Down-round for Snapdeal. What does it mean to other start-ups ?

The following article is based on my own interpretation of the said events and/ or publicly available information. Any material borrowed from published and unpublished sources has been appropriately referenced. I will bear the sole responsibility for anything that is found to have been copied or misappropriated or misrepresented in the following post.

Bharat Sabnani, MBA 2016-18, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur

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Snapdeal has had a poor last year with their losses increasing from Rs 1328 crore in 2014-15 to Rs 3316 crore in 2015-16. This in addition to the speculations from investors has resulted in down-round for Snapdeal. A down-round means a reduced valuation of the start-up compared to that of the previous round. This down-round can affect the investors sentiments and its founders but it can also reduce the short-term pressure that Snapdeal faces. The reduced valuation can actually lead to smart business practices and making the business sustainable.

Other emerging start-ups can also learn from this to focus on effective business models instead of short-run marketing gimmicks like deep discounts. The flow of money and investments are not infinite and the start-ups should keep this in mind. The aggressive funding will eventually come down and this will balance the current start-up ecosystem of India. This is just the start of down-round and all the start-ups should make it a point to make their businesses sustainable, so that they are not affected by the increase or decrease of their valuations.

#HelpFindDeepti and the connected dots

The following article is based on my own interpretation of the said events. Any material borrowed from published and unpublished sources has been appropriately referenced. I will bear the sole responsibility for anything that is found to have been copied or misappropriated or misrepresented in the following post.
Darshit Shah, MBA 2015-17, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur
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India’s 5 billion dollar company ‘SnapDeal’ always struggles with handling the controversies created around them. Be it delivering VIM bar instead of smart phone by mistake or be it selling apple iPhone in just 68 Rs or be its brand ambassador ruins its market share overnight by blabbering on national television. It seems that SnapDeal is not good in dealing such cases or becomes over emotional in dealing such instances.

Recently, an employee named ‘Deepti Sarna’ of Snapdeal was abducted after office hours, and soon after that company launched a social media operation named #HelpFindDeepti via twitter. Looking at the situation, UP chief minister, Akhilesh Yadav, who is known for his social media presence, formed several teams on social media and asked everyone to join the operation. The hashtag was in top 10 trending issues in India on Facebook. After 2 days of intense operation, Deepti called her family and informed that she was safe and was released by the kidnappers untouched. Police caught the kidnappers and they said that they were inspired by the Shahrukh Khan’s movie ‘Darr’. And the last scene in the drama was Deepti’s family denied to file FIR because kidnappers did not harm her.

Looking at the UP upcoming elections, SRK’s upcoming movie and past Snapdeal records, anyone can connect the dots and think it as a planned plot. Many people started twitting against Snapdeal. One pronounced Deepti as the brand ambassador of Snapdeal and UP police. But, Snapdeal is not giving answers to such blames. As an audience, I feel for that employee and for Kunal Bahl because it has become a human nature to look everything a brand does with suspicion. If something bad happened to Deepti, then reactions would have different. In this world of manipulative advertising, no good deed goes unpunished either.

References:

http://retail.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/e-commerce/e-tailing/what-went-wrong-with-snapdeals-social-media-post-to-helpfinddipti/51115969

http://www.indiatimes.com/news/india/main-accused-in-the-abduction-case-of-snapdeal-employee-was-a-psychopath-inspired-by-srk-s-darr-250720.htm

