a faster movement of products within the B2R supply chain and lowers the warehousing costs of inventory.
What keeps you motivated?

 We are a team that gets excited by the possibility of finding solutions to large, complex, india specific problems. We love to attack areas which encompass massive opportunity, however, lack precedences and are plagued with ambiguity. At the core, we have this unsatiated desire for creating genuine value. 15 Mn strong retailer community in India, has been grossly underserved digitally for so long now. Our mission of putting every shopkeeper in absolute control of their business by lending efficiency to his inventory sourcing, store operations, and, off-takes through technology, is what keeps us awake at nights!

How do you plan to scale up; raise funds through seed or venture capital?

As a team we religiously believe in putting our biggest assumptions to test as soon as possible. We believe in swift and controlled iterations to perfect what works, preferably at one or two geographical locations.  Though we are very frugal and value conscious while creating solutions, we understand that cash is the shot in the arm which we need to scale up at a breakneck speed. We raised our Series A round few months back and certainly plan to raise more funds in future. 

What kind of challenges did you face while coming up with such a platform?
Being a digitally undeserved market and since not all retailers are very technology savvy, it has always been a challenge to help them adopt our platform. But our biggest learning is that if your proposition to the user is valuable enough, the user will always adopt it even if it demands learning new technology.
Shotang - is a leading on-cloud marketplace which aims to revolutionize the order fulfillment processes in traditional distribution channels through technology and aggregation of resellers & consumer brands. The brand is a young and energetic company based in Bangalore which is helping more than 50,000 resellers and 130 companies on its network to grow their business, across India.
Shotang Company Profile 
Bengaluru-based on-cloud marketplace, Shotang, was incepted in May 2013 with the mission to revolutionise the many processes involved in traditional retail distribution channels. By aggregating distributors and consumer brands, it seeks to provide opportunities for companies to enhance their productivity and build a robust network. At present, it enjoys association with more than 50,000 distributors and 130 companies across India. 
The 30-member team at Shotang brings to the table decades of in-depth understanding in the retail distribution space across geographies and categories. This coupled with technological prowess and a strong cultural DNA are a winning match. The company’s aim to empower all three stakeholders in the retail distribution system – distributors, retailers and manufactures – helps build a business model that’s beneficial to all and in tangent with the business rules of the industry. Shotang was selected as one of the Top 10 early stage start-ups by TiE, Bengaluru under its flagship programme titled Anthah Prerana. Last year, Shotang was also chosen to be a part of Microsoft Ventures’ accelerator programme for scale-up companies. 
The company’s future plans include aggressive expansion across 10 Indian cities apart from establishing a strong presence across 4-5 top product categories. The sheer size of the retail distribution industry in the country substantially boosts the chances of success for a venture like Shotang. The company aims to play a crucial role in scaling-up operations for the industry that’s pegged at 630 billion USD and has 15 million retailers. It believes that technology can drive significant operational and working capital efficiencies in the entire distribution channel. Being an open marketplace, Shotang will help manufacturers with rapid market access. Retailers, on the other hand, stand to benefit from easy access to more suppliers, more products, better prices and structured credit. In short, it’s a win-win for all.