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Tenacity of Snapdeal founders makes them 'Comeback Kid' in ET Startup Awards 2019

The company has moved away from competing with Amazon and Flipkart and is focused on what it calls value-conscious customers.

ET Bureau|
Updated: Jul 22, 2019, 02.54 PM IST
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BCCL
snapdeal
Having managed to retain control, Bahl and Bansal embarked on a plan to turnaround the Gurgaon-based company. Earlier this month, it reported a 73% jump in revenue and narrowed losses to less than a third in fiscal 2019.
The tenacity shown by Snapdeal’s founders — Kunal Bahl and Rohit Bansal — in pulling their company back from the brink of oblivion, was recognised unanimously by the jury as one of the biggest survival stories of the Indian startup ecosystem in recent memory. The company has changed its core, since its massive fall almost two years ago when it was valued at $6.5 billion and among the largest online marketplaces. It has moved away from competing with Amazon and Flipkart and is focused on what it calls value-conscious customers.

“This award is for the lakhs of small and medium businesses who leverage Snapdeal to grow... This award is also for all those who believed in us, supported us, guided us and strengthened our resolve to keep moving ahead,” Bansal told ET.

“Kunal and Rohit have made a great comeback. They have definitely survived the crisis very gracefully. Also, they have managed to retain their core values. Because of investor pressure, they deviated from what they had thought earlier,” said Sachin Bansal, the BACQ and Flipkart cofounder and a jury member. “I hope that they do well, but it remains to be seen how this shapes up.” In 2017, Snapdeal saw its fortunes plummet dramatically, losing market share with the founders embroiled in a bitter struggle to stave off a takeover by Flipkart.

Read: ET Startup Awards 2019: Atomberg Technologies, gets the 'Best on Campus' award

Having managed to retain control, Bahl and Bansal embarked on a plan to turnaround the Gurgaon-based company. Earlier this month, it reported a 73% jump in revenue and narrowed losses to less than a third in fiscal 2019.

The turnaround has not come without its share of pain. It has sold assets and cut jobs in a bid to survive. But the founders’ back-tothe-wall strategy worked to keep them alive. For Bahl, in particular, the 2019 Comeback Kid award can be said to represent the journey entrepreneurs can undertake in their bid to build businesses. From being presented the Entrepreneur of the Year at the 2015 ET Corporate Awards, the latest salutation is a recognition of his never-say-die attitude.
Also Read: ET Startup Awards Alumni: Where are they now?

Other Contenders
ninjacart

Thirukumaran Nagarajan | NinjaCart

Key Investors: Tiger Global, Accel Partners US and India, Qualcomm Ventures, Trifecta Capital, NRJN Trust

What it does: NinjaCart, which started as a hyper-local delivery startup, later pivoted to a B2B supply chain company that sources fresh produce directly from over 170 villages, cutting out scores of middlemen, and facilitating immediate payments for farmers.

instamojo

Sampad Swain | Instamojo

Key Investors: Kalaari Capital, Blume Ventures, 500 Startups, Anypay, Gunosy Capital

What it does: Instamojo offers payments solutions for small- and medium-sized enterprises. It acts as an e-commerce platform for SMEs, providing them logistics and lending services.

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Anand Ayyadurai (in pic), Padmanabhan B and Sanchit Mittal | Vogo

Key Investors: Ola, Matrix Partners, Kalaari Capital, Stellaris Venture Partners

What it does: Vogo is an on-demand, automated scooter sharing company that allows customers to pick up and drop off two-wheelers at designated points. It recently received a $100 million line of credit from Ola, which it will use to buy electric scooters.

bounce

Vivekananda Hallekere (in pic), Anil G and Varun Agni | Bounce

Key Investors: B Capital Group, Falcon Edge Capital, Accel Partners India & US, Chiratae Ventures, Sequoia Capital, Qualcomm Ventures, Maverick Ventures

What it does: Starting off as a rental service for high-end motorcycles, Bounce’s pivot to a dockless scooter model has found takers. The company now has over 5,000 scooters in Bengaluru, and is currently targeting deploying 100,000 bikes over the next 12-18 months.

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Not a Snap Deal: Jasper Infotech's lifeline from SoftBank may cut its valuation by half

SnapDeal raises $40 millon from Bessemer Venture Partners, Nexus Venture Partners and IndoUS Venture Partner

SnapDeal.com gets $40 mn funding from Bessemer,other investors

Novartis in a soup over snapping deal with distributor

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