Manu Agarwal – the 40-12 months-old creative mastermind, is the daddy of the brainchild Naaptol.Com!
Manu has continually been a serial entrepreneur at coronary heart & thoughts. This entrepreneurial madness has not simplest helped him advantage a tremendous pool of information & enjoy, but has additionally given him the vision to look at the arena in a completely exceptional way.
A firm believer & follower of yoga & meditation, Manu has constantly fought his fears at every stage of his lifestyles and has grown directly to become what you see today. Due to a harsh incident that had passed off in his lifestyles; Manu had gained a fear of relationships and had disconnected himself from all his own family, pals, and literally all his surroundings.
Since the time he has joined yoga & meditation; not simplest has he been in a position to overcome the inner most fears of his lifestyles, but has also got the imaginative and prescient to provoke Naaptol.Com & delivered it to the level you spot today. It has carried out nothing but helped him control Naaptol better.
Talking approximately his qualifications; he's an IIT-Kanpur graduate and has additionally completed his Masters in Computers & Electronics from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities.
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Today, his day starts and ends together with his spouse and 8-12 months-vintage daughter – Anusha who he loves dropping to highschool each morning. These rides together with his daughter regularly include the entrepreneurial stories of Manu’s existence and modern conditions.
Journey that led to Naaptol.Com!
Manu started out his occupational adventure quickly after he completed his Masters from University of Minnesota!
He started running for a agency known as WSI short for ‘WaferScale Integration,’ Silicon Valley, California in 1994. As a Project Leader, commonly his process profile included designing of Flash Memory chip, development of recent era row decoders and programmable logic gadgets. In easy terms; paintings associated with the Memory of the laptop.
Anyway, after operating for almost 4 years with WSI, he wanted to come lower back to India to do some thing of his own and so in 1998, WSI sent him returned to set up their office at Powai, Mumbai.
However, after finishing the equal, Manu determined to quit this process to start Design Expo Network in 1998.
He initiated by investing Rs. 50 lakhs from his personal financial savings and with a few help from family and friends.
The agency become all approximately designing websites and growing large scalable electronic mail packages for majorly its B2B clients. This concept of his was initiated by using him even earlier than World Wide Web had come to India and way in advance of its time.
Because this idea had its own area of expertise, they didn’t discover it difficult to sell and in some time have been pocketing customers like Indiatimes.Com and Mailmetoday.Com.
Now the enterprise at its basics become manifestly a B2B undertaking, but Manu desired something which was greater on the traces of B2C as well. Hence, Manu moved Rs.50 lakhs from the Rs. 2.5 Cr. That he had acquired from Upstart Advisors and alongside together with his friend and batch mate – Amar Sinha, he released two subsidiary web portals of Design Expo Network in 1999 –Criclive.Com and Shubhyatra.Com.
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He worked on those web sites for more than a 12 months, however because they weren’t able to generate any revenues, let alone profits, they decided to sell those portals. And as a result Shubhyatra.Com become offered to Thomas Cook and Criclive.Com changed into offered to Modi Entertainment Network in 2000.
Subsequently, in a depend of some other year, Manu sold Design Expo as properly to a Canadian price structures enterprise known as SLMsoft and additionally helped them to control their Bid Management and Indian Operations.
Once he felt that the enterprise became set and didn’t require his assist any greater, Manu determined to transport on and in 2003, with an funding of Rs.1 Cr. From family and pals, he commenced his 2d task – ANMsoft technology.
In simple terms, ANMsoft became an E-solution enterprise which furnished a huge variety of E- Services such as: –
- Creation of an E-commerce Retail software
- Creation of an E-Travel application which contained additives of Flight, Hotels, Car Rentals and Packages of personal labelled B2C and B2B booking engines
- Development of an E- Media application which enabled offerings like on-line classifieds, collaborative content generation, publishing, subscription, and distribution.
- And building E-Payment applications which processed loans and additionally provided a reliable payment machine
Again, this stint of his persevered for another 5 years approximately; after which, he moved directly to innovate some thing which he had always thought of, but had executed earlier than.
[ANMsoft still functions actively, but Manu is no more an active part of its operations.]
And having said that; in 2008 he launched Naaptol.Com!
Life at Naaptol.Com!
WHAT IS NAAPTOL.COM?
As self explanatory as it is – Headquartered in Mumbai; Naaptol is a domestic shopping corporation that gives a medium to customers & sellers to purchase or promote numerous products in classes ranging from garb, patron electronics, mobile telephones, domestic furnishings, furnishings, kitchen home equipment, and plenty of extra.
To begin with; Naaptol were initiated by means of Manu in conjunction with Hari Trivedi and Yusuf Khan. Naaptol once more had began with a seed capital of Rs. 50 lakhs. In its early days, the enterprise model of Naaptol turned into – because the name recommended ‘Naap’ & ‘Tol’ i.E. It turned into just a research and fee assessment platform, in which they actually broadcasted information about various merchandise.
One ought to visit the website and could evaluate the pricing of as many as 10 products to make an knowledgeable buy choice. Additionally, they had been additionally provided with a listing of capability local sellers, they could purchase from.
