Amid the Covid-induced gloom across business sectors, a Kochi-based e-commerce startup managed an inspiring feat of turning a crisis into an opportunity. DiagunCart, founded in May 2020 by three friends amid the first lockdown, is on an ambitious expansion mission a year after its launch.
Started with a meagre Rs 1 lakh, the company has recorded a turnover of Rs 10 crore in its first year of operations, according to its promoters. With a 50,000-customer strength acquired in one year, the firm has prepared a detailed plan to emerge as an e-commerce major in the country. The plan is to form its own distribution network. In the process, the startup envisages to create 2,000 new job opportunities.
Kochi-based Jijy Philip and his friends Abilash Vijayan and Habeeb Rahman are the promoters of DiagunCart, an online store which endeavours in supplying trending and innovative products to the customers. The company delivers an extensive range of products such as industrial safety products, personal safety products, disinfectants and biodegradable solutions, agriculture and compostable products, sports and beautycare items and other consumer products at the doorsteps.
The products are delivered directly from industry-leading manufactures and authorised distributors.
Launch with a disruption
DiagunCart was launched with a disruption of the existing market of products aimed at combating COVID-19. The startup gained acceptance among the customers when face masks were given at Rs 3.
"When the lockdown was introduced due to the pandemic, there was a shortage for Covid-controlling materials like sanitisers and masks. Whatever was available was also costly. We decided to disrupt this market first. We bulk purchased masks from Delhi and sold it for Rs 3. This helped us gain an initial traction," Jijy Philip told Onmanorama.
The e-store went on to sell Covid-19 preventive materials and products required for agriculture, sports, beautycare etc at a very reasonable cost. The products are delivered in every nook and corner of the country by speed post service and other available courier services.
When the company received more orders, DiagunCart was able to procure more materials from the producers and stored them at warehouses. Now the products are made available at all the postal pin codes in the country.
DiagunCart aims to start its own distribution network to overcome the limitations with the existing delivery systems. The network is expected to be launched in Kerala during the initial phase and then in other states.
With the expansion the company aims at Rs 10 crore turnover in a month.
Kit is the keyword
DiagunCart believes in all-round solutions. Its decision to sell kits for various purposes was received well by the customers. The company offered kit for the Onam feast last year. Then it started delivering kits for events like birthday celebrations.
“We don't want our customers to run from one shop to another. Now, we are exploring the scope of providing a kit for in-house farming. We are engaged in the research and development regarding this,” Abilash Vijayan said.
Jiji Philip and Abilash Vijayan are long-term friends and had collaborated in businesses earlier also. Habeeb Rahman joined the duo when they launched DiagunCart. He looks after the company's finances.