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'Meesho is a brand that the country takes pride in’

In today’s edition of the e4m Pride of India Brands series, we trace the reselling platform’s extraordinary journey and decode its future plans

e4m by Shantanu David
Published: Mar 22, 2022 8:58 AM  | 4 min read
pride of india

Even as the world closed its borders in the past two years, homegrown brands found markets opening up. Making the most out of emerging opportunities within the country, Indian companies, both small and large, new and old, are increasingly becoming representatives of the ‘Make in India’ ethos. Meesho, the reselling platform that is part of the Indian unicorn stable, is one such prominent name today.

In this edition of e4m Pride of India Brands series, we trace the brand’s extraordinary journey and decode its future plans.

Founded by IIT Delhi alumni Vidit Aatrey and Sanjeev Barnwal in 2015 and headquartered in Bengaluru, the digitally native brand was valued at close to US$ 5 billion last year. With its pan-India reach and user-friendly features for both sellers and buyers, the e-commerce platform has big plans.

“Meesho pioneered the digital reselling format in India, and for the first time, provided social commerce with product-market fit and scale. Today, with 15 million entrepreneurs, Meesho is helping many more people realize their entrepreneurial dream without any capital investment and from the convenience of their homes,” says Lucky Saini - VP & Head of Brand – Meesho, noting that what started as an entrepreneur-focused platform has now become a single ecosystem connecting sellers to consumers and entrepreneurs.

In sheer numbers, according to the company, till date, they have delivered orders from 100K+ registered suppliers to over 27,000 pin codes in more than 5,000 cities and towns. “We've generated over 500+ crores in income for individual entrepreneurs and customers in more than 4,500 Tier 2+ cities,” they claim. This means it covers a wide gamut of product categories, ranging from materials to finished goods.

While the company started with the business model of a facilitator between the small businesses and resellers that exist across the billion-plus strong Indian marketplace, it shifted gears towards a B2C model last year.

“The growing B2C demand has been a natural evolution for us. From a seller perspective, we are seen as a brand that understands and talks their language,” says Saini, adding, “We are on a steady path to becoming the largest active community of small and medium sellers in India. We are confident that by the end of 2022, Meesho will be a household name across India, and a brand that the country will take pride in.”

Meesho was identified as India’s most downloaded app in 2021, and has seen funding from sources including Meta and SoftBank. Much like the universality of its categories and buying/selling options, the company uses a multitude of media to advertise and market its suite of offerings so as to increase its consumer base.

“Brand marketing is all about creating awareness and consideration for the brand, creating a positive image to encourage users to try out the offerings. As we diversify into new categories and find newer ways to engage, the role of advertising is to create relevance in the users' mind,” he says, adding, “Investments are based on the reach we want to drive and are not restricted to the range of the brand's offerings.”

“We believe in being completely aligned with our consumers. Hence, we follow a user-first media planning approach. While television and digital videos are lead mediums for building brand awareness, when it comes to engagement, social media and content take the lead,” says Saini, including, “We believe in telling our brand’s story across mediums in a way that fits the context and is not considered intrusive.” 

Meesho, given its growth and potential, has a lot of options going forward. Market reports speculate that, taking a leaf out of the book of its peers, the Indian unicorn may be issuing an IPO (Initial Public Offering) early next year, or looking at options of becoming a SPAC (Special Purpose Acquisition Company), while also diversifying its operations.

Saini concludes, “We are currently in a hyper-growth phase and have a lot more in store. However, everything we do will be centered around our primary mission- to democratize e-commerce for a billion Indians.”

 

 

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