Snapdeal to acquire GoJava

The following article is based on my own interpretation of the said events. Any material borrowed from published and unpublished sources has been appropriately referenced. I will bear the sole responsibility for anything that is found to have been copied or misappropriated or misrepresented in the following post.
Nishita Agarwal, MBA 2014-16, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur
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From ‘Food,clothing and shelter’ humans have now moved to ‘Food, clothing ,shelter and technology’. We are spend maximum of our time online and that makes the E-commerce sites the fastest growing business.
As mentioned in 16th March news if Indiatoday, Snapdeal is in the purview of expansion and to strengthen the logistics in the country is in talks to acquire the logistics firm GoJavas which was the logistics firm to Jabong.com as well. The deal is expected to range between Rs 150-200 crores.
The major acquisitions in the e commerce sectors were Flipkart acquiring Myntra and Amazon acquiring Jabong. Snapdeal also has personal investment from Mr Ratan Tata. Snapdeal is also in talks to acquire Freecharge for 2800 crores which is expected to be the biggest deal in Indian internet industry according to The Economic Times 12th March news. The entire E commerce sector requires a strong supply chain as they strive to reduce the time in which the order reaches the customer as it is a strong point over which various firms compete. Amazon has 24hr delivery policy. E commerce operations requires an proper website management, vendor management, secure payment, quick delivery to facilitate a good online shopping experience as online shopping lacks the touch and feel factor of brick and motor shopping. So companies are focusing on logistics.
With the constant improvements, we can expect a very smooth online shopping experience.

Reference:

http://indiatoday.intoday.in/technology/story/snapdeal-to-acquire-jabongs-former-logistics-arm-gojavas/1/424118.html
http://businesstoday.intoday.in/story/snapdeal-acquire-logistics-firm-gojavas-for-rs-200-crore/1/216982.html
http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2015-03-12/news/60048124_1_doozton-snapdeal-group-buying-site-grabbon-com

Unholy Toys Making Forays into Holy India

The following article is based on my own interpretation of the said events. Any material borrowed from published and unpublished sources has been appropriately referenced. I will bear the sole responsibility for anything that is found to have been copied or misappropriated or misrepresented in the following post.

Rakesh Kumar Duan, MBA 2014-16, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur

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On the 25th of February 2015, The Times of India published about Snapdeal being taken to court by a Delhi-based lawyer for selling sex toys and accessories.

According to the report, ” The Delhi-based lawyer said he moved against Snapdeal to check the limits of anti-homosexuality law Section 377. He has also filed a case against another e-commerce company Ohmysecret.com for ‘abetting gay sex and exhibiting obscenity’.  This website was closed down last month after incurring heavy loss. Snapdeal has been selling sex toys for quite some time and this is the first instance where the company is facing legal consequences.”

I don’t get the point of dragging section 377 into it, which criminalizes any unnatural sex, which includes gay sex as well. But since marketing of sex toys in India is illegal, how does it matter if it’s ‘straight’ sex or ‘gay’ sex ?

But again, India Today in one of its articles states: “The law is fuzzy about the sale of sex toys. One can import and sell them as long as the packaging is not ‘obscene’. According to the law, a sex toy can be deemed obscene if it resembles a part of the human anatomy, but the ones that don’t can be sold without any legal problems. Indian hypocrisy at work again. E-tailers also offer discreet packaging and delivery. The courier boy does not know what’s inside, nor are there any tell-tale signs on the packet.”

Further what anyone is doing inside one’s bedroom, as long as it’s consensual and not harming anyone, should not be any third person’s business and the government should not try to impose any rule on such things. As human beings, at least everyone should have this much right to privacy and freedom.

On similar lines, firstpost.com published an article titled “Flipkart’s sexual-wellness section too hot for Telangana Government. To be banned in state?” on 15th January 2015 mentioning about Flipkart.com and some other websites being under the scanner of the Telangana Government for displaying ‘objectionable content’. According to the post, the govt was planning to ban such websites to check the rising crimes against women.

Apparently they were linking sexual assaults in the country to sex toys bought online. Trak.in seems to have an apt reply to this move by the Telangana Goverment.: ” You mean a rapist first orders sex toys online and then goes ahead committing the point once he collects his parcel at the doorstep? We wonder where the state is heading to with heads thinking in this direction.”

As always, India is a land of great hypocrites. Instead of blaming sex toys and porn websites for the increasing crimes against women and focusing on instant-fame-seeking lawyers making gibberish statements, India would be a more safer and happier place if the governments focused more on handling the more pressing issues like revving up the pending trials against sexual convicts, removing the archaic law of Section 377, etc.