This model continued for more than a year, and then they commenced to sense the heat! Now, they indeed had a great person base created, but the trouble changed into that, they didn’t have any sales model in location. Hence, they weren’t making any income.
That is once they commenced contemplating a medium via which they may monetise the business. They realised that, what they were doing turned into their USP and that they were at the strains of becoming Google of product search. The distinction became that Google had a manner to monetise its traffic via the commercials. And that is how ‘hot offers’ clicked their mind!
As the idea commenced to conform, they eventually zeroed right down to a market version and ultimately, in 2009 Naaptol.Com converted itself into a full-fledge on line market.
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Now unlike maximum other E-commerce gamers Naaptol did now not promote immediately & had accompanied a market version, in which all it was doing turned into providing a platform to traders and sellers. They have been extensively helping the small-time merchants/sellers to reach out to a wider patron base and at the same time giving clients the leverage to enjoy extremely good value-for- money merchandise.
Additionally, Naaptol extensively utilized to create micro web sites for offline stores where they might listing their gives and the clients could both opt to purchase the product on line or visit the store. What delivered to the credibility changed into that Naaptol used offer entire contact details of each seller registered.
In the next 12 months, the organization started out marketing itself on print media and accelerated its print media marketplace proportion by way of zero.3% and furthermore, also secured the placement of the top advertiser for 2 consecutive years in 2009 and 2010.
With such unique concept and innovative advertisements, Naaptol’s turnover rose 10 instances from Rs. 1 Cr in 2009 to Rs.10 Cr in 2010.
Capitalising on the growth; with a complete funding of near $1 million on advertising and marketing, in addition they began advertising in more than 60 print courses and at the same time, additionally began showcasing their products through broadcast media.
By 2011 – that they had constructed a sturdy shape and had reinforced every branch of theirs. Most of their enterprise trusted calls, and as a result that they had very well outsourced the equal to call centres in Thane, Vikroli and Navi Mumbai. On the other quit; their providers stored the products in warehouses which again have been managed by way of 1/3 events in Hyderabad, Gurgaon and Mumbai. Thus, collectively reducing down expenditure considerably!
And now with a sturdy listing of two lakh products and 500 manufacturers, the website become attracting ninety,000 site visitors and turned into making five,000 transactions an afternoon, which become someplace close to Rs. 1.Five Cr income an afternoon.
If this become enough then, they without a doubt raised many greater eyebrows once they suggested that; even after going through a tough time in 2014, they have been close to breaking even and were registering a 60% Year-on-Year growth charge. Plus, with orders really worth approximately 4.5 cores every day, that they had additionally made revenues worth Rs. 345 Cr in 2014-15.
More recently, Naaptol completed a huge round of funding and has began the aggressive expansion mode. As a primary; they may be increasing to worldwide markets like Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka and parts of West Asia inside the next six months after which will pass in addition.
In addition; a certain percent of those finances might additionally be used to upgrade their studio capabilities, enlargement of their supply chain and investments inside the generation.
Talking about their investment; Naaptol has raised a total amount of $fifty four.Five Million from Silicon Valley Bank, Canaan Partners, New Enterprise Associates and Mitsui & Co, thus far! This consists of their maximum current investment worth $21 Million (2015), at the side of $25 Million (2011) and $8.5 Million (2010).
The year of 2014 had turned out to be a yr full of demanding situations for Manu & Naaptol in standard. Apart from the various petty issues that they confronted, there were two in specific that hit the front page.
1. At first, the corporation became pulled with the aid of the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) in May 2014 for allegedly false marketing.
Manu very graciously accepted that there has been an problem with considered one of their classified ads. They speedy recognized the economic, dropped the innovative day after today, made the necessary amendments as according to the ASCI hints, and restarted the commercial.
2. Soon after that hassle ended, inside some months, Maharashtra Government’s Revenue Department accused Naaptol, that the organization had failed to pay a Value Added Tax (VAT) at the sale of 1/3 party goods between 2008 and 2012 worth Rs. 23Cr. And for this reason their bank accounts had been frozen.
But commercial enterprise wasn’t affected a lot due to the fact, Manu had approached the court docket at the equal day and all in their debts were unfrozen at once. The trouble remains a pending litigation with the nation VAT department.
During the route of his commercial enterprise lifestyles; Manu accepts the truth that, he has taken many incorrect decisions and has also made many errors. But business in actual phrases is about strolling on a direction you have never taken earlier than. Similarly, he has learnt from every wrong decision & mistake, and has used them as ladders to grow even better.
- Naaptol gained the “Retailer of the Year” award by using the Asia Retail Congress (2014)
- Manu received the “Entrepreneur of the Year” at Entrepreneur India Awards prepared via Franchise India Magazine (2014)
- Manu acquired the “Most Admired Entrepreneur Award” with the aid of ABP News Brand Excellence Awards hosted by using the World Brand Congress (2013)
- Naaptol gained the “Hottest Internet Company of the Year” award at CNBC TV18 Young Turks Awards (2012)
- Naaptol obtained the “New Brand Award” by Star News (2011)